How to Shingle a Garage Roof

Lead Image for How to Shingle a Garage Roof
  • 6-9 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 800-2,900
What You'll Need
Round plastic cap nails
Electro-galvanized roofing nails
Roll roofing material
Shingle scraper
Roof cement
Safety glasses

A garage should keep your car clean and dry, but it serves no purpose if the garage roof leaks. You can solve the problem yourself, though, with a trip to the home improvement store and a moderate amount of work. Laying shingles on a garage roof is not a difficult task. If you’re not afraid of heights, it can be a breeze.

Step 1 – Estimating the Job

You’ll need to know about how many shingles to buy. Determine the square footage of your roof first by multiplying the width times the length of each side. Shingles are estimated by the square, which is 100 square feet. A dozen or more bundles make up a square, depending on the texture and quality of the material. Also, plan the job on a day with no forecast of rain.

Step 2 – Staying Safe

Safety is of ultimate importance in any do-it-yourself job. Wear gloves anytime you handle the shingles and wear safety glasses while using a hammer. Ladders should always be on level ground and protrude three feet above the roofline so you can get on and off of them safely. Be careful when working near the edges of the roof. Wear shoes with rubber soles, and long pants to protect your knees. Kneepads are even better. Be careful not to drop heavy objects from the roof. Others may be standing or walking below.

Step 3 – Removing Old Shingles

Your first task will be removing the old shingles and inspecting the decking. Use a shingle scraper starting from the lower edge of the roof and working up. Leave the old felt if possible, but you can patch areas where it is damaged. After the old covering is removed, use new felt to patch any areas where wood shows through. Tack it down with plastic round-cap nails.

Step 4 – Installing New Shingles

Use roll roofing as an edge along the lower eaves of the garage. This is to cover the garage roof under the notches of the first layer of shingles. Place the new shingles row by row, fastening them with galvanized roofing nails on the top half of each. Use a nail at each end of the shingle and one in the center. The slotted bottom half of each shingle will overlap the one below it. Be sure to space the notches so they are not in line from one shingle to the one below it. Continue around the roof one row at a time from bottom to top.

Step 5 – Finishing the Job

Use metal flashing around vents or chimneys that might protrude through the garage roof. If needed, add roofing cement to seal the edges of the flashing. At the peak of the roof, change the direction of shingles. Cut them in thirds and overlap them along the crest. Having covered it yourself, you’ll be prouder than ever of your new garage roof.