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Roof Replacement

Can a Roof Be Replaced in One Day?

May 5th, 2023 | 8 min. read

Can a Roof Be Replaced in One Day?

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A roof replacement is a big project with a lot of moving pieces. So, it makes sense that it takes time to get the job done right. 

However, a big question homeowners like you ask is, “How long will my roof replacement take?” Some take it further by asking if a roof can be replaced in one day. 

The answer is different for every roof, but I can give you a general idea if this is possible. 

For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners prepare for the most important day in their roof’s life. Because of this, I’ll break down if a roof can be replaced in a day and the factors that determine if it’s possible. 

This article covers the following:

  • Can a roof be replaced in one day?
  • 6 factors that determine if your roof can be replaced in one day

Can a roof be replaced in one day?

Yes, a roof can be replaced in one day. If your roof is around 3,000 square feet of roof area or less, there’s a good chance it can be done in a day. 

architectural asphalt shingle roof(Example of a roof that can be replaced in one day)

Just know this isn’t a given, even if your roof is around this size. This is due to the factors that ultimately determine if your roof can be replaced in one day (more on the factors in a second).  

With that in mind, there’s the extreme case that your roof replacement takes three to five days. If you have a large home with a complex and hard-to-access roof, it could even take up to three weeks, depending on the weather. 

But if you have a normal-sized (middle-class) home, a roof replacement can typically be completed in a day. 

6 factors that determine if your roof can be replaced in one day

Now you know that it’s possible to replace a roof in one. But remember, there are factors that truly determine if it can be done. 

While the roof’s size is a big factor, this is just one thing that factors into the timeline. Let’s break down the other 6 main factors that determine if your roof can be replaced in one day. 

1. The roofing material you choose for your roof replacement

The roofing material you choose impacts the pricing, warranties, and how long your roof investment will last. But the type you choose also impacts the timeline for your roof replacement. 

If you’re like most homeowners, you’re probably getting architectural asphalt shingles. In this case, you don’t have to worry as much about the material impacting the timeline. 

However, premium roof systems aren’t as easy to install as asphalt shingles. If you want cedar shakes, synthetic shingles, or slate tiles, your roof will not be completed in one. 

This is especially true because the roofs getting these premium roofing materials are usually large and complex. So, it can turn into a multi-week project depending on how large and complex your roof is. 

2. The accessibility of your roof

Your roof’s accessibility is simply the ability to access your roof. They need this access point for every part of the job, from tearing off your old roof to sending up new materials and everything in between.

architectural asphalt shingle roof with hard access points(Roof with hard access points)

If your roof doesn’t have a good access point(s), it adds time to your roof replacement. While not as impactful as some other factors, a hard-to-access roof still affects if a roof can be replaced in one day. 

Below are some things that make a roof hard to access: 

  • Landscaping and gardens
  • Rows of bushes surrounding your home
  • A fence
  • No paved surface near the roof access point 
  • The number of stories your home is

The less time your roofer spends installing shingles, the longer your roof replacement takes. Simply put, a home with rows of bushes, a fence, and no paved surface near the access point takes longer than a home with a roof that has easy access. 

3. How complex your roof is

The complexity of a roof is how it’s cut up with the number of facets, angles, hips, valleys, and its pitch. A roof that is cut up with a high number of facets at multiple angles, hips, valleys, and a steep pitch is more difficult and usually cannot be completed in one day.

complex roof with architectural asphalt shingles(Complex roof)

Even if your complex roof is the same size as a simpler roof, it’ll take longer to complete. Safety precautions the installers have to take for steep pitches and multi-story homes also go into the complexity of a roof. 

complex roof be replaced with luxury asphalt shingles(Complex roof with installers tied off)

The higher off the ground, the more precautions the installers have to take. They’ll also move slower and more carefully, which leads to a roof replacement taking longer.

The more complex the roof, the more time it needs to install a quality roof right. So, while a simple roof may take a day, a more complex roof may take 3 days or more to replace.

4. The weather on the day your roof is getting replaced

This is probably the most obvious factor, but the weather greatly affects how long it’ll take to replace your roof and when you can. It can’t be replaced in inclement or extreme weather.

If it rains the day of your roof replacement, it must be rescheduled until it’s dryer out. Even if there’s a chance of rain in the forecast, there’s the possibility that it’ll be pushed out. 

While this delays your roof replacement, there’s still a good chance your roof can be replaced in a day when it’s dry out. But if it rains during the replacement, there’s not much they can do about finishing. 

They’ll tarp your roof to protect your home and pick up where they left off next time it’s dry/safe enough to work on again. Obviously, your roof can’t be replaced in a day if this happens. 

5. The time of year your roof is replaced

The longer the sun stays out, the longer the installers replacing your roof can work. That’s why more production gets done when it stays lighter outside longer once we spring forward after winter. 

This extra daylight is one of the reasons why March really ramps up the year for roofing contractors. These extra hours of sunlight allow installers to spend more time on your roof, which means a greater chance that your roof can be replaced in one day. 

On the other hand, less production happens when the sun sets earlier during the winter months. If you get your roof replaced during the winter months, completing the process could take an extra day.

6. The number of crew members replacing your roof

The last factor determining if your roof can be replaced in a day is how many people are working on the job. The more crew members there are, the more production gets done. 

Obviously, more people on your roof means a greater chance that your roof can be replaced in a day. And it’s not just the installers on your roof, but also the crew members on the ground cleaning, sending materials up, and anything else that needs to be done. 

Just know that it’s not recommended to try to find a roofer with a large number of installers on your roof just to get your roof done in one day. If they only care about speed and getting the job done in a single day, there’s a good chance you’ll have problems. 

I also guarantee there won’t be enough time to do a proper cleanup and and ensure no nails are lying around. I understand wanting to finish the project in a single day, but you shouldn’t choose speed over quality when investing in a new roof.

As long as you hire a reputable roofing contractor, they’ll give you an accurate timeline to get the job done in a timely manner while still maintaining the quality you expect. 

What can you expect on the day of your roof replacement?

Now you know the factors that determine if your roof can be replaced in one day. The truth is most roof replacements take a day or two. 

But it’s not unusual for bigger homes to take 3 to 5 days or longer, especially with premium roofing materials. And remember, don’t try to rush a roof replacement just to fit it into one day. 

After reading this article, you have a general idea of the roof replacement timeline. But do you know what actually happens on the day(s) your roof is getting replaced?

Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t know what to expect on the big day and get overwhelmed by the chaos. That’s why I wrote another article breaking down the process on the day of your roof replacement. 

Check out the 8-Step Process to Replace Your Roof to understand what happens on the most important day of your roof’s life. 

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