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Tips for Installing Roof Shingles

To ensure that your new roof shingles provide water-tight protection from the elements, you must prepare the roof before you install the shingles systematically. Before installing roof shingles, it's best to patch any holes, prepare a drip edge, and staple down a water-resistant felt barrier.


The first step is to repair any knot holes in the roof. Staple aluminum flashing over the holes and you're set. Put sheet-metal drip edges down the eave, the whole length of the roof, with galvanized roofing nails. The edges should extend enough to direct water away from the fascia of the house. Overlap the drip edges with your first row of starter strip and roof shingles. Next, lay down the tar paper or rolls of 15# felt. The felt protects the roof deck--overlap each row as you install it.

Installing Roof Shingles

Now you're ready to install the roof shingles. The first row is a starter strip, which backs the actual first row of visible shingles. Pre-cut starter strips are available at home improvement stores. After securing the starter strip, install the first row of shingles, ensuring that the edge follows the end of the drip edges for complete coverage and protection. Beforehand, you may want to take a couple of two-by-fours and extra shingles and try your hand at some practice hammering of roof shingles to get comfortable with the process.

Most people work from left to right at the bottom corner and then rise toward the ridge. Take a good look at your work after the first real row is complete. Be sure that each successive row overlaps the top of the previous row and that the edges between shingles alternate to create coverage rather than a deep strip between shingles.

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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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