January 29

Mastering The Minnesota Roofing Codes: A Homeowner’s Guide to Compliance and Quality


Minnesota roofing codes


As a homeowner in Minnesota, ensuring your roof meets the latest building codes is paramount for safety and longevity. From understanding the intricacies of asphalt shingle roofing to navigating the 2020 Minnesota Residential Code, this guide equips you with the knowledge to tackle your roofing project with confidence.


Assessing Your Roofing Needs

Before embarking on any roofing endeavor, assess your roof’s condition and consider key questions:

  1. Is it time for a replacement? Look for signs of wear, leaks, or structural issues.
  2. Are you equipped for a DIY project, or should you enlist professional help?
  3. Familiarize yourself with the latest building codes and permit requirements specific to Minnesota.


Navigating the Minnesota Roofing Codes

The 2020 Minnesota Residential Code, aligned with the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC), sets the standard for roofing projects in the state. Below is a summarized table of key code requirements for asphalt shingle installations:

Code Requirement Description Code/Standard Reference
Slope Requirements Application permitted on roofs 4:12 and greater. Low-slope-roofing procedures allowed for slopes below 4:12. NA
Roof Deck Sheathing Must be solidly sheathed with structural panels such as plywood or OSB, complying with panel guidelines. IRC R905.2.1, R905.2.1.1
Fasteners Galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminum, or copper roofing nails with specific dimensions required. IRC R905.2.5, ASTM F 1667
Underlayment One layer of non-perforated Type 15 felt lapped two inches horizontally and four inches vertically. Ice barrier required. IRC R905.2.8, R905.2.8.1, R905.2.8.2
Ventilation Minimum net free ventilating area requirements, exceptions with vapor retarders. IRC R806.1, R806.2, R806.2.1
Valley Linings Install according to manufacturer’s instructions, with approved materials and dimensions. IRC R905.2.8.2
Cricket and Saddle Install on the ridge side of chimneys greater than 30 inches wide. Must be sheet metal or roof covering material. IRC R905.2.8.5
Sidewall Flashing Continuous or step flashing, minimum 4 inches in width, directs water away from vertical sidewalls. IRC R905.2.8.6
Kickout Flashing Install where sloped roof stops within plane of intersecting wall cladding, diverts water away. IRC R905.2.8.7
Other Flashing Follow manufacturer’s instructions for flashing against vertical-front wall, soil stack, vent pipe, and chimney. IRC R905.2.8.8
Drip Edge Not required unless specified by manufacturer’s installation instructions. IRC R905.2.9
Repairs or Replacement Repair or replacement permitted only following shingle manufacturer’s specified installation instructions. IRC R908.7
Wind Speed Design Shingles designed for 115 mph ultimate design wind speed, complying with ASTM D3161 or D7158 classifications. IRC R301.2.1, R905.2.4.1


Overlay vs. Tear-off: Making Informed Decisions

Consider the pros and cons of overlaying existing shingles versus a tear-off when planning your re-roofing project:

  • While overlaying may seem cost-effective, be aware of potential drawbacks such as hidden issues and reduced roof lifespan.
  • Opting for a tear-off allows for thorough inspections, potential repairs, and extended roof longevity, aligning with code requirements for quality and safety.


DIY or Professional Help: Choosing the Right Approach

Assess your capabilities and resources to determine whether a DIY approach or professional assistance is best suited for your roofing project:

  • DIY projects offer cost savings but require careful planning, proper equipment, and adherence to safety protocols.
  • Hiring licensed roofing professionals ensures expertise, efficiency, and compliance with code standards, guaranteeing quality and peace of mind.


Navigating your roofing project in Minnesota requires a blend of knowledge, preparation, and adherence to building codes. By understanding the intricacies of asphalt shingle roofing, evaluating your options, and following best practices outlined in the 2020 Minnesota Residential Code, you can achieve a safe, durable, and compliant roofing system for your home. For additional guidance and resources, consult with local authorities, licensed roofing professionals, and reputable suppliers to ensure a successful roofing experience tailored to your home’s unique needs and requirements.


Turn to the Pros at Shelter Construction

At Shelter, we perform free inspections and consultations, and we will be in business all Winter. We will perform minor repairs during the examination to small damage that we find. Call us at 612-284-6985 or schedule an inspection today on our website!



Home Maintenance, Roofing, roofing codes

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