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how to shingle a roof demonstrated by roofing professional
how to shingle a roof demonstrated by roofing professional

How to Shingle a Roof in 10 Simple Steps [DIY Guide]

The appearance of a home is greatly enhanced by the protection provided by shingles, which are designed to keep an entire roof from getting damaged by rain, snow, or hail. Having sturdy and waterproof coating ridge shingles on your roof can help prevent water damage and leaks in the long term.

Although it can be very labor-intensive for roofing projects with full shingle, protecting your home is often worth it. This guide teaches you the most simple steps to shingle a roof. Keep on reading.

How to Shingle a Roof

Here are the simple steps on how to shingle a roof deck:

1. Lay Shingles

While working with the traditional three-tab design, some roofers prefer using different starter shingles sizes. It can be done depending on the course and rows. Remove a portion of the first tab’s space to make room for each row.

To lay new shingles down, draw the line at the top of the house and then align the aluminum drip edges with the roof edge. Using chalk to create straight bottom edges can create a line between two points.

2. Lower the Drip Edge

contractor shingles a roof and adjusts drip edge using hammer

You should lower the drip edge by about an inch from the line. For the drip edge, use nails with a diameter of 114 inches.

Starting from the first row, lay down the roof’s foundation. Drive nails toward the three-tab shingle’s cutouts, about 3/4 inch above the cutouts. Avoid hitting the tar strip, as it will stick out.

3. Consider the Placement of Roofing Nails

You should also nail the shingle exactly where the nails will go into the strip and two inches from each end of the starter shingle. A standard three-tab shingle requires four nails.

The next shingle will have hidden nail heads, ensuring that the succeeding ones always have the same top edge and allow eight nails to hold each shingle. If the nail gun is too deep, it will cause the exposed nails below to break through the shingles, which will eventually come free. To prevent this, reduce the air pressure and set the cannon’s depth.

4. Lay the First Show of Asphalt Shingles

The first row of shingles should be placed on top of the narrow starting row, and you can use this as a guide by snapping a chalk line over it. The first shingle of your nail should be shorter than six inches, but the rest installed asphalt shingles should be used at full size.

The first row of shingles should be moved this way, and the ends will be joined. It is the basic method of placing them, and it is sometimes referred to as the “straight up” method. You may need to cut a strip of roofing materials or an initial row of shingles to fit your roofing material’s length. You can also use a full-size row of shingles with tabs facing up for the beginning row.

5. Lay the Second Layer of Roof Shingles

To ensure that the bottom edge of the first shingle’s tabs meets the cutouts on the second asphalt shingle roof, place it on the first row’s first shingle. Then, cut a half tab 6 inches from the edge, and it should be trimmed where it overlaps the left gable end.

To create a vertical chalk line on the underside of a shingle, snap it from the second row to the top of the roof. Then, from the first shingle on the hip roof’s bottom to the roof’s peak, follow the chalk lines with odd and even numbered rows of shingles. To reach the summit of the roof, keep moving up the structure.

6. Apply Aluminum Sheets

To prevent the roof from leaking or drooping, apply aluminum sheets over the punctures in the roof to seal the area. The metal flashing around the chimney, stack pipes, and vents are covered in tar. This type of flashing is usually cemented and secured under the upper layers of the shingles, but it can also be layered above the existing shingles.

This process helps prevent the precipitation from sliding down the roof and into the interlacing. The flashing should be installed under the vents and stacks. The other rows’ step flashing should be on top.

7. Attach the Shingle Rows Around the Chimney

roofing contractor shows how to shingle a roof around chimney

The flashing around the chimney should be attached to the shingle rows and cemented over the flange’s top edge. The bottom half should have another flashing apron over it before installing the shingles laid on it. Finally, to seal the apron, use asphalt roofing cement.

8. Apply a Ridge-Capping Layer

To seal the ridges’ exposed edges, apply a ridge shingle top caps layer. If you don’t already have ridge cap shingles, you can use normal shingles by bending them to fit the roof peak and then nailing them into place. Since you’ll be working on several layers of shingle installation, you’ll need longer nails to finish the job.

9. Lay Out The Shingles

One of the most important factors you should consider when choosing a new roof is the proper layout. Having the right strategy to install shingles will allow you to protect your roof for many years. Although the basic pattern is likely the easiest to implement, there are varying opinions from professional contractors about the proper way to lay shingles.

The staggered course design is used to achieve the half pattern. The other patterns use the same basic approach, wherein the classes are shifted by a set of days. To prevent damaging the butt joints, a new course should be started at six inches in each row. This way, it ensures that it is kept in a horizontal direction and that the joints are protected.

10. Take Precautionary Measures

For added safety, consider installing shingles using a five-inch or four-inch offset. The method is similar, but the way it is measured might differ. For instance, standard shingles must be moved on every ten courses with the four-inch offset. On the other hand, with the five-inch version, they only have to be relocated every eight courses.


Although it can be challenging to self-shingle a roof, it is possible to build old shingles a beautiful and long-lasting with the proper resources and equipment. This process can be done safely and efficiently with the right training.You can do the job well if you put in the effort and learn how to shingle your roof. You can also finish it without incident by consulting the right people. Contact us today for any roofing solutions.

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