Fitting Felt Shingles for Log Cabins
We use IKO as our supplier for felt shingles. We find them to be the best on the market, they’re also the easiest to use. All our log cabins and gazebos are offered with them as an option.
We’re the only supplier that offers such a range of colours and styles, a possible combination of 6 colours and three styles:
Felt IKO shingles supplied with our log cabins and garden buildings
The instructions on how to fit them are on the packaging received but can be a little confusing if the installer has not done this style of roofing before and I do seem to spend a lot of my weekends on emergency calls to customers who need a little advice and are getting in a muddle with them.
So, lets throw away the instructions and I’ll explain how I fit them to log cabins.
First thing to know, is don’t leave them in direct sunlight, they have a bitumen strip that runs along the back of the tile. This is designed to melt with the sun and stick the roof together, the last thing you want is to have them stick together in the pack.
The tiles come in strips which contain four tiles in line. The strips are in 1.0m lengths.
Felt shingle strip
First we need to apply them to the leading edge of the roof and this is where I differ from the instructions but I think it gives a better finish.
Consider whether you will be having guttering or not. If you are then you will need to work out the overhang needed to reach the centre of the gutter. If you are not fitting guttering then we need to set the overhang. I tend to use a piece of roof board (18mm) and use that as a template for my overhang.
The first tile, put on the roof and turn it upside down so the tiles are facing up. Then turn it upside down. I like to do this as when the log cabin is finished and I’m looking up at my handy work I see the tile surface underneath and above. I think it looks nicer. I then carry on and butt each tile together for the full roof length. I tend to only work from one side of the roof starting with a full tile. When I get to the other end I then cut the tile flush with the roof board. Make sure it is exactly flush as if not you will not get the bargeboard on. In the case of hipped roofs also make sure this is flush at the corner points, it will save you problems later on.
Now we have the first layer on start again from the side you started at. I always start from the left. Take your tile strip, this time the right way up with the tiles pointing downwards. Place it directly on top of the ‘starter’ one. I then move it half a tile to the left which of course then covers the joins on the tiles butted together underneath. I differ again with the instructions and only use three nails. One in either end just above the bitumen strip and one offset in the centre of the tile. If you follow my ‘three nail’ recommendation please do make sure you offset the centre one otherwise you will see nail heads. When we’re finished you shouldn’t see any nails at all.
Some fitters, for quickness, like to use staple guns. I’m told this method works well but it’s not something I’ve done as I prefer a good ol’ nail to make sure of the fixing.
I now carry on my first layer, once again butting them up together and, once again making sure I trim flush with the boards.
The normal method for trimming the tiles is with a stanley knife or similar. However, you’ll go through loads of blades and get cramp in your hands. Where I want to trim I carefully fold the tile over and then hit the crease with my hand or hammer, I call it my ‘folding over and bashing’ technique. This breaks the tile where the trim is required. It’s not a neat finish but the trim line is never seen and it does save your hands!
Starting from my preferred left hand side I’m now back to a full tile flush with the edge of the roof. I then position the tile to the top of the split line of the tiles beneath. It’s normally about 145mm. I then cut a block of wood from leftover boards at that measurement and use that as a template so each and every tile I lay is to that measurement. This makes sure they are all level.
I then carry on up the roof laying each layer of tiles. I do stop periodically, especially on very large roofs to check I’m still working in line, there’s nothing worse than seeing ‘wiggles’ in the tile lines.
Once I’ve reached the ridge I will fold over the tiles as appears to be the neatest to me. I may trim as necessary.
Next we now need to finish the ridge or in the case of the hipped roof the corners. To do this we cut the tile strips into individual tiles. Again I use my ‘folding over and bashing’ technique to do this as it saves my hands from cramp, feel free to use a sharp blade though if you want to be really neat.
To make it easy to fold over the ridge I find the small ‘nick’ in the side of the tile and cut upwards at an angle or use the ‘fold and bash’ technique.
Cutting the tiles for the ridge.
I now lick my finger and stick it in the air. I’m looking for where the wind comes from the most as I don’t really want my ridge tiles to be overlapped with the wind coming directly at them and under the flap. Once established I will start from my chosen end. My nails are driven in either side of the tile at the bitumen strip and once again I’m overlapping them by about 145mm or using my template block.
If I feel the log cabin is particularly exposed or it is during winter when i am installing I’ll use a drop of mastic or the proper felt tile glue in each of the corners of the overlapping tiles.
If you’re doing a hipped roof such as one of gazebos, and you haven’t got a roof finial for it, you will have to be a little careful how you finish. With a pyramid roof such as our corner log cabins the tiles on each of the corner tend to form a rose type fan at the top, they naturally want to interlock into each other, be careful at this point to finish it nicely.
I hope this has helped to explain a little how to do the tiles or at least how I do them. I also hope it might reduce my Sunday morning emergency customer help calls!
But I’m always here for customers who have bought directly from us. So contact me any time day or night and I’ll help you through your install, please though, consider my lay in Sunday morning. After 1000 is fine for an emergency call.