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  • Writer's pictureMatt Weber

Roofing Work: DIY or Why Not?

When it comes to roof work on a house, can you do it yourself?

It might be physically possible but it’s highly inadvisable. I know this, because I’ve attempted it. As the editor of this magazine, I take pride in having some actual working knowledge of the topics we cover, so a few years ago I took a stab at installing new architectural asphalt shingles on my house by myself. I’ll never make that mistake again. From traversing the slope and dreading the heights to the grueling work of lugging the heavy materials all over the roof, I learned there’s a very good reason you see roofers work in multi-man crews. Furthermore, inexperience can lead to errors, and it’s critical to avoid any hidden errors in a newly replaced roof.

After a couple of days working on the roof, I was aching in parts of my body I'd forgotten I possessed. I also realized that the higher I climbed away from the ground, the more I hated the job. I got so fed up with the workload that by the time I made it up to the ridge, I called a roofing contractor to finish up the second half on the higher side of the house. Suffice it to say I’d learned what I set out to learn: I don't like roofing and I sure as heck am no one-man crew.

However, houses aren’t the only buildings that have roofs. Storage sheds, carports, workshops and other smaller single-level outbuildings are much more accessible and make for a safer work environment and a more digestible project size. That’s where HIR recommends inexperienced roofer installers flex their DIY muscles.

Keep in mind, however, that no matter what type of roofing material you choose, if the material is not installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, then the manufacturer isn’t obligated to honor the product warranty in the event of a problem. So,

study up and follow all installation instructions to the letter ... or else call a reputable pro.

— M. Weber

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