Re-shingling a roof – PART 1

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Do you spend a lot of time staring at your roof from the curb, dreading the day you might find rotten, moldy or curled patches of shingles? 

Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing material. They’re affordable, come in many colors and they’re very durable. 

But these shingles are not made to last forever. Over time, they will start breaking down and you’ll need to replace them. 

Our roof was in need of new shingles because they were about 25 years old. And instead of getting quotes from roof companies, we decided this was a project we could handle ourselves, with a few helping hands. 

It took about four days to complete, with 3 people, and the total cost was around $3,000 for the size of our home. 

This tutorial will show you how we handled the process of re-shingling a roof.

installing new shingles on roof

If you DO NOT plan on shingling your own roof, it’s always a good idea to understand the process. If you know the steps involved and how a roof should look when it’s properly shingled, you’ll be able to tell if the company you hired did it correctly!

THINGS TO NOTE:

  1. The pitch (angle or slope) of your roof will determine if you should do this project yourself. I would not feel comfortable with a pitch greater than a 6/12 but it can be done (our roof is a 6).
  2. Think SAFETY! Find out what precautions you need to take to be safe on your roof. We used a few pieces of scaffolding around the roof of our house. We used one that goes between ladders and another was a roof bracket.
  3. Please remove ALL old shingles; do NOT shingle on top of existing shingles.

RE-SHINGLING A ROOF

Let’s talk about the materials and tools you will probably need, these are the supplies we used.

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MATERIALS:

TOOLS:

Find the list of tools we use.

You will need to measure your roof to calculate the amount of shingles to buy, plus all the other materials.

REMOVE THE OLD SHINGLES

red brick home before adding porch

Before you remove anything, have somewhere to put those old shingles. We rented a dumpster, set up traps at the base of the house to collect the debris and used a wheelbarrow to cart everything away.

Also, this one is IMPORTANT, check the weather. You will want a good chunk of time to remove and replace the roof without any rain.

TIP: If you have multiple layers of shingles, plan on extra time: removing them will be the worst part and will take the longest

removing old shingles

Our roof surprised us with three layers of shingles; we thought there were two. Removing the old shingles took us 2 full days (7 am to 9 pm) with 3 people. Two people were removing (we had two shovels) and one was filling the dumpster.

removing old shingles

I am going to say this again, this was the WORST part of re-shingling. If there was only one layer, we would have been done in one day. So please remove the shingles for the next person! It also cost more for the dumpster since you pay by the ton; ours was almost 4.5 tons when everything was said and done.
SIDE NOTE: The dumpster I found cost us $220 for 30 days (we only needed 2 weeks) and this included the cost to dump.

INSTALL NEW PLYWOOD BASE

We also discovered that we did not have plywood for the roof base, only wood slats. These would have been fine because there were no gaps between the wood but the knots worried us. So we decided to install 5/16″ plywood to give us a stable base. This added 1/2 day of work.

Like I said, plan on extra time! You won’t know what is underneath until you start removing the shingles. And you also want to give yourself time to decide on the best materials for the job.

At this point, all the old shingles were removed from the roof and we had the new plywood installed. 

But I have a question for you.

DO YOU NEED A CHIMNEY CRICKET?

I had NO idea what this was until this project began. A chimney cricket is used/built when you have a chimney on a downward slope of a roof. It is a small, peaked roof that is installed on the backside of your chimney. 

Here is what one looks like:

add roof chimney cricket

It’s designed to divert water around your chimney instead of letting the water sit there. And if you don’t have one already, you need to install one!

We did not have one on our roof and we have experienced first-hand water coming into our home because it was not diverted. The water would sit against the chimney, then drip into our home. 

We decided to build a chimney cricket and you’ll see how easy it is!

