Whether you're replacing a few damaged shingles or starting a complete reroofing job, the following step-by-step instructions can make your project easier. Take a few minutes to read the instructions carefully before starting, and you can save time, money and effort while completing a better job.







  • A roof valley is formed where two roofs join at an angle. You must be careful when shingling in this area - an improperly laid roof valley can easily develop leaks.
  • Valleys should be covered with a mineral-surfaced, roll roofing material (Fig. 1).
  • First, place an 18" wide strip or metal flashing down the center of the valley, from the eaves to the top of the ridge.
  • Nail this material down on the outer edges only, making sure that it stays flat in the valley.
  • Place roofing cement along each edge.
  • Next, lay a 36" wide strip of the roofing material down on top of the previous strip, and nail its outer edges.
  • Snap two chalk lines down the edge of the valley. Start at the ridge, with the lines centered in the valley and 6" apart. As you move down the roof, spread the lines apart, about 1/8" per foot, down to the eaves.
  • Now you're ready to apply shingles. Lay them down to the edge of the chalk lines, and cut them to fit (Fig. 2).
  • Place the end of each shingle in roofing cement to seal it before nailing it into position.
  • Do not nail shingles closer than 6" to the chalk lines.


  • Applying new asphalt shingles on a complete roofing job, or on new construction, requires a layer of 15-lb. roofing felt over 5/8" plywood sheathing.
  • Each course of the roofing felt should overlap the preceding course by at least 2" to provide adequate weatherproofing protection.
  • Staple the felt underlayment into position, starting at the edge of the eaves and extending up to the roof ridge.

  • First, locate the exact center of the roof and mark it with a chalk line.
  • Next, install a starter strip along the bottom edge of the roof. Many manufacturers offer a special starter strip; however, if you don't have this strip, you can cut the tabs off the shingles and use the shingles to form a starter strip. (Fig. 3).
  • The starter strip should project out over the eaves and the gable end by about 5/8".
  • After the starter strip is in place, again locate the exact center of the roof and mark it with a chalk line.
  • Center your first shingle on the chalk line - directly on top of the starter strip - and nail it into position (Fig. 4).
  • Use four nails in each shingle, located in the position shown in Fig. 5. Always drive the nails straight in and never at an angle, as they could cut the shingle and cause leaks.
  • Place the nails about 5 5/8" up from the bottom of the shingle.
  • Each succeeding shingle should bump up against the center shingle. Continue applying the shingles to the end of the roof in each direction (Fig. 6).


  • After the first course of shingles has been laid on top of the starter strip, snap down a chalk line at the manufacturer's specified exposure, usually 5", to aid in applying shingles.
  • Continue snapping down chalk lines until you reach the ridge of the roof. This simplifies the job of laying each succeeding course of shingles in a straight line.
  • Start the second course of shingles on top of the first course. Place the cut-out over the center of the middle tab on the center shingle.
  • Remember, a shingle cut-out must never fall directly over another cut-out in the row immediately below it.
  • Continue placing shingles in the second to the end of the roof in each direction.
  • Start at the center of the roof for the third course of shingles. Again, place the cut-out over the center tab on the preceding row, and continue to the end of the roof.
  • Follow this procedure until you reach the ridge of the roof. Then start on the other side of the roof in the same way you started the first side.

  • The easiest way to finish around vent pipes is to purchase a vent pipe boot That slides down over the vent pipe. It consists of a rubber gasket and metal flashing. If you do not have a vent pipe boot, follow these directions.
  • Place mineral-surfaced roofing material or metal flashing around the vent pipe before laying any shingles.
  • Cut a square of flashing material with at least 6" of edge around the vent pipe (Fig. 7).
  • Cut a hole in the center of the flashing that's large enough to fit over the vent pipe. Coat the bottom side with roofing cement, slip it over the vent pipe and nail it into position.
  • Lay shingles up to the vent pipe, completely covering the edge of the flashing material. Set the ends of the shingles in roofing cement.
  • Cut a hole in the shingle that goes over the vent pipe, apply roofing cement to the bottom, and nail it into position (Fig. 8).
  • Repeat the procedure on the next course of shingles if they, too, overlap the vent pipe.

  • Place mineral-surfaced roofing material or aluminum flashing around the edge of a chimney before shingles are positioned.
  • On older roofs, you can use the old flashings for a pattern. On new roofs, use Fig. 9 as a guide for cutting the flashing.
  • Fit the new flashing around the base of the chimney, then cement and nail it into place.
  • Cut flashing strips into pieces measuring 7" x 10", then bend them in half to 7" x 5".
  • Place these flashing strips against the chimney, seal the edge with roofing cement, and nail into place.
  • Apply shingles up to the edge of the chimney, seal the edge with roofing cement, and nail the shingles near the edge of the flashings (Fig. 10).

  • Each course of shingles applied to the hip roof should be continued around the roof (Fig. 11).
  • Trim each shingle to the angle of the hip ridge.
  • Use regular hip shingles or cut standard shingles (three-cut)to cover the hip ridge.
  • Cover the hip ridge before the main roof ridge (Fig. 12).
  • Start at the eave, and apply hip shingles at the same exposure as the main roof.
  • Use two shingles to start the run on the hip ridge (Fig. 13).
  • Use four nails per shingle and leave no nails exposed.
  • When placing the last hip shingle on the main ridge, seal it with roofing cement and nail it into position.


Shingles Hammer Carpenter's Apron #15 Felt Roofing Ridge Shingles Asphalt Roofing Cement
Copper or Aluminum Flashing Material Soft Soled Shoes Level Clean-up Cloth Roofing Nails Chalk Line
#90 Mineral Surface Roofing Tin Snips Ladder Work Gloves Safety Rope Hand Cleaner

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this on-line brochure has been furnished by the National Retail Hardware Association. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither the NRHA nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.