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Where To Nail Shingles Properly On A New Roof

A roof is more than just a cap over your head; it’s your home’s first line of defense against the elements. Proper installation of shingles is crucial for ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of your roof.

In this guide, we’re here to explain everything you need to know about nailing shingles during a roof installation, from:

Whether you’re considering a DIY project or seeking professional assistance, this comprehensive manual will equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions and achieve a sturdy, long-lasting roof.

Signs That You Need to Replace Your Roof

Before embarking on a roof installation project, it’s essential to assess the condition of your existing roof. Here are some signs that indicate it may be time for a replacement:

  • Age: The age of your roof is a significant factor in determining its condition. Most asphalt shingle roofs have a lifespan of 20 to 25 years. If your roof is nearing or past this age range, it’s likely due for a replacement.
  • Missing or Damaged Shingles: Inspect your roof for any missing, cracked, or curling shingles. Damaged shingles can compromise the integrity of your roof, leading to leaks and water damage.
  • Leaks and Water Stains: Water stains on your ceiling or walls are clear indicators of roof leaks. Inspect your attic for signs of water penetration, such as damp insulation or water puddles.
  • Sagging Roof Deck: A sagging or uneven roof deck suggests structural damage, which may require immediate attention. This could be caused by water damage, rot, or inadequate support.
  • Granule Loss: Check your gutters for an accumulation of granules, which are the protective layer on asphalt shingles. Excessive granule loss indicates shingle deterioration and necessitates a replacement.

Why Some Homeowners Choose a DIY Installation

With the abundance of online tutorials and home improvement resources, many homeowners are tempted to tackle roof installations as DIY projects. Here are some reasons why DIY installation appeals to certain individuals:

Cost Savings:

Hiring a professional roofing contractor can be expensive, especially for larger projects. DIY installation allows homeowners to save money on labor costs and potentially reduce overall expenses.

Sense of Accomplishment:

Completing a roofing project independently can instill a sense of pride and accomplishment. Many DIY enthusiasts enjoy the challenge of mastering new skills and seeing the tangible results of their efforts.

Flexibility and Control:

DIY installation gives homeowners full control over the timeline, materials, and design choices. They can work at their own pace and make adjustments as needed without relying on external contractors.

Learning Experience:

Engaging in a DIY roofing project provides valuable learning opportunities. Homeowners can acquire new skills, gain insights into home construction, and develop a deeper understanding of their property.

How to Install Shingles: A 6-Step DIY Guide

finger and shingles

Installing shingles requires careful planning, preparation, and execution. Follow these steps for a successful roof installation:

1) Prepare the Roof:

Clear the roof of any debris, old shingles, and protruding nails. Inspect the roof deck for damage and make necessary repairs.

2) Install Underlayment:

Lay down a waterproof underlayment, such as felt paper or synthetic membrane, to provide an additional layer of protection against moisture.

3) Start at the Bottom:

Begin installing shingles at the bottom edge of the roof, working your way upward. Use starter shingles along the eaves to provide a secure base for the rest of the shingles.

4) Nail Placement:

Position each shingle so that it overlaps the one below it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use roofing nails to secure the shingles, placing them in the designated nailing zone to ensure proper attachment.

5) Apply Flashing:

Install flashing around roof penetrations, such as chimneys, vents, and skylights, to prevent water infiltration. Secure the flashing with roofing cement or sealant to create a watertight seal.

6) Finish the Ridge:

Install ridge shingles or ridge caps along the peak of the roof to provide a finished look and enhance weather resistance.

Where to Nail Shingles for Proper Installation:

Proper nail placement is crucial for the stability and longevity of your roof. Follow these guidelines to ensure accurate nail placement during shingle installation:

Nailing Zone:

Most asphalt shingles have a designated nailing zone, typically indicated by a reinforced strip or line on the shingle. It’s essential to nail within this zone to prevent wind uplift and ensure adequate fastening.

Nail Quantity:

Use the appropriate number of nails per shingle as recommended by the manufacturer. Over- or under-nailing can compromise the shingle’s integrity and lead to premature failure.

Nail Position:

Place nails approximately 3/4 inch from the edge of the shingle and above the cutout, ensuring they penetrate the underlying roof deck. Avoid overdriving or underdriving nails, as this can weaken the shingle’s hold.

Nail Angle:

Drive nails straight into the roof deck at a perpendicular angle to ensure a secure attachment. Avoid angling the nails or driving them too deeply, as this can damage the shingle or reduce holding strength.


Maintain consistent nail placement and spacing throughout the roof installation process to achieve a uniform and professional appearance. Use a chalk line or guide to ensure straight rows and accurate alignment.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Roofing Contractor

hammer and shingles

While DIY installation may be appealing to some homeowners, hiring a professional roofing contractor offers numerous advantages:

  • Expertise and Experience: Professional roofing contractors possess the knowledge, skills, and experience required to execute complex roofing projects safely and efficiently. They understand local building codes and industry best practices, ensuring compliance and quality craftsmanship.
  • Quality Materials: Roofing contractors have access to high-quality materials and can recommend the best options based on your budget and preferences. They can also source materials at competitive prices, potentially saving you money in the long run.
  • Warranty Coverage: Many roofing contractors offer warranty coverage on both labor and materials, providing peace of mind and protection against unforeseen issues. This warranty ensures that any defects or problems are promptly addressed at no additional cost to you.
  • Time and Convenience: Hiring a professional contractor saves you time and effort by handling all aspects of the roofing project, from planning and preparation to installation and cleanup. You can rest assured that the job will be completed efficiently and on schedule, allowing you to focus on other priorities.
  • Safety Considerations: Roofing can be hazardous work, especially for inexperienced individuals. Professional contractors adhere to strict safety protocols and have the necessary equipment and training to minimize risks and prevent accidents on the job site.

Average Costs of a Roof Replacement

The cost of a roof replacement varies depending on various factors, including the size of the roof, the type of materials used, and the complexity of the installation. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $5,000 and $15,000 for a standard asphalt shingle roof replacement. However, prices can range higher for premium materials or specialized installations.

It’s essential to obtain multiple quotes from reputable roofing contractors to compare prices and ensure you’re getting a fair deal. Be wary of significantly low bids, as they may indicate subpar workmanship or inferior materials. Investing in a quality roof installation by a professional contractor is a wise long-term investment that enhances the value and durability of your home.

Let Us Nail Roofing Shingles For You!

Nailing shingles during a roof installation is a critical step in ensuring the structural integrity and weather resistance of your home. Whether you choose to tackle the project yourself or hire a professional roofing contractor, it’s essential to prioritize proper installation techniques and quality materials. By following the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive manual, you can achieve a sturdy, long-lasting roof that provides reliable protection for years to come.

Remember to assess your roof’s condition regularly and address any signs of damage promptly to avoid costly repairs or replacements in the future. Roof shingles getting out of hand? Let Greentek Roofing handle them for you! Contact us today to get started.


“GreenTek was awesome to work with. My rep James was easy to get in contact with and answered all my questions and made the process quick and smooth. The roof came out great and everything was finished on time and they handled everything with my insurance company so I didn’t have to. It made the process stress free for me.”

-Dylan O.

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