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When Is the Best Time to Install Your New Roof?

The timing of your roof replacement can have an effect on the cost of the project, how long it will take and, ultimately, the overall quality of the work done.

While many people want to put the project off to avoid the sound of hammers during the day, realize that planning ahead rather than procrastinating will give you the best results. You want to be able to catch the roofing contractor at an ideal time when jobs are slow and the best members of their crew are readily available.

Here are some factors to consider that can help you time your project:

Weather

Weather is the single biggest factor when considering a roof replacement. Certain seasons are impossible to work in, both for contractors and the materials needed.

  • Rainy seasons from April to May can cause severe delays in having a contractor come to your house. They could start a project and have to cover it in tarps to wait out the storms, sometimes waiting days or weeks for the weather to dry up. Avoid late April to mid-May for this reason, unless you are confident the weather will remain clear for 3–5 days.
  • Snowy seasons are nearly impossible to work in. Avoid peak snowfall periods for the area you live in. Heavy snow periods have been shifting towards later in winter for areas like Philadelphia, so late December to as far as early March could mean project delays.
  • Temperatures below 40° F make it nearly impossible for adhesive roof materials to work properly. For example, asphalt shingle adhesives must be able to melt in the sunlight for the project to complete. Keep in mind that roof temperatures can often be from 5°–20° higher than outdoor temperatures.
  • Heat can be an issue during the middle of summer, but most roofing contractors are used to this particular problem. Temperatures below 85°–90° F are often acceptable to work in.
  • May–October typically offers the best temperatures and outdoor conditions for roofers. Sometimes rains may occur during late summer, but these systems do not linger as long as early spring ones. Try to time your project for late spring to mid-summer for best results.

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Job Volume

People tend to time their roofing project requests in waves. Roofers respond with fluctuating prices that reflect the laws of supply and demand.

In other words, if you try to arrange a project during peak season then you can expect an increase in price. Slow seasons like early winter can be met with lower prices as roofing contractors try to stir up extra work.

For example, September to November is “rush season” for most roofers. People anticipate the oncoming winter, so they want to get the project done as soon as they can. This surge in demand is often met with a glut of work for roofers. They often raise their prices during this time, and even then they must delay projects for weeks or months in order to work clients into their busy schedules.

Be aware that a rush of work can also mean a decline in quality and attention to detail. As one roofing contractor reveals, normal six-man crews are pared down to four-man crews in order to get more jobs done at once. “As a result, they start cutting corners,” he says, “skipping nails (using three nails per shingle instead of 4–6), missing straight lines, rushing through chimney and skylight flashings, ‘forgetting’ to install ice and water shields in valleys, etc.” This type of hurried work significantly decreases your roof’s lifespan and makes the project cost a poorer investment.

To avoid waits, increased prices and possible slipshod build quality, time your project during slow seasons. Summer is usually the best time since work is merely steady and prices have not risen yet. Weather permitting, spring can be an excellent time since people will be recovering from holiday spending and waiting on tax return checks. You can even time your project in the winter if you are not using asphalt shingles or other adhesive products to get the best price and quickest project completion times of the whole year.

Of course, always ask ahead to find out about your particular job’s wait time and to get a price quote as soon as you can. The longer you put off your project, the more setbacks you are likely to experience and the less time you will have to shop around for a quality roofing contractor at a fair price.

ServiceWhale can help simplify your search for a roofing contractor that can perform excellent work at a favorable price in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Click here to enter in your project information and receive a quote from several real roofing contractors in your area without them having to visit your home first.

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