Asphalt Shingle Installation Guide

 Before you get started, what you’ll need: 

 1.     Hammer, power nailer if you prefer

 2.     Nails

 3.     Utility Knife, recommend roof                            blades(hooked)

 4.     Pry Bar

 5.     Your Chosen Underlayment

 6.     Your Chosen Shingles

 7.     Starter Shingles(If you choose to use                 them)

 8.     Ice and Water Shield

 9.     Accessory Shingles, hip, ridge

 10.   Ventilation you are using(ridge vent, can          vents, power vents, etc)

 11.   Drip Edge(metal)

 12.   Roof rake (if tearing off)

 13.   Dumpster (if tearing off)

 14.   Permit (if your local government                        requires one)

 15.   Tarp (Just in case)

 16.   Caulk Gun, Caulk

17.    Circular Saw

 18.   Measuring tape

 19.   Compressor

 20.   Pencil

 21.   Broom

 22.   Roof Jacks(for working on steep slope)  23.   Possible harness/ Safety Equipment

 24.   New Decking (OSB, Plywood, if                          necessary) 25.   Dumpster

Professional Installation or Do it Yourself? Many homeowners decide to put on their own roof whether it be to save money or simply avoid the hassle of dealing with a contractor. If you decide to attempt to install your roof yourself the guide below will give you some good reference points, however do know that nothing is a substitute for experience and having someone help who’s done it before would be a great idea.

 tear off asphalt shingle installationStep 1 Tear off(if applicable): National building CODE states that you cannot put more than two layers of roofing on a home. Before this code was implemented there was really no limit and you’d see 4, 5, 6 layers of shingle on some structures. So unless you only have one layer on your roof now you’ll be looking at a tear off. So get some friends together, roof rakes ply bars and get ready for a good time…

Before you start make a plan. Are you going to be able to tear off the whole roof and re-roof in one day? Look at the upcoming weather report to see if inclement weather is in the forecast. Do you have a large enough tarp to temporarily dry in the roof before you put up shingles? You may want to consider tearing off half the roof at a time, roofing that section then going to the next.

Landscaping protection: Remember before starting your asphalt shingle installation there will be a lot of gooey staining tar on the underside of your shingle that can stain siding, windows, damage plant etc. Consider putting up tarps and plywood on the outside of the home before you start your tear off.

You’re ready. Start tearing off those shingles, use your roof rakes as much as possible – getting under those shingles and trying to get as many nails as you go along. You’ll have to take off all the old felt and ice and water shield if present. Once you get all the old shingles off you need to inspect the roof deck. Pry out old nails or nail them flush with the roof deck, sweep debris from roof deck, and replace and rotted or delaminated wood. Don’t start roofing without a clean deck, it will make your job go much less smooth and cause problems down the line for your new roof.


 Step 2 Asphalt Shingle Installation DECKING(if applicable):  [maxbutton id=”1″] Maybe you just need to repair some bad wood on your existing roof deck or maybe you need to replace the whole thing, well you have a couple of options. One, OSB (Oriented Strand Board) this is the most common and cheapest option available often times at less than $5.00 dollars a sheet. Another option in Plywood. Plywood in stronger that OSB and has a more appealing look but that normally doesn’t matter. The other option would be plank decking that is often seen on older home or structures, 1×4 is about the maximum you’ll want to go. If your roofing an old

Step 3 Asphalt Shingle Installation ICE AND WATER / Underlayment: [maxbutton id=”2″] Ok, the roof deck has finally been

