Cedar shingle fixing advice Req

Hi all, new here and in need of a bit of advice re wood shingles.

First time using these as I am from Scotland, UK and not many roofs have these installed hence why it has took me 20+ years to get my first job doing one.

Here goes.
I am about to embark on re-roofing an old shingle roof and was wondering if it would be in my best interest to use a nail gun or stapler for fixing. If so could you please advise on which make and model is best suited for the job and which length of nail or staple I should use and what type ie.; galvanised, stainlesss steel or copper.

A few questions I know, but would like to leave the best possible job I can using the correct materials whilst doing it the quickest way possible cutting down man hours.

A few pics of roof in question and hope you can help.

I both hand nail and use a stapler for cedar shakes & shingles.
I would guess that hand nailing is better but staples do hold very well, properly done of course…
Stainless steel will work best, galvanized is allowed.
I have seen bad streaking from poor quality galvanized fasteners on cedar roofs.
If you staple use a 7/8" crown staples, the length depends upon what type of shingles/shakes you are applying.

Is this roof going over spaced sheathing or solid decking?

If this is your first cedar roof you will have more questions.
Just ask.

P.S. I would like to find a quick way to properly apply shakes also.
I don’t think there is one…

Thanks for the reply Axiom. It will be 16" Western Red Cedar shingles laid on spaced sheathing, was going to run a length of breathable underfelt along the eaves course, is this advisable?

The stapler I have been looking at is a Dewalt D51321 or a Bostitch RN46-1 roofing nailer, but judging by reading up on things, I should go for the stapler? :?

Start date for this job is Dec 8th and I expect the weather to be bloody freezing and wet if not some snow for good measure, so as you can imagine I’m not to keen on hand nailing them. :smiley:

The eaves should be solid decking.
Approx 3-4 ft on the eaves.
These areas will be Ice & water shield.

The models you have listed are coil roofing nailers…
For a stapler you will need a 7/8" (narrow) crown stapler.

Hand nailing cedar shakes is not that bad.
For your first cedar roof I recommend hand nailing.
The time consuming part is laying them out so that adjacent courses are offset by a minimum of 1 1/2".
If you try to cheat this with cedar shingles ( shakes are more forgiving…) you WILL have a problem roof…
At what exposure are you applying these shingles?

You stated that this is your first Cedar roof, thats cool we all gotta do the first one some time.
When you list 2 coil nailers as choices to apply these shingles, I gotta ask…
Where are you getting to basic instructions to apply this roof?
Are you tearing off the existing roof?
I am assuming so…
If you have winter type weather coming soon, this is not a good job for this time of year.
Especially with spaced sheathing…
This job is going to take a while, especially with an inexperienced crew.
More labor is not necessarily better in this case…
You also said you have been roofing for 20 years, so I assume you know how to keep a house dry to the weather.

Over the solid decking portions of the roof you should use cedar breather under the shingles.
This product provides an air space under the shingles allowing them to dry uniformly, reducing curling and cracking.
The same purpose as the spaced decking.
Don’t put felt or any other kind of underlayment over your spaced decking.

If you are tearing off the existing roof it will be better from a weather standpoint to redeck the structure and do a long term dry in.
Titanium UDL is great for this application.
Then you would use cedar breather on the entire deck.

I’ve never done any cedar roofing work (other than tear off on old cedar with a transition to fiberglass), so this is where I am going to learn as well.

Do us a favor; take LOTS of photos & keep us updated as to how your progress is going.

Be sure to take @ least 3 or 4 photos from the top of the roof showing the surrounding area.

Thanks Axiom for taking the time out to keep me right, your never to old to learn, as they say lol 8) First off I listed the wrong product for fixing the shingles, I meant the DeWalt D51431 stapler, would this do?

I will be stripping the exisiting off and will not be covering the spaced sheathing with anything as I know it is important for the shingles to breath and allow air to circulate for various reasons.

Exposure I will be applying them are 5".

I was going to put the breathable underfelt along the eaves going up the solid decking 1m, but as recommend the Cedar breather I will look into getting this instead.

I am getting my info from the Application Handbook of B.C Shake and Shingle Association.

The person wanting the roof done is wanting it done like yesterday and so from that point of view I’m stuck with doing now and believe me, this is the last time of the year I want to be doing it, short days, daylight from about 8.30am till dark before 4pm, so the working hours will be short.

Appreciating all the info you give me Axiom, it’s exactly what I’m looking for and will post up a few pictures of the finished roof when I’m done.

Not exclusively the finished product, but try to stop on a few points as you go & take photos of your progress.

Will do that for you RHR. 8)

Guys, can someone advise if this stapler would do the job required, Paslode Cordless Im200-S16 as this would be my preffered option rather than the DeWalt D51431 as it has no compressor and hose and associated hassle.

Will have to buy soon, as I go away for a few days holiday early next week and start job on my return.

Yes you can use either of those staplers, use a min of 1 1/2" length staples.
I misspoke earlier when I said To use 7/8" crown staples, I meant 7/16"…

That is an excellent resource, follow it to a “T” and you won’t have any problems.
It looks like your first cedar application will not be too difficult, it is still going to take a while…
Are you re-flashing the walls?
If so, with what type of flashing?
If you have moss and algae on roofs in the area you may want to install a copper strips near the ridge and halfway up the roof.
They are hidden and you only see it through the 1/2" gaps in the shingles, but it does help with moss and algae growth.
For a 5" exposure you would want these strips to be 7" wide by as long as is practical.
What are your plans for the ridge?
Is it going to be vented?

I think you will like applying this type of roof, it is a nice change of pace…

I am curious, I bid a cedar job a month ago or so and I was told that there was a cedar shake/shingle shortage.
Last year 18" tapersawn shakes were $270/sq, this year they were quoting $480…
I think that this is temporary, but…
I realize you are using a different shingle than I am speaking of, but the cost for shakes/shingles is comparable across the board.
How much were you quoted per square for your cedar shingles?

Don’t forget, Axiom… you may need to convert Euros to Dollars.

Yeah, baby!

They are about the same nowadays aren’t they? :frowning:

That existing roof still looks pretty good…

Axiom, the person we are doing the job for is supplying the material needed and just wants a straight rip off and renew job to the roof, ran the copper strip idea by them, the cedar breather, but they said not to worry about it and not worried about any vents either, we have said our part on it and it’s their money after all so…

Price they paid for the shingles was £45 + VAT @ 17.5% per bundle, 2.8 m2 in a bundle. That is pounds sterling, which is about two pounds to the dollar.

Hope to purchase a couple of the Paslode staplers to speed things up also.

Ric, what y’all call a “VAT” (value added tax) is what we here in the States call a sales tax. I’ve never seen a state with more than 9% sales tax, but then again for some states that is ON TOP of an income tax.

Sorry to be a pest.
Guys can one of you please tell me the best fasteners to get from this list.

Yip RHR, VAT is payable on almost bloody everything over here, I think we must be the most taxed nation in the world, petrol (gas) has just went up to £1.01 a litre, thats $2 your money a litre and I stay in a rea where the petrol is cheap. :x

Think I’ll buy a bike for work and keep myself fit into the bargain. :slight_smile:

I would go with 2" stainless steel, I don’t see it on the list.

Now I’m not a roofer, just a roofers wife but my hubby has done a few cedar roofs. This may be a good time saver and if not I’m sure these guys will tell you. You can use a 1 by 6 or whatever size works for your shingle to use as a guide for lining them up. It will make the shingling go a bit faster.


A pneumatic nail gun will split your shakes…
Either use a pneumatic stapler or hand nail.