Boston Lap, what is that?

The Boston Lap ridgecap

A Boston Lap is a way to finish the peak of a shingled Roof. 

In a dollhouse, the top of the Roof can be completed in a number of ways.  It can have the front roof’s shingles in a neat line, with the top courses cut to keep the reveal the same (some of each shingle is covered by the next-higher shingle, and some of each shingle shows.  The amount that shows is called “to the weather” or “reveal”). 

 the top two courses are sized to keep the   The top two courses are cut so the “reveal” is the same

A doll house ridgecap can be two boards laid side-by-side across the peak either touching or holding rooftop Gingerbread; but my favorite ridgecap on a dolls house is the “Boston Lap”.  The steps to a Boston Lap are described below. 

Start a Boston Lap with a pair of shingles touching across the peakGlue two shingles side-by-side across the peak, lined up on one end of the roof.   

Glue on another pair of shingles touching each other and overlapping the first pair by about 1/4″.  Then glue on another pair, overlapping the second…etc. until you are approaching the middle of the roof.  

Cut angled shingles to fit around intersecting roofsCut angled shingles to fit around intersecting roofs
(dollhouse kit shingles can be cut with scissors).

Now work on the shingle pairs that come from the other end of the roof toward the middle, following all the same steps.   The Boston Lap starts on both ends and meets in the middle. 

The two rows of Boston Laps meet in the middleWhen the sides are getting close to the middle, count and compare the pairs on each side so you can come out really in the center.


The Center Shingle covers each row\'s endThe last shingle caps the end of both runs of shingles in the center of the peak

Start a Gable or Dormer Roof with a cut pair… Finish at the front
  Finish a Gable or Dormer Boston Lap in front




7 Responses to “Boston Lap, what is that?”

  1. Dena Francia Says:

    Thanks for the info. I am right at this point of finishing the shingles on my Woodstock.

    Sincerely, Dena

  2. jennifer jacobs Says:

    great look!
    we are going to use the boston lap. My only concern is the piano hinge along the top? do you leave the hinge top exposed or can you partly cover it? any recommnedations?

  3. gary_r Says:

    Hi Jennifer
    I cut a narrow course of shingles and glue it to cover the piano hinge in front. I do not cover the back of the hinge because the hinge needs clearance to open the whole way.

  4. jennifer jacobs Says:

    Thanks Gary, things are going great with the roof now. You’ve provided good information.


  5. ken aubrey Says:

    Hi Gary,
    My question is, if I am at a half of a shingle at the top of the gable, should I cut the shingles I use for the Boston Lap in half? If Not the boston lap will be almost the same size as the top shingle.

    Thanks for the information,


  6. gary_r Says:

    As long as the Boston Lap shingle doesn’t completely cover the top shingle, it is still all good.

  7. ken aubrey Says:

    Hi Gary,

    I have a question. I did a kunklehead mistake. I glued in the window without the plexaglass. is there a way to recover this without completly tearing up the front of the house. I am doing a 1759 series.