January 11, 2019

How to Hang Christmas Lights on a Roof

Eliminate the holiday headache and learn how to hang your Christmas lights this year with these tips from Roofr! Happy holidays!

Time to read:
3 Minutes
Written by
Nicholas Capobianco

It’s that time again. Are you ready to take down your holiday lights? Keep reading to learn more about the best ways to take them down, and to put them back up next season!

If you resemble Chevy Chase in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” every holiday season, we’re here to tell you that there’s a better way. You don’t need to risk life and limb just to win that neighborhood prestige that comes with a beautifully lit home every year. There are a multitude of tips, tricks, and hacks that can change the way you put up, take down, and even store your holiday lights.

The team at Roofr have scoured the internet, asked our experts, and done our due diligence to put together a guide that will leave your home festive with none of the usual mayhem. Read on to learn more.

putting up lights holiday hacks

Holiday light hacks for every part of the decorating process

Before moving forward with anything roof-related, it’s important to consider safety factors. Putting up and taking down holiday lights is no different. Always make sure that you’re adhering to basic safety rules. No one should be balancing on a rickety ladder, while trying to test lights that are the final straw for their 25 year old extension cord.

You’ll need a sturdy ladder, lights and cords approved for outdoor use, and preferably decent weather. If something is too high to reach safely, wait until you can get the right equipment, or don’t do it at all. Keeping safe is more important than a festive house.

Once you’ve made sure that you’ve covered all of your safety-related bases, these suggestions, hacks, and tips can make the entire process easier:

Don’t hang a single strand until you’ve made a plan.

While it may be tempting to let your creative side take over with nary a thought to planning, you might end up in a tangle. Literally. Reign in your holiday spirit, and take the time to create a complete plan for your holiday lights. Sit down and draw it out to get an idea of what the finished product will look like from the street. Not only can you make any aesthetic adjustments ahead of time, you’ll also be able to strategize the hanging and removal processes.

Have your materials handy.

There’s nothing quite as inconvenient as needing a nail or adhesive strip, and realizing that you’ve left everything at the bottom of the ladder. Or worse yet, you’ve forgotten to purchase them entirely. Once you’ve completed your cursory plan, make a list of everything you’ll need to get the job done right. Then, turn your handy tool belt into a weapon of mass decoration.

LED lights are easier to maintain.

Anyone who’s ever spent hours going through every strand of lights looking for that one that’s malfunctioning understands the value of LEDs. These lights rarely go out, last longer, don’t emit heat, and make a considerably smaller dent in your utility bill. They may be slightly more expensive in the beginning, but they pay for themselves after a couple of uses.

holiday hacks tangled lights

Leave your hooks up for next year.

Yes, it’s definitely not a good look to leave Christmas lights up year-round, but this doesn’t mean that you have to remove hooks and hangers. If you plan on being a habitual bringer of lighted joy in your neighborhood, leaving hooks and hangers in place can save you serious time. Just make sure that they aren’t placing your roof at risk of damage, or creating a nasty eyesore.

Store your holiday lights like a pro.

Sometimes the simplest solution is the best one. Use leftover cardboard boxes or pieces of thinner plywood as a way to store your holiday lights between uses. Break the boxes down, cut off a side, and wrap the light strands around it. Consider creating small grooves in the materials to stop lights from sliding, or wrapping the whole thing in plastic wrap to keep it secure until next season.

Chimney lights holiday hacks

These tools can help

Not everything can be done with duct tape. Use appropriate outdoor hooks, zip ties, and carefully placed nails as a means to secure the lights. You can also find some tools to help, including: staple guns, concrete plugs to hang lights off of. It is important to also know where, and what you’re nailing into. Please ensure that wherever or whatever you are nailing into, that it will not cause damage or a leak down the line!

A painter’s ladder

This is lightweight, inexpensive, and is usually a secure way to attach lights to lower hanging roofs. Having an easy way to move around your roof is safer and easier than trying to navigate the roof itself. Make sure the supports are fully locked, that it is sitting on level ground, that you don't step on the top of it, and that you have a spotter for optimal safety.

A hanging pole

A hanging pole is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a long pole with a hook or claw on one end that can be used to place lights in hooks that are far off or in awkward positions. The extended reach eliminates a lot of problems, and it can be used for other things around the home! Always beware of power lines or anything that you can hit that may injure you or the people around.

Light timers

This may not sound like a tool that can make your holiday roof lighting easier, but it can work wonders for those who have precariously placed outdoor outlets. Installing a timer will save on your utility bill, automate the lighting design, and prevent you from needing to get on a ladder or mess with an outlet several times a day.

Things to avoid when handling holiday lights

There’s a right way and a wrong way to do just about everything, and this includes your holiday lights. Always test your lights before putting them up, and store them properly when taking them down. Avoid trying to hurry the project and taking shortcuts that could end badly.

This means checking your outlets, testing equipment, and taking a few extra minutes to make sure that you’re doing things safely. If your home has several stories or peaks, you may need to ask a professional roofer for some help. There’s no shame in turning your project over to experts! Working on a flat roof can make the process easier, but it’s still best to use a ladder and spend as little time on the roof as possible.

light frustration holiday hacks

We want you to enjoy every part of the season.

Holiday lights should be a festive addition to your season, not something that makes you cringe as soon as Michael Bublé hits the airwaves once again. The professionals at Roofr are here to help. Give us a call, comment below, or hit us up on social media with your questions and creative holiday light hacks!

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