How To Install Shingles
For anyone who lives under a roof, knowing how to install shingles can prove to be a useful skill. Roofing shingles are the main line of protection between the inside of your house and the elements. As you can probably guess, they are pretty important to keeping your house from becoming a swimming pool in the summer or a ski run in the winter. Use the following guide to learn to install shingles yourself, without spending hundreds on a third-party installation.
To install shingles, you will need:
- A ladder
- Roofing felt
- A nail gun
- Choose what type of shingles you want to use. Shingles are commonly made out of materials such as aluminum, wood, steel, slate and asphalt. Which type you decide to get depends on the purpose of the structure. If you’re planning to replace the shingles on a barn, for example, the least expensive shingles are the most obvious choice.
- New construction requires a layer of roofing felt under the shingles. If the roofing felt is already on the building, be sure to check it for damage. This is especially important if you’re up there to repair damage from a storm.
- Measurement is as important as the actual shingle installation. Each row of shingles should overlap the one before it by seven inches, assuming the shingles you’re using are the standard twelve-inch length. This means you will need a chalk line five inches up from each layer of shingles you lay. Marking is absolutely necessary if you want your shingles to look straight.
- If you’re doing more than a shingle or two, it would be wise to invest in a nail gun. Although a hammer would work, it will save you a lot of time and frustration to just use a nail gun. Relative to other tools, they are pretty inexpensive. Plus, you’ll have one on hand for any further roofing or shingle work necessary in the future.
- Nailing down an individual shingle is precise work. The general recommendation for nailing down a shingle is to put a nail through it at each corner. Specifically, the nail should be about half an inch from each side. Be certain to nail down the shingles straight on, even though you might be tempted to go at the angle of the roof. This can damage the shingles, and make your installation less solid than it might otherwise be.
- Check every few shingles you install for signs of misplacement. When it’s your roof, you can’t afford to be inexact. Make sure the nails are in straight, and that the shingles overlap properly. These two factors keep your roof weatherproof. If everything checks out, then your shingle installation has been successful.