How to Roof a House

When it comes to a house, one of the most important parts is the roof. Eventually, your home is going to need a new roof, and the cheapest and most effective way to do it is yourself. Although it may take a little extra time, you will save plenty of money and the satisfaction will be great.

The first step you need to do in remove all of the old shingles and plywood by stripping them off the roof. You’ll need a heavy-duty crow bar and some strong hammers. Once you have removed all of the old debris, make sure that the bare rafters are cleaned and free of any other materials. You’ll want a nice clean and flat surface to lay down your base of plywood. Most dumps will accept all your material, but an easier way to remove it is by renting a dumpster. It’s a little expensive, but it will save you the hassle of having to get rid of it yourself.

Once you have a clean slate and are ready for the next step, you’ll need to measure out how much plywood you are going to need. 3/4 inch 8 foot sheets are normally used, so figure on using at least ten percent more than you measure out. This is in case valleys and ridges that are hard to accurately get a measurement on. Start by laying the plywood in a corner of the roof, and at the lowest level. Tack it in place with a normal staple gun powered by a compressor. Go up the side of the house up until you get to the top and then start at the bottom again. Make sure that all the pieces are flush together and don’ have any gaps where water and ice can get in.

After you’ve laid the plywood, you’ll need the same amount in square footage of Grace ice and water shield. Better known as bitchethane, this is a sticky plastic material that will seal off your roof from the elements and prolong the life of your plywood. You’ll want to cover the entire surface with this, making sure to cover all cracks as well as the peak diligently. The most wear and tear comes from on top, so you’ll want to seal it well. On top of the valleys and ridges you’ll want to put metal flashing nailed with 5-penny nails. This flashing will help the flow of water down and off the roof when it starts to rain.

The final stage is the application of the shingles. They come in many varieties and styles, so you’ll want to pick one that suits your taste, as well as your environment. Stay away from the cheaper and lighter ones if you live in an area known for inclement weather. Just like laying the plywood and bitchethane, you want to start at the lower left hand corner and work your way up and around. Each set of shingles should cover the previous ones by a half, and you’ll want to nail them in place with stainless steel nails at the top so that they’ll be hidden when you are done.

These are the steps for a very basic roof, so make sure that your roof is not one that should be done by professionals before you start. Best of all, enjoy all the money you are going to save, as most roofs can cost as much as $20000!

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