How to Shingle a Hip Roof

Gloves, a hammer, and roofing nails sit on a shingled roof.
What You'll Need
Flashing (aluminum or copper)
Tin strips
Roofing nails (one-inch and 1 1/2-inch)
Nail gun
Heavy gloves
Utility knife
Asphalt roofing cement
Ridge caps

Replacing hip roof shingles takes more effort and time than the same project on any other type of roof. More shingles will need to be trimmed and sized, as laying them includes working around corners, and you'll spend additional time and effort matching them with the natural flow of the roof. For these reasons, you'll need some helpful advice if you decide to undertake the task yourself.

Tip: Try your hand at adding shingles on the side of the roof that is not visible to people passing by. That way, you can get a little practice before presentation counts.

Step 1 - Add Water Protection

To avoid potential water damage, you should begin this project by adding flashing to the ridges and around any features such as vents, and tin strips to the edges. Secure these in place with one-inch roofing nails.

Step 2 - Add the First Shingle

Place the first shingle on the roof so that the bottom of it is even with the edge at the bottom. Make sure you're wearing a pair of heavy work gloves, and then trim the sides of the shingle with a utility knife so it matches the angle of the ridge it is against. If you begin on the left, the left of the shingle should be trimmed while the opposite applies if you are beginning on the right. Nail it through the top corners with your one-inch nails, about 1 1/2-inch from the sides and top, once you are sure it is lined up correctly. Place another nail in the center of the shingle, or two if high winds are an issue. Continue adding more using the same procedure until you have a line along the bottom edge of the roof. Trim the last shingle one the row to fit the roof angle as well.

Step 3 - Continue to Add More Rows

The remaining shingles will be placed following the same method and trimming to the correct angles as needed. Only work on one row at a time until you are finished. The starting shingles for each row will typically be halved at the ridge of the hip roof as you ascend.

As you place each new row, make sure the center of the next shingle up overlaps the previous row by 2/3 of the total length. You will also want to place them on top and do your best to center them on a seam between two on the previous row.

Step 4 - Glue and Finish With Caps

The very last shingle that is placed on the hip roof should be affixed with asphalt roofing cement in addition to nailing. This will help to secure all of the other shingles.

Finally, you will need to install ridge caps. You can actually buy shingles specifically for ridge caps, which makes them a little easier to work with. Start from the bottom edge of the ridge and secure each shingle with 1 1/2-inch nails. Overlap them as before and continue until you reach the top. Trim the very last shingle on each ridge as needed. Then, finish by placing the last caps at the very top of the roof.