I’m nearing completion on an 8' x 6' wooden shed. I’ve shingled the roof based on information I’ve found online, but haven’t been able to find a good guide on how to run the top course.

I have roofing felt and drip edges. The front drip edge is under the felt. The side edges are over the felt. The shingles extend 1/2" past the drip edge on all sides.

At the top edge, it would seem I should put the drip edge over the shingles. But as you can see in this photo, the penultimate course ends short of the top edge:

View from left side of top edge of sloped-roof garden shed

I’m thinking of putting one last course of shingles, trimming that along the back edge, then placing the drip edge, then putting a second course on top of the edge for aesthetics. I also think I should probably get a wider drip edge (this one is 2x2").

But I don’t really want to leave those cap nails visible. What is the standard practice in this situation?

  • 1
    I have never seen anybody use those nails for the roof. I presume they are galvanized? Typically they are used for the underlayment.
    – Jack
    Dec 12, 2023 at 4:03
  • From everything I read, plastic-head (washer, really) nails are used for underlayment, and these are intended for shingles. I read somewhere that tacking down the underlayment was only strictly needed to keep it in place until the shingles went on, so I just stapled it. Yep, glavanized: homedepot.com/p/…
    – Rick
    Dec 12, 2023 at 6:29
  • Why not just lay another course of shingles, bend the continuous part down over the edge of the roof, trim the overage to match the drip edge, and put the drip edge on top?
    – Huesmann
    Dec 12, 2023 at 13:39

1 Answer 1


You have the right idea, you can keep the 2X2 drip edge, no need for it to be bigger.

When the next course is cut the 2x2 drip will cover the cut edge handily. To finish the edge, do rip a cover course to go over the drip edge. Get a small box of regular roofing nails to finish off the top edge, starting with the drip edge. Roofing nails have a flatter head so the shingles will lay flatter over them. You will only need a few nails in the drip edge, only enough to hold it straight. The last row of shingles will load it up with the rest of the nails. More on that.

Before you install the final shingles that cover the drip edge, use roofing cement (cut a large opening, at least 1" off the tip of the sealed plastic tip) and a caulk gun to place a heavy line, 3/8" or larger continous bead of roof cement at the edge of the drip edge where it meets the shingles. Press he last row of shingles in place, taking note where the line of roof cement is under the last row. Come to think of it, it may be necessary to use 2 rows of caulk, one to seal the edge of the drip edge, the other to seal where the nails will go through. Only place the nails where they will go through the caulk, sealing everything up against rainfall and driving winds. Do run the last cut shingles like the others, the 1/2" over the upper edge too. It looks like the last row may only be about 3" wide, maybe bigger, that's cool, it is enough to cover everything.

One thing to look out for working with the heavy bead of caulk near where the covering shingle may allow it to ooze out from under the lower edge. 1 of 2 things can help keep that from happening. Cut the shingle 1" wider so it covers lower over the caulk or, set the shingle down lower edge first and lay it over so the caulk is forced up only for the most part, not squishing in both directions.

  • I think I understand: 1) Rip last course flush to roof edge and nail. 2) Place drip edge with a couple nails. 3) Rip another course (would have to basically lay directly atop last course, no?). 4) Two beads of cement on drip edge. 5) Place last row onto cement, nail through cement.
    – Rick
    Dec 12, 2023 at 6:36
  • 1
    I believe you do. Just to confirm, between step 2 and 3 is when the roof cement goes down. If the last row is narrow, 1 bead may do it as long as it seals the drip edge to th shingles and allows the last nail to go through it too. Otherwise 2 rows of caulk to be certain both are sealed. You may confirm by starting the narrow rip with a short piece, press it in the caulk and pull it back to see if it does seal the drip edge and give room for the nails to pass through it too. Do make the last rip wide enough to project beyond the drip edge by the 1/2", maybe a bit more.
    – Jack
    Dec 13, 2023 at 5:34
  • 1
    Usually since the last row of nails are visible a small dap of roof cents is placed over them to protect and color them in a bit. Loose roof gravel can be sprinkled onto it too, to help color it in. FWIW, bending the edge down that extends beyond the drip edge at the top with the help of a heat gun as mentioned by another, is a nice touch too
    – Jack
    Dec 13, 2023 at 5:36
  • Yeah, cement on top of drip edge, right, not under it. So I'd have, from bottom up: roof sheathing, underlayment, shingles, drip edge, cement, shingles.
    – Rick
    Dec 13, 2023 at 9:40
  • 1
    You have it down, good deal.
    – Jack
    Dec 13, 2023 at 14:45

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