In a perfect world, every roofing job would be completed ahead of schedule, with no unexpected delays or challenges postponing the work. Unfortunately, in reality, a variety of situations can arise during a roofing project that can put a roofer off their intended timeline—unless they plan ahead, that is.

While it’s difficult to manage every weather event and obstacle, with a little foresight, you can help your roofing crew avoid many of these delays and keep your job running like clockwork. A smooth roofing project mostly comes down to the job’s communication, organization, and planning—all of which can be managed ahead of time.


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Stay On Top of the Weather

Icy, freezing conditions obviously do not mix well with roofing work. Slick roof surfaces can create deadly conditions for workers, who often must keep their balance on angled decking and tall ladders. Even cold weather can gum up the works of a roofing job—if workers must bundle up with layer upon layer just to keep warm, the bulky clothes can limit their mobility and make the job go more slowly.

Although it’s difficult to predict every weather event, you can get a more precise idea of what’s headed for your area using satellite weather monitoring systems. Additionally, don’t rely on just any weather app for your forecasts. Forecast Advisor, which rates the accuracy of different weather sites, has determined that just two apps regularly get it right: Weather Underground and The Weather Channel. Still, their accuracy rate is only about 84 percent, so make sure you have a plan to cover the project area in the event of a freeze.

Have Your Roofer Plan for Material Deliveries

Materials delays can put a damper on a reroof—there’s no way to work without shingles to nail! Make sure your contractor has a plan in place to deliver materials ahead of time, so that everything is there when the workers come to the site. In particular, ask whether they’re forklifted onto the roof or whether the roofers must carry each piece up to the site themselves. The latter can add enormous time to the project.

Also get clear about the delivery timeframes for any specially-ordered products needed for your project. All the required materials should be on-site well before any work begins.

Make Sure Your Roofing Crew Has a Designated Foreman

Like any team, roofing crews work better when there’s someone in charge. That’s why your roofing project needs a supervisor to keep an eye on the job as a whole and make sure everything stays on schedule. In the construction business, this person is known as a foreman. They oversee the materials delivery, ensure that the job has enough manpower, and plan out the work ahead of time to make sure everything stays on track.

Make sure your roofing company has designated a worker to fill this role. Don’t be afraid to ask for their name, and the best way to inquire with questions throughout the job. Keep in mind that some roofing companies may request that you don’t discuss project issues directly with the crew and instead contact a job representative. So find out what method your roofers prefer before you begin asking questions.


Ask About the Project Schedule—and How Your Roofer Plans to Stick to It

The best roofers make detailed project timelines, and use job scheduling software to juggle their various jobs. Ask your contractor detailed questions about the schedule and how they plan to move the project along.

Go deeper than just the usual, “how long will it take?” If the job takes more than a day, how will they cover the house and store the materials? Are there any parts of the roof where they foresee challenges? What are the different parts or steps of the job? As a bonus, this kind of quizzing will help you see if your contractor really knows what goes into the work, and whether or not they are well organized and experienced.

Clean Your Roof and Gutters Ahead of Inspection

Before your project even starts, your roofing company will typically send an employee out to inspect the roof and see what kind of work needs to be done. Hose your roof off with a sprayer hose to clear out debris and save time when the inspector arrives.

Likewise, clear out your gutters before the project begins—this will help ensure that roofing nails aren’t lost in the debris (to later catch in your car tires!).

Get Clear on All Aspects of the Project Ahead of Time

If a roofer was being honest, they’d tell you that one of the biggest impediments to project timelines is the homeowners themselves. Changing your mind mid-project will only result in costly delays. Have your roofer show you samples of the shingles, tiles, or materials you’re purchasing—and ask for pictures, too, so you can see what these products look like after installation.

Ask your roofer to walk you through the soffit, fascia, decorative trim, and other features that will accompany your new roof and affect its overall appearance. That way, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting, with no unpleasant surprises once the job is in full swing. If you plan ahead, your roofing project should go off without a hitch!