Replacing the Roof? Follow These 10 Tips to Best Prepare for the Project

workers installing new roof

Replacing your home's roof is an excellent investment, as it not only contributes to its overall value but also protects your family and valuables from the elements. There are several things you can do to prepare for a roof replacement and tactics to use to make the process run as smooth as possible.

1. Talk to the kids and keep pets in a safe area.

The roof replacement will create loud noises and disturb the natural surroundings of the home. If you have children, talk with them to explain what’s happening and what areas of the home and yard are off-limits until the job is done. Keep dogs inside and attempt to keep them entertained as much as possible so their barking stays to a minimum.

If you suspect the kids and pets will be too much of a problem to keep under control during the roof replacement, you may want to visit family, friends, or somewhere else until the project is finished.

2. Move cars away from the work zone and any other large items.

Roofing contractors need access to the roof as well as places to park and a spot for the dumpster. Move your cars inside the garage if you have one and keep the door closed to keep out dust and debris. If you don’t have a garage, it may be necessary to park down the block until the project is completed. Move anything else in the yard that may block access to the roof.

Large potted plants, outdoor furniture, and children’s play equipment could all get in the way.

Make sure there’s a clear path for the installers to use. This will help them complete the job as fast as possible. 

3. Take down wall decorations.

wall decorations

A roof replacement creates loud noise and vibrations throughout the home. The vibrations from hammers and other heavy machinery may knock off mirrors, picture frames, and other wall decorations.

Before the replacement starts, walk through the upper level of your home and take down any valuable items that may fall off the wall or from bookcases, shelves, or armoires. A great rule of thumb is to take down any decorations that aren’t secured with screws.

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4. Protect items in the attic.

It’s inevitable that a roof replacement will cause some amount of dust to fall on whatever is stored in your attic. From hammering to people just walking around, there will be some disturbance.

Use old bed sheets, large plastic tarps, or blankets to cover valuable items in the attic. It may also be necessary to vacuum the attic after the replacement is finished.

5. Store patio furniture and grills out of harm's way.

protect patio furniture

Move grills, potted plants, lawn furniture, and any other lawn items out of the way during the replacement. Debris from the project may damage these items, so store them either in a garage or a shed until all the debris is taken care of.

Most contractors won’t help with moving personal items, so it's best to take care of this step well before they arrive.

6. Cut overhanging tree branches and mow the lawn before the project starts.

If there are any tree branches that hang low over the roof, cut them back before the work begins. A responsible roofer will cover landscaping close to the perimeter of the house.

Pro Tip: Cut the grass a day beforehand. Short grass will help you identify roofing debris hiding in the lawn and make for faster cleanup.

7. Aid contractors by identifying useable power outlets.

Roofing contractors need access to electrical outlets while they perform the replacement. They may bring a large power center, but chances are they’ll need to plug into exterior outlets around your home.

There’s a small chance the roofers will need to run extension cords inside the home, causing a tripping hazard. Identify exterior outlets to cut down on foot traffic inside your house and keep the work area clean.


8. Let your neighbors know.

talk to your neighbors first

Take a few minutes to call your neighbors and let them know about your upcoming roof replacement. Tell them how long it’s supposed to take and how many people will be around.

They’ll appreciate the heads up, and it will allow them to mentally prepare for the minor disturbance.

9. Remove roof antennas and satellite dishes.

If you have a functional satellite dish or cable antenna, it's best to remove them before the replacement starts. Call your cable provider to make the necessary arrangements before the project starts so the service can properly resume after it's finished. If the dish is old and not functional anymore, just let the contractors know and they’ll be happy to remove it.

10. Stay alert during the process.

A roof replacement creates an unfamiliar environment around the home, leaving your family open to possible injuries.

Construction equipment, extension cords, loose nails, and other roofing debris create many opportunities to hurt yourself, so stay vigilant and aware during the project.

Always keep an open line of communication with your roofing contractor to clear up any questions you may have. While it's an invasive home improvement project, a roof replacement will dramatically increase your home's value as well as its overall aesthetic.


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