One of the biggest questions we hear from roof replacement customers is, “How long is it going to take?” We hate to say it but, it depends.

It depends on the size of your roof, the pitch of the roof, and of course, the roofing material. The more premium material you choose, the more time, expertise, and diligence is required to ensure it gets done right.

Luckily, based on many factors, we can give a pretty accurate timeline of when the new roof will be done and ready to protect your home! So today, that ever-popular question will be answered. Plus, you might learn a thing or two about roof replacement so you can make the best possible decision for your home when the time comes.

Factors That Determine How Long a Roof Replacement Can Take

When a contractor inspects your roof and plans for the new roof replacement, they consider many factors before giving you both a cost estimate and a timeline estimate. While most standard roofs can be done within 1 to 2 days, that can get longer depending on many things, such as:

The Roofing Material Used

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roof replacement material in the United States and usually take about a day to install. They’re pretty baseline for replacement, but that timeline can go up from there depending on the roofing materials, which we’ll get into a bit later.

The Pitch of the Roof

The steeper the roof, the more complex the installation can be. Low-pitch roofs are easier to navigate and walk on and don’t require too much additional care. High-pitch roofs, however, require scaffolding, more harnesses, pulley systems to carry the materials up, and more complicated installation overall.

Weather Delays

A cloudy day with a light breeze is nothing to worry about, but the second that rain starts, the tarps need to be laid, and the roofers need to come down the ladder. Not only is roofing in the rain dangerous, but very damaging. Once your roof decking is exposed, it is susceptible to leaks if it rains. So time is of the essence after the old roof is torn off. This is why summer and fall are often ideal for installing a roof.

The Number of People Working on the Roof

Most roof replacements need to be done with a team of at least two people. This can depend on how large your hired contractor is (company-wise) as well as how many people are available to roof your home. However, if your roof is larger or has more difficult angles, more people will be needed to complete the job safely and correctly in a timely manner.

Roof Accessibility

Roofers need to be able to easily get up and down ladders, haul materials up to the roof, and navigate your entire roofing system. If your roof is hard to get to, or you have landscaping all around the house, this can prove difficult and increase how long it takes to get the job done.

The Condition of the Roof Underneath

If your old roof is torn off to reveal a damaged roof decking or poor conditions overall, this can stall the process. A new roof cannot be installed on top of rotting or warped wood and would need to be repaired and reinforced before continuing. To avoid this, regular maintenance of your roof and inspections every few years can catch issues early that can affect your roof and the underlayment.

The Size of the Roof (Biggest Determining Factor)

And probably the most relevant factor to determine how long your roof replacement will take is the size of your roof or home. The larger the surface area, the longer it will take, and the more expensive it will be. This formula can help you accurately determine the square footage of your roof. And the more peaks and valleys your roof has, the more flashing and added attention to detail required to ensure a leak-proof roof.

How Long Does it Take to Replace a Roof (By Material)?

Now that you know some of the factors that go into how long a roof replacement can take, let’s dive into each type of roofing material and how long it typically takes to install. Remember that these are just averages, and depending on the factors we discussed earlier; your roof replacement could take longer or shorter than average.

  • Asphalt Shingles: 1 to 2 days
  • Metal roofs: 1 to 3 days
  • Flat roofs: 2 to 3 days
  • Cedar Shakes: 3 to 4 days
  • Clay tiles: 3 to 4 days
  • Corrugated Steel: 3 to 4 days
  • Synthetic slate: 3 to 5 days
  • Natural slate: 5 to 7 days
  • Concrete tile: 7 to 8 days

As you can see, the heavier materials definitely take much longer as they cannot be hauled up in large quantities. And the installation of slate and concrete is far more labor-intensive and requires particular expertise and training to do it right.

Tips for Speeding Up the Process

If you’re in a rush to get your roof replaced or want minimal disruption to your life, there are definitely some things both homeowners and contractors can do to speed up the roof installation process.

Homeowners Can:

  1. Prepare their home for roof replacement, which means moving outside planters, furniture, covering landscaping, air conditioner units, etc. By prepping for the contractors, they can much more easily access and navigate your property on the day of installation.
  2. Choose a roofing material that requires less installation time, such as asphalt shingles.
  3. Plan life events around the roof replacement. Planning ahead can be your best bet to avoid disrupting your life too much. Of course, contractors will be out of your hair as much as possible. However, longer installations can get loud, and if you work from home or want to host an event, your roof work can put a damper on things. Avoid this by planning ahead.
  4. Choose a season with the best weather. Spring will be very rainy, and although it might be ideal for getting your roof done during this time, you could wait until summer and ensure the roof gets done within a day or two with good weather.

Contractors Can:

  1. Hire a big enough and experienced enough team of contractors. The more people, the better, and since labor is charged by the roofing square (most likely), there’s no loss of wages or anything by having more people on the job. In fact, getting roofs done faster means more jobs can get done.
  2. Check the weather before starting a job. If rain is in the forecast, it’s probably not a good idea to get started on tearing off a roof. That day missed because you didn’t start during bad weather can be much more easily made up without dealing with a soggy wet mess. 
  3. Use a pulley system or hoist system like a powered ladder. This is especially helpful for roofs that are two or more stories high. Using this type of system reduces the amount of time (and therefore money) it takes to install the roof. Materials can get up and down faster, shaving off hours of work time.
  4. Use the best, most efficient tools. Roof shovels can peel up rows upon rows of shingles much faster than any pry bar for roof tear-offs. And powered roofing nailers work so fast that your team can install a row of shingles in mere minutes.

Hiring the Best (and Fastest) Contractor for Your Roof Replacement

All of these factors can directly affect how long your roof replacement will take—but so does the contractor you choose. Experienced, efficient contractors, like Impact Roofing, can get your roof replaced faster and better than less reputable options.If you are looking for a reputable team for your roof replacement, contact Impact Roofing. We will inspect your roof, give you a FREE estimate, and get you scheduled as soon as possible. Our in-house team will get the job done right.