Skip to Content

How To Replace Your Roof When On A Budget: 6 Steps to Follow

As a homeowner, you take into account numerous repair and maintenance needs. With the roof being one of the most important parts of the house to repair and maintain, there may be times when you need to replace the roof whilst on a tight budget.

For homeowners looking to replace their roof on a budget, here’s a list of basic steps you need to take:

  1. Plan accordingly
  2. Get your safety equipment 
  3. Get the tools you need
  4. Remove the old roof shingles 
  5. Install builder felt 
  6. Install the new shingles

This article will not only give you the re-roofing or roof replacement process, but it will also give you some additional tips and tricks. This information is essential for the replacement process. So if you’re a homeowner interested in re-roofing your house, this’ll be an excellent guide. 

How Do You Replace Your Roof On A Budget? 

If you’ve noticed moss or any leakage coming from your roof, then your roof is in dire need of a replacement. This leakage is a result of exposure of the roofing materials to nature’s forces. Because of these forces, they are prone to wearing out. 

It’s nothing to be ashamed about, and it happens all the time. But, unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Here’s some information to assist you in replacing your roof. Firstly, it’s essential to know the parts of a roof. 

The Parts Of A Roof 

To understand the roof replacement, you need to know what parts of the roof you will be replacing. Depending on your home’s foundation, the roof replacement process can take one to two days to complete. 

Note: This post may contain affiliate links which will take you to online retailers that sell products and services. If you click on one and buy something, I may earn from qualifying purchases. See my Affiliate Disclosure for more details.

This period is also dependent on your skill level. If you’re a novice to this process, experts recommend having a partner to help reduce the labor and hasten the process. 

Here are the parts of the roof, starting from the inside, making their way to the outer parts of the roof. 

  • Collar Beam 
  • Ridge Board 
  • Solid Decking 
  • Felt Underlayment 
  • Shingles 

These parts are the most basic. In some homes, you may find a skylight or a vent pipe. If your home has these additions, do not fret, the replacement process remains the same. It is all a matter of planning. Planning is the first step to help you start this entire process. 

Steps To Help You Replace Your Roof 

  1. Plan Accordingly 

This step may seem underwhelming, but the reality is often disappointing. Before you can choose to embark on the practical steps of this journey, you have to plan accordingly. Homeowners must plan the days they will be replacing the roof and if you should require assistance. 

One great tip is to make sure that you check the weather forecast before starting. You don’t want to be setting up the felt when it starts raining out of nowhere. But, on the other hand, you also don’t want to be stuck under the scorching sun doing the entire process. 

The roof replacement process will take a lot of time and effort to complete. Be sure to check your weather forecasts. It will save you a lot of time and resources. 

The following two steps are also a part of the planning process. However, they are specialized steps and require a bit more attention. This reason is why they have been considered separate from the planning stage. Nevertheless, this step is equally as important. 

  1. Get Your Safety Equipment

This part of the process experts heavily emphasize. It would be best to get the necessary safety equipment before you even start the roof replacement process. You will be a couple of meters off the ground, and in the case of accidents, this equipment will be your saving grace. 

Here is the most basic safety equipment you need if you will be replacing your roof by yourself (They also link to the roofing specific products available at Amazon):

The gloves are necessary because, in the next step, this article will introduce you to the power tools you will be using. In addition, the OSHA or the Occupational health and safety association shared that gloves and safety goggles are a requirement in such projects. 

The knee pads are essential because removing and installing the shingles will take a ridiculous amount of time. However, based on the size of your roof, it may take less. 

Nevertheless, make sure that you have these tools. If you are on a tight budget, you can use a pillow instead of knee pads. Through this, you can save money but still protect your knees. The safety goggles and gloves are compulsory items. 

  1. Get The Tools You Need 

After getting all the safety equipment, it’s time to get the tools you will be using during the roof replacement process. Part of the planning process is getting the tools. As shared earlier, this is a specialized part of the planning process and will require your undivided attention. 

