How Long Does it Take to Reroof a House?


It’s a question every home owner will ask at one point: How long does it take to reroof a house? Aside from budgeting the project, other actions are needed for a reroof project including covering items underneath from falling debris, and possibly moving the family away for a day or two, or … How long, exactly?

The answer is twofold. How long does a reroof take? For an average-sized roof, as fast as two days. However, the second part of the answer is, it depends. It depends on the square footage of the roof, the materials to be removed and replaced, and other factors such as roof-slope steepness, or unusual roof designs. A reroof of a large mansion that involves removing old shingles and replacing them with heavy tiles could take more than a week.

Typical Reroofing Example

Let’s say the typical reroof project is a 1,500-square-foot one-story single-family home with a regular roof, not overly sloped, to remove old asphalt shingles and replace them with the same, albeit more modern shingles. A reputable roofing contractor with available, experienced roofing crews should have it done in two days: one for the removal and preparation, the next to install the new roof. Then there is the type of roofing materials to consider.

Some roofing materials like concrete tiles are very difficult to replace. In general, the average replacement time for a roof of concrete tile is estimated to take 8 or 9 days. Only roofs of natural slate, with replacement time of up to a full week, comes close. Most run from a few days to less than a week. For those considering a metal roof, the installation times are about the same.

Regardless of the roof materials in question, much depends on the weather of a region. Those with homes in regions with consistent precipitation might have to wait a bit longer for reroofing projects to be completed, as rains cause delays.

The Process of a Reroofing

For the uninitiated, a reroofing project is not just a bunch of men showing up, tearing off an old roof and hammering on a new one. A considerable amount of preparation is involved at the start, and at least a little bit of cleanup at the end. Here’s a summary of what to expect:

  • Selection of Roof Product. Meet with your roofing professional to choose the new roof materials, and types and colors, and to discuss pre-work preparations. 
  • Preparation. Discuss with the roofing contractor whether you will leave the house during tear-down and/or installation. The contractor should give you instructions, such as to cover cars inside garages without an attic or crawl space. Roofing causes a lot of debris to fall from the underside of roof decks. (Note on preparation: it is ill-advised to try to work from home during a reroofing. The noise can be considerable).
  • Removal of Old Roof. This might seem simple, and often it is. However, reputable roofing crews will take care to inspect the underneath roof deck while tearing off the old roof materials, in case damage from leaks or other problems are visible suck as rotting, mold or cracked boards. At this time crews might suggest replacement of some of the wood before adding the new roof.
  • Leak Barriers & Deck Protection. The next step is installing a layer of material, sometimes more than one, right onto the deck. The most common material used is roofing felt. Leak barriers are then installed in areas considered high-risk for leaks or problems.
  • New Roof Installation. With proper preparation the installation of a new roof can be smooth. However, understand that good roofers pay attention to ensure level and straight rows of installed roof material – both for appearance and performance.
  • Cleanup. Many roofing contractors pay attention to clean as much as possible as the job progresses. But not all. Be sure to ask your contractor about the clean-up procedures. If a project is expected to last many days, do they clean up after each day? Leaving your home messy overnight not only is an eyesore, it can be dangerous with loose nails and sharp roofing materials laying around.

Final Thought on Reroofing

Please take note that a “reroofing” might just mean installing a new roof right on top of the old one. This of course would save money – and reduce the amount of time to finish. However, not all old roofs are in a condition to simply roof over. Often, failing roof systems come with damaged wood underneath, from leaks, mold and other troubles.

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