If you are planning to replace your roof, you may be wondering how many days it takes to put on a new roof? As with many home maintenance issues, there isn’t a single answer that’s right for everyone, but I can give you some ballpark figures and let you know which factors will impact your timeline.
How Many Days Does It Take To Put On A New Roof? It can take up to two weeks to replace a roof, but the average time to replace a roof on a 1,000- 2,000 square foot house is two to three days. However, there are at least eight factors that affect how long it will take to replace your roof including the materials you use and the condition of the structure.
Only a roofing professional who has viewed your roof in person can give you an accurate estimate of how long it will take to re-shingle your roof. But, if you want a rough idea, these are the factors that will influence your timeline.
Factors Affecting A Roof-Replacement Timeline
While it takes two or three days to put a new asphalt roof on an average home, these are the things that will impact how long it takes for your particular home.
In an ideal world, your roof will be replaced during the summer-time when there are more daylight working hours and warm, dry weather. This allows your contractors to work quickly and safely.
A reliable roofer will check the weather and avoid beginning a new roofing job when rain, snow, ice, or fog are forecast. However, if unexpected inclement weather should occur, your contractor should be equipped to cover any exposed areas to prevent damage to your structure.
The Size Of The Work Crew
Unsurprisingly, the more people your contractor has working on your roof, the faster the reroofing job will be complete. When we give an average of two to three days, that is on the assumption of an average four to five-person crew.
The Size And Shape Of Your Roof
Obviously, the larger your roof the longer it will take to do the job. However, what many homeowners do not realize is that the height, shape, and angle of your roof will all have an impact on the time needed to reroof it.
For example, the roof of a one-story home, with a shallow pitch will take less time than a smaller but steeper roof on a taller building. This is not just a case of needing more time to go up and down ladders. Steep roofs can be more dangerous to reshingle so more time will need to take into account the safety of the workers.
The Roofing Method
Putting on a new roof does not always involve taking off the old one. Reroofing is when the new shingles are laid directly on top of the existing roofing.
If your new roof is being laid over the top of your existing one, the job will be much quicker than a complete removal and replacement.
The Roofing Materials
The techniques, and consequently the time taken, for different roof materials, will affect how many days it takes to put on a new roof. Our average assumes basic asphalt shingles but for all materials the averages are:
- Asphalt shingles – 2 to 3 days
- Concrete tile – 8 to 9 days
- Flat roof – 2 to 3 days
- Natural slate- 6 to 7 days
- Steel sheets – 3 to 4 days
- Synthetic slate – 3 to 5 days
- Wooden shakes – 3 to 4 days
Fairly low down on the list of factors that affect how long it takes to replace a roof, is the size of the roof. This is because skilled roofers can remove and replace asphalt shingles at a fairly swift rate.
If your roofer anticipates having to carry out repairs, for example in the case of a tree hitting your roof, then those repairs will add time to the job.
In an ideal world, your contractor will get up onto your roof, rip off your existing roofing and replace it with new materials in one smooth swoop. Unfortunately, surprises do crop up, so don’t be too surprised if your roofer discovers something is amiss up there.
For example, it may turn out that once the contractor removes the shingles damage to the deck, or worse the supporting structure, is revealed.
The repairs needed can vary from the relatively quick replacement of one deck board to the complete removal and replacement of your roof deck. Even worse, your roofer may discover structural damage which may need an assessment or inspection visit from another professional before work can continue.
Some homeowners may have additional factors that extend the length of time it takes to replace a roof. For example, if you have a home of historical significance your contractors may need to spend more time protecting other areas of your house or carrying out the replacement with special tools or materials.
How To Choose A Roofing Contractor
To ensure you have a competent contractor who will carry out professional work, there are a number of steps to take.
1. Check online reviews: This should never be your primary way of forming a roofing contractor shortlist. However, they are a good place to start.
2. Review their website: Take a quick look around the website of any contractors you are considering. They should have clear contact information, a business address, and information about how they work.
3. Ask for a quote: A contractor should be happy to come out and give you a no-obligation quote, within a reasonable time period. If they can’t come out for weeks don’t make the mistake of thinking “oh this means they’re busy which is a good sign.” While it does mean they are busy it also means you’ll wait a long time for them to begin work on your home.
4. Ask them questions: Either before or when your contractor arrives for an inspection ask them about:
- Permits & Licencing: Do they have the appropriate licenses to work in your state, county, or city? Will they need any permits for the work needed, and who will be responsible for obtaining those permits.
- Insurance: What kind of insurance do they have and what does it cover?
- Process: How will they carry out the work and, if appropriate, what’s their reasoning behind the plan.
- Warranties: Ask about warranties for both materials and workmanship. Look for a material warranty that lasts close to the projected lifetime of your materials.
5. Request references: Ask for at least two references from the last year and be sure to follow up by contacting the referees.
6. Enquire about the follow-up process: Find out what happens after the job is complete. Who do you contact, and how, if there is an issue?
The Five Stages Of Roof Replacement
There are five basic stages of roof replacement.
The first step to having your roof replaced is to have a contractor come and evaluate your home and have them give you a potential timeline for the work.
For smaller roofs stages two to four will happen across the entire roof at the same time. If you have a larger roof or one that has lots of different angles and pitches, your roofer may work on just one area at a time.
The second stage of the roof replacement process is having your old roof removed. This can be messy work, and potentially dangerous so it’s important to prepare.
- Make sure any children or pets are either kept inside or stay elsewhere while the roof is being removed.
- Put away any garden furniture, tools, equipment, or toys. This minimizes the chances of anything becoming damaged and of the crew hurting themselves.
- Cover any delicate plants.
Once the old roof is gone, your contractor can assess the unshingled structure of your roof. Ensure you establish, with your roofer, what will happen if they find any problems. For example, should they just get on and fix any minor problems they come across or should they stop, contact you, and wait for approval before moving ahead.
This is also the stage at which additional work, such as installing a new skylight or roof vent can take place.
Next, your contractor will deal with any weatherproofing needing replacement and install your new roof.
Last, but by no means least, is the clear-up. A professional will always be sure to include the clean-up and disposal of the roofing materials as part of the work and cost.
How Many Days Does It Take To Put On A New Roof?
For the average, 1,000 – 2,000 square feet home with asphalt shingles it should take between two and three days to tear off and replace your roof.
Larger houses, especially high or steep roofs, and roofs covered with different materials will take longer.
How Long Do Roofs Last?
Different roofs will last different amounts of years. The primary factor contributing to roof longevity is the material it is made of. Below you’ll find a table showing how various roofing materials hold up.
There are other factors that contribute as well, including maintenance, ventilation, roof slope, exposure to weather, and quality of work. For more detailed information on what roof material is best for you, check out our other article, “How Long Do Roofs Last?”
This article goes into how to determine when you should replace your roof and how to make your roof last longer.