Tips For Faster Shingling

 
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Old 09-14-2006, 11:26 AM   #1
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Tips For Faster Shingling


I am 18 and in very good shape. As far as physical fitness goes there is no reason I shouldn't be able to keep up with 99% of roofers.

I have been doing construction since I could drive and in that time have probably put on around 15 roofs. But due to lack of experience and knowledge I can't seem to keep up with one of the guys I work with who has a lot more experience but is not as physically fit.

I was just wondering what techniques you guys have found to make shingling faster.

For example: How do you end your rows? Some guys go flush with the drip edge some guys go 3/8 past? Some cut with a utility knife some nail the shingle then cut it with a shingle snip?

What do you guys do as far as chalking lines? How often? Do you chalk all lines before you start or chalk as you go?

How many rows do you start and then take through before finishing them out?

Any tips for nailing them faster?

Where do you keep your stack of shingles while nailing?

Thanks for the tips. I know that I take a lot more than I can give to these forums but I am thankful for your generosity in sharing all your wisdom.
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Old 09-14-2006, 03:25 PM   #2
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


Quantity does not equal quality. I am sure the customer would much prefer the roof take 10 hours instead of 8 but be confident that things wern't rushed and nails were properly placed.

Shingling is all about speed. Practice makes perfect. I've seen some fatsos dance squares around young in shape guys. Why? Because they do it every day for 10 hours a day, for 10 years.

Going flush is bad. There should be some overhang as determined by the shingle manufacturer. Typically 1/2"-1". Some guys like to cut each shingle at the end of a row, some prefer to cut the whole ridge at once. I prefer to cut the whole ridge at Once. I personally feel you get a much straighter line than cutting each shingle one at a time.

Chalk lines every 3 courses of shingles with 3 tabs. If you are highly experienced you can get by not chalking the roof with architecturals, but if you are a rookie you should also chalk your lines with architecturals.

Stacks are usually at the ridge. I will have one bundle directly next to me that I am feeding from, and I drag it with me as I move. When it's empty I grab another bundle. Also while up, make sure your puch is full on nails. No reason to stand up twice, once to get shingles than again to get nails.

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Old 09-14-2006, 03:45 PM   #3
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


I notice that a lot of the roofers here use a tin box for nails. There is a slot in the bottom for the shanks to fall through so that every nail that you grab is rightside up.
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Old 09-14-2006, 03:48 PM   #4
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


though i do mostly trim and finish carpentry now, i still do a fair amount of roofing. i run a starter across the bottom and up the sides with a 1" overhang, cutting each shingle when it gets to the end i use another shingle as a straight edge to line up with the starter (easy to show, hard to describe). i also run a 45 pattern with all my shingles. i use a five inch reveal. using a 45 pattern you can do a full nail off without having to stop and lift a shingle to hit a blind nail. like grump stated, quality is much better than quantity. i do like him and stack the ridge and then feed off a bundle next to me. you will get faster as you get older, but learn to do it the BEST that you can.
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Old 09-14-2006, 04:07 PM   #5
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


Quote:
Originally Posted by Teetorbilt View Post
I notice that a lot of the roofers here use a tin box for nails. There is a slot in the bottom for the shanks to fall through so that every nail that you grab is rightside up.
http://www.nailstripper.com/ These? They do speed up production IMO. Only a bit, but a bit does matter.
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Old 09-14-2006, 04:09 PM   #6
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


No chalk lines. Learn how to shingle right before you go for speed. Learn how to shingle in many positions and both directions, right and left. Shingle in a stair step pattern and cut the shingles as you go, beginning and end. Lay the bundles out 4 feet up and 4 feet apart all over the roof before you start. Get a rythm (sp) on your nailing. Don't try to go fast, get them where they are supposed to be. This is my system and I haven't found anyone who is even close to as fast as us.

Another thing, ask yourself if you are working as hard and eficeintly as you can. If you can honestly answer yourself, you will get better.

