There’s no question about it, one of the strongest choices you can make when it’s time to put a roof on your new home is a slate roof. A slate roof that’s installed correctly and maintained with care will last more than a lifetime; slate roofing regularly lasts well over 100 years, and it makes your home look elegant and classy. Plus, whether they’re made from natural materials or composition roof materials, slate roof tiles are very green, and come in a wide range of designer options. And, not only do the natural colors of slate tiles look great, but they’re easy to paint, making them a good choice for the homeowner who wants a more diverse and customizable house.
But, with these awesome advantages comes a price. The best slate roofing materials can cost upwards of four times the cost of traditional asphalt shingle roofing, or even more. Fortunately, the high-end stuff isn’t necessary for every roof; there are plenty of great synthetic slate roof alternatives to natural stone. You can even get the same great look from tiles made from recyclables! Let’s break down the numbers you might expect to hear from roofing contractors in Raleigh, NC when you call to ask, “How much does a slate roof cost?”
Costs Involved in the Price of a Slate Roof
Contracting jobs rarely come at the same price for different customers; this is because each and every job is going to have different demands. Obviously, a larger roof is going to cost more money, but it’s not just the materials. There can be a few factors that play into how much your slate roof will cost.
Cost of Labor
Nobody works for free! And, since slate isn’t the most common roof type in North Carolina, not every roofing contractor is going to be very well versed in the process of installing slate roofs. You don’t want to skimp on the labor cost and hire a substandard roofer who’s going to do a poor job installing your expensive roof. But, be aware that that experienced roofing contractors may pay their crews as much as $25 – $31 per hour, and it can take two laborers a whole 10-12 hours to install 100 square feet of roofing. $31 per worker is $62 per hour, which, at only 10 hours, comes out to $620 for that 100 square foot job.
Considering your roof is probably more like 1200 square feet, let’s multiply that out: $620 x 12 = $7,440. If you need your old asphalt shingles to be stripped up first, you could be looking at many additional labor hours on top of this. And that’s just to pay the guys installing the roof! Like we mentioned, these numbers can vary greatly, but this should give you the idea of the cost of a good slate roof.
Cost of Materials
You’ll see even more price variation when it comes to the actual cost of the slate roof tiles themselves. Natural slate roofing is the most attractive choice for many homeowners… until they see the cost of the tiles.
Type of Slate – Hard or Soft
There are two varieties of natural slate tiles; hard and soft. As you might have guessed, hard slate tiles are more durable, and have a much longer lifespan– up to 200 years in some cases! But, hard slate is the crème de la crème of slate roof tiles. These sturdy and attractive tiles can cost a staggering amount of money. Still, we’re talking about a roof that’ll last you a lifetime; if you can bear this tremendous cost up front, you’ll enjoy the benefits of it for the rest of your days.
That’s not to say that soft slate isn’t still an excellent choice for your roof! The one key difference is that soft slate tiles tend to need replacing when they start getting old, whereas hard slate tiles can often be reinforced or refurbished into better condition. Soft slate tiles come at nearly half the price as hard slate tiles. They’re still quite pricey when compared to lowly asphalt shingles, or even steel tiles. But, if you’ve read this far, then you know a slate roof is a premium choice for a luxurious home.
Be aware, too, that there are going to be some extraneous material costs involved in any roofing job, and installing a slate roof is no different. Everything from copper flashing, weatherproofing materials, and even the very nails in the roof will be factored into the cost you’ll pay for your roofing job.
Synthetic Slate Roofing
In the 21st century, even homeowners who have a more price-oriented approach to their roof-buying are able to enjoy the awesome benefits and sleek visual appeal of slate roof tiles without having to take on the enormous cost of natural slate roofing. Synthetic slate roofing materials can be made from all kinds of sources, like galvanized steel, or even recycled rubber and plastic.
Because these are factory-made and widely available, synthetic roofing tiles can be incredibly easy to replace, and it’s easy for replacement slate roof tiles to fit any number of styles. And, they’re often lighter in weight than authentic slate roofing materials, while maintaining much of the durability.
So since we’re here to talk about cost, let’s get to the good stuff: synthetic slate roof tiles runs at about half the cost of natural slate! While this still isn’t quite the supremely low price of asphalt shingles, it staves off the normally very high slate roof cost for the homeowner who needs to keep his pocketbook in mind.
The Real Cost of Installing a Slate Roof
The answer is… you’ll have to do a little math for yourself to figure it out. But here are a few samples to give you an idea to work with.
Let’s keep working with the two roofers earning $31 per hour. We determined that the labor cost of installing a 1,200 square foot roof would be $7,440.
Slate roofs can cost as much as $60-$80 per square foot. $80 x 1,200 square feet = $96,000. With the labor costs, that’s going to surge up over $100,000!
Again; not nearly as cheap as some alternative roofing choices, but if you want the best you can get, then you’re going to shell out a little more to cover your slate roof cost. Don’t worry, you can count on your neighborhood roofing experts at Authentic Restoration to give you a fair estimate on your new synthetic roof.