How to Shingle a Roof (In 7 Steps)

6 minutes read

Ready to take on a project that can protect your home and boost its curb appeal?

Shingling a roof may sound like a daunting task, but fear not! In this homeowner’s guide, we’ll break down the process into seven straightforward steps to help you tackle this rewarding project like a pro.

Don’t have time for a detailed DIY job? Get in touch with your preferred roofer right away.

But if you’re ready to get your toolbelt ready, follow along and let’s dive in!

Inside this blog:

  • The 7 key steps for how to shingle your roof
  • Tips + tricks under each step

Keep reading to learn how you can shingle your own roof like a true DIY expert!

Step 1: Gather Your Materials and Tools

Before you climb up to the rooftop to install roof shingles, it’s essential to have all your roofing materials and tools ready. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • Asphalt shingles (make sure to calculate the quantity needed)
  • Roofing nails and roofing felt or underlayment
  • Drip edge and roofing adhesive
  • Starter shingles and ridge vent (if necessary)
  • Flashing (for valleys, chimneys, and vents)


  • Hammer or roofing nail gun
  • Utility knife or shingle cutter
  • Chalk line, tape measure, and roofing gloves
  • Ladder, safety harness, and anchors

Step 2: Prepare the Roof

Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to prep the roof:

Clean the Roof

Remove any existing shingles, nails, and debris. Ensure the roof deck is smooth and free from protruding nails. It’s crucial to start with a clean, flat surface for optimal shingle installation.

Install Drip Edge

Attach the drip edge along the eaves (bottom edge) of the roof. It helps channel water away from the fascia, preventing water damage and ensuring your shingles have a proper edge to adhere to.

Step 3: Install Roofing Underlayment

The underlayment acts as a moisture barrier and helps protect your roof from water infiltration:

  • Roll It Out: Start at the bottom edge of the roof and roll out the roofing underlayment horizontally. Overlap each row by a few inches to ensure full coverage.
  • Secure It: Nail or staple the underlayment to the roof deck, keeping it taut and free from wrinkles.

Step 4: Begin Shingling

Now, it’s time to start installing your shingles:

Starter Shingles

Begin with starter shingles along the eaves. These are specifically designed to provide a secure base for the first row of regular shingles, creating a barrier against wind-driven rain and ice dams.

Set a Chalk Line

Use a chalk line to create a straight guideline for your first row of shingles. This will ensure your shingles are evenly spaced and aligned, giving your roof a professional, uniform appearance while also aiding in water runoff.

Step 5: Shingle Installation

Here comes the fun part—laying down the shingles!

  • Start at the Bottom: Begin at the eaves and work your way up the roof. Align each shingle with the chalk line, leaving a small overhang at the roof’s edge.
  • Nail ‘Em Down: Use roofing nails to secure each shingle. Place nails just above the adhesive strip and be sure not to overdrive them, as it can damage the shingle.
  • Stagger the Seams: In each row, stagger the seams of the shingles to prevent water infiltration. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended staggering pattern.

Step 6: Address Roof Features

When you encounter roof features like vents, chimneys, or valleys, it’s essential to handle them correctly:


Install flashing in valleys to channel water away from the intersection of two roof planes. Secure it with roofing nails. Properly installed flashing is essential to prevent water infiltration in these vulnerable areas.

Chimneys and Vents

Cut shingles to fit around chimneys and vents, ensuring a snug fit. Use roofing adhesive to seal around these areas. This meticulous attention to detail will help maintain the roof’s integrity and protect against potential leaks around these protrusions.

Step 7: Finish with Ridge Shingles

You’re almost there! It’s time to finish off the roof with ridge shingles:

  • Cut Ridge Shingles: Cut the ridge shingles to the desired length, allowing for a small overhang on each side of the ridge.
  • Attach Ridge Shingles: Starting at one end of the ridge, nail down the ridge shingles, working your way to the other end. Overlap each ridge shingle slightly to create a watertight seal.
  • Optional Ridge Vent: If your roof design requires ventilation, install a ridge vent along the ridge before adding the ridge shingles.

Additional Tips for a Successful Shingle Installation ✅


Here are some extra tips to ensure a smooth roofing project:

  • Safety First: Always prioritize safety. Use a ladder and safety harness when working on the roof, and be cautious of slippery surfaces.
  • Weather Considerations: Pick a clear, dry day for your project. Shingles are easier to handle and adhere better when it’s warm and sunny.
  • Follow Manufacturer’s Guidelines: Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific shingle brand you’re using, as installation guidelines may vary.
  • Quality Matters: Invest in high-quality materials and tools. A well-installed roof can last for decades, so it’s worth the investment.
  • Local Building Codes: Check with your local building department to ensure you’re following all required codes and regulations for your area.

Shingle Your Own Roof With Ease 🏡

Shingling a roof can be a rewarding DIY project that not only enhances your home’s appearance but also provides essential protection from the elements. Remember, while this guide provides an overview of the process, it’s crucial to follow manufacturer’s guidelines and local building codes to ensure a safe and successful installation. If you ever feel unsure or encounter unexpected issues, don’t hesitate to consult with a professional roofer for guidance.

So, grab your tools, keep safety in mind, and get ready to give your home a new roof that will keep it cozy and dry for years to come! 

Contact our expert team of roofers at Next Dimension today and tell us your needs and concerns about the roof that hangs over your home’s head. We can’t wait to help you out with a roof that’s durable and aesthetically pleasing!

Where Quality Matters
& People Come First

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