What Equipment is Used For Residential Roofing

This article will give you a starting point and help you understand the seriousness of the task

What Equipment is Used For Residential Roofing
Photography by ©Jack Hobhouse

Residential roofing is a tedious and dangerous job. So if you want to get into the business, you need to understand that you can’t cut corners when it comes to equipment. This article is not a complete list of everything required, but it will give you a starting point and help you understand the seriousness of the task. Then, you can decide whether you want to rent or buy equipment and continue your research on starting a roofing company.

Scoop Shovel

Scoop shovels can help you remove old shingles and move them to the dumpster. You’ll want to find something sturdy with a wide, flat end and long shaft, so you’re putting less pressure on your back while you work.

If you try to use a regular landscaping shovel, you will prolong the removal stage and the entire project altogether. And with roofing projects, getting the job done promptly is critical for being able to book the most clients. Plus, you will not want to compromise the quality of work over something as simple as a shovel.

Shingle Cutter

A shingle cutter is helpful for accurately cutting large amounts of shingles in a timely manner. However, using regular shears is not recommended for roofing because you may not get the most precise cut. Some shingle cutters come as drill attachments, which can be helpful if you’re starting a new roofing business.

Nail Gun

Any professional roofer can tell you that a nail gun is a must-have in this line of work. As previously stated, you need time on your side. So you need tools that can help you get the job done efficiently. Many models are specifically designed for roofing, and they can hold over 100 nails. And while they are efficient for installing shingles, you should also get a roofing hammer for parts where a gun isn’t ideal for safety or ease.

What Equipment is Used For Residential Roofing
Photography by ©Jack Hobhouse


Forklifts are necessary for lifting pallets of material onto the roof. They’re helpful because it saves you the time and risk of carrying heavy loads up a ladder. While you may not need one for a smaller home, they’re great for larger projects. Plus, you can get forklift attachments to turn it into a multipurpose tool. However, forklifts are dangerous equipment, so you should ensure that you have a licensed operator to help before purchasing.


Installing a roof can take some time. On top of the weather, having a work-life balance, and trying to complete other projects, you may not finish the job right away. In addition, leaving the customer’s roof exposed can severely damage the house if it rains, and you don’t need that liability on your company. Therefore, you’ll need tarps to cover up the unfinished roof to protect it from the elements while you’re gone.


When you’re starting a new project, you’ll have a lot of waste, and you will need a place to dispose of it. You can rent or buy a dumpster for each of your projects and keep it close to the worksite. However, if you’re throwing material from the roof, you need it to be accessible.

Conversely, if you want an easier way to dispose of the materials, you could consider using bottom-dump hoppers that make waste management a breeze. They may cost more money, but they are helpful not only for waste but for transporting other materials around the worksite.

Safety Gear

You’re already aware of the imminent dangers of working on a roof. Safety equipment is not something to skimp out on when it comes to roofing. So make sure that you have everything necessary and double-check with the NRCA for compliance standards. Some of the most commonly used personal protective equipment are:

  • Hard hats
  • Bright clothing
  • Fall protection harnesses
  • Steel-toed boots
  • Gloves

Should You Rent or Buy Equipment?

Choosing whether to rent or buy your roofing equipment can be tricky. However, it doesn’t have to be that hard. You could buy the less expensive equipment and rent the larger, more expensive stuff if you’re just starting. For example, the dumpster and forklift can be rented per project, especially since you may not need a forklift for everything. Then, once you build a reputation and start picking up steady work, you can buy more powerful tools to keep on hand.


Starting a roofing company can be exciting, but it comes with costs. You’ll need the proper equipment to get the job done and show professionalism to your customers. If you show up to the worksite without everything you need, you risk damaging your reputation and ability to book more clients. This article only scratches the surface, so ensure that you get adequate training before you jump into the business.

Images from House in the Woods by Alma-nac

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