How to Install 3 Tab Shingles

roof shingles
  • 4-8 hours
  • Advanced
  • 1-4,500
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Chalk line
Nail gun
Carpenters apron
Chalk line
Roofing cement

You will find that 3 tab shingles are the most common type of shingles that people install. Because they are growing in popularity, they can be easily found and also come with warranties that go all the way up to 50 years.

Step 1 – Do the Math

Before you go out and purchase your 3 tab shingles, you will first need to figure out how many of them you will need. One square (package) is equal to 100 square feet of roof. You will simply need to add up the total square footage of your roof and divide it by 100. It is a good idea to add 10% to this number in case you make any mistakes or need to replace any later down the road.

Step 2 – Prepare

To begin, you will need to cut the tabs off of enough shingles so that you will be able to have an entire row of shingles that have no tabs across your roof. You will then need to get your measuring tape out and measure the roof. A chalk line will need to be popped going down the middle of the roof from the bottom to the top.

Step 3 Start Line

Whenever you are laying shingles, it is always a good idea to go to the middle of the roof along the edge, to begin with. From there, you will need to lay down the start line for your shingles. You will do this with the shingles that were just recently cut to be tab-less. Your first shingle will need to be centered along the chalk line that you just made. Make sure that the uncut side of your shingle hangs over the edge of your roof. It will need to hang over by about 5/8 of an inch.

Step 4 – Secure Shingle

Before you secure the shingle, you will need to be completely sure that it is aligned perfectly. Once you know for sure that it is you will need to get out your nail gun and use 4 nails to secure your shingle. The top nails that you place should be about an inch from each of the sides. The lower nails should be halfway from each other along the middle of your shingle. You will do this along the first row of the shingles. Continue to stop to make sure that the line is completely straight. Whenever you reach a ridge or the edge of your roof you will need to make sure that you cut the shingle to its appropriate size.

Step 5 – Full Shingle

The first full shingle that you lay will need to be laid along the centerline of your roof. Make sure that the tabs are lining up with the bottom line and that the tabs are facing down. You will once again need 4 nails whenever you are installing the 3 tab shingles. They will go in the same location as the nails that went in on the first line.