Go to How Not to Build an Addition Index! The current page is about roofing.


The roof is the most important part of any shelter. It protects man and his possessions from the harshest of the elements: rain. The pitiless onslaught of moisture will ruin, rot or corrode any object made by man or built up by nature. Its dramatic and relentless force can be seen in such varied places as the Grand Canyon, the fenders of old cars and wet T-shirts. Rain will wreck drywall, warp wood floors and short out electrical systems.

Like a burglar, rainwater will find its way into any building not absolutely sealed against its intrusion. Layers of asphalt, fiberglass and/or cedar form the only safeguard against this malicious vandal. One nail hole in a roof, if not patched, can, in the course of a few years, lead to the ruination of an entire house.

Thus, you should gear yourself to do a thorough and methodical roofing job.


As in all phases of construction, before you can begin roofing, you must gather tools. It is an indicator of the uncomplicated nature of roofing that your favorite claw hammer, a putty knife and a utility knife are all the tools you will need.

Simple jobs, like roofing, can usually be sped up through the application of modern technology. In this case, a pneumatic stapler can stand in for your hammer. Today's laws being what they are, you may have to circumvent current assault gun legislation to acquire this weapon of construction. If your hardware store does not stock them, try your local Middle-Eastern arms merchant.

If you choose to make use of the staple-gun, be careful; an unpracticed staple-gunslinger can be dangerous to innocent bystanders.


Roofing materials should be easy to obtain. Most lumber yards carry a plentiful supply of shingles, nails, etc.

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Tools and Materials
Shingle Transport
Felt Paper and Tar
How Many Shingles
Shingle Surfing
Laying Shingles

How You Really Shingle a Roof!

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Introduction | Decision Making | Design | Permits | Buying Materials | Demolition | Digging | Masonry | Framing | Electricity | Plumbing | Inspections | Roofing | Sheathing / Siding | Soffits | Insurance | Insulation | Fat Fireman Rule | Drywall | Finish Carpentry | Tile | Painting | Carpet | Done

About the Author:
W.J. Rayment built an addition on his house, and in the course of the project learned from his many mistakes. This on-line compendium is his effort to help you learn from his experience. The advice and stories are often humorous, sometimes silly, but always informative. for yourself or as a gift for family or friends.

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