The Roof Replacement Process: A Comprehensive Guide

Replacing your roof in Adelaide might seem like a big task, but knowing what to expect can make the process a little easier. The fact your home could require a new roof may or may not be obvious to the untrained eye.

With the cost of building in Adelaide and Australia having increased so much and the duration of time taken for an average new house build increased significantly in recent years, many home owners have elected to stay put in their current home and undertake renovations rather than build new. This market shift has made the roof replacement upgrade on many older homes even more popular in recent years.

The roof replacement process starts with an inspection. A roofing professional will check your roof’s condition either in person or from detailed online imagery and advise if a roof replacement is the best and greatest value option for your home.

During the actual replacement, the old roof will be removed and the new version installed. This might take a few days to a week, depending on the size of the roof and several other design factors. Knowing what to expect at each step and having a basic understanding of the roof replacement process and its ramifications at each stage can make the task less daunting and stressful.

Understanding Roof Replacement

Replacing a roof in Adelaide is becoming more common place as many older homes reach the 40 – 60 year mark the roof cladding may have reached the end of its serviceable life. In an older home that is otherwise structurally sound and well located it can make the most sense and value to put a brand new roof on the property. This process ensures your older home is improved by way of a brand new roof with no leaks and better Insulation properties than the original roof.

Why is roof replacement necessary?

A roof replacement is usually undertaken on an original tiled roof. In the case of a concrete tiled roof, the tiles can become very porous and consequently brittle after many years, especially if no roof restoration or maintenance work has ever been undertaken. Concrete tiles are a particularly heavy form of roof cladding and in some cases lead to timber trusses sagging and visual waves forming in a roof line.

A Terracotta tiled roof is somewhat similar to concrete tiled roofs with degradation and age however Terracotta also has a particular tendency to become extremely brittle and start fretting from an age as low as 30 years onwards. The older the Terracotta roof the higher the chance that fretting has already started and the more likely the fretting to be significant. The fretting process of Terracotta can never be stopped.

The process is actually natural as the material simply crumbles away and returns to the very clay soil from which it was made.

In either of the above applications a roof replacement and consequent conversion to an insulated Colourbond roof is often the best value option. In the case of the fretting Terracotta roof it is often the only option.

Above: A fretting glazed Terracotta roof. In certain need of a roof replacement.

Process of Roof replacement

Original tile removal

The replacement and conversion of an original tiled roof to a new Insulated Colourbond version has several stages to the job. Initially workers will need to remove the roof surface completely and dispose of the original roof tiles.

Large skip bins are placed as close to the roof line edge as possible so that roof workers can simply lift up tiles from the roof battens and throw or drop directly into the skip bin below. This part of the process is the most significant by way of manual labour.

The weight of the tiled surface of an average house is 10 to 15 metric tonnes so the process about which the tiles are removed and disposed from site is most important. If site access is not good for skip carrying trucks and or a skip bin can not be placed within a few metres of a roof line the labour in roof removal alone could double and therefore making the quoted job significantly more expensive.

Metal Roof Batten Installation

Tiled roofs are installed directly to timber battens. The battens are quote small, usually 20 – 25mm thick. They are just pinned to the rafters with relatively small nails. The weight of the original tiles really holds everything in place. In the case of a Colourbond Insulated roof, the roof surface specifically is ten times light than the tile and therefore most be fixed down to the roof structure more significantly.

After removing the original roof cladding 40mm metal battens are installed to the original rafters. The new battens must be spaced at no more than 900mm apart. Many of the original tile battens remain on the roof but they serve no purpose other than to hold up the Insulation blanket against the under side of the new roof sheet.

Above: Roof workers installing 40mm metal roof battens (blue). Note original timber tile battens left in place but serving no structural purpose on the new roof.

Roofing Insulation blanket

The Gold standard of an modern Colourbond roof is to have Insulation or “roof blanket” installed. The product is simply 50mm – 60mm of glasswool Insulatin blanket directing bonded to sisalation or sarking. It significantly increases the thermal performance of the roof system and raises the overall R Rating of the home. The acoustic benefits are also very noticeable, not only are outside noises muffled to the inside of the home but rain events on the roof are almost silent and hardly noticeable when compared to a colourbond roof with no roof blanket lining.

Colourbond Roof sheeting

With the roof blanket Insulation stage complete roof workers will not lay the roof sheeting directly over the top of the roof blanket and install screws through the roof sheet and roof blanket. The screws bite into the metal battens below and hold the roof cladding in place. A typical Colourbond roof will have around 10 screws per square metre.

