DIY Re-Roofing Your House With Just Two People

Video: Hometime How-To Clinic – Roofing

Video Source: YouTube
Video Publisher: Shawn Novak
Number Of People Needed: 2 or more

Disclaimer: recommends hiring a professional for all roofing work. Legal Disclaimer


Every successful job starts with a good plan, and re-roofing your home is a big job that needs a big plan. Luckily you came to first. We have the plan laid out for you, made by experienced professional roofing contractors, all you have to do is all the work.

Easy Right? We’ll see ūüėČ

Where To Start:

  1. Draw a topographic picture of your house. Be sure to add as much detail as possible.
    ROOFTIP #1: Go on Google Maps *Earth View, and search your address. This will give you a good idea of what your home looks like from a birds eye view.
  2. Take measurements of your roof, to find the square footage. ROOFTIP has a Tutorial on that right here: How To Measure Your Roof
  3. Choose the right material for you and your home. There are a lot of shingle choices out there, and a lot of information to consider, so do your homework.
  4. Once you’ve got an idea of what shingle manufacturer¬†you would like to go with, give them a call. Your local roofing supplier will be more than happy to give you product¬†information, and advise for your roofing project.
  5. Schedule the job. You’ll want to pick a few days (depending on the size of your home) when the weather is going to be predictable, not to hot, not to wet, just right. In most regions early or late summer usually works the best. Check your local weather online to get the 5 day forecast.
  6. I Need Help! Don’t be afraid to ask a friend for help. Although this tutorial is focused on two people doing the job, more hands can make it that much easier. Remember to be a good host by supplying plenty of water, a good hearty lunch, and at least three breaks throughout the day. (The home owner is liable for all workers working at their home, so promote safety)
    ROOTIP #2: Save the beers until the end of the day when all the work is done, and everyone is off the roof. Safety first!

Doing a roof yourself can be dangerous and difficult. There may be some aspects of your roof that require professional attention. We recommend getting professional advise before you decide to do it yourself. Call a local roof inspector, or your local roofing supplier to find out if this job is right for you, or if you need to call a roofing contractor.

DIY Re-Roofing your house with two people. It may seem like a big job, and it is, so do not take it lightly. Follow this how to video to remove and install a residential roof system.

What this roofing video covers:

  • Roof Removal
  • Deck Preparation
  • Ice & Water Shield Installation
  • Underlayment Installation
  • Shingle Installation
  • Finishing Touches

Okay but first, the most important thing is SAFETY!

Before You Start: Watch this video On Roof Safety.

Tools You Will Need:

  • Safety Tools: Full Body Harness, Gloves, Safety Glasses, Knee Pads, Roof Jacks & Planks.
  • Roof Removal Tools: Square Nose Spade, or Pitch Fork, or Red Ripper, Tarps, Disposal Bin, Broom.
  • Hand Tools: Hammer, Pry-Bar, Chalk-Line, Utility Knife, Roofers Knife, Tin Snips, Stapler.
*(0:00) represents the time in the video that matches the description*
(1:35) Roof Removal

rooftip roof removal

Roof removal doesn’t¬†take a lot of special skill, but it is labor intense, and will take some strength. Be ready for a sore back so plan some relaxation time after the jobs done, maybe a nice tropical vacation ūüėČ

Lay tarps down on the ground just below the area where you’ll be tearing off the shingles. This will catch any shingles that fall on the ground, and make clean up a whole lot easier.

When choosing a roof area to tear off, make sure you don’t ‘tear off’ more than you can handle in one day. Always have two or three brand new tarps on hand, that are big enough to cover the area you plan to remove, just encase you run into poor weather.

(1:49) In this video, the roof has multiple layers of asphalt shingles that needs to be removed down to the roof deck. If you are in this situation, you’ll want to use the fork or Red Ripper tool to remove the shingles. As seen in this video , starting from the top of the roof, get under the bottom layer of shingle and scoop all the layers off towards the bottom of the roof.

