Water will find any imperfection in a roofing system, and once it does the damage it can cause will have you doing some things all over again.
Leaks in a roof are very difficult to locate. Once the water has made its way inside a structure, it will follow the path of least resistance, sometimes traveling many feet from where it entered. Most times the leak is small and damage will not be visible until it is too late.
Wind-driven rain is sure to test the integrity of any roof.
There is no sense in changing a #DIY project into a #DIA NIGHTMARE.

One of the most common areas that water will find its way into your living space is through improperly installed STEP FLASHING.
The step flashing is used to seal off the roof shingles where they butt up against a sidewall.


Making your own step flashing is simple and it will save you a couple of bucks.
Making your own flashing will also give you the option of stepping up the gauge of the metal you use for fabricating the pieces.
Standard flashing is made from .009mm aluminum, while the aluminum coil stock I used is .024mm.
Using a framing square gives you a nice straight edge as your guide when scoring the aluminum with a utility knife.

Once your piece of metal has been scored with the knife, simply bend the metal a couple of times to separate it from the coil.
These flashing can be cut with a pair of metal shears, but the cut edge will not be as smooth as the edge of a piece cut with a knife.


Making the flashings this way will also save some time. The straight line is the line to be scored. The smaller lines are where the metal will be folded.
Each leg of the flashing should be 4".


Because I'm using a heavier gauge metal for the flashings, putting a small cut on each side of the metal will ensure that the bend will be perfect.


Using an old rail from the mill to bend the metal around worked great. Any rigid piece of material will work just as well.


In less than an hour, I had all of the step flashing fabricated.


In this picture, you see some standard aluminum flashing. This aluminum can be purchased at any building supply store.
The gauge of this aluminum is very thin. (.oo9)
Bending this material is very simple. Take one piece of flashing and bend it completely in half, then take every other piece and slide it into the folded piece and bend it to approximately a 90-degree angle.
When making the bend you want to bend it slightly under 90-degrees.
In the next two pictures, I will show you why.

With the flashing being under bent, when fastening the flashing to the wall, it will sit tight against the roof shingle.
The two red dots indicate where the flashing should be nailed. Proper location of the nails will keep everything watertight. The nails should be kept about 2+ inches up from the fold in the flashing and about an inch in from the edges.


Here is an example of bending the flashing past the 90-degree mark. Let's see what happens when this piece is installed.


That is not what you want as the flashing is lifting away from the surface it needs to make watertight.


Two different styles of roofing shingles are pictured here. The shingle to your left is the standard three-tab shingle.
The shingle to your right is an architectural shingle.
Each style shingle requires a different size flashing.
The three-tab shingle measures about an inch less in width than the architectural shingle.
Architectural shingle flashing size 8" wide x 10" long
Three-tab shingle flashing size 8" wide x 8" long.


I don't believe I have ever heard someone say, "This is so much fun, I'll do it wrong so that I can do it again."