Shop incredible Black Friday deals now! Hurry, event ends December 3.  Shop event.

How to Shingle a Shed Roof

A person nails shingles onto a shed roof.

Protect your wooden shed from the elements by installing roof shingles. Asphalt shingles keep water out of a shed through their overlapping design and water shedding capabilities. They are installed in overlapping layers, starting from the bottom, which ensures that water flows down the roof surface without seeping into the underlying layers, creating a protective barrier that effectively keeps water out of the shed.

We’ll show you how to install shingles in this handy guide.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Important: Always check with your local council to ensure compliance with local requirements, including building code requirements, proper material handling and usage requirements, site condition limitations, and health and safety requirements. Before installing manufacturer specific products, refer to the manufacturer’s installation instructions and product warranty terms, as well as your home insurance policy terms and conditions.

  1. Step 1 Remove Old Shingles and Prep the Area

    A person removes old shingles from their shed before installing new ones.

    When removing old shingles from your shed, first you’ll need to clear the area of any debris and be sure to use a sturdy ladder. Then gather the necessary tools such as a roofing shovel or a shingle removal tool to help carefully and efficiently lift and remove the old shingles.

    As you remove the shingles, inspect the roof for any signs of damage or leaks, paying close attention to the underlying structure. If you come across any issues, address them promptly by repairing or replacing damaged areas and sealing any leaks to ensure a solid foundation for the new shingles to adhere to.

  2. Step 2 Install Drip Edges

    A person installs drip caps on their shed.

    Drip edges or drip caps are important when shingling a roof because they provide a protective barrier against water infiltration by directing water away from vulnerable areas, such as the roof edges. They help prevent water damage, rot, and potential leaks, enhancing the overall durability and longevity of the shed.

    To install drip edges on your shed, start by measuring and cutting the drip edge material to fit the edges of the shed roof. Place the drip edges along the eaves and gable edges, ensuring they extend slightly beyond the roof edge.

    Secure them with appropriate fasteners, such as roofing nails or screws, at 10-inch intervals using 1-inch roofing nails. Remember that your drip edge should be installed beneath the underlayment along the eaves of the roof.

  3. Step 3 Staple the Roofing Felt to the Sheathing

    A person unrolls roofing felt on their roof.

    Using roofing felt when shingling a roof provides an extra layer of protection against moisture, acts as a vapor barrier, and helps create a smoother surface for the subsequent installation of shingles. When installing the roofing felt, start with a double layer along the eaves and work up toward the ridge, or the peak, of the roof. Overlap the strips by about 2 inches at the edges and by 4 inches at the ends. Drive 1-inch roofing nails every 10 inches.

  4. Step 4 Install a Starter Course of Shingles

    A person installs the first row of shingles in their shed.

    A straight starting line of shingles is a crucial aspect of the roofing installation process. To create the starting line, measure up from the eaves according to the manufacturer's instructions and snap a chalk line to ensure a straight reference point.

    When using 3-tab shingles for the starter course, it is important to cut off the tabs, leaving a straight edge. This allows for a seamless transition between the starter course and the subsequent shingle rows. Precise cutting of the 3-tab shingles can be done using a utility knife or specialized shingle-cutting tools.

    Nail the shingle in place with four nails so the shingle overlaps the drip cap on the end and bottom of the roof by 1/2 to 3/4 inch. Continue nailing cut shingles along the bottom row to create a solid strip of shingles at the bottom of the roof.

  5. Step 5 Install a Second Row of Shingles

    A person installs the second row of shingles on their shed.

    Align the bottom edge of the second row of shingles with the top edge of the starter course. Ensure that the shingles are properly positioned with an overhang of about 1/2 to 3/4 inch beyond the eaves.

    Secure the shingles in place using roofing nails or staples, following the manufacturer's guidelines for placement and quantity. Ensure that each shingle is properly aligned and overlapping the previous row.

    Carefully continue installing subsequent rows, ensuring consistent alignment and offset. Attention to detail during the installation of the second row and subsequent rows of shingles is essential to maintain the integrity and aesthetic appeal of the roof while providing effective water resistance and protection for the structure.

  6. Step 6 Finish Installing Shingles on One Side of the Roof

    A person is shingling a shed roof with a nail gun.
    A person shingles a roof.

    Trim the first shingle of every row so it is 6 inches shorter than the first shingle of the previous row. Start the 7th row with a full shingle, and then begin shortening the first shingles in 6-inch increments again. Work your way all the way up the roof in this manner until you get to the ridge.

  7. Step 7 Shingle the Roof Ridge and Move to the Other Side

    A person uses a utility knife to cut a shingle.
    A worker holds a shingle in their hands.

    Measure and cut the ridge shingles to fit the length of the ridge. Carefully align the first ridge shingle with the edge of the roof and secure it with roofing nails, ensuring it is placed near the top of the ridge.

    Continue overlapping each subsequent ridge shingle, typically following the manufacturer's recommended overlap distance. To create a clean and smooth ridge line, bend the ridge shingles over the ridge and secure them with nails, keeping them hidden and near the edges.

    When you’ve got them installed, inspect them for any exposed nails and cover them with roofing cement or caulk to prevent water penetration, then trim the overhanging edges for a more finished look.

What You Need for This Project

Related Resources