A Guide to Slate Roofing: Pros, Cons, and Costs

Roofer installing slate roofing tiles

For centuries, slate has graced the rooftops of castles, cathedrals, and homes across the globe. This timeless material boasts unmatched elegance and durability, making it a coveted choice for those seeking a truly exceptional roof. But is a slate roof right for you?

While slate offers a plethora of advantages, it’s important to acknowledge that it also comes with its own set of drawbacks. By taking a balanced look at the pros and cons of slate roofing, you can make an informed decision that aligns perfectly with your needs and budget.

Pros of Slate Roofing

Made from natural stone, slate roofing is undoubtedly a beautiful addition to any home. And its popularity only highlights the impressive list of advantages you could enjoy from installing this roofing material. If you’re considering slate tiles for your home, take a closer look at the numerous advantages of slate roofing:

Unmatched Longevity

Slate is renowned for its exceptional lifespan. With proper installation and occasional maintenance, a slate roof can last for well over a century. This translates to significant long-term savings, as you’ll likely never need another roof in your lifetime.

Natural Beauty

Slate brings a natural beauty that is unmatched by most other roofing materials. Available in various shades and textures, it can complement any architectural style, from historic to contemporary, enhancing a home’s curb appeal and potentially its resale value.


Slate is incredibly strong and resistant to a wide range of elements. It is impervious to rot, is fire-resistant, and can withstand harsh weather conditions, including heavy rain, snow, and strong winds. This translates to peace of mind, knowing your home is well-protected for generations to come.

Energy Efficiency

Slate’s natural properties contribute to improved energy efficiency in your home. During the summer, it helps to keep your home cool, reducing reliance on air conditioning. Conversely, in the winter, slate’s thermal mass helps to retain heat, lowering heating costs.

Low Maintenance

While slate does require occasional maintenance, such as inspections and minor repairs, it’s generally a low-maintenance roofing material. Unlike other materials that may need frequent replacements, a slate roof offers long-term value.

Increased Resale Value

A slate roof can be a significant selling point when it comes time to put your home on the market. It is a quality roof that boasts incredible durability and aesthetic appeal. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to own a home with a slate roofing system?

Cons of Slate Roofing

While slate offers a plethora of advantages for homeowners looking to install new roofing systems, it also comes with some potential red flags. Before making the decision to install slate tiles, weigh these disadvantages of slate roofing against the advantages:

  • High Cost: Slate is one of the most expensive roofing materials on the market. The cost encompasses not just the material itself but also the specialized installation required by experienced roofing contractors.
  • Weight: Slate is a heavy material, and not all roofs are structurally designed to support its weight. Reinforcing your roof trusses may be necessary, adding to the overall cost.
  • Breakage: Although durable, slate can be susceptible to chipping or cracking if walked on or struck by heavy objects. However, with proper installation and maintenance, the risk of breakage is minimal.
  • Slippery Surface: Slate can be a slippery surface when wet. This can be a safety concern for those who need to access the roof for maintenance purposes. Proper safety measures should always be taken when working on a slate roof.
  • Limited Color Options: Compared to other roofing materials, slate offers a more limited color palette. However, the natural variations within each slate color provide a unique and beautiful aesthetic.

How Much Does Slate Roofing Cost?

As we mentioned earlier, slate’s high cost is its number one drawback. On average, you can expect to pay a total cost ranging from $14,000 to $60,000 for a typical house. Of course, it’s important to note that some projects reach up to $100,000. For a more accurate estimate, it’s always best to consult with a reputable roofing contractor who can assess your specific roof and provide a detailed quote.

Why does the cost of a slate roof vary so dramatically? Well, the costs depend on several factors, including:

  • Slate Type: There are various types of slate available, each with its own price point. Typically, harder slates are more expensive due to their increased durability.
  • Color: Certain slate colors may be rarer or more in demand, leading to a higher cost.
  • Thickness: Thicker slate tiles are generally more expensive but offer enhanced strength and longevity.
  • Square Footage: The size of your roof directly impacts the total material and labor costs.
  • Roof Complexity: Steeper roof pitches, multiple roof valleys, and other complex roof designs can increase the installation cost.
  • Location: Labor rates and slate availability in your area can influence the final cost.

Considering Slate Roofing? Schedule a Consultation

Slate roofing is a significant investment, and it’s important to choose the right roofing contractor for the job. At Allabaugh Construction, we have extensive experience with slate roof installations and repairs. Our team of certified professionals can guide you through the process, answer your questions, and provide a free consultation to determine if a slate roof is the best fit for your home.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule a roof replacement that will help you achieve a beautiful, long-lasting roof that complements your home and adds value for generations to come.