I can easily hit 4 square an hour on a walkable pitch if I feel like it.
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Old 09-14-2006, 04:20 PM   #7
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


That looks like the item. I watched 4 guys do a tear-off and reshingle in a day and the nailers were all wearing them. The house is 1750 under air plus a 2 car attached garage.
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Old 09-14-2006, 04:50 PM   #8
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


Quote:
Originally Posted by Teetorbilt View Post
That looks like the item. I watched 4 guys do a tear-off and reshingle in a day and the nailers were all wearing them. The house is 1750 under air plus a 2 car attached garage.
Figure the house is 20 squares and the garage 7. Any full time shingling crew could get that off and on in a day, around here.
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Old 09-14-2006, 05:02 PM   #9
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


Quote:
Originally Posted by MJW View Post
No chalk lines. Learn how to shingle right before you go for speed. Learn how to shingle in many positions and both directions, right and left. Shingle in a stair step pattern and cut the shingles as you go, beginning and end. Lay the bundles out 4 feet up and 4 feet apart all over the roof before you start. Get a rythm (sp) on your nailing. Don't try to go fast, get them where they are supposed to be. This is my system and I haven't found anyone who is even close to as fast as us.

Another thing, ask yourself if you are working as hard and eficeintly as you can. If you can honestly answer yourself, you will get better.

I can easily hit 4 square an hour on a walkable pitch if I feel like it.

Not as fast as you (not a full-time roofer), - - but everything you say is how I was taught, - - very few or no lines should be necessary, - - stair-step is actually much faster once you learn to lay it out fast. I cut the starters before even getting on the roof, - - the cut-offs go to the other end.

Also, - - as far as hand-nailing, - - never heard of a 'nail-tin', - - should be able to 'fumble' the nails into position (in your other hand) as your nailing off. - - never miss a beat. I prefer to always use 1 1/2's, - - 1 1/4's seem much harder to fumble.
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Old 09-14-2006, 05:07 PM   #10
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom R View Post
I cut the starters before even getting on the roof, - - the cut-offs go to the other end.
Yes the shingle cut down the middle goes to the other end only on 3 tabs. Confused me at first Tom. I haven't layed 3 tabs in years.
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Old 09-14-2006, 06:28 PM   #11
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


Thanks for the tips. Keep them coming if you have more.
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Old 09-14-2006, 07:22 PM   #12
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


check this out www.g-tape.com
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Old 09-14-2006, 07:46 PM   #13
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


I do like TOm and MJW...cut all starts first out of the same bundle. This will usually leave you with even water slots if youre paying attention. I snap a line to get the sarter straight, and then for up and overs. Learn to lay them straight. The speed will come. I am not as fast as MJW, but I rarely shingle anymore.
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Old 09-14-2006, 07:52 PM   #14
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronB. View Post
I do like TOm and MJW...cut all starts first out of the same bundle. This will usually leave you with even water slots if youre paying attention. I snap a line to get the sarter straight, and then for up and overs. Learn to lay them straight. The speed will come. I am not as fast as MJW, but I rarely shingle anymore.
Snapping a line at the bottom is a good idea when using 3tabs or you want to keep them really straight. Most of the houses do not have a straight fascia. I'm sure we have all seen some doozies. hehe
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Old 09-14-2006, 08:21 PM   #15
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


MJW bundle stacking is spot on and will definately increase production since the shingels are always within an arms length at all stages of the roof....having a guy feed shingles works wonders too LOL!!

All cuts done on the ground...at least the starting side weather it be left or right, then we just cut the end shingle when we get there, 50/50 split for cutting last shingle or overhang and snap a line to cut-seems to always pan out the same timewise for us.

IMO fastest way to lay 3 tabs when you have 3 or more guys with guns is straight up with the fastest guy on the end...when he reaches the peak your crew slides over and continues up..kind of a pita since you have to lift and blind nail but is stupidly fast going up the roof.

I personally like working right to left since I am right handed...never have to fight your air hose getting in the way and is just more fluid IMO.

I'm not the fastest roofer by any means, I hire out for that, in fact it took us 3 hours to get 6 square on the front of a house we tore off yesterday LOL, but we had all the ridge vetn to cut in and cap also, and I made damn sure my nails hit the mark in the factory sweet spot so we did'nt blow through/crack shingles and have problems later....could've gone MUCH faster like most guys and just drug the gun across the shingle and where ever the nail hit, it hit....but I lose money on call backs so an hour or 2 extra initally will save time/money in the big picture.

Be patient, you will get better with time-just watch how the veterans do it and learn from them, but still not a job I like to do...my friggin knees/back/feet are killing me LMAO!!! I sold 4 other roofs that I would personally do..but after yesterday/today I will sub them. I like money, but I like NOT feeling like azz alot better
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Old 09-14-2006, 09:49 PM   #16
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


Somebody should tape my brother in law feeding me Landmarks when we both get into it. He's one the best bundlers I've ever seen and our best record with him bundling for me is 9sq 1 bndle an hour 5 minutes.

