How to get Shingles on A Roof

How to get Shingles on A Roof?

Most people when they want to shingle their roof will hire a professional to do it for them.  The professionals know exactly how to do and know how to be safe doing it.  If you want to make it a DIY project, you will need help because it is hard for one man to do it themselves.  You also have to have a few days in which to get shingles on roof. Read on how to get shingles on roof as a DIY project.

How To Get Shingles On Roof

Shingles on Roof

When getting shingles on the roof, the first thing that you need to be concerned with is your safety.  The reasons include having to climb up and down the ladder, working at considerable heights, having to stand on a slanted roof, carrying a bundle of shingles up a ladder, and others.

When you are ready to get shingles on the roof, you need to know what type of roofing shingles you want.  The most popular type of shingle is the 3-tab shingles.  This type of shingle is generally 36 inches long.

There are also architectural shingles. They will be installed as the 3-tab shingles but give your roof a more 3-D effect because of their different shapes.  Make sure that when you measure your roof that you do it correctly so you can get the right amount of shingles.  To cover 100 square feet, it usually takes three packs of shingles.  You should buy some extra in case of a mistake.

Step 1:  Measuring Your Roof

  • Measure the length and width of each section of the roof.
  • To get the area, you need to multiply all the length and width measurements together. Do this for each section of your roof
  • Once you have the areas of all the sections, you all them all together.
  • Divide that number by 100 to get the right number of squares
  • Multiply the number of squares by three and you will know how many packs to buy.

Step 2:  Prep And Clean Roof

Prep And Clean Roof

  • Take an empty trash can up on the roof so you have something to throw the old flashing and shingles in.
  • Remove the shingles using a roofing shovel
  • Make sure that you do this carefully so as not to damage any siding or the windows
  • Once you have all the shingles off, use a hammer to pry up any nails.
  • Remove the metal flashing, which is a device and method used to keep water from entering the structure at the joint or roof penetration. You should keep any flashing that is still good but it is advisable to get new flashing.
  • Sweep the roof clean. Make sure that you have all the nails out and no debris is left behind.

Step 3:  Put Down New Flashing And Underlayment

Put Down New Flashing And Underlayment

These will act as a protective barrier and weather-proofing barrier between the elements and the house.  It will help to keep cold temperatures and water out.

  • Start laying the underlayment, which can be felt, asphalt, etc. over the roof
  • Secure it to the roof using a staple gun.
  • Use an ice and water protector if you live in an area with inclement weather.
  • Install the new flashing along the bottom of the roof near the gutters. Sometimes the metal flashing is called drip edge.
  • Make sure that you always install the flashing around the chimney or anywhere to roof planes meet. If not protected, these are areas that are more prone to leaks.

Step 4:  Put Down On Starter Shingle

Put Down On Starter Shingle

The reason that you do this is to mark out the placement of the shingles.  You must work in a straight course using the pre-planned layout.  Always work from the bottom to the top of the roof.

  • Map out a guideline with chalk, starting at the bottom of the roof
  • Chalk additional guidelines based on the width of the shingles. You should do this at least four rows across the roof.
  • Use your tape measure and chalk to make about 12 inches up on the roof for the first set of shingles. Make a new mark every five inches until you get to the top of the roof and then do it to the other side of the roof.
  • Use the chalk-like to make a straight line vertically every six inches.
  • You can either use a premade starter shingle or make your own. Cut the first shingle about six inches shorter so that the spaces between the tabs so it will not line up. This way the underlayment will stay protected.
  • Place the glue strip along the drip edge and rake edge.
  • Nail the shingle in place.

Step 5:  Installing Roof Shingles

Installing Roof Shingles

  • Work your way up and across, lay your courses.
  • Make sure that you a using the proper nail technique. This is so that the nails will always hold the top edge of the course under it.  Hammer one nail about two inches from each end of the shingle.  Then put another nail an inch above each cutout.  The next course of shingles should cover the nails vertically by one inch.
  • Make sure that you are following the pattern of lining a full shingle up against the other before nailing it in place. When you follow the guideline you made, this will help to keep the shingles straight.
  • On each row, cut the last shingle to size, repeating to the ridge.
  • Once you reach the ridge, you will need to bed a shingle over it, making sure it is equal on both sides before nailing it into place. Use one nail on each side.
  • Do the same with the next shingle, continuing to get to the ridge on the far end.
  • Cut that ridge shingle to the length you need. Make sure that no area of the roof is exposed.

Make sure that when you are nailing the shingles down, make sure that you are driving the nails straight and not angled.  Each shingle should have four nails to hold it down.  If there is an area that experiences wing it is advisable to use six nails.

General Questions

  • How many layers of shingles can you put on a roof: Most building will allow two layers of shingles with roofs that have a 4/12 pitch or less. You can put up to three on steeper roofs.
  • New shingles over old shingles: If you have used asphalt shingles and they are in good shape, yes you can.  You cannot do it with slate or wood roofs.
  • When to shingle your roof: When your roof is showing signs of missing or curling shingles, moss on the roof, or missing granules.


When you are getting shingles on the roof, you should make sure that you are wearing proper safety equipment; gloves, work boots or other non-slip boots, and safety goggles.  If you cannot carry those bundles up to the roof you should consider hiring a professional to get shingles on the roof.  Generally, most roofs will last 15 to 25 years before you need to replace it.

How to get shingles on roof can be a DIY project but you need to know how to do it so you do not have leaks or shingles blowing off.