In This Article:
After roof deck preparations have been made, starter strip is installed and shingles are laid rapidly. Details include shingling around pipes and installing ridge vent.
2-3 (Basic to Intermediate)
Bruce W. Maki, Editor
This small ranch house had a simple gable roof with no valleys, no hips, no dormers... just two low-pitch planes. The homeowner chose architectural shingles, which cost considerably more than basic three-tab shingles, but which have a longer life and a more interesting, textured appearance.
The first thing we installed was the starter strip, which is just a backing for the first visible row of shingles (it prevents water from getting through to the roof at the gaps between shingles, and at the notches between tabs when 3-tab shingles are used).
We used pre-cut starter strips, which I had never used before. In the past I have always just trimmed the tabs off a whole shingle. These pre-cut strips save a few bucks when the shingles being installed are higher priced. You can also buy rolls of starter strip material with a self-adhesive backing.
We began by installing shingles from the lower left corner, working to the right and also working uphill.
I should not need to mention this... but it might not be obvious to everyone... the shingles must be arranged so the ends (and the tab notches) do not lie directly above gaps (or breaks) in the shingle below. If the gaps lined up, water could get directly onto the roof sheathing and then seep in through a nail hole.
Note how the shingle on the right (not yet nailed down) is a little longer than the first shingle in the row on the left (which has been nailed down).
In order to accomplish this mis-matching of gaps, we cut progressively larger amounts from the first shingle in each row as we worked up the slope. One row would have nothing cut, the next row would have 6" cut off, then 12" cut off, and so on.
The photo shows the scraps cut off from the first shingles in a progression of rows.
Note how the first full shingle overhangs the edge by about 1/8". This makes the water drip away from the fascia (the vertical board at the edge of the roof) and helps reduce deterioration of the fascia.
The nails are driven in just below the tar strip. The pneumatic nail gun makes quick work out of nailing shingles, but it has some drawbacks.
The main drawback of pneumatic roofing nailers is their inconsistency in nail depth. Sometimes the heads stick up a little and sometimes the heads tear into the shingle. Another frequent problem is that nails sometimes enter the roof at an angle, which makes the head stick up. Protruding nail heads can tear the shingle above them, and it stands to reason that they don't hold as well as properly nailed shingles. In my opinion, hand driving roofing nails gives a superior level of quality... it just takes much longer, perhaps two or three times as long.
The exposure (the amount of the shingle not covered by the shingle above it) of this product was listed on the package as 5-5/8".
The two roofing nail guns we used had an adjustable guide on the bottom. This allowed us to accurately position the shingle before nailing it.
The same results could have been achieved with an "L"-shaped piece of wood to use as a positioning guide.
I have owned two roofing nailers over the years, and if you are planning on re-roofing your own house or garage, I would seriously recommend buying either:
A small air compressor, such as the Porter-Cable C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor works fine if only one nail gun is being powered from it.
It's kind of hard to see in this photo, but the adjustable guide is set against the lower edge of the previous row's shingle (in this case the first row) and the next shingle is rested against the nail gun's contact foot. This creates a uniform exposure every time.
Notice the pattern of shingles as they are applied. This method of starting at a corner and working outwards and upwards can be a good way for two people to apply shingles and not be in each other's way. One person works horizontally and the other works up the diagonal.
A plastic-and-rubber flange was used to seal around penetrations such as this plumbing vent. The lower edge of the flange lies above the shingles, and the upper edge is underneath the shingles. The shingles were cut to fit around the flange's dome.
The shingles adjacent to the flange were adhered with roofing tar (lower red arrows), and tar was applied as a sealant where the cut edges of the shingles met the dome (upper red arrow).
At the very top, the shingles were lapped over the peak of the roof (red arrow).
The shingles were trimmed away from the ridge vent hole.
The ridge cap shingles were attached with two nails each.
Typically, 1-3/4" to 2" long nails are used on the ridge. These nails need to be longer, because they are penetrating many layers of shingles.
The plastic ridge vent was installed with 3" roofing nails.
The ridge cap shingles were applied over the ridge vent, using 3" roofing nails.
There are two narrow bands molded into the plastic indicating where the nails must go.
Before you hurt yourself, read our disclaimer.
A dab of tar held down the loose corners of the first shingle we applied over the vented ridge.
The completed ridge.
From this angle, you can see a slight wave in the ridge, but it's impossible to see from the ground.
The finished roof. This was actually a pretty easy roofing job.
The architectural-grade shingles have a pleasing textured appearance created by the raised layers.
I was surprised that this shingling project only took 5 hours to complete, with 3 people working - myself, the home owner and an experienced contractor. The 15 man-hours taken to complete this small roofing job just goes to show how quickly roofing work can be accomplished... if the roof is not complicated.
The homeowner said that the project cost around $1500 for labor and materials. (This project was done in October 2000... prices for asphalt shingles have gone up since then) The roof area was about 14' x 42' on each side, or about 1176 square feet.
A small roof like this is well within the grasp of a competent do-it-yourselfer, especially if done one side at a time. It certainly helps to have a helper or two, especially for removing the old shingles and cleaning up the mess around the base of the house. We used two utility trailers for the old shingles and hauled the waste to a dumpster at another job site.
Besides the obvious risk of falling off the roof, there are a number of dangers in roofing work: