How to Install a Metal Shingles Roof – DIY Guide

If you are the type of homeowner who wants to embark on an installation of a new roof, a metal shingles roofing system will be the easiest to install.

Most metal shingle systems feature a four-way interlocking design, and the panels are usually small enough to be easily installed without using any complicated tools.

roof deck prep

Deck Prep:

The first step is the preparation of the roof deck. In a new construction, metal shingle roofing can be installed over any type of solid sheeting such as plywood or wooden planks / boards that do not have spaces in between them.

Alternatively, a metal shingles roof can be installed over asphalt shingles, if you do not want to tear it off, and there is only one layer of existing asphalt shingles on your roof.

Installing Underlayment:

The next step in preparing your roof deck is to use a special product called installing-roof-underlayment roofing underlayment. It is made out of breathable synthetic material, and designed to provide an additional level of protection from condensation, as well as to allow the roof deck to breeze in order to prevent any rotting of the wood.

When installing the underlayment, you will always want to have about half an inch of the membrane over the eaves and gable of the roof deck.

First, the membrane gets secured at one side/end of the roof, it is then rolled out horizontally until it reaches another side of the roof where it also gets secured with special nails that have colored (usually bright orange or green) plastic caps.

As you move up the roof deck towards the ridge, each consecutive level/stage of the membrane material should overlap the preceding raw by about six inches.


Installing Metal Flashing and Trim Details

Once the roof deck is prepared, you should install a starter flashing or a drip edge. This is installed against the fascia of your roof deck.

There should be a spacing of half an inch, and your started/drip edge flashing should be secured / fastened with suitable nails (aluminum nails, if it is aluminum shingles you are installing) with appropriate wash heads, approximately 12 inches apart. Please note, that if you are installing steel shingles, you will have to use galvanized steel nails to avoid any corrosion due to the use of incompatible metals/alloys.

gable-flashing-installation Gable flashing should now be installed against the gable rake. Spacing should also be half an inch for this. The gable flashing must overlap the flashing of the drip edge flashing at the edge.

A wall flashing, the chimney and the rest of the roof should now be prepared. The ridge vent spacing may be pre-cut, leaving approximately solid roof deck on either side of the roof. The sides should be approximately two feet each. If you plan to install vent pipes, openings can be cut to allow for those.

Installing Metal Shingles

installing-metal-shingles Finally, the installation of metal shingles can proceed. To ensure that these are installed in a straight fashion, you can make use of horizontal chalk lines as a guide.

You should start your metal shingles installation with half a shingle (or in accordance with your metal shingles installation manual, which should be system specific.) starting from the left of the starter flashing or gable.

Experts recommend that you work diagonally, and raising each row of shingles gradually. The first row is followed with a full shingle, finishing the initial row.

The second row should be started with a full shingle all the way to the end. Once the ridge is reached, the ridge vents can be installed. The ridge would then be covered with interlocking ridge caps.


You will also want to install a proper ridge vent, if there are soffit vents available on your roof.

Quick Overview of Metal Roofing Benefits:

installing-ridge-vent-caps There are many benefits to installing metal roofing. Contrary to a popular, but misguided belief, metal roofs have approximately the same noise level when it rains as the other types of roofs. They are very reliable and long lasting and can sustain extreme weather for many many decades.

Some insurance companies will offer reduced home insurance rates to homeowners who would like to insure a home protected by a metal roof. Many modern styles of metal roofing are rated (and have been proven) to withstand winds of hurricane strength, while many also carry Class A Fire retardant ratings.

Safety Considerations:

Your personal safety should be your main priority. The ladder should be placed in such a way that it is unable to slip away, and it should be properly secure at the base, as well as at the roof access point. You should also be familiar with and use a proper fall arrest system that is properly anchored to your roof studs.

If you hire professionals to install your new metal roof, then make sure that they are properly trained and have some solid experience installing the type of system you have chosen, as well as licensed (if your state requires licensing) and properly insured (liability plus work comp) to do so.

Bottom Line:

Whether you choose to go the do-it-yourself route or hire a pro, installing metal roofing can be a sound and worthwhile investment in your home.

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