7 Steps for Roof Installation

Most people get overwhelmed whenever they face the task of having to roof a home. If a homeowner is willing to invest their time and resources in the process, they can do simple roof installation. The roofers are qualified to perform any roof repair or installation provided they’ve got all the necessary supplies, tools, and materials and are keen on every relevant roofing detail.

What’re the common types of roofing materials?

Before starting any roof installation project, one needs first to familiarize themselves with the different kinds of roofing materials. One will find so many components in the market, but it’s important to note that not all of them will suit their home. Each roof has its advantages, especially in matters regarding durability, cost, and general lifespan. If one isn’t careful, they may land on a roofing material today and still find themselves in the market in less than a decade. Learn about these materials and see the most suitable one for a home. Whenever one goes shopping for these materials, they must not forget the budget. Pick the best one whose price is wallet-friendly.

Now, before getting to the roof installation process, one needs to learn about the following materials to determine the best one for their roof:

  • Felt
  • Gravel and tar
  • TPO
  • EPDM
  • Metal
  • PVC
  • Asphalt


This paper is a single-ply membrane that protects against various weather elements such as rain, snow, and ice, among others. The installation process for the felt using roofing staples and nails is quite simple. The advantage of roofing felt – highly porous absorbent paper – is that it works perfectly with any roofing shakes and shingles. The material is easily affordable at $0.39 per sq ft. It also has a lifespan of at least 20 years.

The roofing has the following advantages to the homeowner:

  • Easy installation
  • Works effectively with most types of shakes and shingles
  • Inexpensive
  • Long lifespan of over 20 years

Get Your Roof Installation Right the First Time!

Get a detailed overview of asphalt roofing and shingle installation from Roofing Northern CA. Learn how to install shingles and other roofing components.

Gravel and Tar

Most people of the early centuries used gravel and tar to make flat stones. Builders in today’s world use these materials to make corrosion-resistant and waterproofing roofing material. The reason why most homeowners prefer tar and gravel to any other roofing material is its long durability. The roofs made using tar and gravel are cheap, costing $4 per square meter. They also have a long lifespan of up to 40 years.

Here’re some of their benefits:

  • Waterproof
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Heavy and strong
  • Durable
  • Long lifespan


This Thermoplastic Polyolefin – TPO – is a hybrid and well-strengthened membrane that introduces watertight seals around the roof. The TPO is thick, making the roof to resist various weather elements such as ice, snow, and rain. The roof material is also retardant to fire, making it a bit more costly than other materials. It also has an average lifespan of over 20 years.

The following are some of the advantages of Thermoplastic Polyolefin to residential homes:

  • Thick enough to resist ice, rain, and snow
  • Fire-retardant
  • Highly durable


EPDM alias Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer is a roofing component with thick membranes. These thick membranes are in high demand by most roofing contractors. The material is inexpensive, going for $0.80 per square foot. The best thing with EPDM is that it provides excellent house insulation alongside blocking the UV rays from the sun. These roofs also have a long lifespan of up to 30 years.

The following are some of the benefits of EPDM roofs:

  • Affordable
  • Has thick membranes thus recommended by most roofing contractors
  • Offers excellent home insulation
  • Blocks UV rays from the sun from reaching the interior of the roof
  • Long lifespan of around 30 years


One can’t claim to know about how to roof a house without first knowing the most natural way of doing so with the most robust roofing materials. If one wishes to have a sturdy roof, then the metal is the material to pick. Aluminum and steel roofs have a long lifespan of between 30 and 50 years. One can efficiently perform minor metal roof repairs. While metal roofs are more expensive compared to other roof types, their long durability is promising, thus suitable to someone who prioritizes quality over budget.

Here’re the benefits of metal roofs:

  • It’s the most durable roofing material
  • Aluminum and steel roofs have a long lifespan of 30 to 50 years
  • Simple to install and repair


Most companies use polyvinyl chloride material, one of the applications being the roofing industry. Most roofing contractors love PVC roofing material due to their strength. Commercial and residential roofers use PVC due to their long lifespan of over 30 years. It’s also durable; thus, homeowners won’t have to worry hurrying back to the stores to purchase new roofs. Due to their quality properties, PVC roofs are expensive.

