How to Install Flashing Felt & Three Tab Roof Shingles

Written by robert howard
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to Install Flashing Felt & Three Tab Roof Shingles
Asphalt has become an extremely popular choice of building material when it comes to shingles. (Asphalt 2 image by Fenvarien from

The combination of an attractive appearance, reasonable cost and relative ease of installation have made three tab asphalt roofing shingles a popular choice with homeowners and builders throughout many parts of the United States. Before installing three tab shingles to a rooftop, lay a layer of roofing over the roof sheathing, to provide an additional layer of water-resistance. With the felt in place, install the shingles in an overlapping pattern that sheets water down the rooftop and into the rain gutters.

Skill level:

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Roofing felt
  • Staple gun
  • Utility knife
  • Starter strip
  • Roofing nails
  • Hammer
  • Three tab asphalt shingles
  • Ridge cap shingles
  • Roofing sealant
  • Caulking gun

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Roll out your first course of roofing felt. Start at the base of the section of roof you're working on, and run the felt from one edge of the roof section to the other. Tack the felt in place with staples. Don't overdo it: you only need the felt to stay in place until you nail the shingle down over the top of it. A staple here and there should do the trick, and the fewer holes you punch through the felt, the better.

  2. 2

    Work your way up the roof. Lay each course of felt so the lower edge covers the felt below by 2 or 3 inches. Where two adjoining pieces of felt meet, overlap them by 4 inches. Lay felt over the entire section of rooftop you are going to be shingling.

  3. 3

    Install your starter strip. This thin section of asphalt shingle material runs along the base of the roof, from one edge to the other. The base of the first course of shingles will rest on the starter strip. Line the starter strip up so that it is flush with the lower edge of the roof, and fasten it in place with roofing nails driven every 6 inches or so. If necessary, cut the last piece of starter strip to length with a utility knife.

  4. 4

    Fasten your first course of shingles to the house. Start at one edge and work your way across. The base of this first course should lie flush with, and on top of, the starter strip. Fasten each three tab shingle in place with four roofing nails. Drive one nail above each of the two cut-outs in the shingle, and one nail about 1 inch in from each shingle edge. Position these nails about 1 inch above the exposure, or the portion of the shingle that will remain in sight after the next course of shingles is applied. Work your way across the rooftop and use a utility knife to trim excess material off of the last shingle in the course.

  5. 5

    Install the second shingle course. Stagger the seams between the shingles so that the seams and cut outs on one course lie halfway between the seams and cut outs of the courses above and below. This staggered pattern will increase the rooftop's overall water-resistance. Anywhere there is a continuous seam, water has a better chance of penetrating the roof and causing damage to the house.

  6. 6

    Work your way up to the ridge of the roof. Continue staggering the joints between the shingles. Fold the final shingle course over the ridge of the roof and nail it in place. Once you've finished one section, repeat the process for the remaining roof sections until you have the entire rooftop covered in shingles.

  7. 7

    Install ridge cap shingles along the ridge line. Snap a chalk guide line from one edge of the roof's ridge to the other. Refer to this line as you work; it will help you keep your ridge cap shingles nice and straight. Line the edge of the first ridge cap shingle up with the edge of the roof and nail it into place with two roofing nails. Drive these nails about 1 inch past the exposure line, and 1 inch from each edge of the ridge cap unit.

  8. 8

    Work from one side of the ridge to the other, fastening the ridge cap shingles so that each unit covers the nails holding the unit before it. The final ridge cap shingle will have two exposed nails. Cover these nail heads with roofing sealant to create a water-resistant seal.

Tips and warnings

  • The amount of shingle exposure will vary depending on the type and size of shingle you are using. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions regarding the proper exposure for the specific shingles you are working with.
  • Always take great caution whenever you are working on a rooftop. Slips and falls can result in serious injuries. A safety harness can be used to prevent falls and fall-related injuries.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.