How to Roof a house

by | Apr 28, 2020 | Blog | 0 comments

How to Roof a house

You can get pretty confused just by thinking about how to roof a house. But if you put your time and resources into it you can perform a simple roof installation, for sure. If you have all the necessary materials and equipment and you’re willing to place keen attention to detail, then you’re qualified to perform any roof repair or installation too.

Types of Roofing Material

Before getting started, it is important to know about the different roofing materials available in the market. Each kind of roof offers its own advantages in durability, costs, and lifespan. Learn all about these roofs and look at which roof will suit your home and your budget.


Roofing felt is made of made from natural materials (such as wood cellulose) or synthetic ones (such as fiberglass or polyester). And then it is saturated with a coating of bitumen (asphalt) which protects the roofing from ice, snow, and rain. This material is very budget-friendly, as it only costs  $0.39 per square feet plus it has a life span of over 20 years.

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Tar and Gravel

Tar and gravel are used to cake together flattened stones. It is usually installed on a low slope or flat roof commercial buildings. Tar and gravel is made up of alternating layers of roofing felt or fiberglass and asphalt that is applied with heat, which combines to make a long-lasting sturdy roofing system. It costs about $4 per square feet and has a life span of over 40 years.

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EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) is a durable synthetic rubber roofing membrane that is also used in low-slope buildings. It is very economical as it costs only $0.80 per square feet and has a life span of over 30 years.

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TPO (Thermoplastic polyolefin) is a combination of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber. It provides a watertight seal around your roof and also resists rain, ice and snow from damaging your roof. It costs around $5-$6 and has an average of a 20-year lifespan.

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Polyvinyl chloride has many applications and one of them is roofing. PVC is used in most commercial and residential buildings as it is highly durable and has a life span of 30 years. However, they can cost a good fortune as they cost about $6-$10 per square feet.

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Metal is the strongest and the most durable material for a roof. Steelor aluminum roofing can last from 30-50 years. Minor repairs are quick and easy to perform in metal roofing. Talking about the price, it is expensive as compared to other options. A square foot of a metal roof can cost about $15-$60.

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When Asphalt is used as a roofing material it costs less than metal and has a longer lifespan of almost 50 years. But its durability comes with a price because it is heavy and requires special support joists. Installing asphalt per square foot can cost about $2.50-$4.00.

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Now, I am assuming you’ve decided which roofing material are you going to choose. Hence, let’s get started with the guide. But before getting into how to roof a house, it is important to know the tools and resources required for roofing a house. 

Tools Required

Installing a roof may sound overwhelming but with the right equipment and knowledge, you can do that yourself. You need to have the following equipment for your safety and excellent roofing installation.

  • Roofing Hatchet
  • Roofing Shovel
  • Pry Bars
  • Framing Square
  • Chalk Line
  • Tin Snips
  • Hammer Tacker
  • Power Nailer
  • Saws
  • Roof Adhesive

How to Roof a House – A Complete Guide

  • Take a Permit and Identify any Local Building Codes 

Before starting roofing your house, make sure to check with your residential local building codes about roofs. Some cities require only particular materials or a specific number of shingles for a roof. The main reason behind this is to ensure aesthetic continuity and to prevent any unfortunate event caused by roofing materials during violent weather conditions. Make sure to obtain the building permit to avoid any civil code penalties.

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  • Find The Roofing Material

You need to identify which roofing material will best suit your budget and your property. Each material has its own difficulties installing, so you better go with the one you feel comfortable with. Metal roofs, roofing felt, and shingle-style roofs are easy to install for the person who has very little skills or knowledge in this respect.

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  • Remove Old Roof

Skip this step if you are installing a roof on a new property. In order to remove your old roof, use pry bars to remove the staples, fasteners, or nails on your old roof. Place the removed waste into your roofing shovel. Parts of the old roof that have hardened or rusted will require you to hammer down a pry bar to loosen the material. Place the waste from your roofing shovel into a trash bin. This is a tiring task, so be prepared mentally and physically too.

  • Install Drip Molding and Flash Roof Valleys

Drip molding will result in the rainwater going straight to your roof gutters. For installing a drip molding, align the drip molds against the fascia and fasten it through the top into the decking with roofing nails. Space the nails by 12 inches. Install roof valley flashing in the same manner. See this picture for a better understanding.

  • Mark the Nail Spacing

For synthetic roofs such as EPDM, TPO, and PVC, and metal roofs, you will need nails to fasten them to your roofs. Mark the areas you need to nail with chalk lines. Space them by 6 inches. 

Now, the most important thing spread the seams of your roofing material across the roof’s surface in such a way that they overlap by half an inch to create a watertight barrier and introduce insulation.

  • Apply Roof Adhesive on Exposed Nails

The exposed nail can result in the water sinking into your roof. Use roofing adhesive to create a watertight seal around exposed nails. It’ll help them against violent weather conditions that may loosen or uproot them.

  • Let it dry

Let the roofing adhesive material dry before inspecting your final product. Once dried, check for any exposed nail left untreated, or excess roofing seams, or areas with cracked adhesive (re-apply the substance there). Repeat this process again until you have resolved all possible issues of your roofing installation.

How to roof a house - Infographic
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Final words on how to roof a house

Always use the proper safety measures when installing the roof. Don’t climb if you have Acrophobia(fear of heights). I know there are a lot of difficult terms to understand and the work involved is strenuous. If you don’t feel like doing it yourself or having trouble selecting and finding the roofing material. You can always contact the professionals at Remodart. We are serving in Norfolk, Middlesex, and Bristol Counties. Learn more about where we provide our services.


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