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All of my tips seem to involve the long way :laughing:.

Which means I don't have to go back, either to the side of roof I was just on, or the job period.

To me faster shingling encompasses the whole job.

Typically I will spend a great deal of prep time getting prepped...installing all my drip/rake, I&W, felt/underlay, valley metal, chalking starters/valleys, installing starters. Then I will lay out bundles everywhere. Load my pouch with nails, and set it aside close by so I can move quicker with less drag on my body.

If possible then I have a helper passing me shingles, and he better be damn fast (in this instance he is also carying nails for me, a hammer, and a knife). I always carry a knife regardless. One large enough to double for a hammer for the odd proud nail..

If not I just grab and go myself, this is where the layout of shingles is key, so you are moving as little as possible, and moving things out of the way as little as possible. Go Like Mad! Of course not insane because that would mean my nails are not where they need to be. This is crucial, because if your nails are out of line, then you need to do it again, and thats just slow.

Number 1 tip; NEVER LET GO OF THE GUN!!!!! there is a reason they come with gauges...every time you set the gun down is wasted time IMO.

If I can get away with it (not too hot out) I will leave my cuts till later, with the exception being rakes...I could never seem to get a chalk line to work well here. Valleys chalk em later no biggie. Extra thick cuts use snips.

40 bundles of t-loks on an 8/12 in an hour and a half with a helper once, one of my better days as we managed to crack a 100. Now if the profits had went into my pocket on that job instead of the bosses, that would have been great :laughing:, but being young and dumb money didnt matter, we were manlier :laughing::laughing:...kinda like the ol how many bundles can you carry up a ladder at once trick. did three...once. Two a number of times, and nowadays I do my damndest to have them delivered rooftop :laughing:.

All that fast shingling over the years has kinda hooped my knees though. Spinal realignment therapy is next :sad:.

· Registered
1 Posts
Fast roofing

Chalk one line to start. If right handed start from left side of roof. After yor starter row or starter roll is in place, start with a full shingle from drip edge over..
Next shingle will be stepped 6.5" if using OC or cert.. (IKO need to be stepped 10", they are a larger shingle that means FASTER/ fewer shingles per sq)

A tip when stepping each shingle use guage on bottom of nail gun to keep steps the same. Cut each shingle as you go along drip edge ( tip use a drip edge that has the over hange built in and that has ribs running down drip that can prevent any water from entering)

Always use stair stepping methed, never set your roof gun down, with roof gun in right hand and shingles on left foot(tip- always use a laminate shingle if possible. Yes I know they cost more but they are bigger, that means faster which evens the price out by what you save in labor.)
Place shingle with left hand on nose of gun that is being held on tab of the shingle below, then line up other side of shingle to the shingle to left, then nail 4 nails, and then do it again, and again, and again. After a few hundred thousand times of that you will get fast.

A few other tips put all cuts neatly in a pile, do not toss every piece off roof in to yard that takes time to clean up later.

That's the basics. O ye one more thing- snape a line when you start to get out. The more you do it, the less lines you will need. Depending on who is nailing near you.

· Registered
12 Posts
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.
you should surley use only universal starter strip not 3tab shingles.
you sound like you know what your doing and hopefully your not a common GAF roofer who installs bleeder strips in valleys!

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17,822 Posts
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:

Good Lord Spencer, I had no idea you grew to your 30s on this site.

Welp, ruined now, might as well get used to it!
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