Home Roofing Should You Stay Home During a Roof Replacement? The Pros and Cons

Should You Stay Home During a Roof Replacement? The Pros and Cons

by Michael Blount

The day has finally come to replace your aging and worn roof. As you finalize plans with the roofing contractor, one important question comes to mind – should I stay home during the roof replacement or head somewhere else?

It’s a key decision that merits careful thought. A new roof is a major investment and process that will likely take multiple days to complete. While you can certainly remain in your home during the work, it does involve dealing with significant noise, mess, and disruption to your daily routine.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through the key factors to consider when deciding whether to stay put or temporarily vacate during your roof replacement. You’ll learn the potential benefits and drawbacks of each option across critical categories like safety, convenience, pets, productivity, and more.

With insight into what to expect during the roofing process itself, as well as tips to prepare your home and keep the project smooth regardless of your decision, you’ll be equipped to determine the best choice to suit your needs and priorities for your upcoming reroofing project.

Pros of Staying Home During Your Roof Replacement

While it may seem easier to avoid the hassle and leave town, there are some great reasons you might choose to stay home during the roof replacement process.

You Can Closely Monitor the Work Quality & Progress

Remaining on site throughout the roof replacement gives you the ability to check in on the work crew and visibly assess their progress. You’ll be able to closely inspect the quality of the tear-off, decking, underlayment, shingle installation, flashing details, and cleanup.

Spotting any issues early allows you to immediately address them with the project foreman rather than waiting days until the job is done. The crew will also know you are keeping an eye on things, providing extra motivation to do careful work.

You Can Quickly Identify and Resolve Any Problems

Even if you thoroughly vetted your roofing contractor, unexpected issues can still pop up once the work begins. For instance, they may discover serious decking rot once the old shingles are removed. Staying home lets you discuss options and make prompt decisions to keep the project moving efficiently.

You’ll also be onsite to immediately point out if the new shingles don’t match what you approved. The sooner corrections are made the better. Remaining home avoids delays waiting for feedback.

You Save Money by Avoiding Additional Living Expenses

Unless you have friends or family nearby to stay with, leaving your home during the roof replacement means extra costs for hotels, meals, pet boarding, and more. These expenses can really add up, especially if the project stretches across multiple days.

Staying put allows you to eat at home and go about normal routines. The savings could be several hundred dollars depending on your location and lodging preferences.

Staying Provides Peace of Mind to Watch Over Possessions

Having strangers around your home can cause uneasiness about the security of your belongings. While vetting your contractor thoroughly is important, being present to oversee the working crew will likely give you greater peace of mind.

You’ll be able to check locked doors and windows, monitor your valuables, and keep your vehicles safe in the driveway. Leaving home often means worrying in the back of your mind.

It’s More Convenient to Stay in Your Own House

Packing bags, booking a hotel, relocating pets, and essentially evacuating your home is a major hassle. Then there’s the unpacking and readjusting once the roofing project wraps up. It’s an ordeal you’ll be glad to avoid by remaining in your house if you can tolerate the noise and disruption onsite.

Staying in your own space, on your own schedule, is always more convenient than temporarily relocating your entire household.

You Can Personally Attend to Pets Bothered by the Noise

While the banging, hammering, sawing and roofing activity can be hugely disruptive for homeowners, it takes an even greater toll on dogs and cats. High-pitched hearing and sensitivity to unfamiliar happenings means most pets will be very unsettled.

Remaining home allows you to keep pets confined to interior rooms and personally attend to their needs. You can comfort them and try to limit their stress during the roof work rather than sending them to boarding.

Cons of Staying Home During Your Roof Replacement

On the other hand, there are also compelling reasons you may decide to check into a hotel or plan days away while your new roof is installed.

Extreme Noise & Vibrations Will Disrupt Your Life

The roofing process involves heavy demolition followed by hours of hammering nails, sawing boards, and moving heavy materials above your head. It’s a level of persistent noise and vibrations that most people find maddening if trying to conduct daily life.

Don’t underestimate the impact of contractors tramping around on your roof all day long. The ruckus will make working from home, taking calls, or even napping virtually impossible. Leaving the premises removes this nuisance.

Falling Debris & Tools Create Safety Hazards

Once the tear-off begins, it’s inevitable that small bits of shingle debris will fall to the ground around the house. There is also a risk of tools or equipment being dropped unintentionally.

