It is possible to shingle roof with wood shingles, asphalt shingles, metal sheets, solar panels, clay or slate tiles. The selection of a particular roof material depends largely on budget, climate and availability of skilled professionals for installing the said roof. For example slate tiles need expertise and experience. Mishandling them leads to breakages and improper installation can lead to leakages. Depending on the shingle selected the home will have certain appearance which needs to fit with your home’s planned exteriors. Since the homes are usually painted after all the home construction work is done, you cannot before hand know how the final appearance will be like. You could use the software tools which let you see how your home looks before and after or use your imagination for the same.
Materials Ordering Stage
Before you start to shingle roof you will need to know how much material to order. Roof shingles are sold in bundles. Three bundles of the shingles usually will cover 100 square feet area. So, if you have an idea about your roof area, then it is fairly simple to arrive at the number of bundles you need. It is safe practice to order a few extra bundles of the material in case you torn or broken some or you have forgotten to taken into consideration certain areas of the roof. You could always return any extra material back to the store. Just ask before you buy if it is okay to return excess bundles. Most stores will oblige as it is difficult to estimate the correct requirement in advance.
Once you have the materials in hand, check if you have the needed tools and other roofing materials like nails, felt or under laying materials, flashing, ridge caps, gutters and chimney.
Before Shingle Stage
Before you shingle the roof there are few steps to taken like installing metal drip cap along the roof perimeter edges and along the eaves. This helps prevent leaks and ice dams. Next, lay the sheets of bitumen membrane that are self-adhesive along the perimeters and other openings and over the entire roof surface for better protection. You could also choose to lay 50lb felt paper instead of bitumen membrane. Don’t forget to lay them around vent pipes and chimney too.
Around all the openings you need to place flashing for a tight seal. When placing the membrane sheet you need to make slits large enough for the flashing to go through it. Make sure you leave an 10-12 inches around the edges. For the valley you need a place a membrane sheet along the whole length of the valley which leaves 18″ covering each side. Next, place the flashing along the length of it.
Start by reading the manual that comes with the shingles. This will give you clear instructions on how to handle the shingles. It would be helpful to snap chalk lines along the length of the roof at periodic intervals. This will ensure that you shingle your roof in straight lines. Do this vertically too. Having chalk lines as sort of grid will act as a guide as you lay the shingles. It is important to stagger each row for better water drainage. This can be achieved by using different sized shingles as you start each row.
Always shingle roof from the bottom up. Start from the eaves and work your way to the ridge. For example start the first row with a full shingle. For next row, cut off about 6″ of a shingle and start with that. For each subsequent row cut-off a further 6″ from the shingle. Keep going till you are left with one tab. Now, start again with full shingle and keep repeating the above process till you have reached the very top. Cut a few pieces of these shingles and keep them ready before you get up onto the roof. You will need 4 nails per shingle to keep it firmly in place.
When you start the first row align it with the outside edge and the bottom edge starting right at the bottom. Place it over the starter strip and hammer a nail in. Place the next shingle in alignment with the first shingle and with the bottom edge and proceed to hammer it down with a nail. Make sure to overlap the second shingle with the first. Keep repeating the second step till you finish the first row. Start the next course with the shingle 6 inch shorter and proceed on to next row. Make sure the second row overlaps with the first row. The extent of the overlap will be mentioned in instructions that come with the package.
At the top you may need to snip the shingles to fit in under the top end of the roof sheathing. At the roof ridge a cobra strip is placed which is sponge like and helps provide for ventilation. This prevents the ridge cap from contacting the roof. The exhaust vent on the ridge keeps the moisture away from the roof. Using the utility knife slit the tar paper along the complete stretch of open portion at the peak of the roof without the sheathing. This helps in circulating the air between the trusses of your roof. Air enters at the eaves and escapes at the peak taking away some of heat building up in the roof.
There are ready made ridge caps available to sheath the ridges. But, if you want to do it yourself then remember it takes a lot of time and lot of shingles too to make the ridge cap. So, you have to plan extra bundles of shingles to make your own ridge cap. Once you have made the ridge cap place it in such way that it faces away from the direction of any storm that may approach your home. This way the rain and wind will go along the shingles and doesn’t get blown away under the cap.