How to Cap a Hip Roof

Written by will conley Google
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How to Cap a Hip Roof
(Jupiterimages/ Images)

A hip roof is one that includes architectural hips, or diagonally slanting edges. Most residential roofs are hipped. Two main types of shingles are used on these roofs: three-tabbed shingles and square shingles. The square shingles are often called "hip shingles" or "ridge shingles" depending on where you put them. "Capping" a roof is to lay those square shingles on the hips and ridges. A well-capped roof is your first line of defence against rain and other weather.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Chalk line
  • Pencil or marker
  • Asphalt roofing hip shingles
  • Nail gun or hammer
  • Shingling nails
  • Roofing cement
  • Razor blade

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  1. 1

    Mark your shingling path up one of the hips. Place a shingle at the bottom of the hip, folded across and bisecting the hip, and mark where its side edges fall on the roof. Place another shingle at the top of the hip, the top edge of the shingle abutting the end of the roof ridge, and mark where its sides fall on the roof. Use these marks to snap a vertical chalk line from top to bottom on each side of the hip.

  2. 2

    Lay a starter hip shingle (a two-stack of hip shingles) at the bottom edge of a hip. Make sure it bisects the hip and extends 1/8" out past the corner of the roof. Secure it to the roof with a nail on the left and a nail on the right, nailing on the top half of the starter shingle. Cut off the "dog ears" that extend past the roof edge with a razor blade.

  3. 3

    Lay a single hip shingle higher up the hip, overlapping the starter shingle by half. Secure it with two nails on the upper half of the hip shingle, one nail on either side of the ridge.

  4. 4

    Repeat Step 3 until you reach the ridge.

  5. 5

    Lay the last hip shingle so that only the decorative part of the shingle makes contact with the roof. Secure it with two nails and cover up the nail heads with roofing cement. Use a razor blade to cut off the remainder of the shingle, keeping the edges aligned with the hip.

  6. 6

    Repeat Steps 1 through 5 for all hips.

  7. 7

    Begin capping the first (or only) ridge by laying a starter shingle (a two-stack) at one end of the ridge. The decorative portion is pointed out away from the centre of the ridge. Secure the starter cap shingle with two nails, one on either side of the ridge, through the nailing portion of the shingle.

  8. 8

    Lay another starter shingle on the other end of the ridge as you did in Step 7. Use the two end shingles as guides to snap one chalk line on each side of the ridge. This will be your guideline when laying the rest of the ridge shingles.

  9. 9

    Place a ridge shingle on one of the two starter shingles, overlapping it by half and moving further toward the centre of the ridge. Secure it with two nails as you did with the starter shingles.

  10. 10

    Repeat Step 8 until you reach the approximate centre of the ridge. Go to the other end of the ridge and do the same until the two lines of ridge shingles meet in the centre.

  11. 11

    Lay the final ridge shingle. Cut the nailing portion off a ridge shingle in a perfectly straight line. Place it on the centre of the ridge, covering up the nailing portions of the two shingles that meet in the centre. The width of the final ridge shingle should be cut to approximately the same width as all the exposed shingles on the roof.

  12. 12

    Repeat Steps 7 through 10 for all ridges.

Tips and warnings

  • Shingling goes most smoothly when two people are doing it together. Have one person lay shingles and the other person drive nails.
  • Roofs with pitches of slope 4 or greater are steep. Use secure ropes and harnesses to assure your safety.

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