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Video:How to Install New Shingles

with Rocky Matson

Looking to save some money and challenge your home improvement skills? Learn how to install new roof shingles, in just a few easy steps.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Install New Shingles

Hi, I’m Rocky Matson for About.com, and today I’m going to show you how to put new shingles on your house.

Safety First when Preparing the Work Area

Start by hooking up your safety system, which includes your harness, eyewear, and hearing protection. Now put on the drip edge, which is a metal lip at the ends of your house that keeps the water dripping away from your roof. Pull the drip edge snug against the house and secure it with a nail gun. At the ends, cut into the metal with a pair of tin snips and bend it around the corners.

Now install ice and water shield if required by law in your local area. This goes on the eves, which is the ends of the house. Place it on top of the drip edge one inch from the edge using the self adhesive to secure it.

Roll On Tar Paper

The tar paper goes on next. You can get this in 15 or 30 pounds weights. The 30 is thicker and creates a stronger moisture barrier, but it is also more expensive. We’re using the 15 pound weight. If your roof if fairly flat, you’ll need to put down two layers regardless of which weight you’re using. Check your local code to be sure.

Put the tar paper down by rolling it on. Tack it down with plastic cap nails or staples. If you can’t get the new shingles put on the same day you tear the old shingles off, try to finish laying down the tar paper. It will protect your roof if it rains.

Lay Down Starter Shingles

Lay down starter shingles around the edge of the house - they help make sure everything is straight. Cut your books with a hook blade. A book is made up of five smaller shingles cut to different lengths, which allow you to stagger your seams. If your seems are lined up, you’ll get water damage, so make sure to stagger them. The package your shingles come in will have more detailed instructions.

Shingle the Rest of the House

Now you’re ready to shingle the rest of the house. You could hammer the nails into the roof, but it’s much faster to use a roofing coiler. To use it, you’ll also need an air compressor - which gives power to the coiler - and an air hose to connect the two. You can rent these along with most everything else you’ll need.

Work from the bottom to the top - starting with the left-hand corner of the house. Since most people are right handed, this makes the work easier and allows you to hold the nail gun with your right hand. Line up the first shingle with the starter shingle and nail it down. Now place a book - five pieces of different lengths - and nail it down.

Keep doing this up the house to the top. Then go back down and start again next to the shingles you’ve just laid. You generally want to put six to eight nails into each shingle. Check the code in your area.

Tips for Installing New Shingles

Be careful cutting around your vents. If you cut into the sealant or shingle underneath, you can cause links.

Make sure to take your finger off the trigger when you’re not shooting a shingle to prevent an accident. It’s easy to shoot yourself or someone else.

Finally, put the ridge cap on. This is the top part that caps the roof and looks like a steeple. You’ll either cut it with a hook blade or bend it on the perforated edge, depending on which type you have. Simply follow the directions on the package.

It’s a good idea to seal nail heads and around pipes with black tar known as blackjack. It provides extra protection from moisture.

Complete the Inspection

Congratulations you’ve just installed a new roof. But remember, you’ll have to have it inspected, and in many areas, inspections take place before you’ve finished. So be sure to check your local code so you don’t have to destroy some what you’ve just worked so hard to complete.

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