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How Long Will My Roof Replacement Take?

April 22, 2020

So, you need a new roof, I've heard. Your first question is probably "How long will a roof replacement actually take?" Well, I am here to give you a little insight into that question. Read on, friend, to see just how this process takes place.

It can take as little as ONE day to tear off and replace an asphalt shingle roof.

If it is a clear, hot, summer day, then a roofing crew of 5-6 can tear off and replace a 40 square asphalt shingle roof in a single day.

  • A "square" is roofing terminology for shingles. 1 square = 100 square feet of shingles.

If temperatures are mild, then they can install up to 50 squares in a single day.

  • This is assuming the roof is not steep and is not architecturally complex.
  • This is the simplest of scenarios, and you can broadly calculate other jobs using this as a baseline.

Many factors can change this time frame. Calculating roof replacement duration requires a few primary factors with the addition of some uncontrollable outliers: weather and structural damage.

Obviously, the weather can stop a roof replacement cold in its tracks for as long as it desires.

Structural damage can prolong the job anywhere from half an hour to a full day, depending on the extent of the damage.

But, for the sake of normalizing a time frame, assume the weather is favorable and there are no structural damages to the roof.

Primary Factor #1 - Type of Material

Every installation is going to be different due to other factors like roof style, pitch, size, and weather. So, it would be disingenuous to give you a definite time frame for each type of roof.

Instead, we have rated different roofing materials from easy to difficult. This should give you a ballpark based on the average install times it would take during prime conditions with an average roof.

Easy = (1-2 days)   Moderate = (2-5 days)   Hard = (5-14 days)

  • Asphalt Shingles (easy)
  • Metal (moderate)
  • Membrane (moderate/difficult)
  • Wood Shakes (moderate)
  • Tile (difficult)

From here, you can add time by incorporating these other following factors to give yourself an idea of how long the job would take.

Primary Factor #2: Size of Roof

Using that 40 square model we spoke of at the beginning of this article, we can scale the project time up or down.

The bigger the roof, the longer the install.

To give some perspective, Roofs Restored has installed thousands of residential shingle roofs, and our average size is 52 squares.

And, if the weather is favorable, we can knock that job out in a single day or two.

Primary Factor #3: Complexity of Roof Architecture

Roofs come in so many different shapes and sizes, which can increase the complexity of the roof replacement.

Shallow pitch roofs (the slope of the roof) make it easier for the crews to get around on, which can speed things up.

However, steep pitch roofs make movement very precarious, which slows things down.

Along with the pitch, there is design.

Some roofs are simple, like Open Gable or Hip Roofs, and can make for a quick installation.

But then there are those wonderfully complex roofs with valleys and dormers all over, which can increase installation time.

examples of eight different basic roof types

Conditional Factor #1: Weather/Season

No matter how big or small a roofing company is, we ALL serve one master... the weather. Just know this, the roofer is just as frustrated with extended rain as you are. We all want to get the job done.

Seasons also play a significant role in roofing.

Summers can get brutally hot, forcing roofers to take frequent NEEDED breaks.

Whereas the winter months can either bring relief for us here in the South... Or bring the roofing industry to a screeching halt in the North.

Conditional Factor #2: Damaged Structure

Damage to your roof can often be discovered after ripping off your old roof system.

Solutions can be as simple as replacing a single piece of plywood. Or they can be as complex as removing most of the deck and rebuilding underlying support structures.

Honorable Mention: Tear Off vs. Roof-over

Personally, Roofs Restored never does roof-overs (residential nor commercial). But, it is not unheard of for roofing contractors to "re-roof" over your existing roof system.

This is NOT a roof replacement. It is a lazy way to get the job "done" quickly.

While this does save time by doing away with the tear-off process, it adversely causes problems:

  • This definitely adds weight to your roof
  • It for sure voids your warranty
  • And in some cases, is not even allowed by building codes.

Honestly, though, this is rare.

Most roofers, even your "Chuck in a Truck" roofers, tear off your existing roof before installing a new one.

But it DOES happen.

So please be aware.

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