Here are the tools you need to help you replace your roof while on a budget. 

  • Clear Plastic wrap 

You utilize this clear plastic wrap when removing the shingles. If moss has wholly covered your shingles, you will most likely have a messy shingle-eliminating process. The plastic wrap will allow you to keep the mess contained faster to remove the decayed or old shingles. 

  • Coiled roofing nails

These are important when you’re securing the new shingles in place. You can’t have your roofing shingles flying all over the place. Check out a durable coiled roofing nailer on Amazon here.

  • Staple gun with staples 

The staples will help you secure the new felt. Here’s a great staple gun on Amazon that works well for roofing work.

  • Measuring tape 

To cut the felt, you will need to measure the length and width of your roof. Again, the measuring tape will help you out. This one on Amazon is a 40 ft one, which is great for roofing work.

  • Roofing paper or roofing felt. 

As shared earlier, felt makes up one part of a roof. It helps prevent moisture from penetrating your roof. It’s best to get this from a specialist DIY store.

  • Air compressor with hose and roofing nailer 

This item or tool may seem ‘expensive, but you can rent one out for about $20 a day. This option is great if you want to get the shingles on a lot faster. 

  • Roofing shingles 

You cannot replace your roof without new roofing shingles. The shingles are the main course of this replacement process. If you’re on a budget, you’re looking to buy Asphalt shingles. 

They are the most common shingles in America, and they work well in various types of environments. However, the quality of these shingles varies. It depends on the types of shingles you want for your roofing. 

A good asphalt shingle should have passed both the wind and durability test. 

Wind Test Durability Test
ASTM D3161, Class F (110 mph)AC438
ASTM D7158, Class H (150mph)

According to the NRCA or the National Roofing Contractors Association, the ASTM D3161 is the standard test method that checks whether the asphalt shingles are wind-resistant using the fan-induced method. This is why there are two sets of the test. They test for different types of wind speeds and wind resistance. 

The ASTM D7158 is the standard test method that checks whether the asphalt shingles are wind resistant to the uplift force or the uplift resistance method. This test only applies to sealed asphalt shingles. 

Asphalt shingles typically last up to 20 years. So despite their budget-friendly nature, they are durable and worth the investment. 

A pro tip for DIY homeowners nationwide is to check whether they pass the NRCA tests before procuring shingles. This observation should give you suitable roofing materials on a lavish budget. 

It’s high time to start the roof replacement process!

  1. Remove The Old Roof Shingles. 

It’s time to put on your safety goggles, gloves, and knee pads and head on up to the roof. You will need to remove both the old roof shingles and the old felt underlay. You can use your hands or a rake you have lying around. 

Before starting the removal process, you will need to cut out some of the plastic sheets. Lay it on the ground and use stones or anything heavy to keep it in place. It will fly away thanks to the wind, so before you start piling the old shingles, make sure there’s something to hold it down. 

You also want to contain the mold to not spread and reproduce onto other parts of your house. So be sure not to leave any mold lying around. The process of decay spreading through your home is called the stack effect. 

You want to dispose of it as soon as possible and protect the rest of your property. Molds take up to two weeks to infest and colonize. 

Thanks to the plastic wrap, you can segregate the mold and dispose of it efficiently, and you won’t have a huge mess to clean up behind you. Once you have removed the mold, you will be left with a wooden layer. This layer is solid decking. 

Take your trusty broom and sweep any debris left from the previous shingles and dispose of it with the rest of the old shingles. How do you properly dispose of shingles? 

  • Donate – if the shingles aren’t too badly off, you can donate the shingles to organizations that deal with them. You can find them online. 
  • Repurposing – companies buy old roof shingles and repurpose them. Shingles take four centuries to break down completely. 
  • Recycling – check for local recycling centers that deal with old roofing shingles. It’s a great way to reduce your carbon footprint on the planet. 
  1. Install The Builder Felt

Since you are replacing your roof, you need to replace the felt underlay, or the builder felt. How do you replace it? 