Staying home means carefully avoiding the perimeter of the house and monitoring indoor spaces. With poor visibility over the roof edge, accidents can happen if you are too near the work zone.

Tear-Off Process Gets Very Dusty and Messy

As existing shingles are broken up and removed, dust and granule particles get dispersed across your roof and the surrounding grounds. Some debris and nails will inevitably scatter in the yard and flower beds as well despite drop cloths.

The roofing crew won’t have this mess fully cleaned up until the job is complete. If you don’t want to be home amid the chaos, leaving avoids the headache.

Your Driveway and Yard Will Be Blocked Off

In order for the roofing crew to work efficiently, they’ll need to commandeer much of your exterior property. Expect dumpsters, work trucks, equipment trailers to take over your driveway and yard during the project.

Remaining home means you’ll need to park on the street and carefully navigate around the busy work zone. For some homeowners, returning after it’s all cleared out is preferable.

Noise Persists Even on Lower Home Levels

Don’t assume you can just retreat to the basement or ground floor to get away from the ruckus. While it’ll be muffled, you’ll still clearly hear the construction racket throughout your home during working hours.

If you need to meet with clients or stick to your normal routine, the noise permeating your home can still be distracting and frustrating, even a few floors down.

Loud Noises, Strangers Stress Out Your Pets

Dogs and cats tend to have sensitive hearing and become frightened by the slamming and banging of roof work. Add in numerous strange workers tromping around, and most pets become extremely upset. Don’t underestimate their anxiety.

Trying to calm them in a back room might not work. Leaving them with a friend or boarding facility gets them away from the chaos and unfamiliar happenings.

Vibrations Risk Damage to Home Interiors

The impact energy and shaking during a roof replacement can actually shift wall hangings and cause fragile displayed items to fall over if not secured. This is especially true for the hand nailing installation method.

While staying on top of this is possible, many homeowners choose to have someone house sit or place irreplaceable items in storage temporarily to eliminate the risks.

Key Factors to Consider When Deciding Whether to Stay or Go During Your Roof Replacement

With good reasons on both sides of the stay-or-go debate, carefully think through how the following factors relate to your specific home and needs.

Duration of the Roof Replacement Project

If the work will take 1-2 days, putting up with the disruption may be worthwhile to oversee progress. Yet if your roofing project involves 4-5+ days of intensive work, the appeal of leaving your home increases substantially.

Layout and Size of Your Home

A large 2-story home offers more potential to distance yourself from the noise compared to a smaller single-floor house. However, bigger roofs usually mean longer jobs. Assess noise transmission across your unique floorplan.

Infants, Young Children or Noise-Sensitive Family Members

Trying to comfort babies or young kids amid constant hammering will be extremely taxing. Elderly relatives may also struggle with the disruption. Leaving them elsewhere could be your best or only option.

Your Flexibility to Work Remotely or Modify Your Schedule

If your job or life allows you to shift your hours and location with ease, staying home through intermittent noise may be tolerable. Less flexibility means leaving your house is likely better.

Your Noise Tolerance Levels and Work Requirements

Consider your ability to block out or withstand construction noise levels without going crazy. And assess the need for silence during calls, video conferences, focused work and so on.

Added Costs of Alternate Accommodations

If you have free lodging with nearby family or friends available, the cost factor of leaving is negated. Otherwise, tall up expenses of hotels, food, pet boarding and other costs. Compare this to potential benefits of avoiding home disruption.

Absence of High-Value Artwork or Irreplaceable Collections

If your home contains one-of-a-kind art, artifacts, or memorabilia vulnerable to vibration damage or accidents, leaving the premises is likely your smartest option.

Creative Alternatives to Being Home Full-Time During the Roof Project

Rather than framing the decision as all-or-nothing, consider these alternatives that blend both options:

  • Only stay elsewhere during the active roofing hours each day then return to sleep at home.
  • Take daily outings to block the noise yet still stay home overall.
  • Send family members or pets to stay with relatives during the project.
  • Work remotely from coffee shops, shared offices or libraries to gain quiet.
  • If a multi-day job, take vacation and rent a hotel room to ride out the work.

These solutions allow you to remain home some of the time while still avoiding the worst hassles and disruptions of the full roofing process.

How to Prepare Your Home If Staying During the Roof Replacement

If you decide remaining home is the best choice, proper planning and preparation will ensure you have the smoothest experience possible.

