Essential Roofing Tools for the DIY Homeowner

man wearing tool belt

If you’re the type of homeowner who likes to complete projects yourself, it pays to have the right tools. Working on the roof is no exception. It’s not advisable to complete every roofing project yourself, but if you’re going to attempt a DIY repair, it pays to have the right tools for the job.

 However, a successful DIY roofing project requires more than just the right set of tools.

The DIY homeowner needs more than just the right set of tools. They also need some basic understanding of how roofs work, should feel comfortable with heights, and should always practice proper safety procedures.

Combined with the right set of tools, homeowners will then have a better chance of success. Let’s take a look at some essential roofing tools for the homeowner looking to perform some serious roof work.

16-ounce hammer

There are many different brands of hammers to choose from, but a 16-ounce hammer is widely agreed upon as the ideal weight for nearly any roofing project. 16-ounce hammers are heavy enough to deliver enough force but light enough that they can be carried around all day without getting tiresome. Estwing makes a reputable hammer favored by a lot of roofers.


Pneumatic roof nailer

pneumatic roof nailer

If you’re planning on installing a large number of shingles, a pneumatic roof nailer is an essential tool for the DIY homeowner.

They're used to secure shingles and flashing to the roof. They allow for large amounts of nails to be installed in a short amount of time. Brands like Bostitch and Hitachi are infamous for their ability to withstand trying work conditions. They still operate with drops, falls, and heavy use.

Tear-off bar

Most repair projects require the removal of shingles. And if the project requires a large amount of shingle removal, it's wise to invest in a tear-off bar.

There are a number of different options to choose from, and the right one for you will likely come down to personal preference. If you’re planning on using the bar routinely, purchase a tear-off bar with a fiberglass handle because they’re much lighter.

Make sure the bar has a solid fiberglass core in order to provide more strength for removing the shingles.

Safety harness and fall protection

roof safety harness

Proper fall protection is just as important as a good hammer or a resilient pneumatic nail gun. A proper protection system includes a safety harness, rope lifeline, and a reusable roof anchor. The safety harness will protect you against the most common and deadly injury associated with the roofing profession: falls.

If you’re not sold on wearing a safety harness, at the very least install two-by-four beaches along the roof’s edge to provide extra footing and a barrier between you and the ground below.

Magnetic nail sweeper

If you’re performing a large roofing project by yourself, it’s extremely likely nails will fall into the yard. And unless you’re willing to waste a lot of time looking for them, you'll want to buy a magnetic nail sweeper.

Even if you do spend hours looking for loose nails, it’s nearly impossible to find every one, and that leaves you and your family open to all kinds of puncture problems.

A magnetic nail sweeper makes the job easy and safe. Keep your pets, tires, and feet happy by picking up all the nails from a project with a magnetic nail sweeper.


Additional tools and materials

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. The tools listed above are for the homeowner looking to accomplish significant roof work. Other common tools include:

  • ladder
  • measuring tape
  • tool belt
  • safety harness
  • pry bar
  • caulking gun
  • cordless drill
A complete toolkit complemented with the right safety system allows confident homeowners to complete a variety of roofing projects. However, there are some roof repairs, and most roof replacements, that should be left to the professionals. Hometown Roofing Contractors makes it easy to connect homeowners with experienced professionals. Before hiring anyone, see what other customers have to say, request a number of quotes, and leave your own review of your experience. 

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