10 Things to Know Before Getting a Slate Roof Installation

Slate Roof Installation
June 6, 2023

Few things are as overwhelming for a homeowner as a roof replacement.

Roof replacements are expensive projects that can affect the next decade or two of your home. It’s not a decision you want to enter lightly. Homeowners have to consider:

  • Budget limitations 💸
  • Climate conditions ⛈️
  • ROI 💲
  • Curb appeal 🏡

Beyond that, there are so many different types of roofing materials to choose from— it can be hard to know which one is right for your home.

If you’ve been doing your research, you may have heard about slate roofs. They are beautiful in pictures and last a literal lifetime, but are they are not necessarily the best material for every homeowner. Like all materials, there are plenty of pros, cons, and factors to consider before getting a full slate roof replacement.

If you want to know more about the pros and cons of a slate roof installation, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered all the details you need to know to decide if a slate roof is right for you.

Why You Should Consider Slate Roof Installation

slate roof installation worker installing shingles

So, what exactly is a slate roof?

Slate tiles have been around for hundreds of years. In fact, it is one of the oldest forms of roofing materials still used today! The popularity of slate roofs peaked around the time of the industrial revolution when domestic slate production made it a more accessible material. As cheaper options like asphalt shingles came into fashion, though, slate roofs became less and less popular.

As modern consumers look for more natural options, though, slate is slowly becoming more and more popular. And it’s not hard to see why!

  • Durability – Slate roofs are hugely durable and can withstand many different types of weather conditions, including hail, snow, and rain.
  • Aesthetic – When it comes to creating curb appeal that can stand the test of time, you cannot go wrong with the rustic look of slate roofing! The texture and dimension that it adds to your home are unrivaled and can be designed to work with almost every style.
  • Pest Proof – If you’ve ever dealt with an insect infestation in your roof, you know what a pain it can be. When you replace your old roof with hard slate, you’ll be creating a nearly impenetrable barrier that will keep out insects, birds, and mice.
  • Fire Resistant – With wildfires increasing throughout the country, many homeowners are looking for ways to protect their homes. Slate tiles are fire-resistant, making them a great option.

10 Things to Know Before Installing a Slate Roof

Still interested? We’re glad to hear it. Still, it’s not quite time for you to go out and start purchasing slate tiles.

While installing a new slate roof provides many benefits, there are lots of factors you should be aware of before you contact your local roofing contractor. Not sure where to start? Here are 10 important things you should know before you begin your slate roof installation!

1) Nail Down Your Budget

slate roof installation deciding on budget

If cost weren’t a factor, many homeowners would choose the beauty and durability of real slate over other Composite products on the market. But for most of us, the cost is a factor and an important one at that.

The unfortunate truth is that a slate shingle roof is a pricey investment. The actual cost will vary greatly, depending on your location and the size of your home, but you can expect to pay, at minimum, $5000 for a small roof. Most homeowners, however, find themselves paying between $20,000-$50,000 for the slate roofing material and specialized labor costs.

With natural slate shingles coming in at roughly $10-$20 per square foot, expect to have to pay extra for future repairs, as well.

Before committing, be sure to take a hard look at your budget and make sure that a slate roof cost is feasible for you.

2) Installation Experience Counts

No one wants an inexperienced roofing contractor to take care of their home. That’s doubly true when it comes to installing slate roofing.

While most contractors are equipped to handle more common forms of roofing materials, like an asphalt shingle roof, not everyone has the skillset required to safely install slate roofing. When researching roofing professionals in your area, be sure to check if they have experience with installing slate. Properly installed slate will help extend the life of your roof and keep your home safe from things like water damage.

3) It’s a Heavy Material

slate roof installation close up of slate roof

If there’s one thing you can say about stone, it’s that it is heavy.

Naturally, the same goes for slate. While slate offers many benefits, it is not necessarily the best for all homes due to the extra weight it puts on your home.

Before installation, roofing contractors should provide a thorough inspection of your home to ensure that it can withstand the weight. In some cases, it may be necessary to add extra support to your home to ensure that it remains structurally sound.

4) No Manufacturer Warranties

When it comes to roofing materials, slate comes with its’ own unique quirks. One of those is that it does not come with a manufacturer’s warranty.

Natural slate has very little man-made intervention before it makes its’ way to your new roof. Because of this, you won’t find a manufacturer’s warranty on it.

That doesn’t mean you are entirely unprotected! Any installation company worth its salt will offer you a workmanship warranty that will help protect you against faulty installation.

5) Homeowners Insurance Can Help

If the prospect of not having a manufacturer’s warranty makes you nervous, don’t fear! Your slate roof is still protected by your homeowner’s insurance policy.

A homeowner’s insurance policy will help you pay for any damage caused by an accident or external force, such as extreme weather and fire.

However, homeowner’s insurance will not cover damage to your roof caused by neglect, DIY repairs, or poor installation. This is why it is important to buy your tiles from reputable manufacturers in order to ensure that you are protected.

6) Years of Longevity

slate roof installation longevity for home

When it comes to purchasing a new slate roof, most homeowners are drawn in by the promise of the material’s longevity. Real slate has amazing staying power and has been known to last up to 100 years!

This means that your slate roof will likely be the last roof you will ever purchase for your home.

7) Low Maintenance

Slate roofs are relatively low maintenance after the initial installation. While it is good to clean the debris off of your roof a few times a year, slate roofing can largely be left alone.

That said, we do recommend having your roof checked annually to ensure that none of your slate roof shingles need to be repaired or replaced.

8) Longer Installation Times

Looking for a speedy roof replacement?

Slate shingles may not be the roofing material for you.

The average roof replacement takes 3 to 5 days from start to finish. It’s a relatively quick project, which allows you to get back to your life as soon as possible.

Slate roofing, on the other hand, will likely take 2 to 4 weeks to be completed. The time will vary depending on the size of the crew working on your roof and the size of your roof itself.

9) Budget Friendly Alternatives

slate roof installation zoomed in view of slate roof

Love the look of slate but nervous about the cost? Don’t worry! There is a middle ground!

If you are set on the look of slate shingles but aren’t quite ready to pay for them, you may want to consider Composite slate roof tiles. Composite slate gives the look of natural slate at a much lower price point. Additionally, a Composite slate roof can help you avoid putting excess weight on your home’s foundation.

That being said, Composite slate will likely not last as long as a real slate roof. On the other hand, most manufacturers will offer you a 50-year warranty so that your roof is well protected.

10) Types of Slate Roofs

Are you sold yet? Well, slow your roll because you still have to consider the type of slate roofing that works best for you!

Looking for a sleek, uniform style? A standard slate roof will likely work well. Want to lean into the earthy, rustic feel of the stone? Staggered-butt and graduated slate shingles will help keep your home looking classic and timeless.

Get Help With Your Slate Roof Installation

Are you ready to purchase the last roof that you’ll ever need?

Our team at Durashield has been installing slate roofing since 2003. We have the knowledge, tools, and skill set to ensure that your slate roof shingles are installed properly and last you a lifetime.

Got questions? Contact us today to set up your free roof inspection and get started!