Installing Roof Shingles

Instructions for installing new shingles on your roof just like the professionals.

First, you will need to remove all the old shingles from your roof, if they already exist. Once that is done, take notice as to if you have drip cap on your house. If not, you will need to install it around the fascia board on the roof's low edge, the eave, with roofing nails spaced 12 inches apart. Working across the roof from the eave up to the peak, line the sheathing with building paper, overlapping rows by at least 2 inches and stapling at 6 inch intervals.

Once the building paper has been installed on the sheathing, nail drip cap into place along both sides of the roof, the rakes, if not already installed. Allow the drip cap to overhang the edge of the rake boards. Install a row of starter shingles along the eave. Cut the tabs off shingles to make starter shingles and allow them to overhang the drip cap by 3/4 of an inch.

Drive in roofing nails every 5 inches or so along the top edges. Nail a row of full-size shingles into place along the eave on top of the starter course. Follow the pattern for nailing specified by the manufacturer-usually, one nail an inch from each end and at each cutout 5/8 inches below the adhesive. You can purchase roofing shingles in an assortment of different colors to match the exterior color of your house. The lighter the color of shingle you choose, the cooler the house will be in the summertime.



Trim half a tab off a shingle to start a second course and lay it according to the manufacturer's instructions. A 5 inch exposure is typical. Snap a chalk line to align the rest of the course and lay the shingles. Continue with courses of shingles, working up to the peak of the roof.

Nail a flow-through ventilating material over the 1 inch space in the sheathing at the peak. The fibers of this material keep water out and let air in. Soffit vents that you will install later allow for a continuous inflow and outflow of air.

Bend metal flashing to fit under the siding at the top of the rafter ledger. Slip the flashing in place and nail it at 12-inch intervals. Flashing that comes with a flow-through ventilating material already in place is installed the same way. Seal the gap between the siding and the flashing with a bead of exterior caulk. Smooth and shape the caulk by running a wet finger along it. Also dab a little caulk on the heads of nails in the flashing.

Cut an opening for an air vent in each end of the soffit with a saber saw. If the soffit vents are already there from a pre-existing roof, you have the option of replacing new ones. This way, both roof and vents will be new. Make the openings a bit smaller than the vents so you have enough surface to install screws. Fit the vents into place in the openings and secure them with the screws supplied by the manufacturer.

© High Speed Ventures 2011