Roofing Installation

Having the right roof is an investment in your home’s value and energy efficiency. A knowledgeable roofing team can walk you through the options that best suit your goals, architecture, and budget.


A lot of the time spent on a roofing project is spent on labor. The more complex the roof, the longer it will take to replace. Visit to learn more.

Roofs protect a home or commercial building and the people inside from the elements: sun, rain, sleet, snow, dust and dirt. They can be constructed of wood, tin or metal and come in various shapes, sizes and materials. The choice of roofing materials depends on cost, building ordinances, neighborhood conventions and personal preferences. A good roof is durable and low-maintenance and can last many years.

The most basic roofing materials include rolled and built-up roofing, asphalt shingles, clay tiles and slate. These are commonly used for residential roofs, but each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, clay tiles are watertight and long-lasting, but they can be expensive to install. Slate is a sturdy material that withstands the elements, but it’s heavy and requires a skilled stonemason to cut and install.

Roofing materials also include roofing underlayment, such as rubber, felt and plastic, and roof cement. The underlayment helps prevent the formation of leaks, while the cement seals the seams and joints in the roofing. The cement can be purchased in small quantities from a hardware store, but it’s best to purchase a larger amount and use it in stages. You should apply the first layer of cement after laying the underlayment and before installing the first row of shingles.

You’ll also need a few hand tools to tear off the existing roof and lay down the new one. These include a shovel and pry bar, but a screwdriver is more useful for precise work. A pitchfork is also helpful for pulling up shingle pieces that are stuck together.

A roofing contractor needs a vehicle to transport the tools and equipment to the job site. A van or pickup truck with a covered bed is ideal for hauling the equipment and supplies. A roofer should also have a large trash can or dumpster to hold the old roofing materials. A good dumpster should have a lid that locks to keep critters from getting into it. A tarp is also necessary to protect the ground and landscaping when stacking shingle bundles outdoors.


The roofing process involves tearing off the old roof, installing new underlayment, shingles and sometimes flashing. Roofing contractors use heavy equipment, large ladders, hammers and nail guns, as well as a host of other tools. These tools and the work site can cause vibrations that may shake loose items inside your home. To prevent this, be sure to remove or secure valuables and heirlooms in attic spaces before the job begins. It’s also a good idea to back up computer files and take down hanging decorations that could become dislodged during the installation process.

Similarly, you should make arrangements to move outdoor furniture, toys and other items that are in close proximity to your house. Roofing professionals need to walk all around the house to reach various points on the roof, and you don’t want them tripping over these items or knocking them over as they work. Clear a 15-foot area around your house and yard to provide enough space for these workers.

Additionally, you should trim any trees that hang low near your roof and cut the grass a day before the roofing crew arrives. This will help keep fallen debris from hiding in your lawn, making cleanup faster and more thorough.

Another preparation step is to test and mark accessible power outlets for the roofing crew. It’s helpful to have one exterior outlet available, and if possible, this should be on the side of the house away from windows. This is so the crew can plug in extension cords without having to open windows or risk breaking a window frame or other fixture.

It’s important to know that the roofing crew will be using a lot of electricity, so having a reliable outlet is essential. This is especially important if you have electrical appliances like ceiling fans or lights on the outside of your house that will need to be turned off during the roofing process.

Lastly, you should make arrangements for children and pets to be out of the house during the roofing process. Roofing is noisy and jarring, and it’s not safe for young children or pets to be around the noise and tripping hazards that are inevitable with this type of construction. It’s best to plan ahead for their care, so you don’t have to interrupt their naps and other routines.


The layout of your roofing project is as important as the materials used in it. It determines the way the panels are laid out, where the seams land and where penetrations (such as pipes) will go. The layout also determines how many rows of cutout slots you need for skylights, vents and chimneys.

Choosing where to set control lines on the roof is also critical. Although starting the lines in the center of the roof minimizes cutout drift, this approach can cost more because shingle waste and trimming labor increase. It’s better to start the first set of control lines a full shingle width from one rake edge and duplicate them at the other end of the roof.

You can make your control-line marks with either a marker, tape measures left in place on the roof or leave-in-place layout tape that gets shingled over. The marker method is time-consuming and can be difficult on hot days, when the underlayment tar may absorb chalk markings or disappear altogether if you snap the lines too far in advance.


The roofing installation process starts with removing the old shingles and preparing the roof deck. Any damaged sections of the deck will need to be repaired or replaced before the new shingles can be installed. An underlayment is then put over the deck to provide an extra layer of protection against water infiltration. This can be made of a variety of materials, including asphalt-saturated felt or synthetic membranes.

Next, the shingles are put in place. Some types of shingles require the use of a special tool for nailing them down, while others can simply be pressed into place. If there are any valleys in the roof, specialized shingle caps can be used to prevent leaks in these areas. Once the shingles are in place, flashing is placed around any chimneys or vents and a final inspection is performed.

A ridge vent or soffit vent can be added to the roof to allow for airflow and help prevent moisture buildup. These ventilation systems can also be helpful for regulating the temperature in the home and cutting energy costs.

Once the shingles are in place, they will be nailed down with a pattern that starts with close nails at the edges of the shingle and then spreads out towards the center. Nails are typically spaced around eight to ten inches apart.

Re-roofing can be a complex process, and it’s important to have the right tools and materials for the job. A professional roofing contractor will be able to handle the project quickly and efficiently, providing you with an improved roof that protects your home and increases its value. Before reroofing, it’s a good idea to cover any plants near the roof with plastic sheeting and have a rolloff dumpster delivered.