I put the roof on my half-price shed kit last yesterday and I noticed
that the roofing instructions in the plans were wrong. I did a little
internet research and found some indications that a lot of
instructions either don't mention one of the key points or show the
same error as my shed plans.
My shed instructions say to install the starter course of shingles
with the tabs facing up. This puts the adhesive strip mid way up the
first course, with nothing to hold down the tabs of the first course.
I've found instructions on the web that either don't say anything
about cutting the tabs off or if they do, they don't mention the fact
that the adhesive strip should be placed at the bottom, near the eave.
I'm just curious if stats like the ones mentioned at the following
site are accurate. Is it true that 90 - 95% of roofers do it wrong -
placing the adhesive strip too high up on the starter course?
Figure 3 here shows a picture of what I believe to be the correct way
to install the Starter Course:
I'm not a roofer, I only recently played one in my backyard, so I'm
open to being corrected.
Yup , that's how it's done especially by old schoolers...Don't see much 3
tab around here anymore...Architectural shingles are all the rage and are
better shingles and are faster to lay..You HAVE to use starter shingles for
the first course and the cap....
I guess there are 4 of us who do it right, now.<g> I argued for a
minute with my brothers-in-law as they started to re-roof their house.
But they've 'been in the business'[construction] all their lives, and
I haven't, so I just asked if they could see the difference in results
and let them go ahead and do it wrong.
Just 'cuz they're "in da' bizness" probably means they've got even
higher chance of doing it wrong than the DIY'er because the time to trim
the tabs is directly bottom-line $$ instead of just a few extra minutes.
Of course, the manufacturers all make starter shingles specifically for
the purpose if they would simply go to the trouble to use them...
re: Of course, the manufacturers all make starter shingles
specifically for the purpose if they would simply go to the trouble to
True, but if you are talking about "bottom-line $$ instead of just a
few extra minutes" the same (or worse) applies to using a pre-made
Even you said "go to the trouble to use them".
Using them would mean locating them, opening the package, storing them
where they can be found the next time and all the other "time
consuming steps" involved with using them, as opposed to just grabbing
a standard shingle and cutting the tabs off.
If they won't go through the trouble/time/expense of cutting the tabs
off, I can't imagine they would go through the even greater trouble/
time/expense of using an additional product.
Quite the contrary. Certainteed sells starters by the bundle, they are 3
tab with defects, the tabs are already cut off. The defects were/are to
the tab portion, which is no longer there. They are priced roughly $6 per
bundle, than a bundle of 25 yr shingles.
An aside note, all roofing suppliers in my area carry them. They are not
available at the retail outlets in my area.
My use of the words "easier/cheaper alternative" meant that it's
easier/cheaper from a bottom-line dollar perspective because of the
time required to use the starter shingles instead of cutting the tabs
Think of it this way....
1 - I am going to charge the client the total cost of material + labor
either way, so the $6 savings per bundle for the starter shingles
makes no difference to me and probably not much to the client since I
won't need too many bundles of the starters for most jobs.
2 - I can worry about and deal with these specialized shingles being
where I need them when I need them and all that little stuff, or I can
just toss my regular shingles up on the roof, grab whatever I want and
in a matter of - what, 2 seconds? - cut the tabs off and have a
Which do you think is going to take me (or my workers) less time to
do? I sure wouldn't want to go looking for starter shingles as I move
across the roof when I've got bundles of "ready to become starter
shingles" shingles within easy reach at all times.
Since time is money, any savings on the starter shingles is going to
get eaten up in all the extra "stuff" involved with having them,
finding them, using them, storing them, transporting them, etc.
You need to think efficiency, plus cost factor. Sadly, I was roofing for
nearly 16 yrs. You need to think $, on the average our jobs used nearly 1
sq (3 bundles of starter), that's including running the rake edges for a
3/4" overhang. You need to cut (time), since I see you like to cut as you
go, you're switching from a nail gun (or roof hammer) to knife. That is
really inefficient. When you cut, you have waste, you can't let it just
sit there, someone has to toss it in a dump truck or whatever you're using
for disposal. Another inefficient step.
If you're hauling your own shingles up, either your time isn't very
valuable, or you're using cheap labor. You can't beat RTD (roof top
delivery). For a $3 per square charge, you get drip
edge/felt/shingles/starter/ venting/ collar stacks all set on the roof. If
you have regular tab shingles that you intead to cut for starters, it's
going to be more $ instead of just having starters set RTD in the first
You don't go looking for starters. It's called being organized. Nobody
needs anyone on their roof which operates haphazardly. You're scaring me on
how you operate.
re: You're scaring me on how you operate.
It appears you may not have been following this thread since the
I started the thread and in the 3rd post I said:
"I'm not a roofer, I only recently played one in my backyard, so I'm
open to being corrected."
Since you obviously have more experience and knowledge when it comes
to roofing, I accept your explanation and stand humbly corrected.
P.S. Can you answer the original question I asked? Do most roofers
install the starter course incorrectly as shown in my shed plans (tabs
up with no regard to the placement of the adhesive strip) and
commented on at this site?
My bad, I'm sorry I didn't catch that.
I've torn off many jobs, and have noticed how they were installed. I can't
say "most" install them incorrectly, and honestly couldn't even estimate
how many are done incorrectly. There are many, which do install a full
shingle, which is incorrect.
In all honesty, I don't know how "Brad" estimates 95% of roofers install
them incorrect. All professional roofers, know how to install correctly. If
they're not doing it correctly, they are either lazy or not a professional.
Just because someone puts on a roof or a dozen roofs, doesn't make them a
roofer. Anymore than me flinging a paint brush, makes me a painter.
Well, I misread your misread...
I think the "for-purpose" product is/would be simpler/cheaper; simply
that even the "pros" don't bother as much out of ignorance as anything.
Hence, since they don't order the product they should (which would be
delivered to jobsite by the supplier just as the regulars would so
there's nothing else for the roofer himself to do) the installers, being
just cheap hired labor take the easy way out. In most cases, they
probably really don't know any better 'cuz they've never had any real
training, simply just started watching somebody else who didn't know any
Or walk along with a caulking gun and put a couple dabs of roofing
cement in the 'correct' spot on each upside down shingle before the the
next course is laid over it?
I've seen untrimmed upside-down starter courses used for 40-odd years,
and never noticed any big tendency for the bottom row of shingles to
flap in the breeze. I'm no fluidics expert, but I think it has something
to do with the angle of attack of the incoming wind. With no roof
downhill from it, the air currents aren't parallel to the roof surface.
If you are talking a force-5 hurricane, the sticky spots will not make
much difference. Asphalt shingles were around a long time before they
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