Can I roof my own house?

Oh, so you’ve decided you’re going to be a roofer now, huh?

Watched a couple of guys clambering around on top of a house, slapping roofing shingles around and thought, “Hey, that looks like a fun way to spend my weekend!” Well, brace yourself, dear friend, because here’s a hard truth for you: it’s not as easy as it looks.

First off, those guys you were spying on, they’re professionals. They strut about up there like they’re walking in a park, not a care in the world, because they do it day in, day out. They’ve got years of experience, the right tools, the correct materials, and the knowledge to install various types of roofs without face-planting into your rose bushes. But don’t let that deter you, by all means, dive in headfirst into your new DIY adventure.

Before you ascend into the heights of your budding roofing career, consider this. Have you thought about getting a quote from some actual professionals? Just for comparison, mind you. It might save you from, oh, I don’t know, a few weekends of cursing, a potential concussion, or the inevitable ego bruising when you screw up and have to call in the pros anyway.

But hey, if you’re still determined to strap on that tool belt and venture up to the skies, there are some things you need to keep in mind. First up, draft a plan. Unless you fancy living under half a roof, you need to figure out how you’ll install it step-by-step correctly and safely. And oh, just a small thing, don’t forget to check your local building codes and get your roofing permit. Those pesky code enforcement guys can be real killjoys, shutting down your project before you’ve even figured out how to climb the ladder.

Next, decide on your material. Are you an asphalt shingle type? Maybe you’re more into metal, slate, or wood shake. Whatever tickles your fancy, make sure you can actually handle it. Do the math on how much material you’ll need and get it delivered to your site. Trust me, you’ll thank me when you’re not hauling a ton of shingles in the back of your Mini Cooper.

So, you’ve stripped off the old shingles, cleaned the roof and have new flashing, valley metal, and underlayment ready to go. Cool. Now all you have to do is lay out the spacing for your shingles with a chalk line and start installing them. It’s just like building a LEGO house, right? Once you’ve covered the field with shingles, install your ridge shingles and cover any exposed nail heads with roofing cement. Don’t want to leave any traces of your DIY endeavors now, do you?

Finally, it’s time for cleanup. Collect all your leftover bits, pick up any nails on the ground with a roofing magnet (you do have a roofing magnet, right?), and then stand back and admire your handiwork. You’re done. Nice job. No, really, I mean it… That’s a… special looking roof you’ve got there. Well done, you.