Can You Replace A Roof By Yourself?

Replacing a roof by yourself is a big job, unless of course you live in one of those trendy tiny homes.

You could start by watching a variety of YouTube videos, outlining the steps needed in the reroofing process. In fact, most home improvement projects can be accomplished by a talented do-it-yourselfer.

The better question would be, is it advisable to do a roofing job by yourself?  

What Do You Need to Know?

Depending on where you live, your work will be regulated by building codes. Your local planning department will be able to tell you where and how to obtain the permits. That is fairly easy compared to the next step, choosing the best roofing material for your geographic location, the slope of your roof and in some cases, curb appeal.

These are all considerations that require a significant degree of research to get the roofing material right for your home.

Safety Considerations

 Let’s not forget safety issues. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Falls are the number one cause of construction worker fatalities.” That’s sobering. Falling off a ladder is dangerous, falling off a roof can be fatal. Roofers are at greatest risk.

Unless you are working on a flat roof, keeping your balance while moving around on a roof must be a serious consideration. if you are inexperienced, the steeper the slope of your roof the greater the danger. Another consideration, is whether your home is a single story, or does it have a second story, or third? Is it on a flat lot or built on a hillside? All of these facts can impact your ability to safely replace a roof by yourself. And if you do it alone, who will hold your ladder, or call for help, should you fall?

What Roofing Materials Will Be Used?

 Tile or slate roofs can present their own set of issues, one of which is the need to tread lightly so you don’t damage or slip on the tiles. Composition asphalt tiles are the most common and the easiest to use.

How do you know which material to choose for your home? A flat roof may be easier to navigate, but the application of the roofing materials often requires greater expertise and hot tar as a sealant.

That might be a big enough deterrent to point you in the direction of a professional roofer.

Roofing Safety Considerations

A roof is more than the materials you purchase to cover it, like shingles or tiles. The rafters, plywood and underlayment (the materials used beneath the roofing that is meant to provide additional protection for the deck) all need to be considered.

How old your home is and whether your roof has experienced leaks over the years, should be considered when judging whether your shingles (or tiles) will be your biggest concern.

You’ll also want to look at the soffits and consider all the flashings (base, counter, eave, step and valley) that may be required to ensure proper drainage.

Time and Labor

 A roofing crew is usually made up of 3 to 5 individuals for a single family home. They can take a day or a bit more to remove the old roof, depending on the size of your roof area. After that, it may take one or two days to make any needed infrastructure repairs and install a new roof.

If you tackle a job like this by yourself, you may need to factor in several days to remove the old roofing material. Depending on the square footage of your roof, you will want to get a debris box for the discarded material.

Is Roofing Ever Really A One Person Job?

One person can do the job and given the safety concerns; it is not advisable. Professional roofers are paid, not only for their physical labor. They are valued and paid for their expertise. Given the complexities that you may face, that is why finding the right roofer could be a better choice than replacing your roof by yourself. Your personal safety is a consideration that is hard to put a price on.


If you have concerns and want answers, contact us for a no-obligation, free estimate.