Lutgen Companies

The Roof Installation Process

Replacing your roof successfully takes more than just a good product, it takes expert installation. Any product can and will fail if it is installed incorrectly. It is always best to research your contractor ahead of time to ensure they have a proven track record and continually train their installers on proper installation.        

The first step in the roofing process is to set up the ground. This means laying down tarps to catch debris, protecting plants, and moving anything that may get damaged such as lawn furniture. Once the ground is set up the existing shingles are removed and the roof deck is cleaned of nails, staples, and any other fasteners. Before any new product can go on, the roof deck must be cleaned down to the deck boards/sheeting. 

The next step in the process is to install ice and water barrier, which is also known as a “leak barrier”.  It is put down on the eves (bottom edge) of your entire roof. It must extend two horizontal feet past your interior wall to meet the Minnesota building code. It is also required in valleys (where to rooflines come together) and is recommended around protrusions such as vent pipes. Its intention is to help prevent leaking caused by ice dams and driving rain, though ice dams that aren’t removed can still cause a brand new roof to leak.

On the remainder of the roof goes roof deck protection, which is commonly felt paper or a synthetic underlayment. As with every aspect of your roof, you start at the bottom and overlap as you go up the roof so water naturally flows down and off of your roof.

The next step is to install what is known as a “Starter Strip” shingle on the eves (bottom edges of the roof). The starter strip shingle is used to give you a cleaner edge on your roof, as well as to give the bottom row of shingles better protection from leaks and reduce the risk of blow-offs. 

Once the starter strip is installed, it is time to start shingling! The two main types of asphalt shingles are known as “three tabs” and “architectural.” In addition to those, there are high-end “designer shingles” for a more modern look.  Three tab shingles are one layer, require more preparation before installation, and typically do not last as long as architectural shingles. Architectural are the most common shingle in residential sloped roof applications, and are installed in a pyramid scheme pattern. They are at an affordable price point and give your home more depth than a three-tab shingle. If you are looking to make a statement or simply want to do something different with your roof, then designer shingles are the way to go. Either way, there are many different options to choose from in terms of styles, colors, and patterns.


 Three Tab Shingles


 Architectural Shingles


 Designer Shingles



During the shingling process things like pipe stacks, roof vents, and valley tins must be installed. All roof accessories are not made the same, which is why at Lutgen Companies we use all metal roof accessories. We know they will stand the test of time.


All metal roof accessories:


Less expensive plastic and rubber roof accessories that fail with time:


After all of the accessories are installed, it is time to put a ridge cap shingle on all of the ridges and hips of your roof to make it water tight. Once that is completed it is time for clean up! 

When choosing a contractor to install your new roof be sure they have a proven reputation, trained installers, and use high quality products. When those aspects are paired with the basics of being licensed and insured, you know your roof is in good hands.