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Tips for faster shingling

65783 Views 96 Replies 39 Participants Last post by  Beyette Roofing
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.:thumbsup:
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Fast Shingling


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.

Fast 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.

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