Slate roofing, practically any kind and type of the many varieties that are included in this broad term, is a fine choice for a home’s roof. The natural material that is slate is rigid, strong like a piece of glass. Depending on where the slate roof was quarried, the qualities, color and longevity vary. The advantages, generally speaking of roofing slate, are many: it is fireproof, strong enough to resist hail storms, aesthetically appealing and can last a century or even longer.
The roofing slate market today is about one twentieth of its size a hundred years ago. The introduction of cheaper materials and steep roofs falling out of architectural fashion are among the causes for this, as is the cost of new slate roof installation. Still, homeowners can choose between the available slate roof kinds sea green slate (a long lasting roof slate that is also known as fading gray-green slate, for its fading color quality due to weathering), purple slate (which keeps to a dark purple color throughout its life), unfading green slate (can last up to 200 years) and Pennsylvania black slate (a softer slate roof material) and others.
Asphalt roofing products are among the most popular roofing materials today. Slate roofs are not as major as they once were. Whereas in the past there were hundreds of quarries across North America, there are only few today, mainly in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Vermont and New York. One of the reasons for the shrinkage of market share is the cost of new slate roof installation is considerably higher than other materials. The price for a new slate roof can climb to about $900 per square including installation, a far cry from the cost of asphalt shingle roofs indeed.
The following instructions assume you already know the dimensions and design of the roof trusses you intend to build. If you do not, or need specially designed roof trusses (and not manufactured ones) contact a Roof 101 professional for assistance.