The following are some of the benefits of PVC roofs over other materials:

  • Long lifespan of up to 30 years
  • Long durability
  • Sturdy roofing material


Asphalt is the most used material in building structural decks and bridges. It’s less expensive than metal roofs but has a longer lifespan of over 50 years. While most people like asphalt roofs for their long durability, this positive quality comes with an unpleasant price due to their heavyweight, calling for specialized support. Other than slope seams and asphalt shingles, homeowners can as well consider taking a look at some other shingles from sturdy and more attractive materials.

The benefits of asphalt shingles include:

  • Strong
  • Longer lifespan of over 50 years
  • Heavy and durable
  • Cost less than metal roofs

Roof Installation Tools

Even with the right roofing materials, the roofer can’t start a roof installation project without having the necessary roofing tools. Any roofing expert who knows how to install a roof must have the following tools and equipment. These tools are essential as they ensure both the roofer’s safety and perfect roofing installation, which, in turn, leaves the client satisfied with the excellent job on their property.

The roofing contractor must arm themselves with all these tools before starting the project:

  • Pry bars
  • Chalk line
  • Tin snips
  • Saws
  • Roof adhesive
  • Power nailer
  • Framing square
  • Roofing shower
  • Roofing hatchet
  • Hammer tacker

Roof Installation Process

Now that the roofing contractor has armed themselves with the right tools and roofing materials, it’s high time to start on the roof installation process. Learn the basics of roof installation, courtesy of Roofing Northern CA.

When homeowners get to the point of installing a roof, they get a lot of overwhelming information about how to do it. There’re a lot of online videos and websites going into great detail on how one can simply and effectively install their roof. In this article from Roofing Northern CA, they aim to help homeowners make sense of the available roof installation details by highlighting the primary steps and an outline of the fundamental purpose of each component of the roofing system.

The following are the seven practical steps on how to roof a house:

  • Obtain building permits and identify the local building codes
  • Shop for the roofing materials for the project
  • Remove the old roof
  • Install flash roof valleys and drip molding
  • Mark nail spacing using a chalk
  • Put roof adhesive on exposed nails
  • Allow the rooftop to dry and enjoy the new roof

Obtain Building Permits and Identify the Local Building Codes

In the modern age, one can’t wake up to establish a roof installation project without knowing the building regulations of the residential area. Before setting up the roofing project, check the residential building codes. Some cities require their residents to use specific roofing materials or a particular number of roofing shingles. Identifying the local building codes ensures the aesthetic continuity of the residence. It also prevents potential accidents. This safety measure explains some of the reasons why obtaining building permits is essential.

To be precise, getting building permits helps one to:

  • Maintain the aesthetic continuity of the community
  • Prevent risks from adverse weather elements
  • Identify the building norm in a community

Shop for the Roofing Materials for the Project

Builders should research the roofing materials they need earlier and find the ones that’ll work for their estimated budgets. They also need to do it to ensure that the materials they pick are the right ones for their property. When shopping for these items, it’s important to note that roofing materials have varying difficulties in terms of shingling and installation. Roofing contractors should, therefore, consider gauging their roofing installation skills before settling on a roofing material.

Some of the most accessible roofing materials to install are:

  • Shingles
  • Roofing felt
  • Metal roofs
  • Any roofing beginner can easily install roofs made of these materials.

Remove the Old Roof

One can’t install new roofs when the old ones are still in place. If the homeowner is constructing a new home and is about to build their rooftop, then, by all means, skip removing the old roof. One should use relevant roofing tools to remove the old rooftop to install new ones. Such tools include:

  • Pry bars
  • Roof staples
  • Fasteners
  • Nails

With these tools, removing the old roof from the house becomes a hassle-free process.

Place the waste obtained from the demolished roof into the roofing shovel. If the old roof has fasteners and screws that are hardened or rusted, the roofer should consider hammering the pry bar to loosen the rusted material. One should frequently break from this challenging task to create time to dispose of the waste placed in the shovel into a dumpsite or trash bin.

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Install Flash Roof Valleys and Drip Molding

Drip molding is crucial as it leads the rainwater to the roof gutters. At this stage, one needs to use a chalk line and roofing nails. To install the flash roof valleys and drip molding, align the drip mold making sure to space the installation nails 12 inches apart from each other. Mark the spaces with the chalk and start nailing. One will still need to nail down the roof valley flashing in this manner.

