How Long It Takes to Replace a Roof (Explained)

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No roof lasts forever! On average, most roofs will last anywhere between twenty and fifty years, depending on the material. Eventually, you will need to replace your home’s roof. Replacing your roof can often feel like a significant inconvenience, and you might be wondering about how long it will take to get done from start to finish. 

Professional roofers in optimal conditions can replace a roof in 1 to 3 days. From hiring a contractor to the final inspection of your new roof, the whole process can take 2 to 3 weeks. Size, complexity, preparation, inspections, and weather can all influence the time it takes to finish the project.

This article will break down each step of the roof replacement process and how long each stage typically takes to complete. We’ll also go over the different factors that can influence the duration of your roof replacement project, as well as signs that you need to replace your roof.

Roof Replacement Stages and How Long Each Will Take

Now you’re likely wondering about how long it will take to replace your roof. It’s essential to understand the stages of roof replacement to know how long the replacement process takes.

When it comes to replacing your roof, seven main stages take place from start to finish. All in all, the entire process of replacing your roof will usually take between 2 and 3 weeks.

Roof Replacement StageEstimated Time to Complete
Pre-Planning and Finding a Contractor1-2 weeks
Preparing Your Home for Construction1-2 days
Removing the Old Roof1-2 day
Inspecting and Repairing the Roof Deck1 day
Preparing the Roof Deck1-3 hours
Installing the New Roof1-2 days
Final Inspection of Your New Roof1 day

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the different phases of the roof replacement process–and how long each stage will roughly take to complete.

1. Pre-Planning

When it comes to your home, the roof is a crucial component. When it needs a replacement, there’s a lot of careful planning that needs to be done initially. This is necessary to ensure that your new roof is installed correctly and will have a long lifespan.

Of course, part of this stage is hiring a professional contractor. Your chosen contractor will inspect your roof and determine its square footage. In turn, this will allow your contractor to estimate how much roofing material you’ll need and how long the process will take overall.

The above information will helps the contractor form an accurate quote. Remember, you’re allowed to get estimates from more than one contractor to find the best price and make the best decision for you!

How Long Will Finding a Contractor and Planning Take?

Depending on how many contractors you consult for your impending roof replacement, this process can take between 1 and 2 weeks to complete. It may take only a few days to find a good contractor, or it can take a few weeks to find one you trust and who gives you a good estimate.

2. Preparing Your Home

Once you’ve accepted a quote from a contractor, their team will begin preparing your home for construction.

Your contractor will take the interior and exterior of your home into account when preparing your home for the upcoming construction. This stage is essential to protect your home during the construction process–but how long will it take?

How Long Will Preparation Take?

Depending on the size of your house–and how large the replacement roof needs to be–this process should take no longer than 1-2 days to complete.

3. Removing Your Roof

Once the contractor prepares the worksite to replace your roof, your contractor will begin removing your old roof. Removing the old roofing material is a necessary step and allows your contractor to assess the plywood that forms the base of your home’s roof.

How Long Will Removing the Old Roof Take?

Once again, this process ultimately depends on the material used to construct your existing roof and the total square footage of your roof. Depending on the factors above, a roof replacement should only take a couple of days to complete.

4. Roof Deck Inspection

As mentioned above, your old roof needs removing so that your contractor can inspect the roof deck. During this inspection process, your contractor will look for any damage to the structure and repair them accordingly.

If there are minimal repairs to be done, then this process should be a quick one! However, often contractors find rotted wood that needs replacing. This is likely due to moisture damage and could extend the time it takes to complete this stage.

How Long Will the Deck Inspection Take?

Ultimately this process depends on the results of your inspection and how many underlying issues need to be repaired before the contractor can commence with the roof replacement. Again, you can expect a day or two for this to be completed, depending on the inspection results.

5. Preparing the Roof Deck

After inspecting the roof structure and making necessary repairs, the contractors will begin preparing your roof deck for the new roof installation. During this process, the contractor will install underlayment and flashing.

How Long Will Deck Preparation Take?

How long it takes to prepare your roof deck depends on the size of your roof and a few other factors. However, it usually only takes a few hours at most. Your new roof will be complete in no time!

6. Replacing the Roof 

At this point, your contractor has inspected and prepared everything, and it’s time to install your new roof finally. To do this, your contractor will likely begin working at the edges of your roof and work their way inwards until it is complete. The end is finally in sight!

How Long Will Installing the New Roof Take?

Once you reach this stage, the new roof decking is ready for roofing which should take a day or two to complete.

7. Final Inspection

Now that your roof is complete, it’s time for the final inspection. Your contractor will clean up the worksite and remove any remaining debris and call for the final inspection of your new roof.

How Long Will the Final Roof Inspection Take?

Luckily, this last step shouldn’t take more than a day – or two if you have a large house! The roof replacement process will soon be a distant memory. 

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Factors that Influence Roof Replacement Duration

When it comes down to how long it will take to replace your roof, many factors can influence how long the project takes. Keep reading as we break down four significant factors that can affect the duration and speed of your roof replacement.

