Having your own shingles roof is no longer a complex, costly and forbidding project. Anyone can construct (or outsource to a roofing contractor) a shingles roof system and enjoy the comfort and elegance of a stylish roof at affordable cost. But like any complicated work, there are certain sequences to follow and this post is to share the simple steps involved in getting your own shingles roof built. There are diverse options and a range of choice from which you must select. Being aware and informed about your choices and knowing what makes each desirable or not is the most important safeguard against being scammed or cheated.
Your shingles roof can be made of wood or metal shingles, clay or slate tiles, or even solar roof shingles. Which one is best suited to your geographical location, local climatic conditions and your budget is a matter for decision after carefully studying the pros and cons of each choice.
Selecting The Material for Your Shingles Roof
It is a relatively straightforward decision to pick the kind of roofing shingles you will use for your building. Factors like the color and shape and texture are others that govern your selection. You could be led by your own personal taste and likes, but don’t ignore other elements. Keep in mind the fact that your shingles roof must match the rest of your building’s appearance. And since the walls and accessories have probably not yet been finished, you’ll have to take a leap of imagination and see how the finished work will look – in your mind’s eye.
Your shingles roof must also match the style, architecture and decor of the building. Contemporary buildings won’t look great with avant garde roofing shingles. The color of your roofing shingles are another important element that must complement or contrast the color of your walls and other components. Of lesser consequence, but adding to the overall appeal and aesthetics, is how well the shingles roof matches your windows, doors and other design elements.
If you’d like to go even wider and design your roof to be a bigger part of the design whole of your neighborhood, you might even consider buildings around your own and see how the shingles you pick will complement and harmonize with these others in your area. The size and orientation of those buildings, how they are laid out within their property and the architecture that’s prevalent in your neighborhood all impact the decisions you’ll make about your shingles roof.
The roofing materials must also be evaluated on their own merits and advantages. Are the shingles you select durable and come with long warranties from the manufacturer? Are they easy to install and can anyone do it? Are they very expensive to order, maintain and replace? Will they provide your home the best protection against the elements, insects, and local weather extremes?
Ordering Roofing Shingles
Once you’ve decided which type of shingles you’ll use for your roof, the next step is to purchase them. To do this, you’ll need to have an estimate of how many bundles of shingles you’ll require. A rule of thumb approximation is that 3 bundles of shingles will cover 1 square of roof. This means you have to measure the surface area of your roof and then divide it by 100 to get the total number of squares to be roofed, and then multiply this by 3 to get the total number of bundles of shingles you’ll have to order.
Be sure to factor in damage from accidents or mistakes, and even incorrect estimates, and order a few extra bundles to cover this shortfall. Otherwise you may run into an unexpected delay if the manufacturer or retailer does not have the particular shingles in stock and must order it specially made for you. That will lead to the entire construction team twiddling thumbs, often for weeks, while you arrange for replacement shingles.
Don’t worry too much about being saddled with extra bundles. Most manufacturers are empathic to the difficulty of estimating materials, and will have generous return policies as long as you don’t damage the shingles. Be sure to check on this before you take delivery, though.
Building Your Shingles Roof
There are many guides to laying a shingles roof, and this will not be a comprehensive account. Instead it will simply hit the highlights, and focus more on the sequence of steps involved in roofing your home.
An often ignored first step is to carefully study the instructions provided by the shingles manufacturer. Then draw grid lines using chalk that will guide the correct placement of shingles as work proceeds up the roof. The joints between rows of shingles must be staggered to maximize the leak-proofing effect of your shingles roof. The successive rows of shingles will overlap each other to provide a good degree of protection against ice, water and wind, as well as giving better insulation against heat loss from the building.
The actual steps of laying rows of roof shingles has been detailed in other articles. One specific area to take care of is the ridge cap shingles. Making a ridge cap for the peak of your shingles roof takes some special skills and techniques. Making angled cuts along the tabs of shingles will help mold and fold them so that they can be nailed over the ridge of your shingles roof and held securely in place. An easier alternative (which is slightly more expensive) is to order ready-made ridge cap shingles that have been molded already for this purpose.
The last step is to trim overhanging edges and generally beautify the shingles roof that has been painstakingly installed. Having a roofing contractor do this job will have the best chance of ensuring that your building will be leak proof and attractive for at least 15 to 20 years. But many home owners who are handymen enjoy the task of installing their own shingles roof too.