We average 5-6sq an hour quite often. When you do it for so long you find ways to do it better.

Here's how I run up a gable roof with Landmarks. Put the first bleeder or starter shingle (metric) up and down so the overhang is set for the bottom and entire side. Next bleeder goes down on the bottom and so on. Then a full shingle and put it to the edge flush. Next take 6 inches off the next and fallow that until your back to a full shingle again. When I get past the half shingle I put one nail in the cut piece to make sure it runs straight. This style you run bleeders up the rakes which gives the best ground apperance when done. Having a good bundler tossing every shingle close to were you need it helps speed things up. A good bundler can toss me the last four in the bundle and have another bundle near by before I run out. Having a bundler load up on nails help too so you never have to wait for him if you run out. When I get to the right side of the roof I take 3-4 shingles cut them upside down if I don't resuse the shingles form the left rake and cut them to the shingles nearest to the last to cut. The smaller pieces get run on the short runs while the three or four cut fit perfectly into place. There have been many 30sq+ days on 7 or 8/12 hips roofs with a good bundler. 36sq is my personal best one day running Iko Cambridge laminates papered in hip roof 6/12 by myself. All vents installed and valleys cut no ridging. My fathers best still sits around 48sq after all these years, with a bundler of course but not a tosser, just a bundler to set them on jacks racking method of course.

This method you never have to cut a left run rake and walk again on the shingles. When the pieces are cut a good bundler will set them on the other rake end for later use upside down of course if hot.

I like running out of a valley even if sometimes it's to the left but not for more than 15ft. The only valley method I use is the closed California style. I'll run the first roof with a shingle to the right then the shingle that goes in the valley and on the other piece of roof afterwards making sure it's at least a foot past the point of the valley. When running into or out of a valley on the second roof it's works best when hot ro run a shingle upside down to prevent both tarring on the first roof and cutting into the valley.

Pitch or potato forks for ripping and dump trailers, tarps, and boom trucks for tear offs, and of course a good magnet roller.

Figured to make my body last longer in the trade try to spend more time trying to hone in on good estimating and sales tactics than finding better ways to lay shingles which I do a minumal of 40% of every new roof or tear off.

Last edited by dougger222; 09-14-2006 at 09:59 PM. Reason: grammer
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Old 09-14-2006, 10:02 PM   #17
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


BTW, nail laminates in the thickest part of the shingle! Because of the nail lines I'll never be able to nail laminates as fast as racked three tabs. But at least I know there better shingles which make less call backs which saves me time.
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Old 09-15-2006, 12:06 AM   #18
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


Hello,

Before moving to Alaska in 1998, I shingled in Virginia for 10 or 11 years. We always chalked lines every 5 inches up the roof for standard three tabs and every 11 1/4 for laminates. We ran a carpenters pattern(30/36 with a 1 inch overhang). In Alaska they run all metric shingles, 5 5/8 exposure with a diagonal pattern up the roof so no blind nailing. The guys laughed at me when I started to chalk lines. They all had the gauges on their guns set at 5 5/8. Since the rake run is the same as the exposure ,gauging up the rake is not a problem. Most young guys at work can lay 4 to 5 sqs. an hour. The older more quality consious guys can lay 5 to 6 sqs. an hour. As long as you get a good even overhang for the eave, using a gauge is a good option I think.
We also 6 nail every shingle so it is easy to get into a nice rythm.

Keith

Last edited by Roofboy; 09-15-2006 at 12:08 AM. Reason: Amount of nails
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Old 09-15-2006, 12:25 AM   #19
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


Not too hard to hit high numbers when you have someone throwing them to you. You guys still crack me up with the racking and lines. hahahahaha
Anyways...........................
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Old 09-15-2006, 02:20 AM   #20
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Re: Tips For Faster Shingling


Just so you know...

We have to dry in, load, and shingle in one day. That is a two man crew(one on each side) new construction roof , one side 10 squares and the other split decks(one 7 squares and one 3). In the summer you should be done loading by 10 a.m. and done shingling by 12 noon. We dont have anyone feeding us. All shingles are loaded at the top of the roof ,upside down with the keyways up. Stacked flat. We shingle off our knees. Cut open the bundle flip it on your knee and start shingling. Loading this way allows the shingles that you start with to remain cool. I am 39 years old and up until I re-injured my arm last year I could still put a whipping on the younger guys.

Keith

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