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Shingling a Roof

Shingling or roofing a house is a major undertaking for a homeowner and extreme caution is required. This said, a Do-It-Yourselfer homeowner can shingle or roof their own home with a little knowledge and the right tools.

Required Tools

In order to roof a house properly and safely the following tools are needed: Ladders, Roof Jacks, Hammer, Carpenters Knife, Chalk Line, and preferably a compressor or nail gun.

Estimating Materials

Typically the roof is measured in squares, where a “square” represents 100 square feet. There are eighty shingles in one square. However, when you go to your local home improvement store shingles are usually sold in bundles. Usually three bundles equal one square, however this can vary slightly pending the shingle style.

Measure the area of your roof (length x width) and divide by 100 to get the number of squares required. Then multiply this number by three to get the number of bundles of shingles required for the job. Add an additional 10-15% for spare, leaning toward the 15% if your roof has hips and valleys.

Drip edge, ice and water shield, asphalt paper, flashing, roofing nails, and hip and ridge vents will also be required. The Drip edge comes in various lengths. Measure the outside perimeter of the roof to calculate the drip edge required. The ice and water shield, asphalt paper and flashing come in roles. Use your roof square area calculation for determining your asphalt paper requirements. Typically only one or two courses of ice and water shield is required along the bottom/eave of the roof and in the valleys. Calculate 2 times the length of the roof and valleys to estimate the amount of ice and water shield required.

Typically each shingle will require 4-6 roofing nails and flashing usually comes in 16” wide roles or 6x6 or 8x8 square inch steps. Step flashing is typically used around chimneys, dormers and side wall junctions. Hip and Ridge vent will vary with local building codes, however a rough estimate would be to measure the length of your roof’s hip and ridges and take 75% of this figure for calculating the amount of vent required.

You should now be able to fairly accurately calculate the cost of material for roofing your home.

Installing the Drip Edge

Nail the Drip edge around the entire outside perimeter of the roof.

Apply the Ice and Water Shield Membrane and the Asphalt Paper

Apply the ice and water shield material such that it is flush with the drip edge. If the climate in your area has harsh winters and/or significant annual rainfall, add a second course of ice and water shield for added protection. You should also add the ice and water shield membrane in the valleys.

Next apply the asphalt paper to the entire roof, starting from the bottom and working towards the ridge. Make sure each course of asphalt paper overlaps the lower row by several inches (effectively shingling with the asphalt paper).

Install metal flashing

Install metal flashing in all of the valleys. Step flashing around chimneys and dormers will be added as the shingles are installed.

Installing the Shingles

Start the shingling at the bottom of the roof (or at the eaves). Lay a starter course such that the bottom edge of the shingle lines up flush with the drip edge. The starter strip is a “tabless” shingle that you make from the regular shingles using your carpenter’s knife.

Lay your next course of full shingles over the first course, staggering the starter joints from the first course to prevent water penetration.

Note: Sometimes you may want to start with a full or a partial shingle at one end. In either case, you want to try to avoid small shingle pieces at the far end of the roof. To prevent this, divide the length of the roof by the length of a full shingle and assess how much of a shingle length you want to start with. Ideally you do not want to have pieces smaller than 12”.

Use a Chalk Line

To ensure your shingle courses run straight use a chalk line. Measure the finished reveal on your shingles. Usually this is about 5 inches. Then make marks every 5 inches on the gable ends of the roof. Snap a chalk line between the gable ends at each pair of marks all the way up the roof. This will ensure that you shingles run true and straight as you progress up the roof with the courses.

Vertical lines should also be snapped every 3 to 6 feet to ensure your tabs maintain alignment.

Use of Roof Jacks

After 3 or 4 courses of shingles have been installed using ladders, roof jacks may be necessary to access the upper courses. Roof jacks are steel brackets that hold planks in position for you to stand on. The roof jacks should be securely nailed through the decking and into rafters to ensure that they will support your weight.

Shingling Valleys, Chimneys, Skylights and Dormers, and Step Flashing

Shingling the valleys and installing flashing requires extra care. The shingles, typically coming from two intersecting courses when entering a valley, need to overlap each other such that no water penetration occurs.

Skylights, chimneys and dormers must be step flashed (step flashing is interleaved with each course of shingles) to ensure water is kept from penetrating the roof.

Adding the Ridge Vent and Caps

To complete the roofing project, ridge vents need to be installed. These are nailed to the top of the ridge and then capped.

