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How to Install Shingles on a Shed

In this DIY Smarts project, general contractor Tom Silva shows a homeowner the proper way to reshingle an old shed’s roof.

In this video, Tom Silva helps a homeowner replace the shingles on an old shed roof that’s been leaking for some time. After discussing the signs to look for when determining the condition of a shingled roof, the two get started by removing the existing shingles and patching the damaged sheathing underneath.

How To Shingle a Shed Roof

Keep in mind that you’ll have to repeat these steps for both sides of gabled roofs.

  1. Carefully set up two ladders at one end of the shed roof and stretch a scaffold plank across so you’re able to work from a comfortable height.
  2. Use a pitchfork to remove the existing shingles by sliding the tines underneath a row of shingles and prying them from the sheathing underneath. Continue until the entire roof is free of shingles. Remove any nails or staples the might remain on the roof.
  3. Wearing safety glasses, cut any damaged sections out with a circular saw, being sure to end the cut-out in the middle of a rafter. Replace the sheathing with a piece of new sheathing and nail it to the exposed rafters.
  4. Using tin snips, cut a piece of drip edge to the length of the roof’s bottom edge. Hold it lightly against the roof and nail it in place. Maintain a small gap underneath the drip edge to break water surface tension.
  5. Cut and nail sections of drip edge up the side of the roof to create a finished look.
  6. Roll underlayment out across the sheathing and staple it to the plywood underneath.
  7. Create a starting course of shingles by carefully cutting the three tabs off of a few shingles. Flip these shingles so the glue strip is at the bottom of the roof and nail them in place. Overhang the drip edge roughly ¼ of an inch at the bottom and ½ of an inch on the sides of the roof.
  8. On the left or right edge of the roof, use a tape measure and pencil to mark the underlayment 12 inches up from the bottom edge, and then 5-inch increments for subsequent courses. Repeat these marks on the other side of the roof and snap a chalk line between corresponding marks.
  9. Mark the center of the roof at the top and bottom and snap a chalk line between the two marks. Continue measuring and marking vertical lines in 6-inch increments on the left and right of the centerline.
  10. Flip the first shingle so that it’s face-down against the sheathing and overhanging the side of the roof by ½ an inch. Using the furthest vertical line from the edge as possible for reference, use a utility knife and speed square to cut the shingle to length.
  11. Flip the shingle face-up and place it so that its top edge lands on the lowest horizontal chalk line. Nail it in place with a hammer or roofing nailer, placing the nails slightly above the slots between the tabs and 2 inches from either edge. Continue nailing shingles across the entire course.
  12. Continue cutting and nailing shingles in place, cutting each first shingle 6 inches shorter than the last, using the vertical lines for reference. Be sure to flip the shingles, so they’re face-down before cutting. Lining each course’s top edge with the next horizontal line, work your way from the bottom to the top of the roof. Repeat the process on the other side of the roof.
  13. Using the framing square and utility knife, cut the three-tab shingles into thirds, using the slots as reference. Starting at one end of the ridge and working toward the other, bend these tabs over the ridge and nail them in place to create a ridge cap.


Tom replaced the roof shingles with GAF Royal Sovereign Charcoal Algae Resistant 3-Tab Roofing Shingles. He also added GAF FeltBuster 1000 sq. ft. Synthetic Roofing Underlayment Roll. GAF manufactures both of these products.

Find roofing supplies at The Home Depot.

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