How to Shingle a Gambrel Roof

Gambrel roofs are a sight to behold. They remind you of the countryside. As pleasing as they can be, gambrel roofs don’t offer good protection from precipitation. Shingling can remedy this issue. The question is, how to shingle a gambrel roof?


Gambrel Roof Preparation

You will need the following

  • Measuring tape
  • Roofing felt
  • Roofing nails
  • Nail gun
  • Roofing stapler
  • Roofing staples
  • Shingles
  • Ridge caps
  • Utility knife
  • Crowbar
  • Ladder
  • Protective gear

Before we tell you how to shingle a gambrel roof, you need to clear the roof surface first. Use a crowbar to remove old shingles and clean the surface thoroughly. Remove old staples and nails as well so you have a smooth surface to work on. Inspect the roof sheathing, frame, and trusses. Repair if needed.

You want to know how many shingles you will need for your gambrel roof trim. Take the measuring tape and measure the width and length of the slopes. Count them and sum them.

A square of shingles can cover 100 square feet. Take waste into account and add an extra 5% or so to the approximate amount needed. Estimate how many ridge caps will be needed as well.

Then, install the roofing felt to provide extra protection against the elements. Secure it with staples and trim if necessary. Smooth it down and make sure there is no gap. Leave about two to six inches of the felt to overlap.

Lay the First Shingle

Lay the First Shingle

The next step in our how to shingle a gambrel roof guide is to lay the first shingle. Start by laying a shingle at the outermost corner of the lowest slope. Make sure that it aligns squarely with the roof. Secure with a nail gun.

Complete the First Row

Complete the First Row

Lay the second next to the first. Make sure the shingles are even and properly aligned. Then, secure the second single with a nail gun.

Repeat the process with other shingles until you complete the first row.  Inspect the shingles. Make sure that all shingles are secured in place. Trim the shingle if necessary.

Shingle Slope

Shingle Slope

To start the second row, place a shingle above the last shingle in the first row. The shingles should overlap slightly. Repeat the process for until the row is complete.

When you reach the third row, alternate the placement so that each shingle begins in the middle of the shingle underneath it. For this, you will need to precut and size the first shingle in the third row. Lay the remaining shingles until the first slope is shingled.


slope change

When reaching a slope change, continue shingling as you have been. The shingle may sit up or stand. Don’t worry, it will fall into place and lay down eventually.


how to shingle a gambrel roof

When reaching a ridge, use the roof cap. Lay the ridge cap over the last shingle row. Align it over the ridge then nail it into place.

And that’s how to shingle a gambrel roof. For the best result, do the project on a warm sunny day. The heat of the sun will improve the workability and flexibility of the shingles. In addition, it will allow the tarred side of the shingles to adhere better to the roof surface.

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