Roofing with Aluminum Shingles

I want to start by highly recommending aluminum shingle roofing to anyone who wants a good looking 50+ year roof for their tiny house. The Permalock system by the Aluminum Shingle Company is the product I used for my tiny house. I have no professional experience with roofing, but with the installation videos provided and some detailed notes and sketches I created, I found the installation a challenging, but enjoyable, experience.

A word of caution: 45 degree angled roofs are very challenging to work on. If you are working on a steep roof, please use every safety measure to keep yourself and others from being injured.

The first step is to install the drip edge. This is nailed directly to the plywood before the underlayment. Be sure to leave about 6″ extra on either end to serve as tabs when folded around the facia.

Dormer dripedge

Dormer dripedge

I cut to length and adhered the GAF Stormguard underlayment. This stuff can be tricky to work with alone and is very messy. Be sure to wear work clothes and have mineral spirits on hand for clean up. I worked from the bottom to the top on each roof slope and capped it off with smaller and more manageable pieces at the ridge caps. Each layer overlaps the last by at least 6″.

Dormer underlayment

Dormer underlayment

Once the underlayment is in place then a frame of various aluminum sections are trimmed, shaped and nailed in place to form a start and end point for the shingles on each roof section.

Shaping a section of gable rake with a pneumatic grinder

Shaping a section of gable rake with a pneumatic grinder

Gable rake

Gable rake

My brother Daniel and I lining up the gable rake

My brother Daniel and I lining up the gable rake

End wall flashing

End wall flashing

The shingles follow a very basic pattern that is then modified for special features. The rhythm is simple to maintain as long as you pay attention to the half mark on each shingle. This will make sure they continue to line up on each course.

Dormer shingles

Dormer shingles

Finally, the shingles are finished off at the top of the roof with interlocking ridge caps.

Ridgecaps

Ridgecaps

Fancy gable returns

Fancy gable returns

Gable rake finished off with rivets

Gable rake finished off with rivets

My brother and I finishing up the gable roofing

My brother and I finishing up the gable roofing

Roofing completed!

Roofing completed!

Roofing completed!

Roofing completed!

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Categories: Green Building, Tiny Home: Arborion | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Roofing with Aluminum Shingles

  1. Daniel

    So awesome to see the roof done! Thanks for letting me be a part of that

  2. Pingback: Utility Annex | Verdant Passages

  3. beezwings

    Hi! Just wondering how your roof is holding up?! I’m thinking of using aluminum shingles myself. Thanks!

    • The roof was completed in April of this year. Even though it has only been tested now for about 5 months, I still stand behind the product 100%. It has seen several big thunderstorms without a problem. I would also highly recommend using a high-quality roofing underlayment if you want to get the most out of your roofing lifespan. I hope this helps, and if you have any more questions let me know.

      • beezwings

        Thanks so much for the quick reply! Which underlayment did you end up using, and did you vent your roof? I guess I was mostly wondering about: shingles flying off while driving and anything heavy like branches, etc puttig dents into it.

  4. I used GAF Storm Guard from Home Depot. Here’s a link to the blog post for more info: https://verdantpassages.wordpress.com/2014/11/

    I chose not to vent my roof, but instead fill the cavity (between roof sheathing and ceiling) entirely with closed-cell spray foam. It’s waterproof, structural and will not allow any moisture to enter. Essentially turning the roof into a SIP (structurally insulated panel). These aluminum alloy shingles are very durable. I do not think many other roofing systems would hold up better to the specific stresses of tiny houses. Low branches could scratch them, but I don’t think you’ll have to worry about loosing any to high winds or minor branches.

    Have you started building? Do you have a blog? I’d love to follow your progress. :)

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