One of the most expensive repairs a homeowner can make to their home is replacing a roof. That is why so many people are choosing the DIY route. While this may sound plausible with the right expertise, there are some roofing tools that you will need to do it right. These tools include things like tarps, ladders, shingles, shears, nails, and more. Luckily for you, we have done all the work and put together this list of tools every homeowner needs when they decide to do their own roofing job.
Beginner’s Starter Roofing Tool Kit for Homeowners
For homeowners who want to tackle smaller, more amateur roofing repairs and fixes themselves, they can build a starter kit that includes the necessary tools and materials to DIY their roofing project.
Tools & Materials for Your DIY Roofing Basics Starter Kit:
- Caulking gun + caulk: When replacing or repairing flashing under your shingles, you will need to caulk those flashing edges to create an air and watertight seal. This is something to have on hand anyways for a slew of DIY repairs around your home.
- Chalk line supplies: Chalk lines ensure you both install and cut your shingles in a straight line. “Eyeballing it” is a classic DIY mistake, and a chalk line kit can help prevent that.
- Cordless drill: Trust us, when you are working up on the roof, or a ladder, a drill with a cumbersome cord is the first way to risk tripping and falling. Avoid the hassle and ensure you have a powerful cordless drill that can hold a charge for hours.
- Extension ladder: Homeowners might have a step ladder or a-frame ladder around the house, but it’s not what you’ll want to use when working your roof or gutters. Your best bet is to have an extension ladder that you can lean against your house and safely mount or dismount onto your roof. A-frames can tip and aren’t usually tall enough anyways.
- Flashing: Flashing is one of the first things you need to replace if you notice a sign of a leak. It’s relatively easy to repair and replace (more than shingles), and having some flashing on-hand makes it that much easier to do a quick DIY leak repair.
- Hammer/pry bar: We sure hope you already have a hammer in your toolkit, but a hammer is useful for both installing shingles but also removing them and their nails.
- Hook blade utility knife: Utility knives are highly versatile, and everyone should have one. But one with a hook blade is especially useful when cutting shingles and other roofing materials because it hooks into the material and ensures a clean cut rather than just dragging across the thick shingle, not cutting all the way through.
- Roofing nails: You can’t use just any old nail to install shingles. Roofing nails are longer and stronger and will ensure a firm hold on your roof.
- Spare shingles: Like the flashing, it can be super helpful to have some rows of shingles on hand should you need to repair a leak or small patch of damaged shingles. Save time and money by having them on hand in a pinch.
- Tape measure: Accurate measurements ensure both proper installation and proper cuts when doing DIY roof repair. As always—measure twice and cut once.
- Tarps: In the event of a roof leak, fast action can save you the pain of having further damage like water leaks seeping into your ceiling and walls. Having tarps on hand means you can quickly cover your damaged roof until you can repair it or call a professional.
- Tin snips: Tin snips can cut through shingles, flashing, and other rigid roofing materials that scissors, utility blades, or other weaker tools can.
- Toolbelt: Avoid having your hands full or not having easy access to the tools you need by having a large but comfortable tool belt. The Bucket Boss is one of the best roofing belts out there.
- Work gloves: You’re going to be working with sharps tools, sturdy materials, and sharp edges—so having a nice pair of work gloves is essential to any DIY project, specifically roofing.
Advanced Roofing Tools for Homeowners
The basic starter kit can definitely get you by, but for more experienced DIYers and more complex roofing projects, you can boost your roofing toolkit to include some more tools to make your life even easier.
Professional roofers utilize all of these tools to quickly and efficiently get a roof repaired or replaced in no time. However, homeowners with a bit more experience can level up their DIY roofing project and work like the pros do with these more advanced tools.
- Air compressor: This is the best way to get power tools going without having to worry about cords or extension cords. This will make your drilling, cutting, and other tasks much easier and more efficient.
- Circular saw: A circular saw can cut through metal roofing materials like flashing in no time at all—perfect for those that want a quick DIY fix on their own roof. These work much faster than tin snips.
- Dumpster: You’ll need a large, heavy-duty garbage or dumpster that can hold the roofing materials as you remove them. For smaller DIY roofing projects, a green Bagster is perfect.
- Ladder stabilizer: Ladders can be a bit shaky, so having some kind of stabilizer to keep the ladder in place will make your DIY roofing project that much safer. They attach to the gutters and ensure you stay put.
- Ladder tool: A ladder tool is a multi-use tool that hooks to your ladder and can act as a holder for tools, but also can act as a stabilizing stool when working on steeper slants.
- Laser tool: Don’t like using a chalk line? Try a laser tool for even more accuracy when installing your shingles in a straight line.
- Magnetic sweeper: After every job, roofers will use a magnetic sweep to pick up every nail from the yard. Larger roofing jobs will produce a lot more nails than a smaller DIY one, but they can still leave plenty of debris that you don’t want to mow over.
- Nail gun: A roofing nail gun can make any repair or replacement a breeze—no more hammering!
- Roofing boots: Roofing boots are specifically designed to have more grip while up on the roof and protect the shingles as you walk over them.
- Roofing shovel/tear-off tool: Roofing shovels or tear-off tools work even better than a hammer or pry bar at removing shingles and materials from your roof. Their serrated edge grabs and tears off your shingles in one swift motion and doesn’t require as much manpower to do so. Save time and energy with a tear-off tool like this Kobalt roof shovel at Lowe’s.
- Safety harness: Be extra safe with a professional-grade safety harness for more strenuous roofing jobs where you don’t have a professional crew to spot you.
As we’ve said before, it is not always necessary to spend the money on hiring a professional roofer when you can do it yourself. But for some homeowners who don’t have much experience or knowledge in DIY projects, there are tools that they will need to get their project done quickly and efficiently.
However, many of these tools are expensive and require a bit of training to manage, so it isn’t worth owning such pieces of equipment. As nice as it is to have a lot of these tools on hand, the professionals know these like the back of their hand and can use them without fail to give you a roof in half the time you could do yourself.
Between purchasing the tools and the time it takes to install your roof, you might find yourself wanting to hire a professional. That’s where we come in. See more cost comparisons to roofing types and then reach out to us to get started on your new roofing job!