If you have a major roof project, it is best to leave it to the professionals. However, if you have a small shed or garage to do, why not do it yourself? This article explains how you can shingle a roof and save money in the process.
Estimating Cost and Time
First you need to know total square feet of the job. Width times length of the roof gives you square footage. There is 100 square feet in a roofing square. Usually 33 1/2 square feet per bundle. This all depends on the shingle itself. This is your biggest expense. You will also need felt roofing paper, roofing nails, roof edging and tools (hammer, chalk line and sharp cutting knife). You might also need some deck sheets. This depends on it’s structure.
Time on shingle replacement depends on several factors. Decking replacements, removal of old shingles, nails and felt, workers, weather and work pace. Note: Never hurry on a roof project.
Visit local hardware stores and get estimates. Besides material costs, see if you can get the store to deliver the material to the top of your roof. Many stores have booms that will lift the material to your roof. This is not only a time saver, but is safer for you and your body. Carrying a bundle of shingles up a ladder is not too wise. Even if you haven’t cleaned off the old shingles, have them placed on your roof. Note: Do not place shingles on the roof peak. They need to be flat.
You can use a flat shovel and get under both the shingle and roofing nail heal head. Push straight down and all will come up for you. You can then toss them into a dumpster or on to a tarp on the side of the building for easy pick up. Everything must go. Do not leave a nail head on top of your decking. This takes time, but it is necessary. Check your decking structure. Hammer down loose nail heads and replace decking when necessary.
Apply Felt Paper
Felt comes in rolls. Each roll will have lines on them. These lines will help keep your next roll tier straight. Use a hand staple gun to secure your felt to the decking. Felt is necessary, because it does three things. First, it provides a smooth surface for your shingles. Second, your shingles will seal better to it. Third, it adds an extra thin layer of protection.
Sstart at the bottom and work up on both sides. Your first row of shingles goes upside down. This provides a solid straight edge at the bottom. The next row of shingles is actually your first row. Cut the first shingle in half. Start your first line going across the bottom of your roof. Measure from the top of the shingle down. Use your chalk line to make a straight line across the top of the first row. Your second row starts with a full sheet. Your next row and alternating rows will have one half of the first shingle cut off. As you work, you will see that hairpins on the shingle will not run together. this is what you want.
Go up both sides of your roof too the very top. Once you reach the top, you are ready to cap your roof. Capping is very easy. Simply cut your roof shingles into thirds. Bend it over the top of roof peak and place four nails into the back of the shingle. Cover the nail area with the next piece and place four nails (two on each side) on the back and once again cover the nails. Do this all across the roof peak.
Vents and Valleys
For vents simply cut around them and stay on top of the vent. Then use roofing cement. Valleys require special attention. Always work these from the lower part of the roof upwards. You may need roofing cement on inside edges of the overlapping shingle for extra security.
The great thing about roofing is, if done right, it only has to be done once every 20 to 25 years.