Slate Roofing Cost Breakdown
The cost of materials for a slate roof accounts not only for the quality of the material itself but for the labor that has to be done by hand to acquire and prepare it, which includes cutting the slate into slabs and drilling holes that make installation easier. Your roof area and the type of tiles you choose will change the price, but a safe estimate for the materials is about $900 to $1,600 per roofing square (100 square feet). The cost for roofing replacement will vary by region.
Other materials, like underlayment, drip edging, and special tools needed for the job may cost you $100 or more per roofing square. You’ll want to get at least four quotes from local roof replacement contractors near you to see if a slate roof is within your budget.
Labor Costs to Install
Slate must be installed properly in order to last as long as it’s made to last. As you call contractors, make sure to ask specifically about each contractor’s experience with slate roofing so that you can feel confident they have the necessary experience. It’s also a heavy material, so this particular roof installation should be done with the utmost expertise and care. Labor will most likely cost you anywhere from $600 to $1,500 per roofing square. If your current roof needs to be removed, or if you have a complex roof layout, this will cost more as well. Be sure to take these factors into account and ask about them when you contact roofing specialists.
Slate Roofing vs Asphalt Shingles
Some benefits of slate roofing compared to new asphalt roofing installation:
- Life Expectancy up to 150+ years.
- Energy Efficient.
- Low Maintenance.
- Increases the value of your home.
Natural Stone is the ultimate eco-friendly, durable, and beautiful roofing material. Unfortunately, high cost and weight concerns make slate a rare sight on run-of-the-mill homes. You’ll most often see a slate roof on churches, libraries, and government and university buildings.
Roofing slate stone will not saturate with water, and offers a completely fireproof option for your roof. Since slate roofing is made of stone, it is impervious to weather, sun, heat, and cold so you can expect a slate roof to last up to 150+ years.
Synthetic Slate Roofs
If the price tag of real stone slate roofing shingles is a bit out of your budget, there are alternative with synthetic or faux slate roofing. The imitation stylings of these synthetic slate shingles might be perfect for your home if you want the slate roofing design without the price tag. Synthetic slate is far less heavier and easier to install.
Pros of Slate Roofing
Depending on the square footage, a well-executed slate roof can end up costing you around $14,000 to $24,000 when all is said and done. This is an intimidating number, but before you resign yourself to asphalt, make sure you’re taking into account the several strong advantages of slate roofs:
Slate is simply stone. It doesn’t give off toxins, and it will last on your home for potentially a century. If you are concerned about your carbon footprint and want the most eco-friendly roofing option possible, you are looking in the right place.
Slate is naturally resistant to water damage, temperature fluctuations, mildew, and bad weather.
Slate Roof Styles
Because slate is natural, it comes in varying shades depending on its chemical composition and its area of origin. You can experiment with color and do something unique, or just stick with the classic gray.
The density of slate can help regulate the temperature in your home, saving you money on your energy bills. You can also enhance the energy saving potential of your slate roof by:
- Installing Radiant Heat Barriers: Radiant heat barriers are a thin layer of metal insulation (usually tin foil with a paper backing or a metalized mylar sheeting), which can reduce radiant heat transfer into your attic by as much as 95 percent when installed to the underside of your roof.
- Installing Rainwater Catch Systems: You can reduce your water bills by installing cisterns or drums as part of your roofing installation in order to catch valuable rainwater for landscaping use.
In addition to saving you money on energy costs, a slate roof can also help reduce your environmental footprint. Slate is naturally occurring, contributing no toxic substances to the environment. Often capable of outlasting the life of your home, slate can also be recycled. Roofing waste accounts for more than 5% of the total waste sent to landfills across the nation every year. Since the majority of that roofing waste can be attributed to asphalt shingle roofing that needs replacement every 20 to 30 years, it’s easy to see the positive environmental impacts of installing a roof that is going to last 100 years or more.
Cons of Slate Roofing
Slate roofing is well worth the investment for many people, but you never want to jump into a project blindly. The material is durable, but the same quality that makes it ideal for cutting into slabs can also be its downfall—slate is somewhat fragile and can be cracked or broken if not handled properly. It’s also very heavy, which means that you’ll need to have your home evaluated to see if it can bear the weight of a slate roof beforehand. The weight of slate shingle roofing tiles range between 800 and 1,500 pounds per square (8 – 10 pounds per square foot).
Slate Roof Maintenance
Installed properly, slate roofs require relatively little maintenance and will last 60 to 150 years or longer depending on the type of slate shingles installed, roof configuration, and the geographical location of the property. Because of its longevity, slate roofing tiles are very cost effective over the life of the roof. Not only is the stone naturally highly rugged, it is very resistant to mold, mildew, and other sources of contamination making maintenance costs minimal. That said, broken, cracked, and missing slate shingles should be repaired promptly by a professional in order to prevent water damage to your home’s interior and possible structural damage to framing.