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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Roofing, Windows & Siding > Slate Roof

Slate Roof Cost


How Much Does a Slate Roof Cost?

 
average costMedium: Synthetic Slate Averages $11,900-$18,900 for a ranch househigh costHigh: Natural Slate Can Run $17,000-$84,000

Slate is one of the most durable roofing materials available. A properly installed and maintained slate roof looks beautiful and can last more than 100 years, depending on the type and origin of the slate, the roof style and the climate. One downside is slate's heavy weight -- a residential roof might need reinforcing to hold slate.

Typical costs:

  • Installing a natural slate roof starts around $9-$10 or more a square foot for a basic roof up to $30-$40 or more a square foot, depending on the type of slate used, the installation pattern (some methods use more slate per square foot), the design of the roof, the height of the building, the slope and other factors. A 1,700-2,100 square foot roof might cost $17,000-$84,000, depending on the location, the quality of the slate and the complexity of the installation process.
  • Synthetic slate roof shingles are made from recycled rubber and plastic molded to resemble natural roof slates. Expected to last 50 years or more, a synthetic slate roof is more lightweight and easier to install, and doesn't damage as easily if walked upon. Installing a synthetic slate roof runs around $7-$9 or more a square foot, or about $11,900-$18,900 for an average ranch house with a 1,700-2,100 square foot roof.
  • ImproveNet.com provides an online roofing calculator[1] .
  • These prices typically cover installation only. Costs will vary depending on what's involved, but removing and properly disposing of existing asphalt roofing shingles starts around $3-$5 a square foot or $510-$1,100 for a basic ranch-style home -- and can go higher depending on the type of existing roofing materials, the location and the difficulty of the removal project.
Related articles: New Roof, Asphalt Shingle Roof, Metal Roof, Wood Shingle Roof, Tile Roof

What should be included:
  • Because of the slope, a roof generally has a larger square footage than the house it sits on -- a 1,500-square-foot, one-story home may have a 2,100-square-foot roof. Slate Roof Central provides photos and descriptions of slate roof patterns[2] .
  • Extremely brittle, slate will easily break if someone walks on it. Installation requires skilled, professional and experienced workers -- a slate roof installer is actually a stone mason or craftsman, rather than a roofer. Slate Roof Central provides information[3] about the installation process as well as videos of common installation mistakes[4] .
  • ArchitectMagazine.com reviews synthetic roofing products.
Additional costs:
  • Your roof framework may need reinforcing in order to support a heavy natural tile roof. This can easily add $1,000-$10,000 or more to the cost
  • Selling for $40, the "Slate Roof Bible" offers historical insights and practical advice on natural slate roofing.
  • With natural slate, some maintenance is required. A natural slate roof should be visually inspected each year, and an experienced contractor hired to replace any missing, sliding or broken slates. It's also a good idea to have a slate roof expert inspect the roof carefully every few years.
Shopping for a slate roof:
  • The skill of the contractor and the quality of the slate will be the biggest factors in how long a natural slate roof will last. Make sure the slate being installed comes from a reputable high-quality quarry. It helps to buy as local as possible; the closer you are to the quarry, the lower the shipping costs. The National Slate Association lists sources for new[5] and salvaged[6] slate roofing tiles.
  • Both the National Slate Association[7] and the Slate Roofing Contractors of North America Inc.[8] provide a directory of slate roofing contractors.
  • The National Roofing Contractors Association provides a general guide[9] for buying a new roof. The written contract should include a detailed outline of the work required and materials used, dates within which the project will be done, and a payment schedule. Slate Roof Central provides a sample slate roof installation contract[10] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.improvenet.com/HomeOwner/ProjectTools/estimators/roofing/re_index.html
  2.  www.jenkinsslate.com/install_styles.htm
  3.  www.slateroofcentral.com/install.htm
  4.  www.slateroofcentral.com/videos.html
  5.  www.slateroofers.org/sources_new_slate.html
  6.  www.slateroofers.org/sources_salvaged_slate.html
  7.  slateassociation.org/members/slate-contractors
  8.  www.slateroofers.org/directory.html
  9.  www.nrca.net/consumer/fyi.aspx
  10.  www.slateroofcentral.com/downloads/install_contract.pdf
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