If it’s time for a new roof, perhaps it’s also time to consider your options. Traditional roofs consisting of wood, asphalt, or fiberglass shingles are popular, and they’re what many of us are comfortable with. But it can also be worthwhile to talk over your roofing options with an experienced Slate roofing contractor like Conrad Roofing of Illinois.
Slate Roofing Pros and Cons
Why do people choose slate roofing? Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages.
Slate Roofing Cons
We’ll get to the advantages of slate roofs in a moment, but it’s important to understand a few drawbacks.
- Cost: Relative to other common roofing types, slate is expensive. That’s due in part to the use of natural materials, but it’s also due to the higher weight and complexity of installation.
- Appearance: Slate roofs have a very distinct look that won’t be the right esthetic fit on all homes. That’s especially true of very modern-looking homes.
- Repairs: Repairs won’t be needed often, but they tend to be more complex than on other types of roofs. What’s more, an inexperienced contractor could cause more damage than they fix — by, for instance, walking on your slate roof.
Slate Roofing Pros
Don’t let those cons scare you off. There are many advantages to a slate roof, and we think they far outweigh the few minor downsides.
- Beauty: Most roofing types are uniform, and as they age they simply look worn and tired. Slate is different. Each piece of slate ages slightly differently, giving your roof beauty when it’s installed and character as it ages.
- Durability: That long-term beauty is important, especially since a slate roof can last from 75-200 years depending on the slate used. That’s three times as long as an asphalt roof, and even longer than a metal roof. What’s more, as Bankrate notes, it has insurance benefits too because of a higher degree of fire and wind resistance.
- Variety: There are many ways to design, pattern, and build a slate roof. That means you can find a configuration that meshes perfectly with your personal style and your home’s architecture.
- Long-Term Savings: Let’s be honest. Even if you have exceptional genetics, your slate roof will probably be there long after you’re gone. The higher upfront cost we mentioned earlier is balanced out by the fact that you could go through four to ten traditional roofs — or more — over the lifetime of a slate roof.
- Resale Value: That beauty and durability is a great selling point should you decide to move. It also means you’re more likely to recoup your investment.
Slate Roof Types
If you’re new to slate roofing, you might be expecting something that looks like your typical asphalt roof, but with a bit more texture. The reality is a bit more complex than that since there are two big considerations when it comes to choosing and building a slate roof.
Slate Roof Colors
There’s a wide variety of slate types, each with its own characteristics. The two we look at most often are hardness and color. Soft slate can last for about 75-100 years, while hard slate can last twice as long — or longer. Slate also varies in color depending on where it’s quarried, and changes in color as it ages and weathers. We’ll discuss your options in advance of your installation.
Slate Roof Construction
The other variable is how the roof itself is constructed. This has to do with the layout of the colors — you may choose to have a uniform color, or pick a pattern, or simply randomize colors throughout the grid for variety’s sake.
Other factors, like cut and thickness of each piece, come into play as well. While the vertical joints are staggered the same as you’d find in a brick wall, there’s a bit of flexibility in terms of the way the tiles are cut and laid out horizontally. Here again, we’ll go over your choices so you can find the right fit.
We love slate roofs, but we’re aware they’re not for everyone. If you’re weighing your options, it helps to contact an expert, and Conrad Roofing of Illinois has just the expertise you need. Call us at 773-286-6212 today!