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  • Shannon Huggins

Should I Do My Roof Myself

This is a question that we hear all the time in the roofing industry.This is a very tough question. In this article we will cover all the aspects of D.Y.I roofing, and decide if its something you actually want to take on.


The first thing you must consider is do I have the know-how to tear off and replace my roof. Believe it or not roofing is more than just buying the supplies at a local store and putting it on your house. Knowing how to install a roof is key for the manufactures of the shingles to honor the warranty for that product you purchase. If a warranty issue comes up and the rep from the manufacturer comes out and inspects the roofing job, and something is not done by their specifications there goes the warranty you paid for.


The second thing you must consider is do I have the tools for the job. now this is something that most you might have some of these tools, however if you don't you will have to go out and get the right tools for the job. here are a list of tools you are going to need

1. Nail Gun and Roofing Nails

This is probably the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about doing your roof. Of course some of you out there probably have one of these so thats a first good step.

2. Roofing Hammer

This goes right along with the nail gun, this item you need in case any nails should pop up during instillation , also you might need this if you over shoot a nail and have to remove it. So you need tool to get the job done.

3. Shingle Remover

When it comes to doing a roof your going to need one of these in order to tear off the roof to get ready to replace. This sometimes known as a shingle shovel makes removing those old shingles a snap.

4. Hammer tacker

This is the next tool in the list. your roofing project with come to a screaming halt if you don't have this tool for laying down your underlayment for your new roof.

5. Ladder

This one goes without saying if you can't get up on the roof then you darn sure can't replace it. My suggestion is if you have an older ladder then its best to go buy a new one if it starting to show signs of needing to be replaced.

6. A dumpster

For this you can get a construction dumpster, or have a dumpster attached to your truck. This is for hauling away all the debris from the tear-off and left over materials for the project.

7. Help

This is by far the most important of all the other tools simply because roofing is not a one man job. So your going to need some help unless you want this project to be completed. It also is good to have help to help load, tear-off, and replace. Time to start calling friends and family.


In this section were are going to label the things you need to install your new roofing system. All of these things may not be necessary based on your home, but i'm going to list them all.

1. Drip Edge

This is not mandatory for every house how ever it gives the roof a finished look and it prevents water from falling right down on your fascia boards.

2. Ice and Water Shield

This is an underlayment that is used to ensure that excess ice or water doesn't work its way up and under your new shingles and into the house causing leaks and damage to your new shingles.

3. Felt Paper

This is the stuff that goes on before your shingles. This also helps prevent water from getting under the shingles, also help keeps the resin from the decking from damaging the shingles. You can get it in 15 or 30 lbs, but 15 lb is usually sufficient.

4. Flashing

Flashing is metal that you put in several areas of the roof to help keep water buildup off the roof. The areas you need to concentrate on are

Roof valleys

Roof peaks

Along edges of roof and wall

Around vents

Along chimneys

5. Vents and Skylights

I recommend replacing vents when your do your roof simply because just like the roof they do get pretty worn down and could use an update along with the rest of the roof. One of the main reasons is ventilation to help maintain the life of your roof.

6. Plywood

This is not always needed, however if your walking around up there and find some soft spots your going to need to replace some plywood in order to fix those areas.

7. Shingles

Last but not least shingles, now this is totally up to you on which shingle manufacturer you want to buy from and there are to many to name so we will just keep it simple. the three types of shingles that you need to do the roof are



Ridge Cap

Labor And Safety

This to me is the biggest reasons why you shouldn't do your own roofing project. Earlier we mentioned knowledge which is important, however we must not forget safety and the labor. when it comes to roofing there are a lot of labor aspects as well as safety aspects we have to look at.

1. Labor

Lets face it roofing is not an easy job from tearing off your old roof to installing the new one. It requires a lot of heavy lifting up and down on a ladder. temperatures of 20 degrees hotter than outside, laying shingles,clearing debris. Just a lot of back breaking work.

2. Safety

This is by far the main reason I wouldn't do my own roof. When your up there depending on the roof and the conditions outside, there are so many accident possibilities. If you or your friends are doing the roof and someone gets hurt that's something you'll never be able to forget both mentally and monetary. If you still want to do it i'm going to put a list of safety equipment you should consider

  • Leave steep and/or high roof work to the pros. No amount of money you could save is worth the risk of death or a lifelong disability from a fall.

  • A fall protection kit (harness, rope and hook) only costs about $100 at home centers.

  • Wet roofs are slippery. Wear shoes with soft rubber soles for extra traction.

  • Keep the roof swept clean of dirt and debris.

  • Everyone on the ground should wear a hard hat—even the most careful worker can drop a tool off the roof.

  • Always look and call out before tossing anything down.

  • Carefully position ropes and extension cords so they’re not underfoot.

  • Check the weight rating on your ladder—it needs to hold you plus 80 lbs.

  • Extend the top of the ladder at least 3 ft. above the roof edge so you’ll have something to hang on to as you step onto and off the roof.

  • Never step on any of the ladder rungs above the roof.

  • Set up scaffolding to install the drip edge and first few courses.


In closing I know that roofing is something that has to be done, and I can't tell you not to do your own roof. All I can say is I feel this is a project is something that should be left to the pros. My outlook is based on mostly the safety and knowledge part of roofing. I don't think it's worth less money to either possibly hurting yourself or having install issues that would cost more in the long run

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