You’ve lived in your current home for several years without getting any roof work done. Judging by the roof’s appearance, the prior owner didn’t do anything with it for a long time either. You figure it’s high time for a roof replacement, but how long is the work going to take?
If your home is at least 1,600 square feet, then a roof replacement only takes about two to three days. However, for more complex jobs and very steep roofs, you might have to wait two weeks or longer. The weather can also delay project completion.
This article will be your guide to roof replacements. First, we’ll talk more about the factors that can slow down the contractors so you have a realistic roof replacement timeline. We’ll also discuss how much you might pay for the job.
Let’s get started!
How Long Do You Have to Wait for a New Roof to Be Installed?
When it comes to home construction, you want it done right, not necessarily fast. That’s especially true of your home’s roof, as it literally keeps the ceiling above your head.
If your home is about 1,600 square feet with a standard roof, it might not take longer than a day or two to change out the shingles and revitalize your roof.
In other cases, you could be looking at a timeline of two weeks and sometimes longer. Why such a disparity? A variety of factors can delay roof installation, so let’s take a look at them now.
Scope of Work
Note how we said that replacing shingles takes a contracting team about two days on average. That’s a standard job, so of course, the contractors can get it done fast.
Once you add more work to the project scope, the timeline is naturally going to expand. For instance, the contractors may discover as they begin stripping your roof of shingles that the roof has major structural damage.
Now you need more than new shingles, but a brand-new roof from the ground up. This is going to be a significantly more time-consuming job, not to mention a far costlier one for you, the homeowner.
Is your roof easily accessible from the ground level of your home? The more obstructions that exist around your property, the longer it’s going to take the contractors to get around. This time adds up over the long term and pushes your project deadline back further.
What do we mean by obstructions? Well, if you don’t have parking close to your home, then now the contractors have to lug their equipment up the block every day. If other homes are close in proximity to yours, this gives the contractors limited reach.
If bushes or other landscaping make it difficult to get reliably up and down a ladder to the roof, this too can slow down your project.
Historical vs. Non-Historical Homes
Historical homes sure are beautiful, but if you want to modify them in any way, you have to do some extra legwork. You or your contractors may have to obtain a permit ahead of replacing the roof.
Even with the permit, due to your home’s designated historical status, the contractors must follow very strict guidelines and take precautions compared to replacing a roof on a non-historical home.
Between the permitting and the slower pace of work, you could be looking at a months-long project.
Another factor that can push back the project completion date is how steep your roof is. The contractors will use a roof slope card from ground level to determine if your roof is on the steeper side.
If it’s not, then the contractors will usually install underlayment, especially for very shallow roofs. The underlayment prevents the water that usually pools on the shallow roof from breaking through the housing envelope.
For very steep roofs, then the contractors will add temporary safety features so they can climb up and down the roof without incident. Neither of these features is in the project timeline and will delay the roof installation accordingly.
If you have a property that only moderately exceeds 1,200 square feet, then maybe the contractors will need an extra couple of days to put on your new roof. For homes that are twice, thrice, or four times 1,200 square feet, you can multiply the project scope by that much as well.
Contractors can work with some roof materials faster than others. If yours is a concrete roof, between the weight of the materials and the extra drying time concrete requires, you could be looking at a turnaround of eight to nine days.
Slate tiles take about six to seven days to install, wooden shingles six to eight days, and asphalt shingles just a day or three.
We saved what is the biggest determining factor for last, and that’s the weather. This is also the factor that the contractors have the least degree of control over.
If it’s snowing or raining out, the contractors can’t work, it’s that simple. It’s not safe for them to be on the slippery roof, and the unpleasant conditions will delay the pace of the installation anyway.
In cold temperatures under 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it takes longer to install asphalt shingles, as they don’t seal or stick as well as they do in warmer weather.
How Much Does a New Roof Cost?
A project timeline is just one part of the roof replacement process. Paying for it is another. How much will a new roof cost you?
According to Angi (formerly known as Angie’s List), the average cost of a roof is $4.35 to $11 a square foot.