Your Roof’s Size

As discussed earlier, the overall size of your roof plays an important role in determining how long it will take to replace your roof. Luckily, your contractor will address this when inspecting your roof and providing an estimate.

This quotation will be based on the overall square footage of your roof and will provide more insight into how the size of your roof could impact the duration of the replacement.

Your Home’s Layout

Another aspect closely linked to the above is the exact layout of your home. Many homes can differ significantly from one another in terms of their layout. Your contractor will need to take your home’s specific design into account during the different stages of the replacement process.

As a general rule of thumb, the more complex the layout of your home is, the more it will impact the duration of the process.

The Weather

Another important aspect is the weather. To replace your roof, the old one may need to remove the old roofing. While roofers will take every precaution to protect your home during this process, the weather can dictate how long the replacement will take.

Statistics show that demand for roof replacements goes up when the weather gets worse. That is because harsh winds, rains, and storms can damage your roof and worsen any weak spots. If you’re looking to replace your roof after a bout of bad weather, you may find local contractors in high demand.

The high demand could lead to a rushed job, resulting in shoddy construction work. When you’re spending your hard-earned money on a roof replacement, you want to ensure it’s done correctly!

The Season

If your roof replacement isn’t urgent, it would be wise to do it in a season with optimal weather for the replacement. Factors like snow and rain can severely delay the process of replacing a roof and can even put your home at risk for further damage.

Where possible, homeowners should aim to get their roofs replaced during dry seasons without rain and snow. Ultimately, this depends on the region you live in. This is a critical aspect to keep in mind when planning to get your roof replaced.

Signs that You May Need to Replace Your Roof

Roofs don’t last forever. Depending on the materials used to construct it, a roof can last anywhere between twenty and fifty years. Eventually, however, the roof will need to be replaced – but how do you know when it’s time for that roof replacement? Keep reading as we break down five signs that your home’s roof needs to be replaced!

Your Roof is Showing Its Age

As mentioned above, roofs do not last forever. Eventually, every roof will begin showing signs of its age – like the signs discussed on this list. However, as stated above, how long your roof can last largely depends on the materials used to construct it.

If you’re not sure what roof materials you have, you’ll be able to find out by contacting a roof specialist for an inspection. The specialist can give you more specific details about the condition of your roof and whether it currently needs to be replaced.

If you already know the age of the roof material, this information will allow you to find the estimated lifespan of your roof. Using this information, along with the age of your roof, you’ll be able to assess when the roof likely needs to be replaced.

Leaks are a Common Problem

If your roof is prone to leaks, it’s likely time for that replacement roof! Roof leaks are one of the significant signs that a roof is beginning to fail. While you can repair many roof leaks, statistics show that these repairs become more costly the older a roof gets.

If your roof is sprouting regular leaks, it may be time to consider replacing your roof. The cost of consistent minor repairs will eventually add up. Furthermore, multiple leaks are forming indicates that the roof is ready to be replaced.

Your Shingles Have Deteriorated

If you have a shingled roof, inspecting the condition of your shingles is a great way to assess whether or not your roof needs to be replaced.

When inspecting your shingles, there are two main aspects you need to look for:

  1. You want to inspect whether any of the shingles are buckled or curled. This is a clear sign that your roof needs replacement.
  2. You’ll want to inspect your gutters. If you find pieces of your shingles in your gutter, it’s a sign that pieces of your shingles are breaking down when it rains – another sign your roof needs a replacement!

There Are Signs of Trapped Moisture

When moisture gets trapped within a roof, it can destroy it. If water manages to get through your outer layer of roofing – even if it doesn’t result in an indoor leak – the trapped moisture can result in structural damage to your roof. Essentially, trapped moisture can result in rot damage to your roof’s structure.

There are easy signs to look out for moisture damage to a roof. That’s because the trapped moisture results in the growth of moss, algae, mold, and fungus. If you notice these growths on top of your roof, it’s a clear sign of underlying issues and more than worthy of a roof inspection.

Your Neighbor is Replacing Their Roof

In many cases, contractors build homes at relatively the same time as the neighboring houses. If your roof is showing signs of its age or even weather damage, the chances are that some surrounding homes will be experiencing those same issues.

If you’ve noticed a neighbor getting their roof replaced, there’s a good chance that your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan. If this is the case, it might be time to start considering a roof replacement. Keep reading as we look at the replacement process and how long it will take!

Final Thoughts

Getting your roof replaced can often feel like an inconvenience, but it can increase the value of your home and last many decades, so it’s well worth the short-lived stress of getting it replaced.

This article looked at the stages of roof replacement, how long the process takes, and many influential factors that can increase the time it takes to complete the project. 



Hubert Miles | Licensed Home Inspector, CMI, CPI

Hubert Miles is a licensed home inspector (RBI# 2556) with more than two decades of experience in inspection and construction. Since 2008, he has been serving South Carolina through his company, Patriot Home Inspections LLC. As a Certified Master Inspector, Hubert is dedicated to providing his expertise in home inspections, repairs, maintenance, and DIY projects.