How to Install Shingles with the Pyramid Method Part 2 of 2

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Some manufacturers of laminated shingles do not recommend using the staggered installation method. It requires that shingles in every other course be lifted up to slide the adjacent shingle into place.

 

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Overview

Some manufacturers of laminated shingles do not recommend using the staggered installation method. It requires that shingles in every other course be lifted up to slide the adjacent shingle into place. Lifting or bending laminated shingles, which are less flexible, can damage them. Instead of using this method of working off of vertical reference lines (see step 5), you can install laminated shingles in a diagonal, pyramid-style pattern. It’s an efficient alternative that doesn’t require snapping vertical control lines or lifting partially installed shingles.
The diagonal pyramid effect is created by starting successive rows with incrementally smaller starter shingles. For the shingles shown here (39 1⁄2" long) a set of five starter shingles was cut, each 7" shorter than the previous. Thus, starter shingle lengths were 39 1⁄2", 32 1⁄2", 25 1⁄2", 18 1⁄2", and 11 1⁄2". For shingles styles where you must maintain a regular tab offset pattern, use starter shingles that increase in length by one-half tab per row.
Begin the installation process by snapping a chalk line for your starter course and nailing the starter course shingles in place. Trim and nail the starter shingles just as you would for a staggered installation along the full length of the bottom eave. Next, nail the full-length shingle of the first starter set over the starter course shingles, at the roof deck corner where two eaves meet. Position and nail the other starter set shingles above the first so the edges overhang the rake by 3⁄4 to 1 1⁄2". This will create a diagonal pattern along the exposed ends of the starter set. Now, abut and nail two full shingles beside each of the starter set shingles to extend the diagonal pattern farther. Nail a second starter set above the first along the rake edge, and add a full shingle next to each of the second starter set shingles.
Once two starter sets and their abutting shingles are in place, continue to nail the first nine courses of shingles across the roof to the other end. Work from the bottom up to lay and nail the shingles as you go. When these courses are completed, add third and fourth starter sets above the completed courses and repeat the shingling process to install the next nine courses of shingles. Work your way up the roof in this fashion until you reach the ridge, and then install ridge cap shingles as usual.

What You'll Need

Tools:

Aviation snips
Carpenter’s square
Chalk line
Flat bar
Roofer's hatchet or pneumatic nailer
Utility knife
Straightedge
Tape measure
Chalk gun
Flashing
Shingles
Nailing cartridges
Roofing cement
Roofing nails (7⁄8", 11⁄4")
Rubber gasket nails

Materials:

Aviation snips
Carpenter’s square
Chalk line
Flat bar
Roofer's hatchet or pneumatic nailer
Utility knife
Straightedge
Tape measure
Chalk gun
Flashing
Shingles
Nailing cartridges
Roofing cement
Roofing nails (7⁄8", 11⁄4")
Rubber gasket nails

 

Step 1

Step 25

Following the chalk line, install cap shingles halfway along the ridge, creating a 5" reveal for each cap. Then, starting at the opposite end, install caps over the other half of the ridge to meet the first run in the center. Cut a 5"-wide section from the reveal area of a shingle tab, and use it as a “closure cap” to cover the joint where the caps meet.


Step 2

Step 26

Shingle the hips in the same manner using a chalk reference line and cap shingles. Start at the bottom of each hip and work to the peak. Where hips join with roof ridges, install a custom shingle cut from the center of a cap shingle. Set the cap at the end of the ridge and bend the corners so they fit over the hips. Secure each corner with a roofing nail, and cover the nail heads with roofing cement.


Step 3

Step 27

After all shingles are installed, trim them at the valleys to create a gap that’s 3" wide at the top and widens at a rate of 1⁄8" per foot as it moves downward. Use a utility knife and straight-edge to cut the shingles, making sure not to cut through the valley flashing. At the valleys, seal the undersides and edges of shingles with roofing cement. Also cover exposed nail heads with roofing cement.


Step 4

Step 28

Mark and trim the shingles at the rake edges of the roof. Snap a chalk line 3⁄8" from the edge to make an overhang, then trim the shingles.


 
 

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