Installing Wood Shingle Siding

Bob works with contractor Bob Ryley and carpenter Chris Clark installing new wood-shingle siding.

Clip Summary

Bob works with contractor Bob Ryley and carpenter Chris Clark installing new wood-shingle siding. Bob demonstrates a few of the pry bars used to remove the old shingles and the tools used to apply the new.
Hi. I'm Bob Vila. Welcome home again to our shingled cottage here in Cambridge. Today, we're removing some of those shingles. We're gonna be showing you how to make necessary shingle repairs. This is all happening on the south side of the house.

I'm also taking you on a little trip to Vancouver, British Columbia to visit the factory where the shingles are cut and manufactured. And we'll be here with Riley. We'll be working on restructuring some of the roof members on the top of this house so that we can build some dormers.

Stick around. It's good to have you home again.

Bob Vila's Home Again.

Okay. Let's get started on the south side of the house. Hi Riley.

Hi Bob.

I see you and Jim are working over here on some brand new shingles. You know, this is such a complicated side wall job. And Greg, our architect, has gone through the entire house -- all four elevations. And on the computer, he's cross-hatched every surface that needs to be re-shingled. And here on the south side, it's all of it except for the area where the three windows are here on the left .

Right, it's quite a bit.

Why so much?

Well, this wall happened to take the brunt of the beating over the years.

Of the weather.

Of the weather and everything.

Yeah, yeah, the condition of the shingles up there is pretty bad.


But can't they be just kind of scraped and repaired and nailed down a little bit to hold them better?

Not really, there was a point in time when perhaps it could but that's already been done and tried and now they're all splitting and they're really brittle.
So anything you do to 'em is just going to do more damage.

Well, the other thing he was explaining to me is that we're re-roofing the house, we'll be doing a lot of flashing, repairs and changes to the flashing and you can't do that without actually getting rid of the shingles.

Exactly right, yes.


So, what kind of shingles are we using?

These are the red cedars. They have been rebutted, these are about the best you can get.

And that's important I suppose because the the fact is this a very labor intensive job, replacing all of these shingles, even though we're nailing with a power nailer, right?

We're nailing with a power nailer, but there's so much detail on this house and like I said, it's so labor intensive it makes no sense to use anything but the best shingle you can get your hands on.
Yeah, now what about the nailing itself? Isn't it better if you hand nailing it all of this?

Not with these pneumatic nailers they have now.
We can use stainless steel.

So these are stainless steel annular ring nails, right?

That's correct.


And that's definitely what you want to use with a red cedar shingle...


...Is a stainless steel.

Yeah, 'cause you know, you. can get a thirty-year life out of something like that. But it's true that we have detail here like the corners, which are not only laced but they flare out.

Flares out, right.

Which is a difficult detail to accomplish. Where can we see a little more of that?

Well we have an existing situation right around the corner here that Chris is getting started in on right now.

Alright let's meet Chris Clark who's heading up the team here, hi Chris.

How ya' doing Bob?

I'm good how are you?

Very good, thank you.

Now, you haven't done any of the removal here yet.
Do you start at the bottom or at the top?

No, we start at the bottom, Bob. What happens is if you start it at the top and you try to peel the shingle off that's all you get is one shingle. If you start at the bottom, you loosen the bottom one, and then take, consecutively bring the shingles up. with it so you can get your bar in behind it.

It's a quicker job that way.


I see you've got two or three different types of bars here.
Which is the best tool?

Well, we would start with the smaller bar to get in underneath here so that we can get them worked out then I get into a little bit larger bar.

So that you get back away from the work, a little more leverage and don't get into the, into the splinters flying.

This is a tool that really helps you get in underneath and pull a nail, which I've seen slate roofers use, but...

What we do for that is, if we're patching in we only want to remove one or two shingles without damaging everything, we drive that up underneath and hook the nail and then drive it back down and pull the nail without damaging anything.

Exactly. Well, let's give you a hand, and I guess we want to be careful that the bottom not to damage what's ever underneath, creating this flare, right?


Here you go, Riley, here's one for you.


Oh boy this. Look at this. I gotta think that these are original hundred-year old shingles.

I believe they are Bob. We 've cleared a couple of the areas off.

One thing I'm looking at right here is you've go creosote. These were originally

dipped in creosote as a preservative.


Then at some later point in time, they stained over to give it that reddish look.


Then the last coat of paint or stain was gray.
I'd say they're almost a hundred years

old and they're really brittle.

Yes they are, they're very brittle.


Here we're looking at the original sheet.
of the house, which is almost a century old, and it's tongued and grooved dressed pine, that really tells you something. And originally it was covered with this Rosen Paper, which helped to prevent moisture infiltration and stuff, now we use the house wrap product which I'll give you a hand with here. It spun open, kind of thing, which allows moisture that's inside the house to get out, but keeps cold drafts from penetrating.

Now, in order to create a flare, down here at the bottom we've added a ground that we've built up a little bit with a tapered piece and that wants to be a couple of inches out, and there's another one right here. Now Riley, where do you get started? On the corner?

Definitely , yeah, we want to start on the outside corner here, because we're going to be lacing these shingles together, so it gives us more leeway.

Now when you're lacing them you're not really mitering them. You're just butting them.

Butting them but you're making Making sure that the seams are staggered, as you go up.

And, there's no corner about.


Now, Chris, what are you doing over here?

What I'm doing, is I'm setting a ledger board to my first course in a shingle line. We're going to ultimately end up with two courses of shingle on this bottom side for water proofing purposes. So, I'm just plumbing off of a pre-established mark that I had.

Set this in.

And I've got one more leg is gonna be turn around the corner.
So that we can keep going, alright, enough of that.


Okay, so when you handling the Shingles at the corner, do you have to also double them up?

Yes, you need to double then up, so that we create a drip edge, we're going to drop them down about three eighths of an inch.

and allow the, allow the water to run off the bottom edge instead of back. And first we have to take the ledger board and lower it.


OK, so this is hand work in the truest sense of the word in that each shingle has to be shaped, and you're just roughing it out right now with the utility knife. But it has to be shaped to take that flare.

Fortunately you only do that for the first several courses and then you're going straight up the wall.

And now to attach it. We have to trim that down little bit?

Yeah, trim it down a little bit more. Makes it a little easier with the plane.

Yeah, 'cause the final step is to take your little plane.

With my block?

And dress it up.

Now you do the same thing on the opposite side, right?

Correct. We're gonna lay another shingle on top here, as we did that one.

Mark it up the back.

Mark it up the back.

Cut it just like you did. And keep on going and going. See? This works. You're going a great job.

We've got to break for messages and when we come back we're actually going to be showing you how these are made. Stick around.