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How Long Does it Take to Replace a Roof?

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Leroy Whitt

One of the first questions homeowners ask when scheduling a roof replacement is how long does it take to replace a roof? While most contractors will tell you that it takes about a day, the actual timeline isn’t that exact.

A roof replacement can take as little as one day or a few days. It all depends on a variety of factors, which we’ll cover throughout this article. Keep reading to learn more about what you can expect from your roof replacement timeline.

How Long Do Roof Replacements Take?

Every roof is different, which is exactly what your contractor will explain to you when determining how long your replacement will take. There are several things to take into consideration, such as materials, roofing layout, accessibility, and so on. 

Generally speaking, the roofing system on an average residence of 3,000 square feet or less only requires one day’s worth of work. Of course, for larger roofs and certain circumstances, a roof replacement can take anywhere from three to five days to complete. In extreme instances, it can take several weeks — longer if you plan to install the roof yourself.

As a homeowner with a regular-sized home, you can expect it to take between one and three days on average for your roof replacement to be completed.

5 Things That Determine the Timeline of a Roof Replacement?

long lasting residential roof with asphalt shingles

While your home may be average-sized, the circumstances surrounding its roofing system may be anything but average. The circumstances that your local roofing contractor will take into consideration when determining the timeline for your roof replacement will typically be:

  • Accessibility
  • Complexity
  • Weather
  • Time of year
  • Materials

Let’s take a closer look at how these things factor into a roof replacement timeline:

1) The Accessibility of Your Roof

Roof accessibility mostly has to do with how easy or how difficult it is for the contractor to access your entire roof. Access is important for roof replacements as well as roof repairs because it involves removing old materials, getting them into the dumpster bin or truck, and then getting the new materials back up for installation. Things that can make roof accessibility difficult include:

  • Bushes, trees, or other types of landscaping around your house 🌳
  • Fencing 🏠
  • Unpaved surfaces leading up to the roof’s access points 🤔

All of these factors — especially not having a paved surface near the roof access point — can extend the time it takes to complete your new roof. However, these things are normal as plenty of homeowners have intricate landscaping or unpaved surfaces, so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue for an experienced roofer.

2) The Complexity of Your Roof

big complex rooftop with long lasting asphalt shingles

When we talk about complexity in roofing, we’re talking about how each individual roof can be broken up by a number of facets, angles, valleys, hips, and pitch. These things specifically affect not only how long it takes to complete a roof replacement but also how much it’ll cost for that replacement.

For example, a roof with a high number of the above components — plus a steep pitch — is much more difficult to navigate compared to replacing a simple roof that only has two or four roof facets.

What’s more, contractors have to take certain safety precautions depending on the complexity of your roof. For starts, the higher off the ground the roofing contractors have to go, the more precautions they’ll need to take. The more complexities your roof has, the longer it’ll take them as they’ll have to move slower and more carefully.

A more complex roof can take up to three days or more to replace while a simple roof would likely only take one.

3) The Weather on the Day Of

Roof replacements must happen under the right outdoor conditions. No one can control the weather, but rain, snow, and extreme temperatures are not ideal for these types of projects. Even if you have your roof replacement scheduled, if the forecast calls for rain or other inclement weather, your contractor will have to push back the date.

Essentially, your roof has to be completely dry. If it begins to rain mid-replacement, the contractor will secure a tarp to your roof until the weather clears up, and they can pick up where they left off in more ideal conditions.

4) The Time of Year

Depending on your location, there will be certain off-seasons when roofing contractors don’t typically carry out roof replacements. For example, the middle of the winter or seasons that see a lot of inclement weather. 

The best time of year for a roof replacement is when the weather is warmer, and it stays lighter outside for longer. This gives roofers extra hours for production, which allows them to complete projects sooner. 

That’s why March is the typical “project-starting season” for roofers in most areas.

5) The Materials You Choose

close up of long lasting cedar shake roof shingles

There are several different materials you can choose from for your new roof, including:

  • Asphalt shingles (the most common)
  • Cedar shakes
  • Clay tiles
  • Slate tiles
  • Metal roofing

Asphalt shingles usually only take one day to replace. That’s one of the reasons why they’re so popular, aside from being the most affordable. Metal roofing, on the other hand, is a heavy and more complex material. It requires specialized knowledge to install, which is why it takes longer — usually up to five days. 

The other materials listed also take longer to install. Cedar shakes typically take up to four days for installation, while clay and slate tiles can take anywhere between seven and ten days.

Don’t Stress About How Long Your Roof Replacement Will Take

Not having a roof for a few days may seem intimidating and stressful. However, the whole point of replacing your roof now is to ensure there’s stability and safety over your head later — and that’s not a process you want to be rushed!

When you want detailed oriented and reliable roofers that can give you a precise time frame for the project at hand, Whitt’s Quality Roofing is the company you want to call. Get in touch with us today to hammer out the details and get a no-obligation free quote.

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