How to Cut and Install Hip Shingles

What You'll Need
Shingles for the hip
Roofing nails
Utility knife
Chalk line
Roofing cement

Hip shingles are the shingles that cover the ridge of a roof, otherwise known as the "hip" of the roof's surface. Installing hip shingles does take a certain technique, as the hip shingles are critical in installing a roof that does not leak. The hip shingles bridge the gap that is created when shingles are laid down on either side of the slope. Without hip shingles, water would leak underneath the top layer of shingles, working it's way down the slope of the roof, causing at the least damage to the roof, or, at worst until the whole roof is ruined and requires replacement. Here you sill find the information needed to install them correctly.

Step 1 - Cut Hip Shingles (if Needed)

You have a choice when roofing a hip, and that is to use the same kind of shingles that you did on the rest of the roof, or to use special shingles that are specifically designed for a hip. You can purchase either at a home improvement store. Plan your project accordingly though, as colors and styles are frequently discontinued.

If you are going to purchase hip shingles, purchase what you will need, plus an extra materials for replacements as well as miscut shingles. If you are using regular shingles, you will most likely need to trim them. Place your first shingle on the hip, with the apex of the hip in the middle. Mark where the overlap should be. Using your utility knife, cut away any excess from the shingle. There should be specific directions for overlap requirements on the packaging of the shingles. There is typically 5 to 6 inches of coverage by the hip shingle on either side of the roof's slope, so if you are using regular shingles, you may have to trim quite a bit from the edges.

Step 2 - Snap a Chalk Line

Secure the first shingle at the edge of the roof. Tack a second shingle at the end of the roof's hip. Using these shingles as a guide, snap a chalk line on either side of the roof's slope for guidance in installing the remaining shingles to ensure they are even as they are being installed.

Step 3 - Continue Installation

Continue to install shingles up the hip of the ridge. Apply roofing cement as you go, and nail the roofing nails through the cement as you go. This will help to seal the nails and protect from water damage. You will overlap the top of the first shingle with the bottom of the next.

Step 4 - Finishing

Lay shingles all the way to the ridge of the roof. Seal any exposed nail heads with caulk to add additional protection against moisture and water. Roofing cement should be applied especially on any shingles that have had to be cut to fit.