When it comes to building a new home or having home improvements done on your home it is important to research before you jump into the project.  This also refers to project on the exterior of the home such as the roof.  Whether you are putting on the homes first roof or replacing an existing roof you will want to educate yourself fully on the process.  This way if you realize that there is much more involved than you thought, you can save time and money and hire a professional roofing contractor.

You may ask why it is important to have a well-constructed roof installed.  Is it really that important to the home?  Yes, the roof is the most important component of your home.  Without care and proper installation homes can experience water damage or a variety of other issues.  A new shingle roof, installed by a professional will cost you more than doing it yourself however without proper knowledge homeowners can easily forget valuable steps in installing the roof in order to save some money upfront.  Consider that if an error is made to have it fixed is sometimes more costly than having it done by a professional from the start. However if you are set on going it alone here are some steps to follow.

  • If you are replacing an old roof remove the asphalt shingles.  Much has been written about leaving the old shingles on the roof and applying the new roof on top of it.  This is not necessarily the best option.  When you strip away the layer of shingles you are able to assess the condition of the current foundation before adding on shingles.
  • When looking at the roof foundation check the plywood out and look specifically for any water damage that may have occurred.  Any damage should be repaired by replacing the affected boards and applying all new materials for the damaged section of roof.
  • Examine the drip edges that are in place on the current roof.  If there aren’t any to be found install them, if the ones installed are in rough shape replace them.  They need to be place all along the roof line including on the bottom and sides of the roof.  They can easily be kept in place with roofing nails.
  • The next step is to install a felt paper to the plywood foundation of the roof.  A fifteen pound felt paper can be put in place using a simple staple gun.  This helps to protect the roof from building up moisture.
  • The first step when it comes to the actual asphalt shingles is to place a starter strip of shingles in place.  This will be unseen and provides a strip to prevent water from seeping in between the notches in the shingles.
  • The installation should begin in a bottom corner of your roof moving to the right and then up.  Each shingle should be put into place with a roofing nail just below the tar strip.  You will want to stagger the shingles not allowing them to line up perfectly. If they line up they will leak damaging the roofing below.
  • Any obstructions should have the roofing tiles cut around them and then tar will need to be used to seal them.
  • Shingles should be nailed in until you reach the top.  A ridge cap will be applied to the top. Tar needs to be applied to the corners of all of the ridge cap shingles to hold them in place properly.

As you can see there is a lot to installing an asphalt shingle roof.  Consider the pros and cons of any home improvement project before you embark on the adventure.  There are times when doing it yourself makes sense.  Other times though you will find in the long run you could have saved time and money hiring a professional. Installing a new roof might just be one of those times when hiring a professional is cheaper in the long run.