The ridge cap prevents water from entering the home via the ridge vent, while still allowing the house to breath. The ridge cap is constructed out of individual shingle tabs that have their unfinished corners cut off at 45 degree angles. Each modified shingle tab, is nailed such that it overlaps the previous piece as you work your way down the length of the ridge vent.

For more help on Shingling Your Home's RoofPsychology Articles, see’s Asphalt Shingle Roofing Bid Sheet. The Asphalt Shingle Roofing Bid Sheet will help to ensure that your roof won't end up with a blue tarp over it and a dumpster sitting in your yard for weeks as you wait for the roofing contractor to come back and finish roofing your home.

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Over the past 20+ years Mark Donovan has been involved with building homes and additions to homes. His projects have included: building a vacation home, building additions and garages on to existing homes, and finishing unfinished homes. For more Roof shingling and other DIY home improvements, and Home Building and Construction information visit and





Effectively Choosing The Best Commercial Roofing Contractors

Anyone that owns a business is typically known to face a multitude of complications with keeping everything fully functional at all times. Many areas of the physical location can become worn down and even a danger for consumers and workers which may be reliant on the use of specifically trained professionals to address as needed. Anyone focused on this need should know what to concentrate on when choosing the right 
commercial roofing contractors to help fulfill their maintenance obligations. 

A roofing contractor offers the specific tools and skills that are necessary for making sure this part of the structure is effective worked on. Business owners are typically focused on this kind of service provider when they have noticed damages on this part of their facility and are trying to resolve them as quickly as possible. The selections that owners make from the numerous professionals are typically performed with a great deal of caution. 

Owners in most cities are offered a significant number of competitors to try and filter through. Many of the providers are actually quite similar in what they offer which can quickly become overwhelming for anyone to try and manage when needed. The right choice is made when numerous ideas are fully considered. 

Testimonials are among the most helpful and prevalent sources of consideration for anyone involved in this efforts. Testimonials are usually based on the need to make sure that all facets of the projects completed in the past are read about and understood for being able to make the most viable choice possible. Paying attention to the professionals that have received the largest number of great recommendations can be helpful with feeling more confident about the entire process. 

An additional consideration in this process is making sure that any lease obligations that must be fulfilled are fully understood. Commercial structures are generally rented from leasing companies that require their tenants to meet specific obligations to avoid potential fines and even revocation of their rights to occupy their spaces. Reading all terms and conditions and seeking clarification if necessary is helpful in avoiding major difficulties along the way. 

Consumers are also known to carefully focus on the chance to make sure the company is capable of pulling all necessary permits. Permits are often a necessity when having this kind of work completed as it is typically known to be a structural modification that must be documented and approved by the city. Companies should offer this solution at no additional cost. 

Scheduling flexibility is an additional concern that people have when making this difficult choice. Dealing with operational challenges is a major source of difficulty for any business as they try to have work performed on their buildings while avoiding disruptions to their work flow. The companies that work the closest with their clients are the most practical for anyone to consider. 

Contractors are also filtered through based on their prices. The costs of using kind of professional guidance can be a challenge to sort through when trying to avoid major complications with operational safety and effectiveness. The lowest priced professionals that are also equipped to provide the best services are helpful in creating a great value.

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  • Lower overall costs 25-50%
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  • Reduced construction time 40%
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Your Roof Options Explained By Roofing Companies

The roof of any home is the first defense against wind, snow and rain, but if your house needs a new one, you can be overwhelmed when it comes to choosing the right materials. Before you choose one to be installed, learn about the most common types of materials, including copper, wood, slate and asphalt. The right choice depends on your home and your roofing contractors, so make sure to get opinions from a few different roofing companies to ensure that you're selecting the right material for your house. 

The Benefits Of Copper

Copper is a durable choice for homeowners who want a long-lasting and fireproof material. Copper can last up to 100 years, but it's also lightweight. Most copper that's used in roofs is also up to 75% recycled and this, when combined with its longevity, makes it an excellent choice for homeowners who want an environmentally friendly roof. 

What Roofing Contractors Have To Say About Wood Shingles

Wood is popular because of its natural look. As roofs age, the shingles turn to a soft gray color. However, this aging doesn't mean that homeowners will be replacing them often. Wooden shingles have a lifespan of up to 30 years, when they're taken care of. Like traditional asphalt shingles, it's easy to repair or replace just a few shingles if they are blown off in a storm, which means it's unnecessary to reroof the whole house. Lastly, because wood is a natural insulator, it may even reduce heating and cooling costs. 

