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How to Shingle a Roof in 8 Steps: Tips for the DIY Roofer

For roofing, you will need the following tools:

  • hammer
  • utility knife with a supply of blades
  • chalk line and chalk
  • tin snips
  • plenty of 1 1/4 inch roofing nails

How to Shingle a Roof: DIY in 8 Easy Steps

In preparation, decide whether you will remove existing shingles and underlayment. If so, do this first and discard. Sweep and inspect your roof sheathing to ensure it's clear of debris and nailed down properly. Patch any gaps or delamination.

  1. Check roof flashing. Repair or replace, as needed.
  2. Install 15 or 30-pound roofing felt, horizontally. Start at the eaves and work toward the ridge. Overlap as indicated on the felt roll: Each new felt strip should overlap the preceding one.
  3. Install drip edge along eaves and rakes.
  4. Install one row of starter shingles along the eave. If you don't have starter shingles, make your own by trimming the tabs, and about an inch off the top of your shingles. Bottom edge of starters should be even with the drip edge.
  5. Using 4-inch nails, install your first row of shingles over the starter shingles. Space the nails evenly across, about 2 inches above the cutout. The first row of shingles should overhang the eave's drip edge by about 1/2 inch.
  6. Measure up each rake, and make chalk lines across the roof, to keep your shingles even during installation.
  7. Install hip and ridge shingles at ridges and over vents.
  8. Trim shingles, as needed. Shingles should overhang drip edge about 1/2 inch at rakes and eaves.

Installing shingles is a good way to achieve the "natural heights" that accompany the satisfaction of working on your own home. Save money and gain knowledge when you do-it-yourself.