Should You Paint a House Before or After a Roof Replacement?

When you’re fixing up a house, one of the biggest challenges can be trying to sequence your projects. All of a sudden, you find yourself trying to determine whether you should paint the interior before or after refinishing the floors or trying to figure out whether it makes sense to start with the kitchen or bathroom remodel.

Two major exterior projects you can take on to really boost your home’s value and curb appeal are a brand-new roof and a fresh exterior paint job. Which one should you do first, though? Does it matter?

When you’re scheduling contractors, it can be tempting to try and get on their calendars whenever they’re available. However, it’s important to think about the order of these projects, as it can have a very real impact on the final product.

To re-roof your home and paint the exterior, you should always start with the roof replacement if possible. This way, you don’t have to worry about your newly painted surface being damaged during the roofing job.

Why You Should Replace a Roof Before Painting Your Home

Replacing your roof before painting the exterior is almost always the best way to go– just like cleaning your house, it’s best to work from the top down. There is little risk that painting your home will damage your roof, but re-roofing your house could potentially result in damage to the freshly painted surface. Beyond that, roofing first lets you really visualize the potential of your home’s exterior aesthetics when it comes to a composed and cohesive color scheme.

To Protect Your New Paint

If you paint the exterior of your home before you replace your roof, it’s possible that your brand-new paint could be damaged during the roof replacement process. No matter how careful your roofing contractor is, they will still bring material up to your roof and remove old material, providing lots of opportunities where your new paint could get scuffed up.

On top of that, replacing a roof is going to stir up dust as your old roof is removed. The last thing you want is for dust and dirt to become embedded in your not-quite-yet-cured paint, removing that newly painted look all too soon.

A House Painter

By replacing your roof before getting your house painted, you can ensure that your fresh paint job won’t get damaged in a way that requires you to call the painters back out for a touchup.

Color Coordination

Even if you’re getting a traditional asphalt shingle roof, many different colors are available for your roofing material. It can be useful to replace your roof first so that you can choose a paint color that best complements your new roof.

A Color-Coordinated House

Though you can certainly come up with your color scheme before your roof replacement, many people find that they are better able to create a cohesive and visually appealing look by actively incorporating the color of their new roof into their exterior paint color decision.

Should You Replace Windows Before or After a Roof Replacement?

If you are replacing your windows in addition to re-roofing your home, it’s typically advised that you have the roof replacement done first before doing your windows. Not only is a roof one of the most important components of your house, but it’s also best to work from the top down in this regard.

Replacing House Windows

Falling debris could damage or scratch your new windows, so if possible, you’ll want to schedule the roofing contractors before the window installation.

What Should You Do Before a Roof Replacement?

Though you won’t want to paint the exterior of your home before a roof replacement (again, it’s best to save that for afterward), there are a number of things you can do to prepare for the roofing job.

Preparing Your Yard

During your roofing job, roofers will walk through and around your yard as they work. As they remove your old roof, debris, including old shingles and nails, will inevitably fall from the roof. Though they will bring a dumpster to the site and clean up all of the old roofing materials, that doesn’t mean the material won’t make its way down to the ground before it ends up in the dumpster.

Good roofers will lay down tarps to help collect this debris and will clean up afterward using magnets and other equipment to find nails. Even so, you won’t want any of your possessions to get hit with falling debris.

Cutting the Grass

Here’s what you’ll want to do to prepare your yard before the roofers show up:

  • Move your vehicles from the driveway and garage: Roofers will need to use your driveway throughout the re-roofing process– material will get dropped off, equipment will be brought in, and a dumpster will be brought to the site. It’s best to park your vehicle in the street a safe distance away– even if you aren’t planning on going anywhere, it’s best not to put your car in the garage. This is because garage roofs typically aren’t insulated, so shingle granules and nails can fall through into the garage during the process.
  • Clear away any patio furniture or toys: Since the roofers are going to be accessing your roof from every side of your home, you’ll want to make sure that there isn’t furniture or toys in the way that they’ll have to move or that could get damaged by falling debris.
  • Move things out of your garden when possible: If there are movable objects in your garden, like statues, bird feeders, wind chimes, water fountains, or potted plants, it’s best to move them out of the way before the roofing job begins. Delicate items can be damaged by just one falling shingle.
  • Protect or mark plants: If certain plants in your yard or garden would be very expensive to replace or are known to be very delicate, you can mark these with orange tape and point them out to the roofers’ manager before the job begins. You can place a tarp or netting over the top for other plants and flower beds.
  • Mark sprinklers: Marking sprinkler systems that can’t be removed will ensure that roofers won’t end up tripping over them. For that matter, anything else that is embedded in the ground should be marked.
  • Unlock your gates: If there are gates on your property that would make it so roofers wouldn’t be able to get all the way around your house if they were closed, you’ll want to make sure they’re unlocked beforehand.
  • Check your outdoor electrical outlets: Powered equipment might be necessary for your roofing job, depending on the nature of the work. If you have outdoor electrical outlets, it’s a good idea to make sure it works before the day of the roofing job so you don’t encounter any unnecessary slowdowns. If you don’t have an outdoor outlet, consider which outlet they could easily access through an open window or door.
  • Cut your grass: The shorter your grass is, the easier it will be for roofers to do a thorough clean-up after the job. Not only does this make their job simpler, but it also means that you will be less likely to end up with a yard full of nails and hidden debris once the roofers are gone.
  • Talk to your neighbors: It’s a good idea to take some time to talk to your neighbors before your roofing job– particularly your direct neighbors. You’ll want to give them a head’s up about the fact that a crew will be working at your house so they can plan ahead when it comes to the potential disturbance and noise caused by the process. Additionally, they might want to protect their plants and other objects in their yard if the houses are very close together. You can also ask them if they’d be willing to unlock any gates they might have so the roofers can grab any shingles or nails that fell in their yard during the process.

