Master Techniques

well i dont know about your 45n deal,but i can snap two lines,and be very sufficient at it.havent met to many men keep up with my speed plus match quality.

The most popular laminates used here are IKO Cambridge and BP Harmony. Elks are becoming more common due to how inexpensive they are.
There a designer shingle made to resemble cedar shakes. The bottom half has a second layer with a cut pattern in it. Usually a 30yr + shingle.

When you don’t nail the flashing they all pop up after awhile I have seen it alot

Yes but why the sorting of laminates ?

he doesn’t have the time to nail the flashing because he puts down 40-50 square a day :smiley:

As long as you arent nailing too far away from your flashing(stay close to that six inch distance) the shingle shouldn’t move. I could see if guys were going too tight to the wall that would happen. I like to be around a 1/4 inch away from the flashing. House shift can also cause problems like that.
I started doing it this way when i worked for a couple old guys. They’ve been around for a good 30 yrs, thats a good span of time to see what happens to your roofs.

Sorting laminates allows you to get into that robotic motion while nailing alot faster. If you have to flip every second shingle then line it up, it adds more movements to your nailing. When you sort, your basically doing your flips in advance and in teh optimal position for I lay my sorted bundles out above me, fallowing my pattern. As i go up my step, all i have to do is grab a shingle and pull it down into place. Same motion all the way up the panel. If my shingles arent sorted, i have to go up the panel flipping every second one which screws up my pulldown motion. It gets annoying when you’ve done alot of 3 tabs.

Where do you guys get all these high square numbers?40-50 square is approx 120-150 bundles. I said i do a good 14-15 bundles an hour when i’m nailing. I dunno about you guys, but i have ice and water shield and paper to install as well. At least paper when theres no valleys. And thats new houses. How many solid hrs you think i really get to nail? I never work more than 10 hrs a day, and its not very often. 8 hrs a day is good for me. On a new place, i usually get a pallet on a day. As far as reroofs go, that all depends on the shape the roofs in.

“whats this gtape”.
make gweedo laugh.
such passion at such a young age
this titan.


welcome indeed.


Everyone pretty much caps a place off the same way. The usually difference is just the way they cut their caps. Some do two angled cuts down each key line or straight down, one cut per key line.(Always use 3tabs for caps less your using a special capping shingle. Skylines look alright. But i never use laminates for cap. It looks stupid.) I cut my caps with two angles down each key. Everyone says it makes a mess. But really how big of a mess is a stack of small triangles? Using the angles makes for a better finish look becuase if your using straight cuts, they have to be perfect or it looks like crap. I can cut very quickly and not have to worry about being dead straight. Wrap my little mess up in the shingles wrapping and toss it off the roof. The rest is pretty straight forward. Chalk your lines and nail em on.
I always keep my caps up above me and use the same pull down motion as when i’m shingling. Set my caps with my left hand so i dont have to put down my nailer.

Shingled in several hundred homes in the past dozen or so years and for three tabs which is only about .25% of shingles laid in the past three years is two lines up the roof from left to right with the lead run one course to the right. Roof jacks slipped under the tabs with a bundle on it pointing towards the direction of shingle being installed. I like to keep them right next to the second eye line so the tabs are easy to lift up.

For laminates like to go from left to right with a shingle tosser handing me shingles one at a time from above. On steep roofs the bundles are set on spikes.

With the three tabs have a personal best of about 8.33 sq per hour and with laminates never been timed but would guess 5-7 sq per hour average on a big open piece. When I used to roof new houses by myself with papering, loading, drip edge, shingling, clean up, etc. would average about 2.5-3sq per hour. Best day solo was 38sq laminates installed. Best day with a tosser from start to finish was a 30sq with three tabs.

My dad is the only roofer I know who would rather have a laborer sort the laminates than have them tossed to him one at a time. He’s old school though and has laid several thousand roofs in his 36 years installing shingles. His personal best is 40 squares in a day (long day) and 8.5 squares in a hour. By sorting he likes them all going the same way with the face pointing towards the right as he’s also a right handed roofer who likes to go from left to right.

This year my 8 person crew did a 24sq tear off in 4.5 hours, not bad me thinks! It was a two sided one story 5/12.

As far as cutting ridge out of three tabs for three tabs I cut what us roofers call pies out of them. For laminates we never use three tabs for ridge only special ridge for laminates.

Gotta admit although perhaps the fastest on my crew a lot slower than what I used to be when I’d do 75 roofs a year by myself. Back then 6 days was an average week and 10 hours would be a short day. Very tough on the body.

Fast is great but fast and quality is hard to come by. My crew is all paid hourly and there always told quality before speed.

Labors now that’s whats up. They can sort shingles, toss shingles,clean up, and even install shingles. a good 4 man crew should be installing at least 15 to 20 square an hour. I work hand and hand with my crew and bring out the best in them. You get one man sorting and loading, 2 men nailing nothing but field no cut no starts no valleys, and all I do is is start and cut drop back and ridge when my roof start coming together. Stair stepping or (sitting side ways as we say on my crew) is far most the fastest compared to racking. I hate racking but on them 3 tabs patterns you keep your lines straiter than stair stepping.

