Installing Laminated Shingles: Pyramid Variation Part 1 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

How to Install Shingles with the Pyramid Method

Cut starter strips roughly 6" wide and nail them in a row at the eave, overhang the drip edge very slightly.


Step 2

How to Install Shingles with the Pyramid Method

Cut a set of starter shingles that decrease in size incrementally from the full length. For this 39 1⁄2" long architectural shingle, additional start shingles were created in the following lengths: 32 1⁄2", 25 1⁄2", 18 1⁄2", and 11 1⁄2". Be sure to place a hard backerboard underneath shingles before cutting.


Step 3

How to Install Shingles with the Pyramid Method

Nail the full-length shingle of the starter set in place, overlapping the starter course shingles at the roof deck corner. Then position and nail the remaining four starter set shingles above the first in decreasing sizes to create a diagonal pattern on the open ends.


Step 4

How to Install Shingles with the Pyramid Method

Position and nail two full-length shingles next to each of the starter set shingles to begin the first five shingle courses. Keep the reveals even as you go along.


Step 5

How to Install Shingles with the Pyramid Method

Add the second starter set above the first one, just as you did in step 3. Position and nail a single full shingle next to each of these starter set shingles. This initiates the next four courses of shingles.


Step 6

How to Install Shingles with the Pyramid Method

Working from the bottom up and horizontally, position and nail additional shingles to complete the first nine courses to the opposite roof eave. Trim off the ends so they overhang the far eave by 3⁄4 to 1 1⁄2" (if you have a metal edge, shingles may remain flush, but check with the manufacturer recommendations). Repeat the process of cutting and adding starter sets, and the shingle courses they establish, until you reach the ridge. Once the opposite roof deck is shingled, install ridge cap shingles as usual (see steps 21 through 28).


Step 7

Step 21

Cut and install top flashing (also called a saddle) around the high side of the chimney. Overlap the final piece of flashing along each side. Attach the flashing with roofing cement applied to the deck and chimney and with rubber gasket nails driven through the flashing base into the roof deck. Shingle past the chimney using roofing cement (not nails) to attach shingles over the flashing.


Step 8

Step 22

When you reach a hip or ridge, shingle up the first side until the top of the uppermost reveal area is within 5" of the hip or ridge. Trim the shingles along the peak. Install shingles on the opposite side of the hip or ridge. Overlap the peak no more than 5".


Step 9

Step 23

Cut three 12"-sq. cap shingles from each three-tab shingle. With the back surface facing up, cut the shingles at the tab lines. Trim the top corners of each square with an angled cut, starting just below the seal strip to avoid overlaps in the reveal area.


Step 10

Step 24

Snap a chalk line 6" down from the ridge, parallel to the peak. Attach cap shingles, starting at one end of the ridge, aligned with the chalk line. Drive two 1 1⁄4" roofing nails per cap about 1" from each edge, just below the seal strip.


 
 

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