Preparing Your Home

Though roofers aren’t going to be working inside your house, the entire process can create a lot of vibrations in the building. For this reason, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that there isn’t any damage inside your house while new shingles are being nailed down.

Preparing a Home for a Roofing Job

To prepare your home, you’ll want to:

  • Clear and protect the attic: It’s best to move any sentimental or fragile items that are stored in the attic to the ground floor during a roof replacement.
  • Protect the garage: If the roofers are up on the garage roof, you’ll want to provide extra protection since these structures usually don’t have insulation. Any precious items should be covered with a tarp.
  • Remove wall decor: Art and decorations can get knocked off the wall due to vibrations from hammering. You’ll want to be particularly attentive to wall hangings on the top floor as they will be the most jostled by the experience.
  • Secure your windows: Roofers should protect windows with wooden boards, as they can be scratched by falling roofing material.
  • Protect any fragile items: Any vases, glasses, china, dishes, or other breakable items should be protected so they aren’t damaged by the vibrations of the project. You’ll want to make sure they aren’t touching the wall or one another; otherwise, damage could occur.

Preparing Your Pets and Your Children

Unless you live in a tiny house, re-roofing a home is no small job. It’s common for roof replacements to be two-day jobs at least, but the length of the job will ultimately depend on the size of your roof and several other factors.

A new roof installation can be disruptive to everyone in the house, but it can be particularly difficult for children and pets.

Having Children Stay With Family Members

You can prepare them in the following ways:

  • Keep your pets indoors or have them stay elsewhere
  • Prepare to comfort pets if they stay in the house
  • Tell children about the potential for fallen debris
  • Consider having your children stay at a family member’s or friend’s house

Should You Replace Your Roof Before Selling Your House?

If you’re planning on selling your house, there are a number of things real estate agents will suggest you do to help boost curb appeal, increase your home’s value, and help your home sell faster. These suggestions include repainting your house, decluttering, staging, and making any necessary small repairs.

Selling a House

You’ll notice, however, that these lists rarely include projects as large as replacing the roof. If your roof is in good working order, you probably won’t see a positive ROI replacing it before you sell. On the other hand, if your roof is at the end of its lifespan, replacing it can help ensure that your sale won’t be jeopardized by an issue that could scare away potential buyers.

Is It Time For a New Roof?

Replacing a roof is a big investment, but it’s also arguably one of the most important major home repairs you can make. If your existing roof is nearing the end of its life, it’s time to start thinking about a new one– the last thing you want is to let your old one fail. Once a roof fails, it means that water can destroy the inside of your home and cause tremendous damage. There really are few things more disastrous than having a roof fail.

Whether you’re interested in an asphalt shingle roof or you want to choose a longer-lasting option like a standing seam metal roof, choosing the right roofing company is just as important as choosing the right materials. Even the highest-quality materials will fail to perform as expected when they aren’t installed properly, so choosing a roofing contractor you know will go above and beyond to produce an effective final product is essential.

Beyond that, roofers are going to be walking around your yard for a few days during the roofing project. You want to know that the company you hire employs a team hand-picked for their integrity, work ethic, and experience and that you can trust them to be working around your house.

A Roofing Professional-1

If you live in Atlanta, you don’t have to look far for the best roofers in town. At Colony Roofers, we provide the highest quality roofs for the most affordable prices and pride ourselves in offering truly exceptional customer service. We know that roofing projects can be stressful for homeowners, and we do everything in our power to make sure our clients have a smooth, seamless, and stress-free experience when they work with us.

Is it time for you to replace your roof? If so, contact us today for a free thirty-minute inspection and estimate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to paint a house before or after a roof replacement?

It's generally better to paint a house after a roof replacement. This avoids potential damage to the new paint job from the roofing process, such as dust, debris, or accidental scrapes.

Will roof replacement damage a freshly painted house?

While roofing contractors take precautions, there's always a risk of incidental damage to a freshly painted house during roof replacement. Debris or equipment could scratch or mark the paintwork.

Can painting a house after roof replacement cause any damage to the new roof?

If the painting is done carefully, it should not damage the new roof. However, there is a risk of paint spills or splatter, so professional painters should use appropriate protective measures.

What's the recommended waiting period between roof replacement and painting?

There isn't a strict waiting period, but it's typically recommended to wait until all roof replacement cleanup is done to ensure a clean canvas for painting. Depending on the project, this could be a few days to a week.