The Homeowner’s Guide to DIY Roof Replacement

As a handy homeowner, you may be considering a DIY roof replacement, but do know that calling in professional roofers is perhaps the best course of action. 

While the do-it-yourself method is great for many household projects, it’s important to understand that installing an entire roof on your own is an advanced undertaking. There are a few essential things you’ll need to consider before getting started, and there’s a lot that can go wrong.

So, before you run off to the hardware store, it’s a good idea to read through our homeowner’s guide to what’s involved in a DIY roof replacement project. 

Things to Consider Before Committing to a DIY Roof Replacement

after hurricane damaged house roof with missing shingles

While DIY roofing is no small feat, there are a few advantages of doing the work yourself. This would include:

  • The Cost – The average roof installation will cost you anywhere between $10,000 and $30,000. The cost is mostly broken down into labor and materials, with labor making up the greater portion. DIY roofing can cut your costs by half, if not more. 
  • The Timeline – You may not be able to wait for a contractor to make room in their schedule to start on your new roof. By doing it yourself, you can work on your own time and as soon as you need to.

Of course, these two advantages don’t necessarily make the case for taking on such an intensive project. That’s why you’ll need to carefully consider the following:

  • Where You’ll Purchase Your Materials – Most roofing companies are partnered with roofing material companies, which means they’ll be able to purchase high-quality materials at a discounted rate. If you forgo the roofing company, you’ll need to check the various hardware stores and lumber yards for the right roofing materials.
  • Your Timeline – While being able to take your time is an advantage, installing a roof on your own can end up taking an exorbitant amount of time if you’ve never done it before. This can also lead to damage if you don’t finish the project before a storm hits. A professional roofing team can have your new roof completed in just a few days and they can make sure the materials are safe from the elements in the meantime.
  • Your Safety – Professional roofing is one of the most dangerous jobs out there. You won’t just be working at a tall height but also at an incline, which will put you and anyone willing to help you at great risk for injuries or even fatalities.
  • Licensing and Permits – You can’t perform extensive home renovations unless you obtain the proper building permits. You’ll need to apply for the right building permits to legally construct your new roof; otherwise, you could be looking at some hefty fines — especially if your roof isn’t built up to code.

The 6 Steps of DIY Roof Replacement

After considering the above, if you still want to go ahead and re-roof your home, then you’ll need to follow the steps below. It’s recommended to check out more sources to learn about roofing materials, how to use tools you’re unfamiliar with, and more, just to be sure you get it right.

You’ll also want to check the weather forecast to ensure you can complete your new roof without having to worry about inclement weather.

1. Gather the Right Materials and Tools

The first thing you’ll need to do is gather the right roofing materials and tools for the job.

Generally speaking, the tools and equipment you’ll for a DIY roof replacement include:

  • Air compressor
  • Air hose
  • Chalk line
  • Caulk gun
  • Circular saw
  • Extension ladder
  • Roof harness
  • Roofing nailer
  • Scaffolding
  • Stapler
  • Tin snips
  • Utility knife
  • Work gloves
  • A roll-off dumpster

If you’re sticking with asphalt shingle roofing, the materials you’ll likely need are:

  • #15 or #30 felt underlayment
  • Drip edge
  • Hook blades
  • Roofing nails
  • Sealant
  • An ice and water shield (self-adhesive waterproof underlayment)
  • Staples
  • Step and dormer flashing
  • Valley flashing
  • Vent flashing
  • Asphalt shingles

2. Remove Your Existing Roof

workers removing old asphalt shingles before renovation process

Once you’ve got everything you need for the job — including the proper building permits — you’ll want to get started by removing your existing roof. The first thing you’ll need to do is tear off the old shingles and work your way down to the roof deck.

Essentially, you’ll be removing nails and pulling up the old asphalt shingles.

3. Asses the Wood Decking

Once you get down to the wood decking, you’ll want to inspect it closely for any leaks or damages. If there are damages, you may need to make repairs or replace the entire roof decking — which means more work for you and a longer project timeline. 

Once your roof decking is in good shape, you can move forward with the next steps.

4. Install the Underlayment and Flashing

Both the underlayment and flashing are critical components of your roofing system. The underlayment serves as insulation and protection against moisture, while the flashing provides a run-off system for water to protect the dips and valleys in your roof. 

It’s important to take note of where your original flashing was so you know where to install the new one. This is when you would also need to install your new drip edge, as it’s a type of flashing designed for the edges of your roof to help control water flow. 

5. Install the Shingles

Once it’s time to install the shingles, you’ll want to keep this in mind:

  • Always start by installing the shingles from bottom to top. This ensures proper overlay. 
  • Be very careful while installing the first few rows of shingles, as this is when you would be most likely to fall or become injured
  • Use four roofing nails per shingle for proper installation
  • Use your chalk line to ensure each layer of shingles is straight
  • The last set of shingles you should install is the ridge cap shingles, as they cover the peak of your roof

6. Cleanup and Do a Final Once-Over

Once you’ve completed the shingle installation, you’ll need to do two very important things:

  • Clear the roof of any extra materials — especially loose nails
  • Perform a final inspection, looking out for any damaged shingles or places that look off

Once you’re satisfied with your new roof, you can go ahead and finish the clean-up by scheduling for your dumpster to get picked up.

Call the Professionals Instead

roofers installing  new roof tiles on the house

DIY roof replacement projects are something to be proud of — when done right. When done wrong, the result can end up being catastrophic.

Some things are better left up to the experienced professionals, like our roofing team here at All Phase. We’re partnered with some of the best roofing material manufacturers in the country, and we can complete your new roofing project efficiently and on schedule.

Request an inspection and accurate estimate for your new roof with us today!

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