Installing Shingle Siding

What You'll Need
Galvanized nails
String line
Long 1x2 boards
Measuring tape
Roofing felt
Utility knife
Siding shingles
Carpenter's apron

Shingle siding adds a beautiful and unique texture to the exterior of your home, and is an excellent source of insulation for the interior of your home. Installing shingle siding is usually a team effort, though you can complete the project alone if you have the time. Here is a guide to walk you through it:

Step One - Determine Shingle Exposure

Shingle exposure is the amount of shingle that is visible and not covered by another shingle. Normally, the amount of exposure for a typical 18-inch shingle is about 7 to 8 inches.

Step Two - Create Shingle Placement Marks

Use a wood pencil to mark your house at intervals according to your chosen exposure length. For example, if your exposure length is 8 inches, then you would make pencil marks at 8 inches, 16 inches, 24 inches and so on and so forth from the bottom to the top of the house.

Step Three – Starting Shingle Row

Next, carefully place the first row of shingles along the bottom of the house. Hammer a single nail in the top right and left corners of each individual single. The bottom edges of all the shingles should all be about level.

Step Four - Corner Shingle Columns

Next, nail shingles at the corner, in line with the placement marks you made earlier, to create a single column of shingles at each corner. The bottom of the shingle should line up with each mark.

Make sure that the shingles are level and that they alternate between displaying full and half sheet shingles as you make your way up the side of the house.

Next, lightly hammer a nail into the shingle on each corner that is approximately 16 inches from the lower edge of the second shingle up from the bottom of the building.

Step Five - Aligning Other Rows

Run a string from one side of the house to the other. You should tightly draw the string across the building approximately 24 inches from the bottom of the house. This accounts for your 8-inch exposure from the first row of shingles, and adds an additional 16 inches.

Next, secure a 1x2 board to the first row of shingles so that it is butted up against the shingle for the second row. Hammer a nail through the board and into the sjingle just enough to make sure the 1x2 board is held in place.

If you need to use 2 or more lengths of 1x2 board to cross the length of the house, you will need to ensure that the 2 boards are perfectly straight and level.

Step Six – Placing the Rows of Shingles

Now, lay shingles for the second row under the string line and on top of the first row of shingles so that the bottom edge of the singles rests on the 1x2 board. Also, make sure that each shingle butts up against each other. The string line will help hold the shingles in place while resting on the 1x2 board.

Step Seven - Filling Gaps

Occasionally, gaps will appear right before the corner column of shingles. Therefore, take a shingle and cut it to fit the gap, slightly overlapping one shingle next to it and drawing a line on the shingle against the wall. Once you draw the line, remove the shingle, cut it with a utility knife and replace it.

Step Eight - Securing the Row

Use your hammer to nail down the second row of shingles.

Step Nine - Continuing Other Rows

Next, remove the board and string and set them in place for the next row of siding on the way up the side of the house. Repeat the steps for each row of shingles until you reach the top of the house.