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Install asphalt shingles

  • Difficulty Level: hammer hammer
    Close Difficulty Levels
    Beginner Do-It-Yourselfer - Easy
    Intermediate Do-It-Yourselfer - Moderate
    Experienced Do-It-Yourselfer - Difficult
    Professional - Expert
  • Cost Level:
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    Cost comparable to current options
    Cost slightly more than the current options
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  • Completion Time : Week-end Project

The new generation of asphalt shingles will not only improve the look of any roof but are long-lasting and easier to install than the old three-tab models. Made with a fiberglass matt and laminated they are thicker and able to resist higher winds than ever before. Installing the new asphalt shingles is much the same as the older variety except the three-tab variety is still used for the ridge and starter rows. This is because they are thinner and easy to bend.
Installation requires accurate measuring and safety equipment such as safety ropes and harnesses. In addition steep roofs require staging and roof jacks to allow traction on the extreme slopes.


Tools and materials required


  • Chalk line
  • Claw
  • Galvanized 1¼", 1 ½" and 1 ¾" nails
  • Hooked roofing knife or utility knife
  • Plastic roofing cement
  • Pneumatic nail gun (not recommended for beginners)
  • Roofing hammer
  • Square shovel or roofing shovel
  • Metal ruler


  • 15-lb or 30-lb felt paper
  • Asphalt shingles (If using laminate shingles allow for three-tab shingles for starter row and roof ridge)
  • Self-adhesive waterproofing membrane (underlayment)
  • Valley flashing
  • Chimney flashings
  • Sealer
  • Vent pipe flashings
  • Ridge vent

Before Assembly


Check with local building officers to determine if a permit is required and what are the specific code requirements.

Try to get help from at least three other people. Each should wear a certified harness properly anchored to a roof truss and rubber soled shoes or boots for grip.

On steep roofs, install 2" X 4" boards parallel to the roofline or purchase roof jacks that can be installed to hold boards horizontally.

Anchor all ladders or provide proper staging.

Coordinate project with a lumber supply company so the shingles can be loaded directly onto the roof with a boom truck.

Position compressors for nail guns carefully so that there is enough hose and always use the nails recommended for the gun.

Whether the roof deck is boards, plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), make sure it is a level nailing surface. This can be checked with a straight, 10' piece of lumber. If one part of the deck is ¼" lower or higher than the one next to it there might be problems down the road.

Check the attic for ventilation especially in cold climates as a properly vented attic has shown to extend a shingle's life through cooling and preventing moisture from getting underneath the shingle.

Although building codes in different areas do not require roofing felt for underneath the shingles it is a good second line of defence against water if a shingle is damaged.

An average sized roof will take at least two days to complete so have waterproof tarps in case of rain of rain.

High levels of dust, strong winds, and certain other weather conditions can reduce the efficiency of the self-sealing strips.


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RONA Langdon Hardware Ltd. / Fort Erie

1238 Dominion Road, Fort Erie,
Ontario, L2A 1H7

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(289) 320-8250