How Long Does a Roof Replacement Take?

A roof replacement on a house
Few features on your home are as essential as a sound roof. Fortunately, according to the National Association of Home Builders, a typical asphalt/shingle roof should last approximately 20 years under normal conditions. That means that most homeowners will not have to tackle the “roof replacement” job very often—if at all.

Because the average homeowner has minimal experience with roof replacements, we’re taking a moment to answer one of the most frequently asked questions: How long does a roof replacement take?

In a perfect world, the entire process of replacing your roof, from receiving the initial quote to final inspection, shouldn’t take more than 3 weeks.

Do you want to replace your damaged roof with the same material, or is it time to upgrade for style and curb appeal? The more research you do about your roof and the factors that affect it before meeting with your roofer, the faster the process will go.

Stages of a Residential Roof Replacement

Knowing the stages of the roof replacement process will help you understand how your contract will budget time for your project:

• Initial Estimate: There’s no substitute for finding a reputable roofing contractor.
• Prepare Your Home: The first step for any quality roofing crew is to take the time to protect the home/landscaping as necessary to prevent any damage.
• Remove/Dispose of Old Shingles: Removing all the old shingles allows your roofing contractor to thoroughly evaluate the plywood substrate that will form the foundation of your new roof. If mold or any type of deterioration is present, the plywood can be replaced—greatly extending the life of your new roof.
• Evaluate Components: Before beginning the process of installing new shingles, the roofers should inspect not only the plywood foundation but also look for any insecure attachments and make needed repairs.
• Prepare surfaces to receive new Shingles: Prior to new shingles being placed, many roofers will apply roofing felt, or install a drip edge and/or ice and water protection.
• Installation of Shingles: Shingles are installed after all plywood is deemed sound, and any pre-installation items are applied, such as drip edge, ice and water shield, and flashings.
• Ridge Vent installation: It is necessary for roofers to apply ridge vents at peaks/ridges to allow your roof/attic spaces to breathe properly.
• Clean Up: The roofing contractor should clean-up all nails, shingles, wood scraps, etc. daily.

Factors that May Influence a Roofing Project

By knowing the factors that may influence your roofing project, then you can better manage your expectations. Even though no two roofing projects are exactly alike, below are some basic factors that will determine how quickly your roof replacement is completed:
• Home Footprint: Your roofing contractor will need to take time to protect the exterior features of your home, such as gardens, pools, and garages. In addition to protecting these areas from any damage, it will also be necessary for your roofing crew to block entrances and exits to these areas to prevent property damage and/or personal injury.
• Roof Type: Obviously, size plays a role in the timeline, but other characteristics of the roof have an impact on the project as well. There are many different types of roof materials and designs; a steep or hip roof will take more time than a roof with a slight slope.
• Weather: Weather may affect your roof replacement timeline directly or indirectly. Obviously, the crew cannot work safely in inclement weather—which may add a few days to your timeline.

Although we can’t control every factor of your roof replacement that could affect the completion date, try to control the things you can. If possible, plan the project for a time when sustained inclement weather and extremes of temperature are not common. Make it clear to your contractor that you need to be kept abreast of any delays resulting from unforeseeable events so you and your family can plan accordingly.

As a homeowner, replacing your roof is a big deal. Not only is it expensive, but it can also be stressful trying to manage the project. Keep in mind, however, that understanding the factors that may influence a roof replacement project, as well as the things that go into scheduling it from start to finish, will go a long way toward making the process less of a hassle.