Now you have a few choices as to how you want to handle the waste.

  1. Have one person ripping the shingles, and one person picking the waste up and throwing it into the bin.
  2. Have both people ripping the shingles, letting the waste fall on the ground. Than both people clean up the waste from the ground once the roof is completely ripped.
(2:05) Deck Preparation

rooftip-roofing-deck preperation

Using a broom, person#1 starting at the top of the roof will¬†sweep all the loose debris down the roof, while person #2 uses the hammer & pry-bar to pull all the nails from the roof deck. It is important to remove all the nails from the roof deck to ensure they don’t work they’re way back up over time, and cause damage to the new shingles.

(2:49) Install a prefabricated metal drip edge  to the bottom edge of the roof covering the top of the fascia board. (If you have a gutter, you may have to make some custom cuts to your drip edge to fit over the gutter anchors). Fasten your drip edge using roofing nails spaced approximately 6 to 8 inches apart.

( 3:08) Install one coarse of Peel & Stick membrane (Ice & Water Shield)  at the bottom of the roof inline with the drip edge metal, and in the valley. Peel back the paper (or plastic) from the back of the membrane, revealing about 24 inches of exposed adhesive. Place the roll into position, at the gable (Rake) edge, sticking the 24 inches of exposed adhesive to the roof deck. Slowly roll the membrane along the bottom roof edge while peeling the paper (or plastic) off as you go.

ROOFTIP #3: Wear leather or cloth gloves, or no gloves, to handle the peel and stick. Rubber gloves have a tendency to stick to the glue.

(5:33) Installing Felt Underlayment. In this video, they are using #15 non-perforated asphalt saturated felt paper.

Using a chalk-line as your guide, place the felt paper at the gable (Rake) edge overlapping the peel & stick by at least 2 inches. Roll the felt paper out about 4 feet and line up straight with the chalk-line. Fasten the felt using a staple gun, being sure not to over drive the staples.

ROOFTIP # 4: Although using staples is very fast and commonly used, roofing nails work much better at holding the felt paper securely in place, and there is less chance of ‘paper tearing’ that occurs when the staples are over driven.

Special Attention: When working on a roof, it is important to watch where you step, for obvious safety reasons and material integrity reasons as well. Be careful not to trip on anything, to prevent falls. Watch not to step in the center of the valley, this could tear the peel & stick membrane and be difficult to repair. Be sure to cut all vent holes out of the felt. Stepping on a felt covered hole can result in serious injury.

(7:51) Install prefabricated metal drip edge along the gable (Rake) edge, starting at the bottom and working up. This metal is applied over the felt, giving the shingle overhang extra support. Fasten your drip edge using roofing nails spaced approximately 6 to 8 inches apart.

(8:35) At the valley section of the roof, you’ll want to install Metal W-Valley. This is called an open valley, and is the most recommended valley style. Start installing your valley at the bottom of the roof, overlapping each valley section at least 12¬†inches, with 2 caulking lines sealing the joint. Trim the bottom of your valley to match the peel & stick lines using tin snips.¬†Fasten your valley¬†using roofing nails spaced approximately 6 to 8 inches apart, at¬†1 inch from the outside metal edge.

ROOFTIP #5: Don’t cheap out on the caulking. Spend a few extra bucks and get the good sealant that works well with metal, and a different sealant that works well with asphalt shingles.

(10:16) Special Attention: Cutting the top of you valley can be a bit tricky. Make sure you take your time and make tight cuts here. You will want your metal to overlap nicely, with no big gaps or holes that may cause problems in the future.

(11:00) Shingle Installation

rooftip-roofing-starter course

The roofing material you choose will determine how you install it. It is vital, for your roofing material warranty to be valid, that you follow the manufacturers installation procedures. You can obtain the installation manual for your material from the roofing supplier who sold you the material. Most shingle manufacturers print installation instructions on the shingle packaging for you to reference.

