Slate Roofs

slate roofs are one of the most durable and attractive roofing options today. The strength of the material and the beauty of natural slate roofs make it a popular choice for upscale homes and buildings. The main drawbacks include the costs and complex installation. For many home owners, the long life and unique look of slate far outweighs the downsides.

“Natural slate roofs can be a beautiful and exciting feature on any building. Especially for structures that are designed to blend into a natural landscape, the genuine stone tiles can really bring a theme together. With a wide variety of colors and styles available, there is an option to fit every home. The longevity and minimal environmental impact make it an ideal option for many buildings.”

Natural Slate Roofs

Natural slate roofs are well-known for their classic appearance. The stone lends a touch of class to even the simplest of structures. With a surprising variety of thicknesses and tile sizes, they are within the reach of many budgets. A wide range of colors is available, from traditional grays and browns to more contemporary reds, blues, and purples. Mottled and patterned tiles can create exactly the combination of hues desired to give a home an individual and distinctive look.


Natural Slate Roof Costs

Expect to $1,000 to $6,000 for a sq. ($10.00 to $60.00 per square ft.) of slate tiles.

Advantages

Longevity
A well-built structure with a properly installed roof shouldn’t need a replacement for 150 years or more. When many other roofing materials only last 20 to 30 years, and may require costly repairs and maintenance long before that, the long life of natural slate roofs is an important consideration. The extended lifetime can more than make up for the increased cost.

Fire Prevention
Another advantage is fire prevention. Especially for areas in the southwest where wildfires can rage uncontrolled, a fire resistant roof can be a vital part of a home. A natural slate roof is ideally suited for fire-prone areas because the stone itself is completely fire proof. Since many house fires are started by stray sparks from fireworks or other fires, natural slate roofs can prevent many potentially devastating home fires.

A Green Choice
For the environmentally conscious consumer, natural slate roofs are a great choice. With the minimal repairs and maintenance required these roofs produce much less waste over their lifetime than other materials. Natural stone doesn’t require extensive chemicals and has less of an environmental impact than many materials. Part of its environmental appeal is the fact that natural slate roofs can be disassembled and re-used.

Downsides

Tricky Installation
One of the largest problems with natural slate roofs is the installation. Most roofing contractors don’t have much experience with this material. Slate tiles can be quite fragile when handled, and inexperienced installers can damage a large number of tiles and drive up material cost significantly. Improper installation can lead to leaks, cracks, and many other problems. Replacing a broken tile can be complicated, as it is nearly impossible to find new tiles that exactly match the original.

Very Heavy
Another consideration for those planning to install natural slate roofs is the weight. Stone weighs far more than other roofing materials. Most homes and other structures aren’t built to hold a roof of that weight. Structural modifications may be needed before adding the new roof.

Cost
The largest concern that many have when considering natural slate roofs is the cost. While the materials and installation may cost significantly more, the roof will last much longer than less costly options. The cost over an extended period are generally comparable to other materials. The long life combined with the minimal repairs and maintenance usually required can cancel out the higher initial costs.