How To Put Shingles on a Roof in 3 Simple Steps

There’s a 75 percent chance that your house is roofed with some sort of shingle. That’s because shingle roofs are the most popular style roof among American homeowners. The most common kind of roof shingle by far is the asphalt shingle.

The popularity of asphalt shingles comes from the fact that they’re versatile, affordable, and withstand the elements quite well. But how are they installed?

Read on if you’re homeowner wondering how to put shingles on a roof, whether you’re planning a DIY roof repair, or are just curious. In this article, we’ll show your 3 simple steps to installing asphalt roof shingles. 

Step 1: Prepare Your Roof

Before you can start laying down your shingles, you need to remove all the old or damaged layers first. Start at the top ridge of your roof and work your way down.

If you’re doing a full roof install, then you’ll also want to remove the old underlayment layer. Check for any signs of water leaks or rotting wood.

Now, lay your rows of new underlayment starting at the bottom, and work your way to the top. Make sure to overlap underlayment as specified by the manufacturer’s instructions. Usually, there’ll be a guideline drawn on the material. Nail or staple the underlayment to the roof.

Next, install any necessary flashing around your roof’s valleys, chimneys, vents, etc. Make sure the flashing sits on top of the underlayment. At the bottom edge of the roof, install a drip edge to protect the fascia and wooden structure underneath from water damage. 

Step 2: Lay Your Shingles

Mark guidelines with a chalk line starting 12 inches from the edge of your roof, and then every 6 inches until you reach the top. This will help keep a straight line when installing your sheets of shingles.

Use your starter shingles to begin your first row. With the edge of your roof drip line as a guide, lay your first row of shingles with a 3/4 inch overhang, and fasten them down with five nails about two to three inches up from the bottom of the eave.

Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s nailing instructions, as improper nailing is the leading cause of roof failures against the elements.  

Place the starter shingles so the adhesive strip is toward the bottom and facing up. The adhesive strip bonds to the next layer of shingles creating a tight seal.

Now you can begin laying the rest of your shingles while using your marked guidelines to ensure you don’t run off course. When you come to an edge of the roof, run the shingles long, and cut off the excess with a hook blade.   

Step 3: Ridge Caps and Flashing

Once you’ve shingled all the way to the top of the roof, you can install ridge caps to complete the top of the roof. Work from either edge of the roof toward the middle on both sides, and face tabs out and away from the middle.

To finish, you may have flashing to install if there area gables, pipes, or vents. There are many ways to install flashing so we won’t go over them here. 

Now You Know How to Put Shingles On a Roof

In this brief guide on how to put shingles on a roof, we looked at how to first prepare your roof, how to install your starter and finish layer of shingles, as well as how to finish with a roof ridge cap. You should now have a better idea of what it takes to shingle a roof.

If you thought this article was helpful, check out this article on how to replace a roof!