This video covers the most common installation procedures for 3-Tab shingles. If you have chosen a Laminate shingle please click here: How To Install Laminate Shingle

ROOFTIP #6: Ask your supplier to deliver your material right on to your roof. Most suppliers have boom trucks (Hiab Crane) that can put the shingles up on the roof for you, so you can save your back avoiding all that heavy lifting. Be careful to stack the bundles securely, and protected from being blown off by the wind. (We recommend you you ask for roof top assistance from the supplier) 

(11:26) Starters: To make the first course of shingle (Starter Course) you’ll need to cut the tabs off of the shingle. This will prevent the cupping that can happen when there are too many layers of shingles on top of each other. ¬†Cut the from the back of the shingle with a utility knife, and lift the tab to remove.

Measure the height of your starters and subtract 1/4 inch. This is the height of the chalk-line that you will snap horizontally across the bottom of the roof.

Cut about 5 inches off the fist starter shingle to allow joint stagger. Place the first starter shingle (gum strip at the bottom) at the gable (rake) edge, extending 1/4 inch over the gable (rake) drip edge and 3/4 inch below the fascia drip edge. Fasten the starter shingle using galvanized roofing nails spaced every 8 inches, placed 1 inch from the top of the shingle. Install full starter shingles along the remaining bottom edge.

Measure the entire length of the starter course, then measure the width of a single shingle. Calculate how many shingles it will take to run the entire length of the starter course, and see if the last shingle joint lines up with the gable (rake). If it is 1 inch short, than cut an inch off of the first shingle you will be installing. This will give you a 2 inch piece at the end shingle, making it stronger.

Snap  6 vertical chalk lines up the gable (rake):

  1. Full Shingle
  2. 30 inch
  3. 24 inch
  4. 18 inch
  5. 12 inch
  6. 6 inch

Measurements may change depending on the material you’re using. Please refer to the installation guide on the shingle packaging, or installation manual.

(14:02) Install the shingles at the gable (rake) first, stacking one on top of the other. Each step up will be 6 inches less than the next, creating a stepping pattern vertically lining up with each chalk-line, and horizontally lining up with the top of the lower shingles cut out. Fasten each shingle with a galvanized roofing nail placed 5/8 inch above the shingle cutout, along the bottom of the adhesive strip.

Continue to install the full shingles along the entire length of the roof until you get to the other gable (rake), cutting the end shingle so that there is 1/4 inch overhanging the gable (rake).

Typical procedure would be person #1 installs the stacking gable (rake) shingles, and person #2 installs the horizontal rows running the length of the roof. Person #2 will usually take 4 rows across at a time, allowing person #1 ample time to make the detailed adjustments and cuts at the starting gable (rake).

Special Attention: It is important to take a height measurement from the right and left sides, every 1/4 of the way up the roof you shingle. Make any adjustments to the height of your horizontal line by snapping a new chalk-line across the roof.

(22:31) Optional Installation Technique

In this method (stacking) you’ll only have two vertical chalk-lines at the gable (rake), one at full shingle and one at 30 inches (or 6 inches less than the full shingle). The shingles will alternate back and forth from one line to the other stacking¬†up the roof.

ROOFTIP #7: If using an air gun (pneumatic nailer), set the depth gauge so that the nail sets flush with the shingle, not over driving the nail. Test the depth on a scrap shingle and a piece of scrap plywood.

(17:46) If your roof is steeper than 8/12 pitch, you will want to install roof jack & planks so you can walk comfortably on the roof. Be sure to line the roof jacks up properly, so that the nails don’t line up with the above shingles cutout. Fasten the roof jacks using 3 inch common spikes, placed at the provided nail slots. Refer to the safety manual that came with the safety system you purchased.