First off, take your tape measure and note down the width of your roof. Next, measure the roof from the end of the top to the house itself. Finally, take a knife or a sharp blade and cut the felt accordingly.

A good tip when cutting is to use a plank of wood. This piece of wood will help you cut in a straight line, allowing you to cut the felt cleanly. As you install the felt, you want to work from the bottom of the roof to the ridge. Everything will converge on the ridge of the roof. 

You never want to install one massive sheet of felt. Instead, cut it into sections and slowly staple the units onto the solid decking. 

Another tip is that it is not necessary to staple the felt all over. Instead, staple the thought in the most critical regions. The end goal is to ensure that the felt is secure and there are no spaces for water or moisture to seep through it and get to the solid deck. 

  1. Installing the asphalt shingles 

At this stage, you will need the compressor and roofing nailer. Another good tip is not to forget your shingles on the way up. 

In the first row of shingles, it is recommended that you put the shingle upside down and nail it down, then place another shingle on top of it. This shingle should be right-side up. This method is to make the shingle more stable and better at handling the weather. 

Please note that conducting this part of the process is only on the first row of shingles. The process of nailing the rest of the shingles is as per usual. 

Another tip for you is the placement of the nails. Securing of the nails on the shingles is done in the following places on the shingles: 

  • Both ends of the shingles 
  • Right above the tears of the shingles – this is where the tear and line across the shingle meet. This practice completed preventing the shingle from breaking. 

 Another thing to note is the type of asphalt shingle you ordered. The shingle can come as two-tier or three tiers. These tiers mean that they can come as two flaps or three flaps. Both of these tiers have specialized installation methods that you should take into account. 

In the case of the three-tier shingle, it is installing them in a stacked manner that forms a pyramid shape. This layering process is known as staggering. There are two types of shingle layering methods: 

  • Stair-stepping – it takes more time and removes the vision of a pattern. Should you have issues with the shingles, you can only take it up with the manufacturer if you used this method.  
  • Staggering – this layering method is the fastest shingle layering method. It creates a pattern that most users find aesthetically pleasing. It is also the most common method. The downside is that incorrect cutting of the shingles is your responsibility. 

Make sure you cut the shingles as you go up against the house. This part can be tricky, so make sure you research layering the shingles appropriately. The main goal of the layering is to prevent any water leakage from the shingles and onto the felt. 

A great tip is that you may have to reload your nail gun a couple of times, make sure you have the nails with you to save up on time. 

Once you have converged at the ridge, you want to layer up on the shingles at this point. It is just for extra protection. You want to cover the shingles with other shingles to hide the nails and give the roof a more finished look. 

It’s just good professional practice. At last, the roof is complete, and you have completed the replacement roofing process. 

Are you curious about what other homeowners are asking about roof replacement? Here are some FAQs to get you in on the conversation. 


  1. What Is The Cheapest Roofing Material? 

The cheapest roofing material is asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are the most common shingles and are well within your price point.

 The best asphalt shingles have passed three tests: the ASTM D3161, the ASTM D7158, and the AC438. 

Before buying asphalt shingles, make sure that they have passed these tests. Thanks to the NRCA or the National Roofing Constructors Association, these tests will ensure that the roofing is durable, safe, and certified.

Experts highly recommend this material if you’re a homeowner who wants to DIY replace their roof on a budget. 

  1. What Time Of The Year Is Best To Replace Your Roof? 

Roof replacement takes time and a lot of effort. If it is a solo project and the massive roof, it will take a lot of time and exposure to the elements. Experts recommended installing your roofs in late spring into early summer. 

At this point, it’s not susceptible to rains, and it is not too hot. The temperature and the environment are just right. Be sure to check the weather forecast to be sure.  

  1. Can You Replace A Roof Yourself? 

The answer is yes. You can replace your roof and consider it a DIY project. But before getting there, be sure to research a lot, like reading this article and learning from construction professionals. through this method, you can efficiently and adequately have a ‘new’ roof on a carefully constructed budget.