Starter shingles-hope for answers soon (roofing in progress)

The roofers are done with the first day of the new roof job on my home and plan to finish tomorrow. I find the company has been doing quite well overall, from answering questions to focusing on proper service. But I do have one question, regarding starter strip.

The foreman has chosen to use some type of (apparently) cheap 3-tab shingle (OC Supreme AR) for starter on an architectural roof. This was not discussed beforehand and he is treating it more or less as a matter of fact, business as usual in other words. He is laying them backwards.

Is this normal/acceptable? Doing a search I found at least one of you does not like this method. Am just a little concerned about compromising the job - hope you guys can set my mind at rest. Thanks!

It wont hurt it.

Shouldn’t be a problem at all…

Just about everyone has/does this…

It is common business, although yes, obviously using a “Starter Shingle” is more appropriate, but as long as the 3Tabs are installed correctly, you will be fine…

Acceptable but not really right.

And the fact they are AR shingles is good too.

Slightly incorrect, but not enough of a big deal to worry about, especially if everything else is going according to plan.

It has been done by practically, if not all of us on more than one occasion and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.


As long as the dim shingles seal strip on the back of the shingle then it doesnt matter one bit. The bottom row will seal down.

using a backward three tab shingle is pretty standard practice here, when using archs we generally just use the same capping shingles for starters but some guys will buy a cheap shingle for starters and for the most part I don’t see a problem with it at all. Its probably what your house had on it when the tore it up

Nobody I have ever worked with or for allowed us to just flip a 3-tab upside down for a starter.
We always had to at least cut off the tabs.

If the 3-tabs are standard size this creates other potential problems.
It is all in how the installer treats it.

It is not a good sign, it indicates potential laziness.
Perhaps they are more interested in speed of application than anything else.

When I first started out nearly 30 years ago, that was all anyone I ever saw do, so I did as I was taught, until I learned why the tabs should be cut off and then when they came out with actual starter strip, thats what I order for every job.


i cant believe you got nothing better to do w/ your time other than being right up the shinglers ass! what do you think everyones out to screw you?! guys have been doing it that way for yrs.! id charge you more for being right up my ass! you should be more worried that they dont use them same shingles for ridgecaps, because thats how theyll screw you. you shouldnt of signed them if you dont trust them. i cant stand customers like you.

And this sort of response adds to the value of the forum how? :?

Just remember - God loves you the way you are but loves you too much to let you stay that way. :slight_smile:

To the rest who responded: thanks much; I am good to go with the info you provided. BTW I have specified and received arch shingles for hip and ridge already.

Boy you guys are always ready to tear another roofer up.The people on this post are a bunch of back stabbers.There is nothing wrong with turning a 3 tab upside down.If the home owner is complaining about something as small as that ,maybe he should have done it himself.

I think you should re-read the responses before making a broad brush statement like that.


dave, i wasnt trying to tear up a fellow roofer. just a pain in the ass homeowner. i got a kick out of his response as well.

Ed and Cory I wasnt talking about every post.I didnt even see a starter strip untill the hail chasers brought Elk shingles into the area in 2001. Never had shingles blow off using 3 tabs for starters.Plus smart roofers save 3 tabs to use for starters on other jobs.

It’s the old “two sides to every story” all over again. Tradespeople vs those who hire them. Dunno why it has to be that way, or seen that way.

I started out saying these guys are doing a good job. In fact, of the numerous work crews I’ve had in my house this year as part of a full renovation, they are far and away the best.

What I have learned along the way is that I both need to and like to learn. So, when a flooring guy uses a certain kind of pad vs another, I try to understand the whys and wherefores of such a thing. When a carpenter uses two types of moulding to set one window, I’d like to know what’s up. When a painter uses cheapo paint on the most important work, the trim, even though the agreement called for upgraded paint and I found out later what he used, I note to myself that I should be more vigilant. In no way am I singling out roofers (or shingling them out :slight_smile: ) or any other pros for “special” treatment.

So when I go to forums and ask questions, it is as much to educate myself as to protect my investment in my home. It has been my experience that most honest and straight-up tradespeople on these forums have absolutely no problem answering questions that are put in that vein, as this one was, and as several responded. Which doesn’t mean the sniper is not honest etc; maybe he’s having a bad day, whatever… it’s not my job to figure it out. I’m not too crazy about the trash talk and blanket accusations though - that’s kinda churlish IMO.

Corry, your a dummy… your the reason roofers have a bad name.

[quote=“dave63028”]Ed and Cory I wasnt talking about every post.I didnt even see a starter strip untill the hail chasers brought Elk shingles into the area in 2001. Never had shingles blow off using 3 tabs for starters.

Plus smart roofers save 3 tabs to use for starters on other jobs. [/quote]

Smarter Roofers sell upgrades.


Corry, I don’t think your a dummy, although maybe that response was a little harsh.

I save whatever is left from open bundles of shingles on every job. I have a stack of metrics and of english that I always use for starters. Sometimes manufacturers don’t match up, but I don’t think it matters.

Someone said as long as gum line is on back of shingles, it doesn’t matter to use an upside down 3-tab and I agree.