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What to Expect for Your Home’s Roof Replacement


September 21, 2017

You’ve called contractors, received estimates, made your choice, and are ready to go through with getting a new roof. But now what? What can you expect from your roofing contractor, and what should you do to make their jobs (and your life) easier?

It is always a good idea to discuss the particulars of your home roof replacement with your contractor. The contractor will be able to give you a detailed explanation of what they’ll do and when they’ll do it, as well as give you some tips on how to help make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Before: Preparing for a New Roof Installation

Every reputable roofing contractor is going to want a safe environment to do the best possible job without endangering your family, your home, or your possessions. Some other considerations before a roofing job begins are permits, power supply, and materials.  

Your roofer will:

  • Inspect the site
  • Send you a permit, if your municipality requires it
  • Have shingles, materials, and a dumpster delivered to your home
  • Bring a generator for a power supply.

You should:

  • Protect or move your belongings in the attic, garage, or yard
  • Move cars, boats, trailers and other vehicles from your garage and driveway
  • Cover your pool or hot tub
  • Post the permit (if required) in a window or door so it is visible from the road
  • Clear access to electrical outlets and circuit breakers, as a precaution in case the crew needs secondary access to power.

During: The Roof Replacement Process

Every roofing project is going to be noisy. There will be dust and debris. The crew will clean up every day, but the entire work site will be a mess while they’re working. No matter what the estimated completion time is, there is always a chance for weather-related delays. In summary: it’s a construction job, and you need to be prepared for the inconveniences.

“Can I live in my house while the roof is replaced?”

You can definitely live in your house during the roof-replacement process, but you may not want to do so. At the very least, you'll want to keep children and animals inside as much as possible to maintain a safe job site.

If you, your family, or your pets are going to be uncomfortable with the noise and the mess, try going away for the day or finding another place to stay. However, if you do leave your house, make sure you’re available by phone, as the contractor may need to run something by you, and you don’t want to hold up the project by being difficult to reach.

Some customers board their pets for the duration of the roofing project to avoid creating anxiety in the animals. Again, this will all depend on your specific situation and comfort level.

“How long does it take to replace a roof?”

In general, and assuming no weather delays, the roof-replacement process with West Michigan Roofing should take 1-2 days on average. If your project involves more than one trade (for example, roofing and siding, or roofing and gutters), there may be delays in starting, as well as delays throughout the process. You’ll definitely want to talk to your contractor specifically about your roof, as several factors go into how long the project will take.

A repair is quicker than a complete replacement; adding a layer of shingles is quicker than a complete tear-off and/or redecking; and there’s a chance further required work may be discovered once the job begins. Roof size and potential weather delays are also factors.

Asking these questions during the estimate phase is wise, and asking again at the beginning of the job is also a good idea. It’s your roof—you can never know too much.

After: The Roof is Installed – Now What?

Now that you’ve had your roof replaced and, most likely, the roofing cleanup is complete, you’re almost ready for 16-20 years of roof-related peace of mind. First, you and your contractor need to confirm everything is as it should be.

Your roofer will:

  • Do a final cleanup (debris on or around the house, in the attic, in the yard, etc.)
  • Haul away the dumpster and any other waste or materials within 1-3 days of completion.
  • Inspect the roof for quality, fire and safety hazards, etc.

You should:

  • Ensure the contractor has completed all the above tasks
  • Confirm a quality job and satisfactory cleanup effort
  • Inspect your driveway after the dumpster is removed in case any stray nails remain
  • Make your final payment

Your roof is one of the most important investments you can make in your home. When you are prepared for what the expect before, during, and after the installation, the entire process will be efficient and pleasant, and your peace of mind will last for years.