Asphalt Roof Shingles – How to Install Them on Your Home


Installing roof shingles on your home is not as complex as you may think. With the right tools and a little help you can take installing roof shingles from a pure contractor job to a do it yourself project.

Before you start installing roof shingles on your home you should take some safety precautions and follow these guidelines:

  • You should only install shingles when the weather permits and temperatures are between 30 and 80 degrees.
  • Never work on a roof when you are along
  • Beware of power or cable lines nearby

The first decision you need to make is should you re-roof (if this is not a new home). There may be some restrictions in some areas but it’s an option to consider compared to starting from scratch as in some cases it could save you money on your roofing.

Tools For Installing Asphalt Roof Shingles

  • Ladder
  • Staging (or platforms) for working on eaves and edges
  • Utility Knife
  • Measuring Tape
  • Tin Snips or Shears
  • Tool belt
  • Hammer-Tacker and staples
  • Roof hammer or pneumatic nailer

If you do not have these tools and do not want to buy them you may be able to rent them at your local hardware store.

Roof Preparation
The first thing your roof needs is some 15lb weight roofing felt underlayment. You start by stapling the rolls of felt from the outside edges up the roof and overlap each row at least 3 inches. Use lots of staples and try to prevent tearing.

Once that is done you will need to add metal trim to all edges. Use “drip-edge” throughout, or add rake-edge for the sides. Square off corner and point overlaps downhill. Tack with roofing nails.

Asphalt Roof Shingle Installation
Your now finally ready to lay down some asphalt roofing shingles. Follow the picture on the packaging of your shingles to start installation (each manufacturer varies their procedure). Your starter row has tabs cut off. Begin laying full shingles from an outside corner of the roof.

Each row will step back a half-tab and for architectural shingles you’ll measure and cut each series of starters.

If your roof meets a wall you will use step-flashing beneath each tab row and the wall siding.


Source by George Edmondson