5 Tips for Reshingling a Roof

When my wife and I bought our house, we were told by our insurance company we would need to replace the roof shingles within the next year. That was almost a year ago, so over Memorial Day weekend we reshingled our house. Many hours and several mistakes later, I consider myself qualified to offer a few tips that anyone reshingling their house should keep in mind.

Tip #1: Hire a Professional
This is the most important tip of them all, especially if you’ve never shingled a roof before. Laying shingles is not that complicated, but if your time and manpower is limited, hiring a professional is worth the extra cost. Next time I shingle anything larger than a shed, I will hire professional roofers.

If you plan to shingle your roof without using a professional, continue reading; otherwise, these next four tips won’t really apply to your situation.

Our House - Old Shingles

Before

Tip #2: Plan Plenty of Time
This was the biggest mistake I made on my roof. I planned to shingle all day Saturday, but I soon discovered that one day was not enough time. I ended up getting an early start on the roof by working on it Friday, but it took almost four days to finish. One thing to keep in mind is the time needed to complete your roof will directly relate to the size of your roof and the amount of help you have shingling. Which brings me to my next tip…

Tip #3: Get Extra Help
You’ve probably heard the old sayings “the more, the merrier” and “many hands make light work.” Up to a point, this also applies to roofing. While too many people just get in the way, too few people makes the job take a lot longer than necessary. I had a crew of four working on the roof on Saturday, but on the other days it was just two people. Had I got six or eight people to help, I would have been able to finish the job much sooner.

Tip #4: Rent a Nail Gun
Another mistake I made while shingling my roof was to not rent a nail gun and air compressor. I didn’t want the extra cost of the rental, so I chose to pound all of the nails in by hand. Using a nail gun would have sped up the process and we possibly could have completed the roof by Sunday. If I could do it again I would definitely rent a nail gun.

Tip #5: Use the Proper Tools
Whether you use a nail gun to attach your shingles or not, there are several other tools you will need to reshingle your roof. These tools include gloves, knee pads, a razor knife with plenty of extra blades, a tape measure, and a square. Like any job, using the correct tools will save you lots of time and money.

Despite the job taking longer than expected, I think our roof turned out looking pretty good.

Our House - New Shingles

After

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