Before hiring any builder, in this instance, a roofer, first make certain that the person is licensed, bonded, and insured. The last thing you want as you wait for your roof to be replaced is to be responsible for the hospital bills of a worker who has fallen off a ladder while working on your home. After you find a roofer that suits you and your budget, agree on a time to have the work completed and how and when the roofer would like to be paid.
Under no circumstances whatsoever, should you ever be required to pay the entire cost up front. No reputable builder will be comfortable with you offering that nor would they require it. Any builder who does require full payment up front should not be dealt with. A down payment of 10-50% of the estimated job cost is normal. You want to leave incentive for the roofer to get the job done in a timely fashion and money is your only leverage for getting the job completed. The factors involved in the time it takes for your roof to be replaced are the competency of the roofer in managing the crew’s workload (they are probably working on more than just your house), the pitch of your roof, the size of your house, the availability of the materials used to replace your roof, the amount of damage underneath the existing roof (which can’t be known until it is torn off), and the cooperation of the weather.
Bad weather can delay the project for significant periods at a time, depending on your region's climate, and the builder has no control over that aspect. Shane Benfield of Benfield Roofing in York, South Carolina estimates a one to three day time to replace the roof on a 2500 square foot house in optimal weather conditions and with little to no damage to the underlying structure.
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