How to Change a Roof: A Guide for Homeowners
How to Change a Roof: A Guide for Homeowners

Getting a new roof is one of the most important repairs you can make to your house. But besides knowing that the old roof will be taken off and a new one put on, you may not know what else needs to be done to make sure the job is done right. Our roofing contractor is giving you an in-depth look at the whole process of replacing a roof so you know what to expect and what’s included.

How to Find a Roofer to Replace Your Roof

The first thing you need to do is find a roofer who has a license and insurance. This can be hard if you’ve never worked with a roofing company before, but these tips will help you find the right one:

  • Ask your friends, family, and neighbors if they know of any good places. 
  • Look at online reviews to find companies that have both a lot of ratings and high ratings.
  • Check out the bad reviews to find out what the customer’s problem is and how the roofing company fixed it. 
  • Check the Better Business Bureau to see how businesses are rated.
  • Make sure the roofers you talk to are licensed and insured before you hire them.
  • Set up an estimate to find out how much it will cost.

During the estimate, they will look at your roof to figure out how much damage there is and make sure your estimate is as accurate as possible. But they won’t be able to see the condition of the roof decking or if more serious damage needs to be fixed until they take off the old roofing.

Pick a material for the roof

Even though most homeowners already have asphalt shingles and want to stick with them for their new roof, it’s important to think about other types of roofing materials as well.

  • Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roof material because they are the least expensive and last about 20 years.
  • Wood shake shingles are great for a rustic look. They cost more and need more care, but they last for decades and look great.
  • Metal roofing is becoming more popular because it can last up to 50 years, doesn’t need much upkeep, and comes in styles like standing seam, metal shingles, and metal tiles that look like wood, tile, or slate.
  • Clay tiles are common in the Southwest, but they are also used to finish the look of homes with Mediterranean and Southwestern styles. Even though they are expensive, they can last for many years with little upkeep.


An experienced roofing professional will help you choose the best option, whether that’s keeping your asphalt composition shingles, updating with wood shakes, or going with a metal roof.

Getting ready for the process of replacing the roof

Now that you’ve picked a date and a contractor, it’s time to get ready for your roof replacement. The company will bring the basic roofing materials, including the new shingles, to your home. They will also set up a large roll-off dumpster to keep the old shingles, roofing nails, and other debris out of the way.

As a homeowner, we suggest you do the following to get ready:

  • Move any cars away from the house so that falling debris won’t hurt them.
  • Putting furniture, decorations, and toys outside further away from the house. The roofing company will cover your landscaping, the outside of your house, and even your pool to keep debris and damage from getting in.
  • Make sure your pets are safe, as the noise may be stressful for them. Maybe putting them in the basement or sending them to a friend’s house for a few days will help while you get the roof fixed.


Of course, the roofing company will give you more specific things to do to get ready, but these tips apply to most situations.

How to Replace a Roof in 6 Steps

In the next few days, the roofing company will take off the old roof and put on a new one using the following steps of the roof replacement process.

Taking off the old tiles

The first step will be to take off the old shingles and get to the wood decking or rafters, which are part of the roof’s structure.

Taking care of the gutters

During the removal, things like nails, sticks, and other debris can fall into the gutters. Professional roofers will clean out the gutters so that water doesn’t back up and leak into the house.

Putting in a new roof deck

Before the roofing company can start putting on the new materials, they will need to check that the wood decking that is already there is in good shape. If it or the roof rafters are rotting or have water damage, repairs will need to be done.

Putting in a Drip Edge and Ice and Water Shield

To protect your home from damage caused by blown-in rain and ice jams, an ice and water shield will be put up, followed by a drip edge that goes past the roof and keeps water from backing up under the shingles.

Adding Flashing

The metal valley flashing is attached to the wood decking and sealed with heavy-duty roofing cement where two roof planes meet.

Putting on the roof shingles

The next step in replacing a roof is to put the shingles on. Starter shingles are put on first along the eaves to keep shingles from blowing off or rain from getting in around the edge of the roof.

The new shingles are then put on after the starter strip. Using heavy roofing nails, you can attach three-tab, dimensional, or luxury shingles to the roof of your home in almost the same way.

Shingles and ridge vents

For better energy efficiency and less moisture in the attic, ridge ventilation and ridge capping are installed. Ridge capping involves putting a final row of special shingles at the peak of the roof to make sure water won’t get in.

Getting ready to replace the roof

Once the roof replacement is done, the roofing team will make sure that your home and yard are completely cleaned up and that there is no debris left behind. All of the tarps will be taken off your property after a magnet is run over it to make sure there are no loose nails that could hurt someone. If you have extra new roofing material, we suggest putting it somewhere dry.

After the roofing work is done, your roofing contractor will do a final inspection of the property with you so you can be sure that your new shingle roof was installed correctly. During this time, you’ll make sure that everything was done to your full satisfaction.

Request a free roofing replacement estimate today

If you need a new roof in New Jersey, don’t put it off! At Wayne NJ Roofing, we offer 100% financing and can finish most residential roofing jobs in just two or three days. Call us at (862) 292-9892 or fill out the form below to learn more about how we replace roofs or to schedule a free estimate.