03 Jul The Difference Between Shingling Fast and Shingling Well
For many roofers in Hamilton and abroad, the “pecking order” among shinglers is largely based on how fast an individual can shingle. I remember the first summer David and I roofed together, our boss and the foreman on our crew (our two fastest and best shinglers) had a race to see who could shingle their side of a garage the fastest. All the guys loved it and it was awesome to see what the pro’s could do when they were shingling fast.
It’s understandable to see why shingling fast is so valued among roofers. When you’re on a crew you’re responsible to everybody that you work with to pull your weight. In my experience, the number one thing roofers hate is somebody who hides behind the effort of others and doesn’t “get out front of the work” so to speak. When somebody can shingle fast, what that means for everybody else is that there’s less work to do. Roofers like that and so the person who can shingle the fastest is in some ways the most highly regarded person on the roof.
Another reason that shingling fast is so highly regarded is because of the time crunch involved in roofing. You are often fighting against daylight to complete a job and it is an absolute necessity that you get everything watertight before dark. The same can be said about the weather, where if there is rain coming in, the fastest shinglers will be the ones best able to get everything filled in before any potential disaster strikes (however, tarps can be used as a backup measure).
But this obsession with being the fastest shingler can sometimes go too far. It is much better to do good work than it is to do quick work. And what is good work? Good work is keeping your shingles in straight lines so that the work is visually appealing. Good work is not cutting corners on your underlayment. Good work is making sure that everything is watertight and will be for years to come. Good work is using chalk lines for your capping and valley’s to make sure that everything is straight. At the end of the day there are so many things more important to being a good roofer than who is the fastest shingler.
Understandably, most homeowners don’t want crews running amuck around their house for days on end. But it is much more important that you find people capable of doing good work than finding people who work fast!