How To Shingle a Roof: Installing Roof Shingles

Find Information About Installing Shingles on a Roof

Shingle roof installment

Many people don't know how to finish a roof, but installing roof shingles properly means quality roofing. Here are some simple steps to help you master this skill.

How to shingle a roof:

  1. When installing shingles, first you need to take dimensions of the roof you are going to shingle. Multiply the width of the roof by the length, so you have the square footage of the entire roof. Having this information will be important when you buy your supplies. Shingles are sold in squares, so you'll need to divide the square footage by 100 and you get the number of shingle squares you'll need to have on hand.
  2. Next, lay out your roofing felt on the plywood boards on the roof. Lay it down one roll at a time, laying them in vertical lines from the top of the roof to the to the edge, overlapping the rows slightly. Secure one row at a time with nails before moving on to the next. Do this until the entire area is covered.
  3. Put a thick layer of roofing cement on the tip of each nail in the felt, using a caulking gun. With a putty knife, smooth out the layer so you don't have any bumps or crevices in it. This will prevent leaks in the seams between the nail and the felt.
  4. When the cement is dry, you may begin to shingle the roof. Make sure you lay out your shingles so you don't have to keep going up and down the ladder. Trim off the flaps of the shingles for the perimeter (bottommost) line only with shingle cutters, so you are left with the solid seven in long shingle half. Nail the shingles to roof at the very edge with four nails in each shingle. Your nails should be placed in the center of the solid portion of the shingle; Make sure they are tight together when you place the shingles so no leaks can get through.
  5. The next row of shingles should not be placed exactly side by side, but staggered. This way it makes shingles more stable and is a sure sign of quality roofing. The flaps on the shingles should overlap the first row almost entirely. The solid part of the shingle should be lying further up the slope.
  6. Work your way from the edge of the roof to the apex when installing roof shingles. Make sure the flaps of the shingles are overlapping the solid part of the layer below it. Make sure the flaps are not nailed down when installing shingles. Keep staggering your rows for the best stability of your roof. Repeat this process until you cover the whole roof.


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