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Roofing Relapse
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Until I started my company I had never touched a roofing nailer. Infact all the roofs I had sold were hand nailed. It's hard to find guys willing to hand nail, but those that have been doing it for their entire careers and do it every day will be equally as fast as a crew using guns.

I used to think that a gun nailed roof meant a bad roof. I have changed my opinion on that. While it is easier to make a mistake if you rusha nd go too fast with a gun nailed roof, you can still definetly get a good roof if you have installers who care about what they are doing.

Finding guys who care doesn't matter if they are using a gun or not, it's a whole other discussion... but if your guys don't care the roof will suck regardless.
 

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Hand nailing whats that?
On a more serious note in the last 12 short years ive been at this ive had only one customer request a hand nailed roof. And lucky for me it was only a 5 sq pump house, which still left 3 of my fingers blood blistered.
 

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It happens about a few times, not that they specifically request it, but that they want to know the difference.

I just tell them that the nail has no intelligence. Either type can be put in right or wrong.

That is what I tout about having the same employees year in and year out, who have been trained on how i want the jobs to be done, per spec.

Ed
 

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Chicago Area Roofing
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Some people will ask about it, but I ask them if there something about using a gun that they don't like and explain that a good roofer can use either method and be as good or bad as anyone else.
But to answer the question only a couple times a season.
 

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I started using a nail gun 18 years ago, hand nailed for 20 years before that, like Ed and Grumpy said, the only difference is the quality of the roofer. It's rare anyone asks about hand nailing, sometimes on exposed soffet I'll ask if they want me to hand nail using 3/4 inch nails to keep the exposed nails to a minimum, they like the fact that I asked them.
 

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Roofing Relapse
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Some people will ask about it, but I ask them if there something about using a gun that they don't like and explain that a good roofer can use either method and be as good or bad as anyone else.
But to answer the question only a couple times a season.
Here's the deal. Hand nailing is good marketing! Find something to set yourself apart. I used to make a huge deal about hand nailing in my sales presentations. I know it mattered, because the whole point was: quality quality quality. They didn't care that I was hand nailing or gun nailing. INfact they probably forgot after I left their presence. The point was I was making a huge deal about how we care and how we go the extra mile.

So I have been convinced, like Ed said, either can be done right or wrong. But I still beleive in quality and I still explain the fact that we are goign the extra mile, I just now leave out the part about hand nailing.

Ditto to roof safe on the exposed soffit. I don't ask though, I bring it up and state. "Oh and BTW on your exposed soffit, you don't want to see a bunch of nails do you? Did anyone else bring this up with you (set yourself apart)? Yeah it's very important we use shorter nails in this area or else you're going to see each and every nail from the bottom, and that's going to be very ugly. We use 1 1/4" roofing nails on the rest of the roof but on this section we'll be using 3/4" or 7/8" roofing nails so they don't poke through."
 

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Right on Grumpy, Oh but those short nails are hard on these older fingers. They seemed to have grown in size since I started roofing, they are no longer thinner than a 3/4 inch nail.
 

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Second generation roofer. Its a beautiful thing having the ability to set wack set wack with a light hatchet. This Spring marks my 21st year roofing. The first five I swung a hatchet and you couldn't tell me different was better. Then starting at 8 AM one morning a rival started a new house across the street (new construction) 3 guys with 2 guns and there were 5 of us 4 with hatchets and at lunch we were finishing the back and looking across the street they were ready to cap the ridge. At the chump change we were doing for back then we were working too hard. Needless to say we finished the front with guns and have not looked back. Ever.
I have been asked and the response is simple, no we don't staple, yes we shoot nails. I don't see the difference.
I was wondering how my speed is holding out with my age, so on a wide open walkable I was timed 4 minutes 13 seconds per square. Nobody will ever do that with a hatchet.
 

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You can do a square in 5 minutes? I'll just give you a blank check to come work for me. I don't see how that's possible and have never heard anyone ever say they could do a square in anywhere near 5 minutes.

I'm assuming you mean after the felt was all set... but still 12 squares an hour?

LOL I personally can't do 12 squares in a day. I'm out of shape, fat and lazy though.
 

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I was timed 4 minutes 13 seconds per square.
253 seconds divided by 324 nails per square = .781 seconds per nail which = 3.12 seconds per shingle.

I can't unstick 2 shingles on a hot day in that time.

Ed
 

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The best I could do by myself was six square an hour. But, I stocked the roof out ahead of me then timed, just picked, slid into place across the gauge and nailed, I could do a square in nine minutes.
Now I can still do a square in 20 minutes, but I'm 61, not quite as fast as I usetawas. The timne trials I did on myself was always in the morning when ths shingles was nice and cool, stocking them out broke them apart so there were no stickers.
The guy who taught me 38 years ago was the fastest I ever saw with a hammer, he could do five an hour, my best with a hammer was three an hour. Started using a NAIL gun 20 years ago, had carpel tunnel from a hammer, a year later I no longer had carpel tunnel, the nail gun was a good change for me.
 

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Ok boys, up here we use IKO. Metric 3 bundles of 20 shingles per square with 4 nails per shingle. I was thinking this should be something I get on video for all to see. It reminds me of meeting "The fastest roofer in VT" years back. We raced, funny thing was he wanted to sort all his shingles out before we started! I allowed him to "shuffle" two of the four. I nailed on the last of the shingle of the forth bundle as he was opening his last.

Ed, I think you might be using GAF or CertainTeed.

We did a Marriott in Elk quite a few years back 4 bundles to a square. Lots of loose granules to slip on so that as the last until a homeowner requested Camelot last year. 7 bundles per square for Camelot.

We did a CertainTeed last year on Phase 1 of a condo project. Those too had 4 bundles to a square. The boys hated them.
My Ol Pa swore by Bird eh eh I mean CertainTeed but we wrote those off after every Bird roof was defective with fiberglass matt. IKO cleaned up with organtic matt and we like the metric sizing.
 

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RoofSafe,

We are in the same ballpark. I was pressing for speed that day. Lines were popped, already ran up the valley and I was timed in the field. I try and stay in the 3 square per hour range. I shoot leaning over not sitting or kneeling so my motivation is that stretch after a bundle is down.

Up here we get mostly steeper roofs, 12/12 is the best for this guy, give me a cushy for those knees and still including brackets (we don't work off toe boards) I can still press out the three square per hour.

Hammers are for the ridge vent/ cap and setting brackets.
 

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Perfect. Straight. Do the same routine couple hundred thousand times and maybe you too can be quick and good at what you do.
I smirk at those non believers and non capable. I have wagered my fair share at this and walked away with a fatter wallet.
I have often said "Someone call Guinness" because I am the fastest roofer. I will check in on it. I will may need someone to hold the video camera... Outlaw? You busy?
 

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rbr, I still use the guage on the gun, most guys just use the laminations or as you do, snap lines. I snap two lines per face, starter and first course, if I have any dormers I will snap a line above the ridge of the dormers to check myself. For valleys I run the small side first, snap a line two inches above the valley then precut the cut side, that way I don't have to worry about rising or dropping in the valley, they stay level as long as you follow the line and the guage.
Outlaw, As for straight courses, I have plenty of pictures if you are interested.
 
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