How to Install Wood Shingles | This Old House

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all right so the other day you guys

helped install the mineral wool

insulation five inches of it on the roof

and then on top of that you put 5/8

sheathing on top of that you used a self

sealing membrane so that if any nails

penetrate it water can't get into the

roof and if any shingle should blow off

water can't get in the house you've also

installed the copper drip edge and you

tied it in with this self sealing

membrane now we're ready to install the

shingles now I like wood shingle roofs I

like the way they look and I like the

fact that when you put about a five to a

five and a half inch reveal on a wood

shingle roof they're really strong

against high winds is less chance of

them blowing off there is a couple of

problems with wood that you have to be

very careful of see if this shingle is

wet it gets wet when it rains and when

it rains it swells and gets tight like a

wooden boat and that's why it won't leak

but if these shingles lay on this roof

like this the underside can't dry out so

the Sun will dry out the top the bottom

will stay wet and they'll start to rot

and they'll all soaked up so we have to

solve that problem and to solve that

problem we're actually going to use a

breather material a nylon matrix that

you lay on the roof the shingles will

sit on that and they'll actually sit on

a bed of air underneath them allowing

them to dry because the air can come up

under here and across the sides that's

how you make a wood shingle last all

right so the first thing we want to do

is install our matrix put across the

bottom all right so now we're going to

roll this out and I'm gonna staple it

right to the roof sheeting

now when you staple it you want to

staple in about 24 to 36 inch squares

just to hold it in place to install a

shingle all right you want to just cut

it right off even with the drip edge

all right now we're ready to get started

let's have a couple of those shingles at

Kevin and grab that gun up behind you

okay so now the trick to installing any

roof shingle it needs to overhang on the

sides about 3/4 of an inch

and on the front leading edge a wood

shingle should be an inch and a half to

an inch and 3/4 from the face of the

fascia board to the edge of the shingle

to do that I just cut a 2x4 lay it

against the edge of the fascia board and

bring it up and bring my shingle up so

even with that inch and a half now I'll

just tack the shingle in place I want to

keep my nail up about six inches okay so

that's my starter now I have to lay

another one on top because the first

edge has to be doubled or tripled in

some case but we're only going to double

it here now I'm also going to make sure

I nail up again five or six five and a

half to six inches I want to be higher

than my reveal I've got I got to keep it

back so I don't come out so overhang put

one and another one and I want to be

three-quarters to an inch from the edge

and the nail shouldn't be driven too

deep so you want to keep the nail up

high like that so it grabs as much of

the meat of the wood lessening the

chance for it to lift off we're using a

stainless steel nail ring shank two and

a quarter inches long alright so now

we're going to put another one on I want

to space the shingle slightly to allow

for the expansion of the shingle make it

the same distance off the fascia Boyd a

couple of nails I want to make sure that

I have a gap and I want to make sure I

cover that gap by a minimum of an inch

overlap space out my shingle about an

eighth of an inch because I when these

shingles get wet they're going to expand

and get tight when they swell nail up


six or seven inches and nail it now

we're ready for the next row and we want

a five and a half inch reveal so we're

gonna just drag a line right across and

we'll take a shingle bring it down and

again I want to keep it on that line

I want the nail to be up about seven

inches don't want to drive it too deep

but I want to be deeper than that so I

bring it down tight to the surface okay

now we'll have another one that will

span the gap and keep me away from this

edge about that's perfect about an inch

to an inch and a half

put it on my line space it out about an

eighth of an inch it's loosely touching

it and a couple more nails okay

now we're ready for the next row again

we want to make sure that it is

three-quarters of an inch over the edge

keep it on my line and then a couple

more nails alright so what we've done is

we've actually offset our shingles up so

that's enough for now what we're going

to do is the same thing on the other

side making sure that our measurements

are the same to make sure the

measurements are the same I'm just going

to take a scrap shingle I'm gonna make

it even on the bottom I'm going to mark

the bottom of each one of the rows and I

can take that and transfer it down the

other end and we don't have to use that

tape measure alright let's go down there

okay good now we've built up four

courses here to match the four courses

down there we want to make sure our

first line our starter course is

straight so to do that we're going to

put a nail right here on the edge of the

shingle and I'm going to take a string

line attach it to that nail and we're

going to bring it all the way down to

the other end do the same thing keep our

string line tight and then bring the

shingles to the string line

all right so now you guys are ready to

lay your for stress course in all the

way across the front of the roof so

you're gonna take them bring them down

line it up with the string line you

continue all the way down and nail them

off and double up that first course all

ready to do it all right I'm gonna leave

you guys to it