How Long Does it Take to Replace a Roof?

Replacing a roof can take as little as 1-2 days, but structural damage or prep work will add time to the completion.

Large, stone 2 story home with a new roof, green grass and trees all around

If you are a homeowner, replacing the roof might be necessary for the safety and maintenance of your house.  Let’s take a look at exactly how long it will take for a roof to be installed.

Generally, it takes between 1-3 days to replace a roof. How long it actually takes to replace the roof includes many factors.  Weather conditions, structural damage, and house size are just a few of the elements to consider. 

We have researched every situation to determine how long it takes to replace a roof. Keep reading to learn how much time you need to plan for your roof replacement.

Table of Contents

How Much Time Does it Take to Replace a Roof?

Many factors go into replacing a roof, and they each affect the time it takes to install. Some examples are:

  • Easy Access
  • Damage
  • Weather
  • Materials
  • Size and Shape
  • Special Circumstances

Easy Access

If you have hired a roofing crew to replace your roof, they will need easy access for their ladders, tools, and supplies. 

Cloudy blue sky, man on top of a brick building, red ladder

According to OSHA, a ladder should be 1/4 the length of the ladder away from the wall. If you have lots of landscaping and bushes against your house, they will need to be addressed, so the roofing crew to put up ladders safely. 

The landscaping may need to be removed or relocated. This prep work adds to the length of time it takes to replace a roof. 

Damage

If only the shingles on the roof needed replacing, it would be a quick and easy job. However, if there is structural damage, that will need to be repaired first.  

Structural damage needs to be fixed before new shingles can be installed. The roofer might know the damage before starting. If the damage is discovered after the roof has been removed, you might not find damage until later, and it may take more time to complete than you were expecting.

Other damage may occur from storms. Trees or limbs that have landed on the roof will need to be removed before beginning work.

Weather

Fallen tree onto a home with structural damage

The time of year and weather conditions will play a big factor in quickly replacing the roof.

Rain and snow are obvious culprits for slowing down work. Replacing the roof in cold weather is usually not advised because cold temperatures can affect how asphalt shingles stick and seal. If you must replace your roof in cold weather, some steps can be taken to get the job done correctly, but it will add more time to the installation. 

Safety of the workers is another concern involving weather. Roofers cannot safely be on a roof if there is ice, so they use special equipment, which takes more time. Rain or lightning delays can make the job take even longer.  

If you schedule a roof replacement, make sure the forecast is clear skies. Optimal weather conditions will help your roof get finished faster.

Materials

What type of roof you have determines the time it takes to install. The following are popular roofing materials and the estimated time for installation once the process has started.

  1. Asphalt 1-2 Days
  2. Wood 3-4 Days
  3. Slate 6-7 Days
  4. Concrete 8-9 Days

Another type of commonly used roof is the Metal Roof. It can also be started and finished between one to two days.

The most common installation of shingles is a horizontal layout. This installation is the fastest way to lay a new roof and get the job done in the shortest time. Understandably, any alterative designs or details will extend the process and take longer to install. 

Size and Shape

Woman in a white hardhat and black-framed glasses holding a laptop and building plans

Your roof covers the footprint of your house. The amount of time a roof replacement takes depends on the square footage. Average homes in America are somewhere around 2,000 square feet. 

If there are no other issues and weather conditions are optimal, it will take about 1-2 days to replace the roof. Larger homes will add time to the installation, just like smaller homes may get it done in less time.

The size of the home, big or small, will change how long it takes to replace an entire roof, but even more so is the roofline. If the roof is steep, additional steps and safety measures will be required to keep the roofer safe. These extra steps will add time to completing the job.

Cloudy blue sky, 4 men on top of a home re-roofing it

Some other roof issues that make installation more complex are the shape of the roof. Dormers or multiple heights across the top not only make a new roof more complicated to install. 

Before installing the new roof, the old roof must be ripped off.  The size and shape of the roof can make this a fast and easy job, or if it is extra large and complicated, it can add a day or two to the job. 

Special Circumstances

Solid blue sky, home with steep roof pitches, scaffolding all around, roof under construction

Roofs of certain buildings and houses will take special care and more time to install. For example, older or historical homes require special measures to be put in place during installation to ensure the structure’s integrity.

Other considerations are zones where special permits are required before starting work. Some neighborhoods and homeowners’ associations may also have rules and requirements to follow when making changes or updates to the home or building. Permits and paperwork can add days or weeks to the installation.

Knowing these requirements ahead of time will allow you to be prepared and ready for the roof to be installed in the shortest time possible. 

What Are Reasons for Getting a New Roof?

Storm Damage

Getting a roof replaced is a big job and can be time-consuming. Knowing the common reasons for getting a new roof can help you stay prepared.

The most common reason for getting a new roof is storm damage. Tree branches that fall onto a roof can cause significant damage. 

You cannot control a storm, but you can have your trees as ready for severe weather as possible. Keep trees healthy by trimming dead branches and removing any that might fall on the roof during a storm. 

Keeping Trees from falling on your roof will help prevent replacing the roof. If the storm still damages your roof and you need to replace it, the less debris the roofers have to remove, the faster they will finish.

Wear and Tear

Roofs will last for a very long, but they won’t last forever. Asphalt roofs will last for as long as twenty years. Sometimes roofs need replacing just because they have worn out.  

The most commonly used shingle, asphalt shingles, last for about twenty years. Regions with harsh weather conditions like snow or hurricanes might need to replace roofs sooner. Knowing problems your roof might face will help you prevent issues that will take more time to fix.

It is important to replace the roof when it begins deteriorating before structural damage happens. Repairing structural damage in addition to replacing the roof takes a lot longer.

Value

You might find yourself needing to repair your roof not because of wear or damaged but because you simply want to make changes.

If you are building or adding on to your house, sometimes you will need to change out the entire roof to make sure it matches.

Changing a roof to a different color or upgrading to a different style can increase a home’s resale value. If you are simply changing the roof for aesthetic reasons, the installation should be straightforward and take only a couple of days.

How to Maintain a Roof?

2 men wearing tool belts on top the roof of a home, blue sky, sunny day

If you find the idea of replacing the roof too time-consuming, here are some tips for maintaining your roof so you can go longer before having to replace it. 

Replace any missing shingles and have your roof inspected once a year. It is also good to have your roof inspected after a heavy storm.

Keep the gutters clean, so water does not back up and cause rotting. 

Also, look for leaks inside the house that may indicate a problem with the roof. Quickly repairing leaks will eliminate the need for lengthy and expensive repairs.

Keep trees trimmed away from the roof and remove any debris as soon as possible. This helps keep the roof safe in a storm and helps prevent repairs.

In Conclusion

Roof replacements can take as little as one day, but damage and neglect can often cause a lengthy and time-consuming replacement. 

If you don’t have time for a replacement, choose long-lasting materials for your roof and keep up with maintenance to prevent having to replace your roof. 

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