Remove and Secure Valuables from Walls and Shelves

Take down fragile decor, artwork, or displays and place them safely in interior rooms to prevent vibration damage. Also secure mounts and anchors on anything you leave hanging.

Clear Your Driveway and Yard of Objects

Give the roofing crew full access by moving vehicles, garbage cans, pots, yard tools and furniture away from the house exterior and driveway area.

Relocate Vehicles Away From the Home

Avoid getting blocked in by parking your cars on an adjacent street or at a neighbor’s house during the project. Remove vehicles from the driveway and garage.

Photograph Your Home’s Interior and Exterior Before Work Starts

Documenting conditions before the roofing crew arrives provides helpful “before and after” proof if any damage disputes arise. Pay special attention to existing worn areas.

Create Sealed Containment Areas If Concerned About Dust

Use plastic sheeting and sealants around vents, ducts, doors and windows to reduce temporary dust intrusion during tear-off. This protects interior surfaces and air quality.

Arrange Alternative Lodging for Pets If Necessary

If you anticipate dogs or cats will be overly upset by the noises, explore boarding facilities or having a friend or relative care for them away from the home temporarily.

Seek Contractor Recommendations for Staying Safe

Ask your roofing company for guidance on smart steps like when to avoid the work perimeter, keeping doors/windows shut, and monitoring certain areas prone to falling debris so your presence onsite is secure.

Here’s What to Expect During the Full Roof Replacement Process

Knowing the phases, timelines, sights and sounds ahead helps you best prepare for the reality of the work involved, whether you stay or go.

Roof Tear-Off Process

Existing shingles will be broken up using pry bars, shovels and heavy machinery, then debris thrown or carried to dumpsters below. This process exposes the roof decking for inspection and takes 1-2 days for most homes. Expect very loud banging, cracking and the din of shingles raining down.

Roof Deck Inspection and Repairs

Once bare, the decking or sheathing boards will be examined for any compromised areas needing replacement before new underlayment is installed. Rotted wood is swapped out to ensure structural integrity. Hammering prevails as deck boards are secured.

New Underlayment Installed

Following any deck repairs, the roofers will install new water-tight synthetic underlayment across the roof surface. Staple guns and sweeping of this material causes lighter tapping sounds compared to the demo process.

Shingle Installation

Installation of new asphalt or composite shingles involves hours of hammering to nail each course of shingles precisely. Crews also cut individual shingles onsite with buzzing power saws. Expect nonstop noise during this critical job step.

Flashing and Fascia Work

Metal drip edge pieces will be applied around the roof perimeter along with any reconstructed fascia board areas. Rubber flashing secures vulnerable joints and valleys. Light hammer tapping, sawing and scraping noises persist.

Job Site Roofing Cleanup

At completion, the roofers will sweep and magnetically gather nails, fallen debris and garbage from around your home and yard area. A final gutter cleaning removes shingle granule buildup.

Inspection and Sign Off on the New Roof

Before the crew packs up, walk around your home with the project foreman to visually inspect the roof quality and confirm proper installation per manufacturer guidelines. Provide final sign off accepting the work.

Average Roof Replacement Duration

While weather, roof size, and other factors impact timelines, you can expect most standard sized roofs between 1500-3000 square feet to take 1-2 days with a crew of 3-5 workers. Larger or more complex roofs can run 3-5 days.

Conclusion – Decide What Works Best For Your Home and Needs

Determining whether to stay home or temporarily relocate during your roof replacement comes down to personal factors like noise tolerance, convenience, pet care, job flexibility and safety priorities.

There are compelling advantages and disadvantages for both options. If feasible, blending the alternatives can help you optimize the benefits while minimizing headaches and hassles. Proper preparation is key regardless of your decision.

While roof replacements are a major project, a reputable roofing contractor will inform you about what to expect, accommodate your choice to stay or go, and do their utmost to minimize disruption to your home life. Keeping open communication ensures the best experience.

With a better understanding of the roof replacement process, as well as the pros and cons of each option, you can now thoughtfully decide what’s right for your household. A new roof brings protection and peace of mind regardless of where you lay your head at night during the work.

If your roof is due for an upgrade, be sure to get quotes from top local roofing companies. They’ll help you select the best new roof for your home and budget. Invest wisely and your new roof will protect your most valuable asset for decades to come!

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