There’s a reason why every contractor will tell you that roof maintenance is so important. Along with foundation issues, a roof replacement is easily one of the most expensive home repairs you can have the misfortune of paying for, setting you back anywhere between $4,900 to $14,100 according to Angie’s List.
And that range depends on multiple factors, including size, pitch, ease of getting to the roof, and cost of materials. But if you have no choice but to bite the bullet, such as when you’re renovating an old home, repairing a roof after a hurricane or hailstorm, or flipping a house before putting it on the market, you may be wondering just how long a roof replacement job will take starting from getting your initial estimates to the job getting fully installed.
This will sound like a copout but the answer is, it depends. Replacing a residential roof tends to be a labor-intensive job and, depending on the type of roof you have, could take a few days or a few weeks.
We also have to consider the extent of the job. Can you get away with replacing only the sections of the roof that have been damaged or will it make more sense to replace the entire roof outright to ensure the home remains livable? There’s also the question of whether the home or building will be occupied during the job—that can certainly affect the length of time needed to complete the project.
When it comes to roof repairs and replacements, you need to act swiftly. The sooner you can spot the problem and begin repairs, the less likely your walls and ceilings will end up getting exposed to the elements and costing you even more money.
Here, we break down the entire process of getting your roof repaired, from the first steps of getting a quote and signing the repair contract to installation and enjoying your new roof. As with any other project involving a home, a roof repair/replacement is not something you should rush. It’s important to set realistic expectations, which we hope this timeline will help you and your family with.
1. Quote and Inspection
When a client gets in touch with us, we will immediately send someone to conduct a visual inspection of the property to determine whether a roof repair can be done or the entire roof will have to be replaced. As the client, you are usually responsible for choosing your roofing materials, so knowing which materials you want can dramatically speed up his stage of the process.
There are, however, a few things that can cause delays between getting a quote and installing a new roof. For one, there’s the weather. Wind, snow, rain, or worse, a combination of all three, can slow the replacement considerably. It also takes very special circumstances for roofs to be replaced during winter.
In any case, the quote we give you will take these factors into account. It will show the estimated cost of the roof replacement and length of time needed to conduct the project. If you would like to request for new gutters, which is often the case with most of our customers, this will be submitted in separate quotes.
2. Contract Signing
Most clients like to request at least three quotes from different roofing companies, taking a few days to review each quote before deciding on a company.
Once you’ve made up your mind, you can then proceed with the paperwork. Before signing your contract, we will walk you through the details of the roof replacement.
For starters, it will cover things like the choice and color of your roofing material, which can vary from:
You can also request for optional shingle material outside of an architectural asphalt shingle. Most manufacturers have a higher end “Designer” type style which is important if you want to achieve a different type of architectural style. Just remember that the fastest and smoothest way to replace your roof is to use the same type of material that’s currently on the house. Since you’ll be using the same material, any support and insulation underneath the roof won’t require additional reinforcement to support the weight of a heavier style of roofing system.
Details about your gutters will also be attached to the contract. We can also arrange for new attic ventilation systems, either in the form of a ridge vent, which allows the attic to naturally ventilate itself throughout all four seasons or through a power attic fan, which will reduce the power your air-conditioning unit uses to keep your home cool during the warm summer months.
We can also provide quotes for accessories needed on roof protrusions, also known as roof flashing collars. These are for plumbing vents and bathroom fan vents that come out to a roof ventilation cap.
If you have skylights in your roof, we can include a provision for a replacement (in a separate quote). This part is important, as skylights can dramatically affect the quality and integrity of the entire roofing system.
If you would like to consider our financing options, these will also be included in the contract. Finally, your contract will also discuss your roof’s warranty options:
3. Installation Day!
Finally, it’s the day you’ve been waiting for.
Once our crews arrive, work will begin immediately in the following stages.
First things first, we need to prepare the site for installation. This involves putting on secure tarps over the roof on the eaves so that the siding isn’t damaged. We strongly recommend moving any furniture directly underneath the roof outside of the house to protect them from damage. Likewise, cars and other movable property should be moved out of harm’s way during installation.
We’ll also take care of dumpster delivery very early in the morning, making sure to place wood prior to the dumpster rental’s arrival to protect the driveway from damage.
Once your site has been sufficiently prepared, we can then bring in your materials. We pride ourselves on making sure that everything we do is delivered that day, in contrast to other roofing companies that have dumpster and materials delivered days or weeks before the job gets installed!
Depending on the damage on your existing roof, there are two ways to go about installing your new roof. First, the fastest option is a roof overlay, which simply means installing a new layer of shingles on top of the existing roof without tearing it off—the number of layers will depend on local building codes. The cleaner but slower option is to completely tear off the existing roof material before proceeding with installation.
Another thing we take pride in during roof replacement jobs for our clients is cleanup. Our crew will actively clean up the site during the actual installation process and after wrapping up. We have two people on the team whose only jobs are to monitor and perform cleanup. We also use high-powered magnets to recover nails that might slip through the tarps. We guarantee not to leave anything behind except your new roof.
All this being said, most roofs can be installed in a single day. If you have a particularly large home with more than 2,500 square feet of roof, the replacement may take a couple days at most. In any case, this will be covered in your contract.
Overall, the estimated turnaround time from the day of contract signing to roof installation is between two to three weeks, depending on weather conditions. While this may seem like a long time, it’s worth remembering that a new roof installed by a reputable roofing company will last for decades. In the grand scheme of things, a few weeks is a minor inconvenience in exchange for something you won’t have to think about for many many years.
At the end of the day, your roof protects your home from the elements. And it’s what helps to keep you, your family and your belongings safe, which is why it’s important to choose a reliable roofing company. Experience has a lot to do with the success of a roof installation. Given the important role a roof plays in your home’s integrity and safety of the people living in it, roof repairs and replacements take a significant degree of skills and knowledge—skills and knowledge that can only be acquired through many years of experience.