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How Long Does It Take to Replace a Roof?

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The concept of an average is interesting. Imagine two people in a room: one person has $90 in their wallet, the other has $10. On average, they each have $50. The same thing happens with roofing- the vast majority of installations take 1 day but some take 2 days.

While the average residential roof takes about a day to install, that doesn’t necessarily mean that every roof can be finished in one day. Depending on its complexity, the materials you choose, and the state of your decking, your replacement could take longer. 

If you’re ready to go over the roof replacement timeline and several things that could impact it, keep reading this article.

Three Steps to Replacing Your Roof

While most roof replacements will have slightly different timelines, they all follow this three-step process to get the job done. Let’s check them out.

Let’s Raise the Roof

And by raising the roof, we mean removing your old roof material in order to start the process of replacing your roof. 

If you have an existing roof made from complicated materials such as slate tiles or wood shakes the tear-off will take longer to perform extending the total time to completion.

A house with a slate tile roof

Slate Tiles

A house with a wood shake roof

Wood Shakes

Here are the most common types of shingles and their average replacement times: 

  • Asphalt Shingles – one to two days
  • Wood Shakes – four to six days
  • Slate Tiles – six to seven days

Let ‘Er Rip 

After your old shingles are removed, it’s time to prepare the new roof deck. Now you may be wondering, “what’s a roof deck?” Good question! 

When a roofer mentions decking or sheathing, they’re talking about the plywood under the shingles that connects the roof to the frame of your home.  It is the base that is nailed to rafters, trusses or joists covering them from the elements.  

The decking provides a flat smooth foundation for the installation of shingles and other roofing components. 

Damaged roof decking

Damaged Roof Decking

Not all replacements call for the complete replacement of the roof deck. If your decking is rotten, sprinkled with black mold, or shows heavy water damage it will need to be replaced which may add time to your replacement.

We’re Nailing It 

Now that the tear-off is complete and the deck has been prepared, it is time to start installing your new roof. The components listed below may vary based on your needs.

  • Underlayment
  • Drip Edge
  • Roof flashing - anywhere the shingles butt up against something, such as a wall chimney or open valley
  • Ice and water shield
  • Shingles
  • Ridge Cap
  • Roof Vents

While this may seem simple, the height, complexity, and details of your roof can add time to a replacement.  Okay, but why do these things take more time? This is in part due to two-story homes with steep roofs that require more material, but also because workers will have to move a bit slower to remain safe.


Multiple penetrations, (dormers, chimneys, satellite dishes, skylights, etc.) make flashing a little more complicated. Each feature requires a unique set of materials and installation techniques to provide a water-tight seal.



How Can I Get the Best Roof Replacement in the Shortest Amount of Time? 

Here’s our answer: hire an experienced roofing company! Even if you do experience delays, an experienced roofing company will make sure to get your roof done as fast as possible without cutting corners. 

If you live in the Raleigh area and need a roof repair or replacement, don’t hesitate to contact us today! With over 30 years of experience, the team here at On Tops Roofing is equipped to give you the high-quality roofing experience that you’re looking for.  

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