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How To Shingle A Roof

How To Build Your Own Home e-book available

Before You Begin

Tools Of The Trade

Designing Your Home

Building Permit Plans

Excavating Home Site

Laying Drain Pipes

Prepping For Slab

Pouring The Slab

Installing Sill Plate

cutting Outside Wall Parts

Building Outside Walls

Framing & Raising interior Walls

Exterior Wall Sheathing

Cutting Out Openings

Wrapping The House

Preparing For Roof Trusses

Gettin Roof Trusses Ready

Raising Roof Trusses

Sheathing The Roof

Preping For Shingles

Selecting Doors/Windows

Installing Doors/Windows

Preparing For Siding

Types Of

How To Select Siding

Siding The House

Siding Soffits & Trim

Installing Strapping


There are many varieties and colors of roofing materials. You can shingle your roof with Wood, Metal panels, Clay tiles, Slate tiles, and Solar Panels, just to name a few. It is up to you to select the one most suitable for your climate and lifestyle.

  • How to select the type and color of shingles.

  • How to calculate the number of bundles needed.

  • How to cut starter courses.

  • How to install shingles.

  • How to lay Cobra.

  • How to construct Ridge Cap shingles.

  • How to install a Ridge Cap.

How To Install Asphalt Shingles On A Roof.

  1. How to select you asphalt shingles?

    • Choosing the color, shape, and texture of your shingles is fairly straight forward. However, straight forward doesn't necessarily mean simple. Even though the selection process depends mainly on your personal taste, there are many variables to take into consideration.

    • The shingle you select will give your roof a certain look which will need to fit the overall appearance of your house. Unfortunately at this point, the exterior of the house is not completed. You will need to use your imagination to visualize your finished house.

    • The style of the home is an important variable to consider when selecting shingles. For example; a rounded shingle will not complement a contemperary styled home.

    • The color of the shingle can also complement or deter from the style of the house.

    • Some colors tend to be more contemporary colors, while others are more traditional.

    • The type and color of the siding you will later select may also clash with the roof.

    • You must also consider the type, and size, of your windows and doors.

    • The style and color of the homes around your house must also be taken in account.

    • Even the layout of your property must be considered a variable when choosing a look for your roof.

    • Finally, the durability of the shingles is also an important variable to consider. Shingling a roof is a costly, time consuming, and labor intensive project. You won't want to replace the roofing any time soon.

    • The integrity of your house and home depends largely on the protection offered by the roof. Water leaks can cause considerable damage to your house and inconvenience to your home.

    Asphalt Shingles Come In A Variety Of Colors. Asphalt Shingles Come In A Variety Of Shapes And Textures.
  2. How to calculate the number of bundles you will need.

    • A rule of thumb depending on the type of shingles you oder, is that three bundles of shingles covers approximately 100 sq ft of roof.

    • Begin by dividing the area of your roof (length x width) by 100, and then multiply that number by 3.

    • The result will be the total number of bundles you will need.

    • Always order extra bundles just in case...

    • If you run out of shingles, you may find that you have a 6 week waiting period because your particular shingle is on back order.

    • Most suppliers of building materials realize that it is very difficult to estimate materials exactly when building a house, so they are lenient when it comes to returning product.

    • If you plan on cutting your own Ridge Cap shingles, you will need extra shingles as well.

    • How to shingle a roof.

      • The first step is to read all manufacturer instructions on your shingle package.

      • Next snap chalk lines periodically along the length of the roof. This will ensure straight courses of shingles throughout.

      • Omitting this step may result in a wavy effect on your roof, resulting in you being the object of many jokes for years to come.

      • Measure equal distances from the bottom up on both ends of the roof and mark, then snap a line between the two marks. Repeat this every so often to keep everything in line.

      • The chalk lines can be used as guides when working up the roof.

      • Staggering the joints between shingles is important for water drainage. You must therefore begin each course with a shingle of varying size.

      • The first course will begin with a full shingle. You will then cut 6" off of each shingle thereafter. (The second course shingle will be 6" less than the first. The third course shingle will be 6" less than the second, and so on.)