Above: Roof Replacement with all Insulation blanket installed and partial Colourbond sheeting Installed.

Flashings and Cappings

The final stage is to install the ridge caps and various flashings. In this stage items like airconditioners and skylights will have new flashings installed to ensure they are water tight.

Can we live in the home while the roof replacement is undertaken?

A very common question we get regarding roof replacement is, can we live in the home while the roof replacement is undertaken or do we need to temporarily move out? In nearly all of our roof replacement job, some 50 per year, the residents of the home live as usual while the roof replacement work is undertaken. There will be some annoyances during the work, most of which will be no access to the drive way due to skip bins occupying the space and roofing materials in the front yard. There is obviously some noise coming from the roof area and from having a team of men onsite. Other than these small issues there is no difference to the occupants of the home and at no time does rain water enter the home during the roof replacement process.

Selecting a Roofing Contractor in Adelaide

Finding the right contractor is essential for a successful roof replacement. The roofing industry can be a little difficult for the inexperienced. It is very common to find conflicting advice and varying prices within the market. There are some simple measures to assist you in quickly making a short list of quality contractors to continue talks with and determining which are to be discarded.

  1. Licensed and Insured: Ensure the contractor has the necessary licences and insurance to protect you from liability. Any individual or organisation conducting any form of building work in Australia must have a building work contractors licence.The licence is listed on a public register with the respective state authority. For example to search a licence holder in South Australia the CBS licence search tool on their website is the place to go.
  2. Check the transactional entity: When receiving a formal quote for building work, the entity’s ABN should be clearly stated. It is important to verify this ABN on the ABR website to confirm the exact entity it is registered to and to check if the ABN is registered for GST, especially if GST is included in the quote. Once the entity is confirmed, whether it is an individual or a company, you can check for a corresponding builder’s license in the same name or entity using the provided link.
  3. References and Reviews: Ask for references and check online reviews to gauge past client satisfaction. Its worth actually reading a few online reviews as a gut feel can be established quite quickly for fake vs real reviews. A good business will have a high star rating and progressively gain reviews over many years. Any business that appears to be quite young and gained many reviews quickly can indicate fake reviews have been used.
  4. Detailed Quotes: A quote for roof replacement is a high dollar quote, usually in the tens of thousands of dollars and should be written in a clear professional manner. The entity ABN must be stated as should all details and specifications of the roof replacement. Some terms and conditions around the job and especially payment details can be expected too.
  5. Warranty: A good contractor will inform you of all warranties as entitled to you by law. In many states building work comes with a statutory lifetime warranty. This essential means that the building work must be warranted by the contractor for workmanship defect for lifetime. This differs from wear and tear and problems caused by others. Also worth checking is the warranty available on the new Colourbond roof. This can be checked on the bluescope Colourbond website by way of their roofing warranty calculator. This calculator considers the distance to water and gives an indicative warranty.

Above: A progression of images of an original Terracotta roof in the Adelaide Suburb of Glenelg. Roof showed signs of significant fretting and was replaced with Insulated Colourbond.


On some roofs this is obvious but other not so. A roofing expert will be able to determine this quite quickly just based on years of experience. In many cases a Terracotta roof my look great from ground level but when inspected properly found to be fretting and extremely brittle and certainly suiting roof replacement.

First, an inspection is done and quote for roof replacement issued. Once onsite the original roof surface is removed, metal battens installed and Insulation blanket with Colourbond sheeting installed. Final stage being flashings and cappings and site clean up.

Costs can vary based on the size and pitch of the roof. Other factors can be general site access and whether skip bins can be placed near the roofs edge.

A roof replacement in reasonable weather usually takes around 1 week. This can vary depending in the specifications of the project and whether other items like gutters and downpipes and or gutter guard are also being installed.

Key items to be checked when appointing a roofing contractor are, Builders licencing GST registration and ABN check, public liability insurance and reviews.


In conclusion, the roof replacement process, while intricate, can be a relatively easy process to arrange and give significant long term benefits to an older home. It can also be a great value option for a home owner considering to stay in their home for the long term rather than move on or build new.

At All Roof Restoration Adelaide, we pride ourselves on delivering top-notch roofing replacement services in Adelaide. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality workmanship and customer service. We have done thousands of roof replacements all around Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills. We are specialists in roof replacement and don’t work for builders at all but exclusively Adelaide home owners. If you’re considering a roof replacement, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Ready to start your roof replacement journey? Contact All Roof Restoration Adelaide, today for a free estimate. In most cases we can measure and price your roof within a few minutes and send you a formal fixed price quotation. Call us on 0484 582 133 or better still just send us an enquiry today.

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