Mark Nail Spacing Using A Chalk

Some roofing materials will require the roofer to use nails to fasten them to the roof. Such materials include:

  • Roofing felt
  • TPO
  • EPDM
  • Metal roofs
  • Synthetic roofs

This stage requires the roofing contractor to use the same skill they used in the drip mold stage, using chalk lines to mark the points they need to nail. One should make sure that they space the nails by 6 inches.

The roofer should then spread the seams of the roofing material across the surface of the roof. Allow the seams to overlap by half an inch. That’ll help to introduce roof insulation as well as create a watertight barrier.

Put Roof Adhesive On Exposed Nails

Roofing adhesive serves several essential purposes. They include:

  • Protecting the nails against harsh weather conditions
  • Creating watertight seals around exposed nails

To ensure that it helps these purposes efficiently, one should apply the roofing adhesive using the application instrument that comes with it. Make sure to do it in all areas where nails are visible.

Allow the Roof to Dry and Enjoy the New Roof

Now that the roofing contractor has applied the roofing adhesive to hide the nails, it’s now the time to allow it to dry. Afterward, perform a thorough inspection of the roof to ensure that the work is perfect.

At the post-inspection stage, one will be checking on several things. They include:

  • Loose nails
  • Sections with cracked roofing adhesives
  • Excess roofing seams
  • Areas that need redressing

One should repeat the post-inspection process until they resolve all possible issues with the roof installation.

Thinking of roof installation can be overwhelming sometimes. The roofer should be keen to follow these precise steps to ensure a smooth installation process. Accurate following and adherence to these simple steps will ensure that one has installed a roof with maximum capabilities and extended lifespan, without usual troubles.

Installing a Roof Like a Pro!

Is the roofer stranded in a roofing task? Have a look at different roof installation methods available with professional roofing contractors.

Roof Installation Methods

The roofing industry associations and manufacturers haven’t shown interest in suggesting a practical DIY approach to installing roofs in residential homes. While they haven’t indicated any promising approach, chances are they have a good reason for it.

The following are some of the reasons:

  • They consider working at higher heights dangerous
  • Roofing job requires a crew of roofers
  • Installation problems often void the warranty of the products

These problems, together with having to pack-mule heavy shingles onto a hot roof, are good enough to discourage most homeowners from installing their roofs.

The roof installation process is something every property owner needs to understand right. If one has got no idea on how to do it, they may suffer costly damages in case of roof leakages. For this reason, any beginner getting into the roofing industry needs to get professional guidance first before experimenting on a project. They may only attend to simple roofs with small or moderate pitches on workshops, sheds, and tiny homes.

Based on the roofing types, roofers can dramatically employ varied techniques. Whether one intends to install the roof themselves or hire a pro, roofing revolves around these four installation methods:

  • Asphalt roofing
  • Composite roofing
  • Metal roofing
  • Cedar shake and shingle

Asphalt Roofing

This roof type is the most popular roofing method in San Francisco. The technique involves applying a single or sometimes two layers of asphalt shingles on an existing blanket on the roofing system. Under asphalt roofing, the roofer installs new shingles without necessarily removing the old ones, thus making this method the most preferred DIY roofing project.

Installing large shingles is advantageous as they cover larger areas than smaller shingles. This method helps speed up the installation process. Modern architectural asphalt shingles provide a three-dimensional design resembling the aesthetic outlooks of the wood shake.

Benefits of asphalt roofing include:

  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Readily available in multiple colors
  • Modern asphalt shingles feature 3-D design, mimicking wood shake design

Metal Roofing

Most homeowners take metal roofs as their favorite due to various reasons. First, when one installs the roof correctly, it’ll stick to its place for a lifetime.

One can get metal roofing products like shakes, shingles, standing-seam panels, or tiles. They’re also available in a wide range of colors. The good thing about metal roofs is that they’re lightweight; thus, one can install them over existing roofing materials.

Many homeowners scramble for metal roofs. Why is it so? Metal roofs have high demand because of they:

  • Are easy to install
  • Have a long lifespan
  • Are available in many forms such as shingles, tiles, standing-seam panels, and shakes
  • Come in a wide array of colors
  • Are lightweight

Cedar Shake and Shingle

Shingle roofing or authentic cedar shakes provide classic outlooks, high insulation value, and strong wind resistance. They also make them renewable material. Other than renewal property, cedar shakes and shingles are durable, have natural outlooks, and come with a 50-year warranty.

