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Do you need a starter row with architectural shingles?

Jan 15


A proper foundation is essential for every roof. This course will help you get started.

Certain steps must be taken to ensure that you are protected from the elements.

This is where shingles roofing  comes into play. They are the foundation for what will protect your home for more than 30 years.

What are starter shingles?

The Starter shingle should not be confused with 3-Tab and architectural shingles. Your roof shingles, which are also called 3-Tab, laminated, or architectural, are placed above your starter strips/shingles. Manufacturers refer to starter shingles by the name starter strips, to avoid confusion between a starter and roof shingle.

Like roof shingles, starter strips don't have a particular color system. 


Your starter strip will be located below your roof shingles so aesthetics are not important. The rectangular shape of starter strips makes them look generic. However, they are made from the same material as asphalt shingles.

The importance of starter shingles

Starter shingles are a protective barrier on your roof that protects your rake edges and eaves from water leaks. Starter strips are primarily used to provide water flow through your roof without leaking into your home. This starter course of shingles will ensure that your roof has the foundation it needs to resist water damage and strong winds. Your rake edges and eaves are the most vulnerable areas of your roof if they don't have starter strips.


You can also install a starter strip along your roof edges (over underlayment or ice water shield). This will protect your shingles against blowing off in severe weather conditions. A starter strip is essential for homeowners living in high-wind zones.


Read More: Installing Architectural Shingles

Where to apply starter Shingles

Starter strip shingles should be applied to your roof's eaves, gables, or rake edges.

It is used to waterproof the joints between finished shingles by covering them with it. The function of installing a starter shingle to your gables is different from the one you use for the eaves. A starter shingle for your gables roof will improve your roof's wind resistance.

A starter shingle is a good choice for your gables and eaves because it provides a straight line for your roofer to follow. This guide is especially useful when you are completing each field of shingles.

Considerations when applying a starter shine

Roof materials are usually measured in square footage. You might use 33.3 square feet per bundle of 3-Tab Shingles to determine the area of your roof. But finished shingles are measured differently from starter strips/shingles. The linear measurement of a starter shingle is the length of the bundle. This can vary depending on the manufacturer to be around 33.33 linear feet.


Before you begin canvassing for starter shingles, measure the length of your eaves.

If a bundle of 10 shingles covers 60 meters/linear feet, you can calculate the length of your rake edge and eaves to determine how many you will need.


Make sure the joints between your starter shingle and your finished shingle do not match. This could cause water penetration and misalignment during installation. A Starter Shingle's weight is not usually a concern, but you can always use a ladder hoist to lift the excess weight.