DIY Roofing: Not for the faint of heart

Two weekends ago we re-roofed the shed/detached two car garage with shingles we bought from the roofers who re-roofed the house before we bought it.  The house’s shingles were just 11 years old when they needed to be replaced because of ice damming.  The shed has 35 year old shingles so they really needed to be replaced.   Friday the dumpster was delivered and we drove around picking up the supplies we would need including tar paper and roofing shovels.  Then on Saturday morning Flannel Man and I started the tear off.  The day sort of went like this…


Flannel Man starts tearing off his first shingle and I document the momentous occasion. 


Flannel Man shoots me this “why are you taking pictures instead of helping me” glare.


Whoa, settle down Flannel Man it’s only 10 am! 

Yay! The first shingle is off!


Then I put down the camera and start helping tear off shingles.  FM catches this shot when he gets off the roof to go get more water:


Then it starts getting hot and FM decides that he wants to run for GQ Roofer of the Year…I can’t believe I’m posting this but it shows our personality and how we have fun even while we’re roofing.  But really it’s because FM forgot the address of this blog so he’ll probably never see this.


Stop starring ladies he’s all mine.  You gotta admit though he’s got decent biceps for a guy whose rib cage is showing. 


Whoops, there’s that look again. I better get back to work.

Anyway, we get the entire roof ripped off including all of the tar paper and nails.  Then as we started looking forward to getting off the hot roof Papa Flannel shows up and we get a head start on laying down the shingles.  By 6:30pm we had half the roof done and we quick laid down tar paper on the other side incase it rains overnight.  It was a very long tiring day.  We went from 10am to 6:30pm with only water and bathroom breaks.  Yup, there’s no such thing as a lunch* break when your husband eats one meal a day.  Which explains his visible rib cage in the previous picture. 

Three people were the perfect number of people to work on this size roof (900 sf).  We had one person working the nail gun, one person feeding the nailer shingles, and the last person worked finishing up the edges and nailing the shingles by hand.  For the most part I was the shingle supplier, FM was the nailer, and Papa Flannel was the finisher.  This is not to say I didn’t use the nail gun ‘cause like Liz I’m a powertool wielding badass but FM is horrible at thinking ahead which is the whole point of having a shingle supplier.  I would bring the shingle over, FM would get it placed perfectly, and I would help hold it down while he nailed it. 


Meanwhile, Papa Flannel would start the staggered rows on one end and finish up the rows on the other end. 


As the supplier I had to sit on the hot tar all day and hold myself up with my hands.  The shingle rocks would get in my gloves and by the end of the day my hands were rubbed raw.  Oh, and this is what it looks like when you sit on tar paper all day:


I can’t believe I just posted that. 

The next day we started bright and early at 9:30am (keep in mind FM doesn’t usually get up until 3pm) in an attempt to beat the heat.  Well that didn’t work out so well.  It was hottest day of the year so far, the sun was shining on that side of the roof in the morning, and unlike the day before there was absolutely no wind.  We finally finished up shingling the other side and the peak at 1pm that afternoon.  Those 3 ½ hours were 10 times worse than the 8 ½ hours the day before.

That day we were also visited by a mother bird who had built her nest on the motion detector lights right below the roof we were nailing into.  She spent the day dive bombing us and yelling at us for getting so close to her kids. 


The final product ended up looking really good.  I gotta say these slate colored architectural shingles are very pretty as far as shingles go.  They give a nice amount of depth and now the shed’s roof matches the house’s new roof. 


I’m working on a DIY roofing tips post for those of you brave enough to try it out yourselves. It can be very cost effective and it is relatively easy so almost anyone can do it.  You just need a weak mind and a strong back.


*FM does actually have a “lunch” break but it’s at 8pm because he works second shift.




3 Responses to “DIY Roofing: Not for the faint of heart”

  1. 1 kitliz June 14, 2008 at 2:47 am

    What an awesome bit of land you have there. It looks gorgeous! Nice job on the roof work, also. I do like the look of those shingles.

  1. 1 Our Secret Weapons « 3 acres & 3000 square feet Trackback on June 16, 2008 at 5:17 pm
  2. 2 2008 Acomplishments & 2009 Goals « 3 acres & 3000 square feet Trackback on January 22, 2009 at 5:05 am

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This is the story of two twenty something newlyweds who are learning to adjust to life in their first house, a 1973 fixer-upper.
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