I also prefer to rake with tabs. faster and straight as an arrow. hardley ever do tabs anymore unless its a certainteed hattaras or gaf slate line.

hey guys,
Winds hitting 70k today. shitty day for roofin.
I dont do as many steeps as i used to. 4 in the last 8 monthes. I used to chalk two lines down the panel when i first started doing them. But after laminates became more popular, and we started installing them on steeps, it seemed the 45 or step method was faster even on a steep.(I try and not to rack or block laminates). Only difference for steeps is i dont use my gauge. I go off the key lines. Instead of using nails to hold my shingles above me, i use what some people call a roofing chair. Its just a 2x2 square of plywood with a short piece of 2x4 nailed on for a ledge. I stapled carpet underlay to the back of it. I can throw a bundle on it and not worry about it sliding. Hide and other things work as well.(some people use nails or brackets on the back)
We sort our laminates on the ground then handbomb or hoist them up. Jacks are nailed on the shingle hit line for easy removal. I only use the harness to tear a steep as well. Its never on when i’m nailing.
Stepping tabs is just as accurate if you use a guage. You cant go wrong with exposure.
The fastes roof i remember was a walk on we did this summer. Approx 25sq tear off, fully papered, and reapplication in just over 3 hrs. 3 guys: me, a young kid(17) who started in the spring and my boss. Most of the garbage hit the trailer and the home owner watched us the whole time. 6 face nails or misses. It was the first time we nailed Elk lams.

I find that doing the most of what you can at one time is always the fastest. Patterns run on this rule just like bundle sorting. When i pick up my gun and start nailing, i like to continue nailing without have to pull out my knife all the time or relying on labourers. Racking or blocking works the same way. You can start nailing and not have to use your knife for a while, but its the install movement that sucks. Underlapping every second shingle slows you down.
I also get to go up my edge which i know will look perfect when i reach the top.(i may have to cut most of my other side, but there all cuts i get to make with my good hand) Getting max efficiency with other techniques requires measuring, math, and chalk lines. With patterns and precutting combine with the 45 you get great efficiency without the hastle of measuring and chalk lines!
My laminate pattern spaces the seams 10 inches apart resulting in 4 rows per pattern. 3 tabs are tighter with a 6 row pattern. Using the togs or slits on the top of most shingles gives you a great pattern with no can even cut your patterns so you get all factory edges running up the side you start on:)
Precutting is the same idea. eg Say your going up a wall and you know your going to cut every shingle, Cut as many as you can till you get to a full shingle from the wall. Then naill all your cut pieces in. Dont cut, place, nail, cut, place, nail. That just wastes time.
If your good and confident, try using your finger to gauge over hang. If it works for you, its much faster than a tape and line.


You have some good ideas and techniques. They aren’t new. We were doing many of those yrs and yrs ago. I’m glad you found some decent roofers to learn from and are doing a good job. You will find a lot of other good ideas and techniques from the guys on this forum.

But keep it all in perspective. The fastest roofers I know don’t walk too well anymore. Lot of back and knee problems. We had one guy, still roofing, won the GAF or Certainteed( I forget which) Fastest roofer in the World contest years ago. Won a trip to Hawaii. I’m not sure how many knee surgeries he’s had lately.

Point is, balance your speed with your price and your quality. Good luck.

for 3 tabs we snap 2 vertical lines on a gable. then we rack one set straight up the roof to the peak. then we start back at the eave and start stair stepping. 2 fulls, then 2 two tabs, then both the singles left over from the last two rows. run that 45 out and start with 2 fulls again.

i learned this after racking for 5 years. i never done tons of three tabs, but racking was the only way i could keep them perfectly straight. using this technique has worked great for me. Modern Roofing taught me this and i use that technique wherever i can. they use the gauge but i never could develope a rythm and i feel the gauge can screw you on an old house. especially if it has any dips.

The record for most shingles laid in a day was something like 62 squares in 8 hours stapled in the 80’s. A roofer once posted he witnessed it across the street from the building in Chicago. The installer had a laborer setting out bundles for him.

Supposed to be in the Guiness book of world records or something.

62 square in 8 hours. What kind of building it was, how steep was it, was it two strait sides, how many valleys and how much cut was it and did they finish in one day. Anyone can nail strait field all the easy cake work no roof is the same so how can you call him the fastest. Speed is always in the placement direction is everything. I have put on 37 square alone in the early part of my career but It was 2 strait sides. I have put on a 59 square 6/12 one story just 4 hip roof in 7 hours with 2 helpers a feeder and a loader. High square numbers can be ran only if the job allows you to. I depend on my crew now a days I let them do a bulk of the work I dont want to hurt myself at a young age. I got alot of roofs left in me!

contrary to popular lore and legend, there are no Hero’s in the Roofing trade. When I was in the roofers union as a kid we would go to this local bar to cash our checks, it was always full of roofers and tin knockers.The more they drank the more squares they did that day. More bull shiiit stories than Disney Land. :?