How to Install Shingles on a Shed

Remember that you must repeat the steps on both sides of the gabled roofing.

  1. Set up two ladders carefully at the end of the roof. Then, stretch a scaffolding plank to allow you to work comfortably.
  2. Remove the existing shingles with a pitchfork by sliding the tines under a row and prying it from the sheathing beneath. Continue until all shingles are removed. Remove any nails or staples that may remain on the roof.
  3. Cut out any damaged sections with a circular blade while wearing safety glasses. Be sure to finish the cut in the middle rafter. Replace the old sheathing with a new piece and nail it on the exposed rafters.
  4. Cut a drip edge using tinsnips to the bottom advantage of the roof. It is best to hold it against the roof lightly and then nail it into place. Keep a small space under the drip edge in order to reduce water surface tension.
  5. To create a finished appearance, cut and nail sections of drip edge up the side of your roof.
  6. Underlayment is stapled to the plywood beneath the sheathing.
  7. Cut the tabs from a few shingles. The glue strip should be at the bottom. Nail these shingles in place. Overhang the drip edge by about 1/4 inch at the bottom of the roof and 1/2 inch on each side.
  8. Use a pencil and tape measure to mark the underlayment on the left or right edge of the roof. Then, in 5-inch increments, continue marking the course. Repeat the marks on the opposite side of the roof, and snap a line between the corresponding marks.
  9. Mark the middle of the rooftop and bottom, and snap a chalk line between them. Continue to measure and mark vertical lines at 6-inch intervals left and right of the centerline.
  10. Flip the first shingle over so it is face down against the sheathing and that the shingle extends 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the roof. Use a speed square and utility knife to cut the shingle using the line furthest from the edge.
  11. The shingle should be placed so that the top edge of the shingles is on the chalk line. Use a roofing nailer or hammer to secure the shingle. Place the nails 2 inches away from the edge and slightly above the slots in between the tabs. Continue to nail shingles along the entire course.
  12. Referencing the vertical lines, continue cutting and nailing the shingles into place. Cut each shingle six inches shorter than the previous one. Flip the shingles over so that they are face down before cutting. As you work up the roof, align the top edge of each course with the next horizontal line. Repeat the same process on the opposite side of the roof.
  13. Use the slots to guide you when cutting the shingles in thirds. Start at the end of the ridge, and work your way towards the other. Bend these tabs and nail them into place to create the ridge cap.

The following resources are available to you:

Tom replaced the roof with Royal Sovereign Charcoal Resistant 3-Tab Roof Shingles. He added GAF FeltBuster 1,000 sq. ft. Synthetic Underlayment Roll. GAF produces both products.

Find roofing materials at Home Depot.

Shopping List

  • Plywood to repair the damaged sheathing
  • Drip edge
  • Roofing underlayment
  • Staples
  • Nails
  • Roofing tiles
  • Scaffolding planks
  • Pencil
  • Safety Glasses


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