How to Install Timberline Roof Shingles

Jerry Stirnkorb

Timberline Shingles are produced by GAF-Elk and they are a popular type of architectural shingle in North America. They are available in a variety of styles, weights and warranties.

Finishing shingle roof

The type of shingle you choose depends upon the geographic area of the country, since climate conditions play a large part in their selection. Areas that are subject to tornadoes, hurricanes and other high wind conditions must use special shingles and applications. The application here is typical for a modest house in a temperate climate zone, using a "Prestique Grande 40" shingle as an example.

Roof Preparation

    Roof ready for underlayment.
  1. Ensure that the roof area to be shingled is clean, and free of holes, protrusions, and defects. This is true for both new and redone roofs. The roof to be shingled must have a minimum 4:12 pitch. Careful roof deck preparation is key to a smooth roof installation.

  2. Shingles loaded ready to roof.
  3. Use an underlayment recommended by the shingle manufacturer. First apply noncorrosive drip edge at the low edge of the roof. Then put adhesive leak barrier along the eaves . Place underlayment on top of the leak barrier, then roll it it out horizontally, covering the entire roof surface from right to left. Use a minimum number of nails to hold it in place unwrinkled. Then run noncorrosive drip guard up both sides of the roof on the rake and overlap the drip guard at the eave corner on both sides.

  4. Decorative shingle pattern.
  5. Use manufacturer-approved starter strip shingles along the eaves and at the rakes. Place the starter shingles with 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch overhang at the eave to provide a drip.

  6. Flashings, vent, ridge cap, chimney.
  7. Trim 8 inches from the first shingle in the second row or "course." Then, lay shingles the rest of the way across the roof. Place the bottom of the second row flush with the tops of the wide cutout on the second and all following rows. Provide a minimum 3-inch side overlap for each shingle. The shingles must be nailed between the two painted nail guide lines to allow for penetration through the double ply area. On the third course trim 16 inches from shingle and repeat the process. About every 6 courses, measure a parallel line from the eaves and snap a chalk line to ensure that courses remain parallel.

  8. If the roof is a simple straight gable roof, run shingles up both sides. Place a 36-inch width of adhesive leak barrier from eave to eave centered on the ridge over the underlayment. Run shingles over the barrier to the ridge and trim. Run ridge cap shingle down the ridge to complete. If pipes protrude through roofing, flashing must be placed in the roof. Details are provided with the manufacturer's instructions as are instructions for other flashing situations. Through roof ventilation is extremely important for a successful job. Gable vents or other types of vents must be provided based on the area that the roof covers.

  9. Tip

    Stack roof shingles on the ridge behind you before you start shingling. It's much easier to slide the shingles down in place than to pull them up. Always be conscious of the fact that water flows down hill when installing roofing and flashing. Water will always run to low spots, which always must be waterproofed.


    Always check with building officials to verify codes for your area. This is a generialized installation guide only. Read manufacturer's instructions carefully. The roof can carry 30 or 40-year warranties under certain circumstances. Make sure you do not lose the warranty information.