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7 Steps to Installing Asphalt Roof Shingles

Installing asphalt roof shingles is hot work that requires heavy lifting and takes a few days to accomplish, but it's definitely one do-it-yourself project that can save you a lot of money. These seven steps show you how:


  1. Start with a firm plywood base. Beginning from scratch with a bare plywood base is easier than laying asphalt shingles over an existing roof. But if you want to skip the plywood, it's acceptable as long as you don't lay your asphalt roof shingles over more than one existing layer.
  2. Lay a row of pre-cut starter strips. These strips provide the backing for the first row of shingles. The first row should overhang the bottom edge of the roof by about 1/8 inch. Start in a lower corner of the roof and work your way up.
  3. Nail the shingles as you go. Drive nails just below the tar strip so the next row of shingles will cover them.
  4. Alternate the next row of shingles side to side. Stagger the tab notches and ends with previously laid shingles to prevent leaking. Cutting off about six inches from the side of the first shingle in each succeeding row will sufficiently stagger the shingles. Follow the manufacturer's directions concerning how much of the preceding row of shingles to leave exposed.
  5. Square the shingles. Use a guide to keep shingles in line.
  6. Waterproof roof penetration points. Use a flange and caulk to seal pipes and vents. Seal around the shingle edges where they overlap the flange.
  7. Lay shingles over the roof apex. Trim these shingles and then nail the vent cover over the ridge. Add additional shingles over the top of the cover and secure them.

Installing asphalt roof shingles requires precision but isn't difficult. Take your time and your roof will give you years of service.

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Metal Roofing

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs have become a popular alternative to traditional roofing materials. This is due to the fact that metal is lightweight, maintenance-free, fireproof, energy efficient, durable, and can be manufactured to give virtually any look conceivable. Furthermore, metal roofs have a life expectancy of over 30 years and houses with metal roofs may receive a discount on the homeowner's (fire) insurance.

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