Most modern builders and homeowners have a special feeling for these roofing products. The following are some of the reasons:

  • Classic looks
  • Strong and wind-resistant
  • Offer high insulation value
  • Renewable
  • Highly durable
  • Natural outlooks
  • 50-year warranty

Installing Asphalt Shingles: What Do Homeowners Need to Know?

Various things will work against one’s roofing material. Such things include:

  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Hail
  • Wind
  • Sun
  • Rain

From their attack, the early signs of wearing out of the asphalt shingles will first appear on the gutters. To tell if one’s roofing material is on the edge of breaking down, the homeowner can take a handful of debris out of the duct. If they still leave a handful of sand, then there’s no doubt that the roofing product is at the finishing line of its life.

What does the sand in the gutter have to do with the asphalt shingles?

Well, the sand collecting in the drain is the granules of the asphalt shingles of the roof. The roofing granules form an outer protective layer on the roofing shingles. Without these granules, the lifespan of the shingles is much less and dramatically reduced.

Pro Tips for Installing Asphalt Roofing Shingles

The first thing is to know the basics of asphalt shingles, and the next thing is to understand the installation tips. Here, emphasis will be on two common types of asphalt shingles:

  • Standard 3-tab shingles
  • Architectural shingles

Standard 3-Tab Shingles

These are the most common and economical shingle options for roof building. They’re also ideal for homeowners looking for a reliable roofing product but don’t mind so much about the roof’s aesthetics. The standard 3-tab shingle roof is durable, affordable, and, more importantly, available in a wide array of colors. These’re excellent choices for someone planning on selling their home in the next decade. It’s also suitable for a homeowner without a budget for an architectural shingle or designer.

The advantages of standard 3-tab shingles include:

  • Economical
  • Reliable
  • Inexpensive
  • Durable
  • Available in multiple color options

Architectural shingles

They’re also known as dimensional shingles or laminated shingles. These shingles make them with premium materials, thus are reliable in providing exceptional durability. They also come with a rock-solid warranty.

If someone wants their roof to become an integral part of the interior décor of their building or a home, the architectural shingle is a perfect option. The shingles characterize various attractive features such as:

  • Colors
  • Patterns
  • Textures

Roofing Northern CA installs architectural shingles that’ll mimic the excellent outlooks of slates, tiles, or even cedar shakes. They also sell and install 3-tab shingle roofing materials from leading and reputable manufacturers; thus, they guarantee the homeowner top-notch roof installation products and services.

Can Homeowners Install Their Roof?

Roofing installation isn’t a joke; it’s hard work. From its elements, even the most daring homeowner will shy away from roofing their house without a professional’s help. One general rule in roofing is that one can’t be afraid of heights and still be pretty fit in roof installation.

Before committing themselves to this challenging task, homeowners who feel that hiring a pro is a waste of money and time can get a ladder and climb to the top of their roof. If they can’t walk comfortably on the roof, then they should consider hiring a pro to perform the task.

Set The Standard of California’s Roofing Style

Roofing Northern CA is a local residential roofing contractor that creates energy-efficient houses that embody San Francisco’s comfortable and laid-back lifestyle. Its roofing skills are exceptional, and it’s always eager to attend to new projects that’ll put their expertise and knowledge to test. While Cosmic Renovation & Roofing Company strives to offer roofing materials with a lifespan of 30 years, Roofing Northern CA provides such materials with a lifespan of over 50 years.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The roofer lays a run off starter shingles below the roof and uses roofing nails to nail them firmly in place. They fasten the shingles some inches away from the roof border. It’s common practice for starter shingles to face them down on the two roof opposing sides before contractors secure them on the rooftop with nails a few inches from the edge.

If one needs a new roof above their heads, they’ll need to hire a professional roofing contractor. Installing one’s new rooftop isn’t recommended, especially if one can’t stand comfortably on their roof cover and has no prior experience working on roofs.

Usually, 50-year shingles won’t improve the resale value of one’s home over 25 or 30-year shingles. One should, therefore, determine their needs and budget first before investing in the roof cover.

One can do it by placing nails in the 3-tab shingles about 3-4 inches above the cutouts. One should take care not to nail into the tar strip.

Roof flashing directs water away from critical areas of the rooftop, such as skylights, chimneys, and vents.