Using Slate For Roofs

One of the biggest benefits of using slate for a home's roof is that it can last up to 150 years when it's properly installed. It's also fireproof, which means it's especially appropriate for homes in areas that are susceptible to wildfires, and is eco-friendly because it's a substance that naturally occurs in the earth and it helps keep other materials out of landfills because homeowners won't need to replace it every 20-30 years.  

The Most Common Material From Roofing Companies -- Asphalt

Asphalt is the most commonly used material for roofs and there are a few good reasons for this. Asphalt looks good with very little maintenance and although heavy winds can damage shingles, it's possible for roofing contractors -- or even handy homeowners -- to repair them with a little effort. This also means that it's not always necessary to replace the entire roof if there's a problem with just a few shingles. Additionally, asphalt is one of the most affordable choices and is lightweight, which means it can be used on a variety of homes. 

Before you decide which option is right for your home, talk to a few local roofing contractors to get their opinions. They'll be able to tell you which is the right material for your houseFree Web Content, your local area and even your neighborhood. Don't forget to get a few different quotes and research companies before signing a contract to make sure that you're working with one that has a long-standing local presence.

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Five Steps To Getting An Accurate Roofing Replacement Quote

When you buy a car, you don't walk into the dealership, point to a car and say, "I'll take it." You compare prices, take a test drive and talk numbers. If you're shopping for home improvements such as new roofing, you need to apply the same amount of time and consideration. There are five important steps you need to take when looking for a professional remodeler or roof replacementspecialist, and I've outlined them below from my own point of view:

Step One: Talk To Local Roofing Contractors

I can contact a few reputable 
contractors by calling, emailing or filling out a quote request form on their website. I'll give the contractors some details about what I'd like done (in this case, a roof replacement), the problems I have with my current roofing, my timeframe and expectations. From there, the customer service person I talked to should pass my information along to a project manager or sales rep who is familiar with the kind of project I'm interested in. The individual in charge of the potential project should contact me in order to discuss the job in more detail and with plenty of information about cost, available products and materials to be used. He should be able to explain the process in detail and answer any questions I might have. He should follow up by sending me an email with the details included. At this point, I'll also ask them to schedule an at-home visit with one of their roofing contractors. If I'm lucky, they will email me a photo of the person who will be visiting so that I don't let an unknown stranger into my home.

Step Two: Get Confirmation Of The Initial Meeting

I should get a phone call from the roofing contractors the day before the scheduled meeting confirming the date and time. At this time, I can ask them any questions I hadn't thought about earlier. 

Step Three: The Initial Consultation

The representative from the roofing contractors should arrive promptly and be wearing appropriate, professional clothing (a company logo should appear somewhere on their clothing). A smile and a handshake are a must. After the introductions, the company representative should review my information and confirm the details of my requested roof replacement request. I'll expect him to ask some questions in order to clarify any potential issues before showing me examples of other 
roofingjobs they've done and some samples of the products they will be using. 

Step Four: A Closer Look 

Before finalizing a bid, the company representative will ask to take a closer look at my 
home's roofin order to get detailed measurements, take photos and inspect the site. He should not only look around the exterior of my house, he should climb a ladder and inspect the shingles and go into the attic to take a look at the insulation, decking and roof structure in order to prepare a more accurate bid. After he has inspected the area, he will point out any potential problems and recommend solutions that will be included in his bid. At this point he will probably return to the company office to prepare the quote.

Step Five: The Final, Detailed Quote

I greet the same person who visited the first time around and we sit down to discuss the details of the roof replacement. We review the scope of work, including a detailed proposal that lists all of the products and materials to be used, the 
installation techniques that will be used and the timeline. We go over every page and he answers all my questions. He also reviews any potential problems and lets me know what will happen and how much it will cost if unexpected problems come up. He doesn't pressure me to make a commitment and he is honest about what kind of timeline will be needed. At this point, I can either sign with the roofing contractors, ask for a few days to mull things over or get another quote from another company. 

Regardless of which route I choose to take, if the roofing contractors have given me a detailed quote and outlined any possible problems, I should have all the information I need to make a wise decision about the roof replacement my 
home needs

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