How to Shingle a Gazebo Roof so It Lasts

By   | Last Updated :   September 5, 2021 | Filed In :   DIY & How To

Thinking of putting roof shingles on your gazebo? How hard can it be..?

Whether you’re building a gazebo from scratch, assembling a gazebo from a kit, or just have trouble with a leaking roof on your old one, there’s no need to worry. Putting shingles on a gazebo roof is an easy job that you can complete over the weekend.

You don’t need any special skills or sophisticated tools. In this post, we’ll show you how to shingle a gazebo roof using regular asphalt shingles or more expensive cedar ones.

shingle a gazebo roof

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How to shingle a gazebo roof the easy way

First things first. If you want your gazebo to blend in better, choose shingles in a colour that matches the roof of your house.

Always mix shingles from different bundles to make sure any differences in shade won’t be noticeable.

If you need to replace your gazebo roof, make sure to remove all the existing shingles, not just the rotting ones. Clear the structure as much as possible to make way for the new and improved roof.

What you’ll need

How many shingles will I need?

If you have a standard square gazebo roof, you’ll have four panels to shingle. You’ll be working on each panel separately. Each has a triangular shape, and you need to determine the area of that triangle, just as your teacher taught you at school.

Tip: If you can’t remember, check out this easy triangle area calculator.

Multiply the area by four. You’re not done yet, as you’ll probably want to put up two layers of shingles, so multiply by two again. If your gazebo has six or eight panels, multiply accordingly.

On top of that, you’ll need at least another shingle bundle to cut out ridge cap shingles to cover the seams where two panels meet. For a 10-foot gazebo, you will generally need to buy at least five bundles of shingles, and for a 14-foot one, you should get 9 bundles.

You want to take the measurements with you and talk to the guys at the DIY store as they’re best qualified to tell you how many bundles you’ll need. Some shingles may be packaged differently to others.

Don’t worry if there are some extra shingles left. You can always use them for small repair jobs.

Tip: Before proceeding with the main job, use the caulk gun to seal the seams of the roof with silicone to increase water resistance.

Now for the actual shingling…

Step 1 – The base layer

Start at the lower edge of the roof panel. Work your way up installing one row at a time. Fix the shingles to the frame using the ¾ nails. Make sure to place the shingles upside down.

Step 2 – Trim the edges

As you work your way up, you’ll get to a point where the shingles are wider than the roof area they need to cover. Simply cut the extra material using the utility knife.

Repeat the operation for each roof panel.

Step 3 – The final layer

Once you’ve completed the base layer, it’s time to install the final layer. This time, you’ll have to place the shingles with the right side up.

As you move up, the shingles should slightly overlap each other to help the water drain faster.

Step 4 – Put in the ridge caps

You can make ridge caps by cutting a shingle into six equal parts which you will place at the seams of the roof. Once again, start at the bottom of each seam and place the ridge caps so they overlap.

When you’ve finished sealing all the seams and get to the top, all that’s left is to put the metal cap in the centre of the roof.

Tip: Installing a drip edge is optional, but highly recommended to allow rainwater to drain from the roof. Start at one roof edge and nail the drip to the roof using the ¾ nails. When you get to a corner, simply bend the drip edge and continue with the nailing.

How to roof a gazebo so it lasts

If you want your gazebo to look fabulous and the roof to last longer, you should consider installing cedar shingles on your gazebo roof. Real wood is way more resistant and it ages gracefully.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Determine the number of cedar shingles you need. Use the method described above.
  2. Get a nail gun. Hammer and nails can do the trick, but the work will go faster if you use a nail gun to fix the cedar shingles on the plywood panels of your gazebo’s roof.
  3. Give the shingles a bit more space. The process of installing the shingles is similar, but this time you need to leave a small ⅛ to ½ inch gap between them to give them room to expand when it rains.

Important: If you want the roof to last longer, place a self-sealing membrane over the plywood. Also, install a nylon ventilated underlay. This lets the air flow and allows the bottom part of the shingles to dry faster, so they won’t rot.

If you want to fix the roof of your gazebo quickly, use regular asphalt shingles which are very easy to install.  Cedar shingles look better and last longer, but you will have to work more on the installation part and you’ll also need more insulating materials.

Here’s an example of roofing your gazebo with asphalt shingles.

That’s about it so, time to get to work! Make sure to read the rest of our gazebo ideas and maybe consider green roofing your gazebo.


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