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Posted by: Nathan Keiser

How to Install Architectural Shingles (8 Steps)

Calender 03/21/2024
Clock 6 min READ

Are you considering upgrading your home’s roof with architectural shingles? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of installing architectural shingles on your roof. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or tackling a roofing project for the first time, we’ve got you covered with expert tips, practical advice, and everything you need to know to achieve professional results.

Inside this blog:

  • How to adequately prepare for an architectural shingles installation
  • 8 essential steps for installing architectural shingles in a true DIY fashion
  • Benefits of architectural shingles

Keep reading to learn more about how you can install architectural shingles like a real pro!

Getting Started: Preparing for Installation

Before you dive into installing architectural shingles, it’s essential to prepare your roof and gather the necessary tools and materials. Here’s what you’ll need to do to get started:

Inspect Your Roof

Before starting the installation, conduct a thorough inspection of your roof’s existing shingles to identify any existing issues. Addressing leaks, rot, or structural damage beforehand will ensure a smooth installation process and a long-lasting roof.

Gather Materials

It’s essential to have all the necessary materials and tools on hand before you begin. From architectural shingles to safety gear, make sure everything is readily available to streamline the installation process and minimize interruptions.

Prepare the Surface

Cleaning the roof surface is crucial for proper adhesion and durability of the new shingles. Remove any debris, dirt, or old roofing material, and inspect the roof deck for any signs of damage. Repairing damaged areas before laying the underlayment will ensure a stable foundation for the new roof.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Architectural Roof Shingles

Now that you’ve prepared your roof and gathered your materials, it’s time to install roof shingles. Follow these 8 steps for a successful installation:

1. Install the Underlayment

Begin by laying down a layer of underlayment over the entire roof surface. The underlayment acts as a secondary barrier against water infiltration and helps protect the roof deck from moisture, ensuring long-term durability and resilience against the elements.

2. Start at the Bottom

Begin installing the architectural asphalt shingles at the bottom edge of the roof, aligning them with the edge and allowing for overhang as specified by the manufacturer. Starting at the bottom ensures proper water drainage and creates a solid foundation for the rest of the installation process.

3. Apply the Starter Strip

Install a starter strip along the eaves of the roof, ensuring that it is level and securely attached. The starter strip provides a solid foundation for the first row of shingles and helps prevent wind uplift, safeguarding your roof against potential damage during storms.

4. Layer the Shingles

Working from the bottom to the top, lay the shingles in overlapping rows, following the manufacturer’s instructions for proper alignment and spacing. Use roofing nails to secure the shingles in place, placing them in the designated nail line on each shingle to ensure maximum stability and wind resistance.

5. Cut and Trim

As you work your way up the roof, you may need to cut and trim the shingles to fit around vents, chimneys, and other roof penetrations. Use a utility knife to make precise cuts and ensure a snug fit, maintaining the integrity of the roof and preventing potential leaks or damage.

6. Install Ridge Caps

Once you’ve installed the shingles on the main roof area, it’s time to install ridge caps along the peak of the roof. Ridge caps provide added protection and a finished look to the roof, ensuring that all vulnerable areas are properly sealed and reinforced against moisture and debris.

7. Inspect and Clean Up

After completing the installation, inspect the roof to ensure that all shingles are securely fastened and properly aligned. Clean up any debris or leftover materials from the installation site to leave your roof looking clean and tidy, ensuring a professional finish and enhancing the overall appearance of your home.

8. Keep Your Safety Throughout The Installation

Throughout the installation process, prioritize safety by wearing appropriate protective gear, such as gloves, safety glasses, and non-slip footwear. Use caution when working at heights and follow all safety guidelines outlined by the manufacturer to minimize the risk of accidents or injuries. If you ever feel hesitant about climbing up on your roof and attempting a major DIY project, you should also consult a professional roofing contractor.

Benefits of Architectural Shingles


An architectural asphalt shingle roof offers numerous benefits for homeowners, including:

Enhanced Aesthetics

Architectural shingles offer homeowners a wide array of options to enhance the curb appeal of their homes. Whether you prefer a classic slate look or a modern dimensional style, there’s an architectural shingle to match your aesthetic vision and elevate the appearance of your roof.

Increased Durability

Thanks to their multi-layered design and heavier weight, architectural shingles are built to withstand the elements better than traditional shingles. Their enhanced durability makes them more resistant to wind uplift, rain penetration, and impact damage, providing long-term protection for your home.

Longer Lifespan

Architectural shingles are renowned for their longevity, often outlasting traditional three-tab shingles by several years. With proper installation and maintenance, architectural shingles can last up to 30 years or more, offering homeowners peace of mind and fewer roof replacements over time.

Improved Energy Efficiency

Some architectural shingles are engineered with innovative features like reflective coatings, which help reduce heat absorption and keep your home cooler in the summer. By minimizing heat transfer through the roof, these shingles can contribute to lower energy bills and create a more comfortable indoor environment throughout the year.

Upgrade Your Home With Architectural Shingles

Installing architectural shingles is a rewarding DIY project that can enhance the appearance and durability of your home’s roof. By following these steps and taking the necessary precautions, you can achieve professional-looking results and enjoy the benefits of architectural shingles for years to come.

Get in touch with our roofing experts at Kraft Roofing and experience top quality workmanship and unbeatable customer service.

We can’t wait to hear your questions about the roof that hangs over your home’s head. Let’s get the ball rolling on your next roofing project today!

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