How to install wooden shingles

Updated February 21, 2017

Wooden shingles can help give your home a vintage look, as well as make your house stand out from your neighbours'. Wooden shingles can help provide insulation for your home in the winter, and if installed properly, can last for over 20 years. They're also fairly easy to install; installation is similar to asphalt shingles. There are some drawbacks, though. Wooden shingles are banned in some areas due to being a fire hazard, and can be prone to moisture damage if not installed and treated properly.

Lay roofing paper over the wooden sheathing (the boards that form the base of the roof), attaching it by using a staple gun. Make sure the roofing paper goes about an inch over the edge of the roof to prevent moisture from getting in underneath.

Start at one of the bottom corners of the roof, and nail a shingle into place (the thinner edge is on top) so that it goes about an inch over the edge of the roof line. The nails should be placed 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the side of the shingle and 10 cm (4 inches) from the bottom.

Nail the rest of the shingles into the base row, keeping a quarter-inch gap between the shingles.

Nail a second row of shingles over the base row, but stagger them so that the top layer covers the gaps between the shingles on the bottom layer.

Add a second row of shingles so that about 3.5 to 4 cm (1 1/2 inch to 2 inches) of the base row is exposed. Stagger the shingles so that the gaps in the top base row are covered, nailing them in the same way as you did the two base rows.

Continue this process until the roof is completed.


When you're nailing the shingles into the roof, keep the head of the nails flush with the shingle to help prevent water damage.


Since wooden shingles pose a greater fire hazard than asphalt shingles, you should get shingles that are pressure-treated with fire retardant. Your home insurance premium might go up, and you should check with your local municipality to make sure that they're not banned.

Things You'll Need

  • Roofing paper
  • Staple gun
  • Shingles
  • Roofing nails
  • Hammer or nail gun
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About the Author

Carson Barrett began writing professionally in 2009. He has been published on various websites. Barrett is currently attending Bucks County Community College, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in sports management.