Backyard Shed DIY – Part 3! (Roofing)

Onto part 3 of our backyard shed creation- roofing! Make sure you’ve checked out parts one and two before you continue!

Roofing isn’t the most exciting thing to blog about, but there are a lot of details that go into adding shingles that Stephen learned along the way. He had never done anything with shingles before, so YouTube University was his friend! The last thing he did in part two was nail in 1/2″ sheets of plywood to completely cover the rafters, so that was his starting point.

Materials needed:
-Shingles (bought per bundle/33 sq ft each)
-Drip edge (aka metal flashing) x 4
-Tar paper
-Roofing tar
-Roofing nails

Step 1: Stephen put the drip edge along the backside/low edge of the roof. He cut it to length and nailed it in right along the edge of the roof. It fits like a l-shape, covering the side and the top of the edge. It’s important to do this step before you put the tar paper down.

Step 2: He cut the tar paper to size and laid it out, covering the entire roof. It’s on a big roll so he laid it out in strips covering the entire length of the roof. It’s okay to let it hang off the edges, because you can always cut it later. He used plastic cap nails to nail the tar paper in on the edges and middle.

An example of what this looks like- from

Step 3: Stephen then put the drip edge on both sides of the shed. Again, he cut these to size with tin snips and nailed them into place. These two are actually sitting on top of the tar paper.

Step 4: Next, Stephen started laying the shingles. These came in rectangles with several individual shingles on them. Important tip: He began with a “starter strip” at the bottom edge. This strip was a normal-sized piece that he cut almost in half, long ways. This is a single row along the bottom edge. The purpose of a starter strip is to cover joints and help with water shedding at the roof’s edge.

Step 5: Once the starter strip was in place, he laid and staggered each row of shingles per the manufacturer’s instructions. The instructions are very specific about the distance used to stagger each row. He started at the bottom (above the starter strip) and worked his way up to the top.


Step 6: Once the entire roof was covered with shingles, he installed a drip edge to cover the very top edge. He also cut the shingles that hung over the side edges with a razor knife.

Step 7: The nail heads from the very top row of shingles were showing (the others were hidden by the shingles above them), so Stephen used roofing tar to cover the nail heads. This prevents water from leaking through. He also used it to cover the nail heads on the drip edge on the top. This tar comes in a caulk-like tube, so he just squirted it in and smoothed it out with his finger. He didn’t need to use roofing tar anywhere else.

You can see where he used roofing tar to cover the nail heads.
Up close on the drip edge. It prevents water from getting underneath the edge of the shingles.

There you have it- the roof is done! Next up, the walls. Sneak peak:


6 thoughts on “Backyard Shed DIY – Part 3! (Roofing)

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