      • Continue in this manner until you are left with a single tab. Then start over with a full shingle again and repeat this process working your way up to the peak of the roof.

      • It's a good idea to cut a few courses of beginning shingles before climbing up the ladder. If you have extra help, you can allocate that job to someone who doesn't feel as comfortable with heights.

      • When nailing shingles use 4 nails per shingle. One at either end about 1" from the edge of the shingle and the other two, above the cutouts. Nails should be placed just below the asphalt line.

      Anatomy Of A Shingle.

      • Begin the first course with a full shingle placed even with the outside and bottom edge of the roof.

      • Place the shingle over the starter strip and nail it down.

      • Align next shingle next to the first and along the bottom edge, then nail it down.

      • Continue nailing the shingles of the first course as you lay each down. Be sure to follow the chalk line keeping a straight line down the roof.

      • Stop working on the first course when you can no longer reach it from your ladder.

      • Begin the second course with a shingle 6" shorter than that of the first course.

      • Overlay should be just below the cutout. Read the instruction on your shingle package for details.

      • Continue nailing the second course as far as you can reach from your ladder.

      • Repeat this process for further courses until you no longer have lower course shingles to cover.

      • At this point move your ladder over and once again begin laying the first course as far as you can reach. Repeat all of the above until you must once again move your ladder.

      Nail The Shingles Along The Roof Starting With The Bottom Of The Roof.

      • Continue up the slope until you can no longer lay down full shingles.

      • At this point measure and cut shingles even with the top end of the roof sheathing. Repeat this process until the entire slope is covered with shingles.

      • Move onto the other slope and shingle it in the same manner.

    • How to Lay A Cobra strip

      • The Cobra strip is a layer of very course, sponge like material that serves as a spacer for ventilation, keeping the Ridge Cap from contacting the roof.

        Cobra Exhaust Vent For Rood Ridge Helps Keep Your Roof System Free Of Moisture.

        • Read all manufacturer instructions for installation.

        • Using a utility knife, cut a slit in the tar paper along the entire open portion of the peak. This is the section of the peak without sheathing.

        • This will create an opening for the air to circulate between roof trusses.

        • The air enters through the eaves and escapes through the peak of the roof.

        • Install the Cobra as per the instruction on the packaging.

        Direction Of Air Ciculation Under The Eaves Of The Roof.

      • How to make a Ridge Cap for the peak of your roof.

        • You can purchase Ridge Cap shingles already prepared for installation or you can make your own.

        • Making your own Ridge Cap shingles is simple but time consuming, as you will need quite a few of them to cover the entire peak of your roof.

        • On a makeshift cutting surface, lay a full shingle with the backing facing out, upside down.

        • Make a series of angled cuts along the sides of the tabs. You will make 6 cuts per full shingle. The result is 3 Ridge Cap shingles per full shingle. Please refresh your screen to view the animation and image below for details.

        Three Ridge Cap Shingles
        Cut The Shingle At 30 Degree Angles With The Narrow End At The Bottom Of The Tab.

        Back Of Shingle Marked For Cutting Out Ridge Cap Shingles

      • How to Install the Ridge Cap.

        • Prior to installing your Ridge Cap, think about the direction most storms come from as they approach your property.

        • Face your Ridge Cap shingles away from that direction, so driving rain and wind goes along the shingles and isn't blown up under the Ridge Cap.

        • Lay the first shingle with the uncut edge aligned with the edge of the peak and nail it down with one nail on either side. Place nails just below the adhesive strip.

        • Lay the second shingle over the first one leaving about 5" of the first one exposed. Nail it in place in the same manner as you did the first shingle. Repeat along the entire length of the ridge.

        • You will need to cut the length of the last shingle to fit the end of the ridge.

        • Finallycut the tab off of a ridge shingle and lay it over the angled section of the last ridge shingle, and nail it in place.

Face The Ridge Cap Away From The Direction Of Storms And Wind.

Line Up Ridge Cap Shingles Over One Another Leaving A 5 Inch Exposure.


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