If your home is only 1,000 square feet with a roof that’s 1,054 square feet, the project would cost you $4,000 to $5,000. For 2,000-square-foot homes with a 2,108-square-foot roof, the price is $8,700 to $22,000.
Do you own a much bigger home? On 3,000 square feet of property, which is 3,162 square feet of roof, you’d pay between $11,200 and $16,000 for a new roof.
These prices are national averages, by the way. On a state-by-state basis, roof installation prices vary. For instance, in Nevada, the entire project might cost you only $5,380. In New York, you could pay up to $8,005, and in California, your project costs are higher still at $15,265.
The materials you select also play a role in your roof replacement costs. Here’s a breakdown of cost by material:
- Asphalt – $8,700 to $22,000
- Tile – $24,400 to $35,000
- Wood shake – $20,000 to $40,000
- Metal – $20,000 to $50,000
- Slate or stone – $32,000 to $50,000
Whether your roof replacement is on the lower side of the cost spectrum or the higher side, a variety of factors–including those we touched on–go into the overall cost. Up to 40 percent of your roof costs are due to the material alone, so that’s a very important consideration.
The labor fees are between $75 and $200 an hour and comprise 60 percent of what you pay. Then there are extra fees such as repairing the roof ($400 to $2,000 extra) and removing the old roof ($1,000 to $1,500 extra).
How Long Does a New Roof Last?
Unsurprisingly, given the scope of the work and the size of an average roof, replacing yours isn’t going to be cheap. You can take solace in the fact that roofs usually have a long lifespan of around 30 years.
If your roof is made of more durable materials such as tile, copper, and slate, then you could get up to 50 years out of your roof. That’s quite an impressively long lifespan!
Do be forewarned though that in extreme weather, roofs tend not to last as long. Very hot and humid states such as Texas for instance are not roof-friendly. Even if your roof was supposed to last for 30 years, you’d have to replace it between 10 and 15 years.
Roof Maintenance Tips
Fortunately, the durability of your roof is at least partially in your hands. By maintaining the roof, you could extend its lifespan. At the very least, you can ensure your roof fulfills its basic lifespan requirements.
Here are our favorite roof maintenance tips to begin following today.
Get Your Insulation Checked
This is a good idea to do around the entire home, but we’d suggest focusing on your attic insulation as related to your roof. If the attic is well insulated, then excess moisture can’t get into your roof as easily. This can prohibit ice dams from forming in the winter, which can be very damaging to new and old roofs alike.
Check Your Chimney
If your home has a chimney, then you need to inspect it several times per year or hire a professional to do so. You’re checking for signs of chimney damage, such as loose mortar. If you see areas where the mortar has vanished, these must be resealed.
If your chimney is crumbling, the stones will come out and fall onto your roof. The potential for structural damage is significant.
Inspect the Flashing Caulk
While you’re up there, it’s a good idea to check the caulk that surrounds your roof flashings too. This will be around the chimney’s perimeter as well as near any vent pipes your roof has. The caulk creates a watertight seal that prevents roof leaks.
At least once per year, test the caulk and replace thinned or missing areas of caulk.
Remove Hanging Branches
Tree growth is great, but not when the branches are dangling over your roof. Age, wind, or storms can cause the branches to fall off, and then what? Tree damage can wreck your roof, so cut off overhanging branches now before they become a bigger problem later.
Cutting old branches can also limit how much algae and moss appears on your roof, discoloring it into an unappealing green.
Keep Your Gutters Clean
This is a job any homeowner can and definitely should do. Several times per year, climb up to your roof, put on a good pair of gloves, and begin scouring the gutters. You’ll remove clumps of dirt, loose sticks and leaves, and other debris.
Without cleaning the gutters, the debris can prevent water from traveling through the gutters and lead to areas of water leakage on your property.
Are you thinking of getting a new roof installed? The process can take days to weeks depending on a variety of factors. Even though it usually costs thousands and thousands of dollars for a roof replacement, rest assured that once the job is done, you shouldn’t have to worry about it again for decades!