prepared and your ready to put on your temporary roof until the shingles go on. National building code states that Ice and Water Shield must be applied on the eaves edge to extend two feet past the interior heated wall space of the roof deck surface ie; if you have a 2ft over hang you would need a minimum on 4ft Ice and Water Shield. (Ice and water shield usually comes in 3ft rolls). You’ll also want to Ice and Water shield the perimeter base of any roof protrusions including, chimney’s, cupolas, pipe boots, skylights etc. If you have any siding/asphalt shingle installationroofline intersections you’ll want to Ice and water shield those as well. Usually 18″ on the roof deck and roll up 18″ under the siding. You’ll also need to apply a roll of ice and water in all your valleys. Once your done with the Ice and Water shield apply your chosen roofing underlayment(15lb felt, 30lb felt, titanium etc) to the remainder of the roof deck surface.farmhouse that has been roofed over every time until now you may see existing plank decking that is spaced or not set together. In this case you’ll have to install OSB over top of the plank decking before you install roof. By far the most common thickness used for this application will be 7/16″.

Step 4 Asphalt Shingle Installation FLASHING AND METAL WORK: [maxbutton id=”3″] Can’t I just roof already!!! Don’t worry you are roofing, proper preparation of your roof with give you a long lasting roof that becomes an investment instead of an expense. You’ll need to get enough metal flashing to flash ANYTHING that comes in contact with the roof deck. For chimneys you’ll need metal step flashing for the sides and coil flashing for the top and bottom. Coil flashing for siding/roofline intersections and any other custom flash kits for skylights on venting. If you don’t know how to properly flash, be careful and consult an expert – it’s worth the time to do right the first time. Any obvious holes from the old deck can be covered with aluminum flashing. Lastly, before you apply shingles you’ll need to install drip edge on both the eaves and gable edges of your roof.

Step 5 Asphalt Shingle Installation VENTING:[maxbutton id=”5″]

The most common venting today is ridge vent a vent placed at the peak of your roof continuously that lets hot air out of your attic. If not present already you’ll need to set the depth on your circular saw to the depth of your roof deck and cut a groove 3/4 inch on either side of the peak before installing. If your using static roof vents follow installation guides that came with them – usually involving cutting the hole, caulking the bottom then nailing in place to get ready for shingles. This is the most commonly overlooked part to asphalt shingle installation.  


Step 6 Asphalt Shingle Installation APPLYING SHINGLES:  [maxbutton id=”4″]Believe it or not this can be the fastest part of the job, especially if your using pneumatic nailers. I highly recommend using starter shingles at the eaves edge, some manufacturers even recommend you use starter of the gables. Start shingles give your first row of shingles something to seal too. Once your starter has been applied you can start laying shingles. Some installers will start in the middle of the roof for the first course or start on one end and just cut your first shingle to about two thirds it original width. This will prevent you butt joints from shingle to shingle lining up on subsequent rows. You never want the seams to occur at the same place. Most commonly you will be using 1 1/4 inch galvanized roofing nails 4(four) per shingle, however for extended wind resistance many will install 6 per shingle. If you’ve ever layed a wood floor think of it this way seams should be random and never on top of each other. Make sure your shingles overlap hiding the nails of the previous row of shingles – this has gotten easier recently as many manufacturers have put in sealing strips so you know exactly how to line up your shingles and a chalk line to guide you in placement of nails. Work your way up to roof deck trimming around any pipes or chimneys. I recommended the installation of plastic pipe boots. Install the accessory ridge and cap shingles at the peak of your roof (on ridge cap if present) or on the hips if your on a hip roof.

Step 7 Asphalt Shingle Installation CLEAN UP AND INSPECTION: Your shingles will probably be laying over your drip edge and need to be trimmed. A Hooked blade on a utility knife helps with this a great deal. Leave a 1/4 inch or so overlap

asphalt shingle installation new decking

and cut them straight – if need to snap a chalk line. Walk your entire roof looking at the roof as you walk take care to notice slipping of any shingles where you may have missed a nail or improperly aligned. Clean up your yard and landscaping. One GREAT tool to use is a magnetic sweeper to pick up loose nails which is simply a powerful magnetic bar on wheels.

***This has been a general overview of asphalt shingle installation roofing shingles for specific questions regarding you situation feel free to email [email protected] I will be posting responses occasionally on the front page or of course ask your local roofing professional.***