Advanced Home Repairs

Wood siding shingles offer an attractive feature to the décor of many homes. Besides their beauty, cedar shingles provide a near water-proof barrier, protecting the home’s exterior. Yet, it is this moisture proof quality that can cause shingles to crack or split given the softness of the wood. Consequently, it is likely you will need to replace at least some shingles during home ownership. Replacing wood siding shingles can be accomplished with a telescoping ladder and some Professional Grade Tools including nails, a hack saw, a razor blade knife, wood putty, and new replacement shingles. Whether your house has horizontal 6-inch lap boards covering the entire exterior or decorative row style rectangular shingles covering only a portion, the advanced handyman should have no problem installing new shingles.

Shingle Characteristics

man on a roof replacing shinglesTypically, cedar or other wood shingles are sold in packs or bundles. A good rule of thumb for how many bundles you might require is that three bundles cover approximately 100 square feet of space. This should also accommodate some shingles that may need to be cut, or sized, to fit end board replacement, although the bundles themselves will have various width sizes included.

Like the name implies, row shingles are installed in even rows although some row styles allow for staggered bottoms. To begin, start with the bottom row first as the following rows will be nailed on top of the row directly underneath it. This creates an overlapping effect. When removing old damaged shingles, you will see that the nails are inserted in the area to be covered by the shingle directly above it so they are not visible.

Installing Row Style Shingles

Removing old shingles is pretty easy using professional grade tools. By using a hammer and wood chisel to split the wood, you can easily pull away the damaged shingle. Once this is done, take your hacksaw and cut the remaining nails beneath the shingle above. Choose a new shingle from the bundle that matches the width of the shingle removed, trimming to fit as needed. If trimming is required, use your razor blade knife and a straight edge to accomplish this.

Once you have the replacement shingle fitted and positioned, nail it near the shingle’s bottom. Once nailed in place, sink the nail below the shingle surface. Finally, take some wood putty and completely cover the nail with it. Repeat this procedure for all shingles that need replacing.