What to Expect When Getting Your Roof Replaced

Homeowner Learning

Author: Amy Freeman | December 12, 2023

The time has finally come to get a new roof. You've chosen the contractor, picked out new shingles, and now you're waiting for the project to begin. Knowing what to expect when getting your roof replaced will help to streamline the process. Preparing your home and family for the installation process will also help you keep everything safe and sound.

A messy pile of discarded shingles, grass protected by a tarp
What should you do around the house to prepare for a roof replacement?

Cover Up and Secure Your Belongings Inside the House

Building a new roof usually involves a lot of thumping and hammering, as the contractor and their team remove old roofing materials and install new ones. Dust and debris might fall from the ceiling during the project. To keep your belongings safe, remove items from the wall, such as mirrors, artwork, and anything else you might have hanging up. If you have fragile items or knickknacks arranged on tables and other surfaces, wrap them up and pack them away for the duration of the roof replacement project.

It's also a good idea to cover up items in your attic or in rooms that are closest to the roof. Drape drop cloths over furniture and storage items to protect them from falling debris and dust. You may also want to move valuables out of the attic and store them in an off-site location, garage, or shed until the project is complete.

Move Outdoor Furniture and Vehicles

To prepare for a roof replacement, you'll need to protect any items you normally keep outside, such as patio furniture and grills. Move furniture and other items into a garage or basement. At the very least, they should be about 20 feet away from the house. It's also a smart idea to park your family's vehicles down the street or at the end of the driveway while roofers work on your home.

If you have a sprinkler system or anything in the yard that can't be moved but that you wouldn't want to be disturbed — like a prized flowerbed or vegetable garden — let the contractor know before the project starts. They can mark that particular location with flags or tape and will try to keep clear of the area.

If you have a satellite dish or antenna attached to your roof or to another part of the house's exterior, ask the contractor to remove it for the duration of the roof installation project.

Clear a Path for the Roofers

Aside from protecting your cars from damage caused by falling shingles and other debris, another reason to move your vehicles is to clear space for the roofers. Your roofing contractor needs to unload materials and tools close to the house, so it's important to make sure there's room in the driveway for their trucks. The contractor might also bring a dumpster to collect any trash and will need a place to put it on your property, preferably near the house.

Make Plans for Pets and Family

One last thing to prepare for is to decide what you and any pets or children will do during the installation. You don't have to be home during the project, and you might prefer to stay elsewhere, as roof replacement tends to get noisy. It can be difficult to go about your day with all that noise, so sticking to your schedule could be tricky if you work from home.

Whether you decide to stay home or not, find a place for your pets and kids to stay until the hazards and loud noises of an active construction area are clear. If possible, make arrangements for children and pets to stay with other family or friends until your new roof is complete.

When you know what to expect when getting your roof replaced, it makes the whole process easier for you and your contractor. When in doubt, talk to your roofing contractor to see if there's anything else you can do to make it easier for everyone involved.