Installing a Roof? – The Basic Steps

If you're looking for information on installing a roof, you've come to the right place. Although every step does not apply to every project, here is an overview of the basics …

Installing a Roof: Step # 1 – Planning

  • Who's going to do the work?
  • What type of roofing will you install?
  • When will you do the work?
  • Where will you get the roofing materials?
  • Why choose one type of roofing over another?
  • How will you proceed with the work?

Installing a Roof: Step # 2 – Estimating

  • Create a "birds-eye" sketch of the roof.
  • Measure the slope of the roof.
  • Measure the length of every hip, ridge, valley, eave and rake.
  • Measure the faster length of each roof section.
  • Determine size and type of pipes, vents and other flashings required.
  • Take "before" pictures.
  • Calculate the square foot of the roof area.

Installing a Roof: Step # 3 – Purchasing

  • Create a list of materials needed.
  • Get at least three quotes for material prices.
  • Order the materials.
  • Receive delivery and loading of the materials.
  • Purchase or rent any special tools required.

Installing a Roof: Step # 4 – For Roofovers

  • Determine that the existing roof has no more than two layers.
  • Determine that the condition of the existing roof can accommodate a roofover.
  • Install new drip edge.
  • Install new valley metal.
  • Install new gooseneck vents and pipe flashings.
  • Remove hips and ridges.

Installing a Roof: Step # 5 – For Tear Offs

  • Remove the old roofing down to the bare wood.
  • Remove all protruding fasteners.

Installing a Roof: Step # 6 – Carpentry

  • Repair any deteriorated sheathing, framing and / or fascia.
  • Renail roof sheathing as needed to meet code.
  • Cut out ridge vents slots as needed.

Installing a Roof: Step # 7 – Underlayment

  • Install underlayment over entity roof deck.
  • Temporarily seal all vents, pipes and other flashings.

Installing a Roof: Step # 8 – For Flat Roofs

  • Remove existing roof down to the bare wood.
  • Repair any deteriorated wood.
  • Install tapered system as needed.
  • Install base sheet, with nail pattern per code.
  • Install self-adhering mid-ply.
  • Install and prime drip edge and flashings.
  • Have "In-Progress" Inspection
  • Install self-adhering cap sheet.

Installing a Roof: Step # 9 – Flashing

  • Tack on the drip edge with 3 "minimum lap.
  • Check appearance from ground.
  • Nail off drip edge, with nails no more than 6 "apart.
  • Install valley metal and wall flashings.
  • Install new gooseneck vents and pipe flashings.
  • Have "Dry-in" Inspection.

Installing a Roof: Step # 10 – Layout

  • Measure for vertical and horizontal lines.
  • Chalk red layout lines on underlayment.

Installing a Roof: Step # 11 – Shingle

  • Install "ice and water shield" where required.
  • Install starter strips.
  • Install field shingles.
  • Install cap shingles on hips and ridges.

Installing a Roof: Step # 12 – Ventilation

  • Layout ridge vent slots.
  • Cut out slots.
  • Caulk around slots with flashing cement.
  • Install ridge vents with corrosion-resistant screws and grommeted washers.

Installing a Roof: Step # 13 – Cleanup and Final Inspection

  • Remove any debris from roof and gutters.
  • Clean up ground.
  • Haul away debris.
  • Return any leftover materials.
  • Take "after" pictures.
  • Have Final Inspection.

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