How to Apply Dimensional Shingles

What You'll Need
Face mask
Dimensional or laminate shingles
Pry bar
Roofing felt
Staple gun and staples
Roofing nails
Roofing cement
Mineral surfacing
Flashing material
Tape measure

Dimensional shingles are durable enough to last a number of years. They can also be referred to as architectural or laminate shingles, and their look makes them seem three dimensional, hence being called dimensional shingles.

Step 1—Safety Measures

If your roof has a high pitch, it might be more difficult to walk on. You’ll need to climb a ladder to determine which areas can be walked on, and which may need another solution. Wear rubber soled shoes when walking on your roof to keep you from slipping.

Step 2—Remove the Current Roof

You can choose to apply your dimensional shingles on the existing roof shingles if you only have one or two layers currently down. This isn’t the best way to apply shingles, but it will work. You’ll just need to put down some roofing cement before attaching the new shingles. If you’re removing the old shingles, use a pry bar to loosen the shingles and get rid of them. Use your hammer and pry bar to remove any nails that might be sticking out, because they will get in the way of new installation.

Step 3—Check the Structure

Make sure to check on the structure of the roof before applying new shingles. You might need repairs to vents, chimneys, gutters, or other parts of your roof. If you’re applying shingles to existing ones, you might need to remove any damaged shingles.

Step 4—Apply Dimensional Shingles to Valleys

Where the roof comes together at a valley, use mineral surfacing to apply an 18-inch layer of flashing over the valley. Use roofing cement to secure the ends of the flashing. Then, cover the area with roofing felt. Use chalk lines to mark the edges of the valley. Shingle the area from the center of the valley to the chalk lines first. If you have vents or chimneys, you’ll also need to lay flashing around these areas as well.

Step 5—Apply Dimensional Shingles to the Rest of the Roof

After you’ve laid the roofing felt on the rest of your roof, using roofing cement and nails at the edges, mark the center of the roof with a chalk line. Starting at the bottom of the roof, apply a row of starter shingles with roofing nails. Always work from the center of the roof out to the edges. If you don’t have a starter strip, you can apply a regular row of shingles that have had the tabs cut off. The second row should be overlapping the start strip. Use four roofing nails in each roof shingle, across the center. Work from the center out to the edge, and stagger the dimensional shingles each time. This creates the natural roof look and also helps to protect your roof against leaks.