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Roof Replacement

How Long Does it Take to Replace a Roof?

October 30th, 2023 | 6 min. read

How Long Does it Take to Replace a Roof?

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A roof replacement is a big home improvement project. Not only that but there will be strangers on your property and vehicles in your driveway. 

That’s why one of the first questions homeowners ask once they sign a contract is, “How long will it take to replace my roof?” While there is an easy answer, the real answer is a bit more complicated.

At Bill Ragan Roofing, we’ve replaced thousands of roofs over 30-plus years in the roofing industry. So, we’ll use all this experience to break down how long it takes to replace a roof. 

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • How long does it take to replace your roof?
  • 5 factors that impact how long it takes to replace your roof

How long does it take to replace your roof?

Every roof is different, so the timeline for every replacement is different. However, most roofs can be replaced in a day on the average home. 

If you have a larger home, it could take two to three days to replace the roof. On more complicated roofs with a premium material, it could even take five days to a few weeks. 

But a roof on the average residence with architectural asphalt shingles can typically be replaced in a day. 

5 factors that impact how long it takes to replace your roof

As I just said, every roof is different. Well, these differences directly impact how long it takes to replace your roof. 

Things like size, complexity, weather, and more ultimately determine the timeline for your roof replacement.

1. The size and complexity of your roof

The most obvious factor is the size of your roof. The more square footage of roofing area, the longer it takes to replace. 

However, size is also a piece of something called roof complexity. A roof’s complexity is how it’s cut up with the number of facets, penetrations, angles, hips, valleys, its pitch (steepness), and how high off the ground it is.

complex luxury asphalt shingle roof replacement(Complex roof replacement)

A roof with multiple facets at different pitches, hips, valleys, a chimney, and skylights takes much longer to replace than a simple roof with two facets and a few penetrations. Multiple stories and steeper pitches also mean extra safety precautions must be taken, which means moving slower and more carefully. 

2. The accessibility of your roof

Roof accessibility is the ability to access your roof at a specific point. This access point is crucial for tearing off your old roof, throwing the torn-off materials into a dump truck or tarp, and getting the new materials on your roof for installation. 

roof with bad accessibility (Roof with bad accessibility)

If your roof doesn’t have easy access, it adds to the time it takes to complete the replacement. But what impacts a roof’s accessibility?

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

  • Landscaping or rows of bushes below the roof line
  • A fence around the property
  • No paved surface near the access point
  • The neighboring houses are close

Even if the roofs are the exact same, a home that provides an easy access point won’t take as long as a home with the things listed above. 

3. The roofing material being installed

The most common roofing material used around the country is architectural asphalt shingles. However, there are plenty of other options that all require different installation methods. 

So, the roofing material being installed on your roof has a big impact on how long it takes to replace your roof. Asphalt shingles have the easiest installation, mainly because they come on strips. 

However, premium roofing materials like metal, cedar shakes, synthetic shingles, and others are more specialized. Some, like synthetic shingles, are installed one at a time, which really adds to the time it takes to complete the job. 

4. The weather on the day(s) of your roof replacement

The weather always affects how long it’ll take to replace your roof. If it rains on the scheduled day of your roof replacement, it’ll be pushed back until it’s dry enough to work on. 

If it actually rains during the job, they’ll tarp your roof to protect your home and pick up where they left off next time it’s dry enough to be on it. You also have to think about the temperature when it comes to weather. 

If it’s high temperatures, the crew moves slower as the day goes on, plus they’ll need more water breaks. High and low temperatures can also affect the quality of installation, but that depends on the manufacturer’s instructions. 

5. Time of year

Just like changing temperatures during different seasons, the time of year impacts a roof replacement’s timeline. More work gets done when it stays lighter outside longer once we spring forward after winter. 

That's why March really starts ramping the year up for roofing contractors. The extra hours of daylight mean more time is spent on your roof, which shortens the timeline for your roof replacement. 

The opposite happens during the winter months when the sun sets sooner and production has to stop much earlier. It could even take an extra day to complete your roof replacement during the winter or when the days shorten.

What does the roof replacement process look like?

After reading this article, you know how long it takes to replace your roof and the 5 factors that impact the timeline. Luckily, you’ll never be in the dark because your roofing contractor will give you a timeline before it starts. 

Unfortunately, things can happen that push back the timeline. Even if this happens, your roof replacement should go smoothly as long as there’s open communication.

But how are you supposed to know what a smooth roof replacement looks like? More importantly, how is it done right?

The last thing you want is for the big day to arrive without knowing what to prepare for or expect. That’s why I wrote another article breaking down the entire roof replacement process. 

Check out the 8-Step Process to Replace Your Roof to learn what happens when getting a new roof, from dropping off materials to cleaning up.

prepare for your roof replacement checklist

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