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One of the most common mistakes when installing metal shingles, shakes, and slate is to “rack” the panels instead of staggering each row. For the best look and weather-tight design, pay attention to the way you start each row of shingles.
Each type of decorative metal products has its own recommendations when staggering rows of panels. Most have a recommended pattern that repeats every 2-4 rows. On others, multiple patterns or random patterns are recommended.
First verify which direction shingles should be installed: right to left, left to right, or varied. Each design is different as far as requirements.
Next, mark and cut the shingle – consider the lock or overlap on the side of the shingle. If you are installing from left to right, the side of the shingle you’ll use to start with will be the right side after being cut. This way the right side of each shingle has the lock or overlap side on it.
Don’t discard the other side – you may be able to use all or a portion of it when you reach the other side of the roof. For this reason, keep the cutoff part in good condition when possible.
Lay out the first few rows on the ground to ensure you’re comfortable with the process.
When installing, always remember that each row up the roof can’t go any further horizontally than the row below it. Thus as you install up the roof you are likely to have a stair-step appearance.
Note this illustration. In this example, the product is designed to be installed from left to right.
The most common stagger pattern for Sentry Slate is Full, 2/3, and then 1/3 panel and then repeating that. The photo shows the second one (2/3 panel). After using the 2/3 of panel to start, you’ll end up with 1/3 of a panel that has the left lock (downward lock) but not the right (upward/starting lock). Keep this panel as you may be able to use it when you get to the right side of the roof – either on this run or another run.