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Reroofing a Roof


I want to reroof/shingle my house. I think there are three composite layers on there now and the house is a single level 1500 sq ft rectangle when viewed from the top, not a very complicated looking job.


Reshingling a roof is not that hard, but with three layers on it now you have to remove everything right down to the sheathing. A roof is designed to hold no more than 3 layers of shingles on it. Most shingles weigh about 210 to 250 pounds per square (a square is 100 square feet: 10' x 10'), so you can see why the 3 layer rule.

Make sure you tie yourself off to the ridge of the roof if it is a steep pitch, by using a good sized eye screw or plate for that purpose.

Start at the ridge of the roof and take off the caps and then continue down the roof removing the shingles. A garden spade works well. They make a roofers tool for removing shingles with a wedge under the spade to help lift the shingles off, making it easier.

When the shingles are all off, go over the entire roof deck and nail in any loose nails and pull out any sticking up, there will be alot of them. Don't just hammer them over. Either nail them in all the way or pull them out completely.

Next, around the eaves of the roof install a 50 pound roofing felt that is non-perforated. This prevents any ice from backing up the roof and water going through.

Then cover the entire roof deck that is left with a 15 pound non-perforated roofing felt, overlapping the joints by at least 4".

Start at the eaves with your shingles. Depending on which type you are installing, there is a starter row to put on first. This protects the joints above it from water leaking in. Don't depend on the 50 pound roofing for this. Then continue up the roof.

Every bundle of shingles I've put on always had instructions including drawings on the installation. Exposure, nails, etc. So take a few moments to read the instructions from the manufacturer.

For the ridge and hip caps, I use the same color of shingle but in a butt style shingle. These come in 3 tabs per shingle. With a utility knife, cut the 3 tabs off and bend them over the ridge with the exposure that is stated on the bundle.

Overhang the 50 pound roofing felt and shingles about 1 1/2" at the eaves and about 1" at the gable. Don't overhang the 15 pound felt, keep it flush with the barge board, just overhang the shingles themselves.


(Ask Dave) (About Dave)

Your source for building tips, woodworking & furniture plans, house plans and building advice directly from Dave...

Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.


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