Need to find the pitch of your roof? Here’s a video¬†for that: How To Find The Pitch Of Your Roof

Pitch Gauge. (Pitch Gauge at Home Depot) (Pitch Gauge APP For Iphone)

(19:00) Chimney Flashing, Skylight Flashing



Flashing the chimney can be a bit intimidating for a non professional, and rightfully so. The chimney has many components that have to be done correctly in order for it to function properly. Take your time and look up as much information as you can. This video covers only one type of chimney flashing, but when¬†you get up on your roof, you may find that your chimney is different. If this is the case, and you don’t feel 100% comfortable with this part of the roof, it may be time to call a professional for help.

If you’re determined to go it on your own, here are some helpful links that will help.

Certainteed Shingle Installation Manual

GAF – How To Install Flashing

(24:06) Capping The Roof


Finally you have the roofing field shingled, and now you are at the top. Let the top of the shingle lay over the other side, this will give better ridge protection.

Some shingle manufacturers have pre-manufactured caps. These are very easy to use, but can cost considerably more than the standard cap made from 3-tab shingles. To make a standard cap, just cut a 3-tab shingle into 3 sections, cutting from the “cutout” on a 10 degree angle so that the back of the cap tapers away. You’ll use your shingle knife for this job.

fasten one cap at ether end of the roof, and snap a chalk-line on one side connecting the two caps. Use this line as your guide to keep the caps straight. Starting at one side, lay one cap on top of the other leaving about 5 inches exposed. Fasten each cap using 2 galvanized roofing nails placed near the tar line, 1 inch from the side edge of the cap.

When you get to the other other cap at the other gable (rake),¬†overlap the last cap until the two tar strips are at least 3 inches apart, trimming the excess from the overlapping cap . Cut the hidden part off of the final cap so that you’re left with just the tab, and fasten the remaining tab over the two tar strips. Fasten 4 face nails to each corner of the final cap, and apply asphalt sealant.

(25:55) Cutting and Capping a Hip Roof

Hip Roof is a type of roof where all sides slope downwards to the walls, usually with a fairly gentle slope. A square hip roof is shaped like a pyramid, where all meeting sides have caps on them. This style is not much different than capping a ridge.

Here is a video to help with capping a hip roof: IKO Blueprint For Roofing – Hips And Ridges

(26:57) Valley Cuts

The valley is another hot spot for problems. Cutting the overhanging shingles in the valley has to be done properly to avoid issues latter on down the road. Start by chalk-lining one side from the center of the valley, 3-4 inches at the top, and 4-5 inches at the bottom. When cutting along the chalk-line, be sure to lift the shingles and cut off the top point as seen in this video at (5:36): How To Shingle A Valley

(27:53) Plumbing Stack Vents and Air Vents

Installing vents are going to be a bit tricky at first, but once you do one, I’ll get easier and easier. Bring the shingle tar line flush to the bottom of the pipe or vent hole. Install the plumbing stack flashing/vent and fasten at the outside edge of the flange. Line up the next shingle and mark where the cuts are going to be. After cutting the shingle, place over the vent flashing being sure not to fasten nails to close to the pipe/hole (2 inches).

(30:18) Over The Top Roofing

Most roofing contractors¬†don’t recommend shingling over the top of another roof, but it does happen quite a bit. To do this you will need to clean off the old roof and make sure there are no deformities that could harm the new roof. Cut the first two rows so that the top of the new shingle will line up with the bottom of the old shingle. This will prevent shingle buckling that may cause leakage later on.

Clean Up

Once all the roof has been completed, you’ll want to clean up any debris that may have fallen in the gutter, or off the roof into the yard. Take a walk around with a bucket and do a final cleanup.

ROOFTIP #8: If you have an old speaker laying around, they can be really handy for picking up nails. The magnet on the back of a speaker is usually very powerful. Remove it from the speaker and tie it to a string. Holding the string in one hand, drag the magnet through the grass as if you were walking a dog. The magnet will pick up any loose nails that your eyes would never have seen.


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