HOW TO BUILD A CHIMNEY CRICKET

The slope of a chimney cricket is normally the slope of your roof but it can be less. Here are the supplies you need to build a chimney cricket:

  • 2″x4″ boards
  • 5/16″ plywood
  • 2-3/8″ nails (or 3-1/2″)
  • circular saw
  • framing nailing gun or hammer
  • square
  1. Cut a piece of 2″x4″ board to give you the top of your ridge. It will look like this once it’s installed. Notice one side of the 2″x4″ is a straight cut and the other is at an angle.roof cricket for chimney

2. Center the board against the chimney and nail into place.

SIDE NOTE: This cricket is small so we only needed this board. If yours is larger, you could use more 2″x4″ to brace the 2″x4″ ridge.

3. Cut the plywood at a triangle to cover the top of the ridge you just added all the way to the end of the chimney. 

Looks like this after you have both pieces cut:

roof cricket

4. Nail the plywood into place. Now it’s ready for the waterproof underlayment and shingles.

ADDING DRIP EDGE AND WATERPROOFING UNDERLAYMENT

This next step can be done in different ways but I am going to share the way that makes the most sense to me to prevent water from entering your home.

First, you’ll be installing your new drip edge – it’s the long metal pieces. You will need your tin snips to cut the metal around corners and ridges.

TIP: You want to connect the drip edges together when they end but think of which way the water will run on a slope and place the piece going down the slope on top. This way, the water keeps running down and does not get stuck or goes under.

Nail the drip edge into place using your roofing nails.

After the drip edge is installed (on at least one side of the roof), it’s time to add the paper. The first row at the bottom of the roof edge should be the ice and water shield. This stuff has a sticky back and black in color.

Cut the ice and water shield to the size of your space (one end to the other).

TIP: You want the underlayment at the edge of the roof, so it will overlap the drip edge. This allows the water to run off the roof.

Install the ice and water shield by removing one plastic strip (the closest to the end of the roof) in about 3-4 foot sections and sticking it into place. 

Continue doing this until all the plastic is removed (2 strips) and the ice and water shield is in place.

Install more ice and water shield to the ends of your roof and any valleys. For example, where our front porch roof hits the main roof, it creates a valley.

Once the ice and water shield is in place, it’s time for the roofing underlayment. This underlayment is installed like the ice and water shield but because it’s not sticky, you use the nails with plastic tops to secure to the roof.

The nice thing about the underlayment we used is that it had marks for everything, like where the underlayment should overlap and where to place the nails. 

To install, cut the paper to the space and remember to overlap each layer by at least 2″. The nails should be at least 1-2 feet apart depending on your location (for high winds, you will want the nails closer together) and how soon you will be shingling. Once you cover a roof with the underlayment it can get rained on but don’t let it sit for weeks.

Let me give you our example: we were in a hurry to cover our roof with this underlayment late Saturday night because we knew we would not be able to start adding the shingles until a few days later. Then, the weather suddenly changed to rain. By having the underlayment on the roof, we were safe for a couple of days (think of the underlayment like a tarp). We just made sure the underlayment completely covered the roof and did not flap anywhere.

At this point, the old shingles are gone (all three layers!), plywood base installed, a chimney cricket built and the underlayments are all set up.

And that brings us to adding shingles and vents to the roof.
 Because this tutorial is really long, I have decided to break the post into two. You can find how to add shingles here.

Installing shingles – PART 2

new shingles on roof

Just so you know, we built a new porch gable so that is why our house looks so different. You can find the tutorial for that gorgeous addition here.

front porch makeover by adding porch

I hope this tutorial helps you understand how to re-shingle a roof but please remember to do your research and think about safety before you begin any project like this!

how to re-shingle a roof

*Please note: we are not experts, just homeowners learning about remodeling and sharing our projects with you. The projects, suggestions, and tutorials on TwoFeetFirst are not error proof, they are simply what worked for us or did not work. Additional research and precautions are always recommended and TwoFeetFirst, LLC cannot be held responsible for your personal safety or the outcome of your project.*

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