How to install cedar shingles and felt

One of the sturdiest types of roofing available, cedar shingles, or cedar shakes, install to a roof in the same manner as most other type of shingles. As you install cedar shingles, you must also lay roofing felt. Roofing felt protects the surface of the roof from scratching and other possible damage due to the shingles and also provides insulation for the roof surface.

Start on one side of the roof and lay a layer of roofing felt along the bottom edge of the roof. Let the roofing felt hang off the roof by about 1/4 inch on the sides and bottom and staple the felt to the roof with a staple every 12 inches.

Put a layer of cedar shingles over the roofing felt so the shingles overhang the roof edge by approximately 2 inches. Place each shingle with the thick end facing down, line up the edge with the shingle installed before it and attach the shingle with four to six nails through the top half, or thin part, of the shingle.

Place a second layer of cedar shingles on top of the first layer to create a double-row. Cut down the first shingle in the row vertically, so the shingle is roughly half its original width, and lay it at the end of the row. Lay the next shingle next to it so the shingles cover the gaps between the shingles in the first layer.

Lay another layer of roofing felt above the double-row of cedar shingles so it overlaps the row of shingles by 8 to 10 inches. Install a row of shingles over the felt so the shingles overlap the first row of shingles by 14 to 16 inches and attach them to the roof with four to six nails.

Continue to the top of the roof until only the peak remains. Begin the process again on the opposite side of the roof and shingle all the way up the slope.

Attach the last row of cedar shingles on the second side of the roof so that the tops of the shingles line up with the roof's peak. Place shingles on the opposite side of the peak so the tops of the shingles extend over the peak by 1 to 2 inches. Secure the shingles with nails.

Things You'll Need

  • Cedar shingles
  • Roof felt
  • Staple gun
  • 1/4-inch staples
  • Nail gun
  • 2-to-3-inch roofing nails
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About the Author

Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.