Home Buying in Lancaster>Question Details

kammhron, Home Buyer in Lancaster, PA

Any advice on buying a home with a slate roof? I would assume it is a big expense to replace. Thanx.

Asked by kammhron, Lancaster, PA Wed Mar 5, 2014

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I have a fair amount of experience with slate roofing. I bought a flipper home years ago with a slate roof in need of some attention as well as a multi unit I still have that had a slate roof. The reply from Texas is correct. It is a stone and therefore can last almost forever unless something breaks it. It is the nails that wear out by rusting. Slates then fall out and break. If done from scratch now, stainless steel nails would be my choice. You cannot just walk on it as it will crack and break and that makes clearing branches, leaves from valleys, painting trim and cleaning chimneys a bit more challenging. If it is the right and valuable slate, there have been times a company will remove it and pay you close to what a new shingle roof costs. I opted to repair the slate roof on the home I was renovating but even the repair was a bit costly for what seemed like minor and minimal repairs but the house, a 3 story brick Victorian, is over 100 years old, the roof looks classy, and is certainly going to last way into the future. The other building I own had a slate roof that previous roofers nailed shingles over thus punching holes in all the slate. My roofers said they had never seen that before. I had it all removed and put regular shingles back on. It didn't really cost much differently, just a little more labor to remove since there was not sheathing under it and the cost of sheathing. For the repairs, I used Lantz Slate Roofing in Lancaster and spoke to Aaron, 717-656-2620.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2014
I've never had a slate roof before. Thanks for posting about your experience with it. I think that slate roofs would cost as much as other types of roofs. It could be good purchase for you. Slate roofs can look great. http://www.hgnroofing.com.au
Flag Mon Oct 27, 2014
Great reply. Thanx very much for the valuable info. I will definitely keep Lantz in mind.
Flag Wed Mar 5, 2014
For accurate information/advice, you really should be consulting with any local roofing specialists...
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2014
Roofers report that a slate roof has a longer life than a composite shingle roof. Having said that, the age of the slate roof and to what degree it has been maintained all play a part in it's current life. There are many Roofing companies in Lancaster PA that will evaluate a slate roof. Most charge a fee for this valuable evaluation.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2014
Have it inspected .
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2014
I've heard lots of good things about slate roofing. My grandmother recently had her roof redone with slate. So far, she's very happy with it.

Sal Wesson | http://www.copperslateroofingbaltimore.com/Roofing-Services-Baltimore-MD.html
Flag Fri May 30, 2014
They are beautiful! Slate lasts about 5 times as long, but costs 5 times as much. From that standpoint, it's a wash. But slate is fragile and hard to repair. It shouldn't be walked on like a regular roof, so be absolutely certain you use roofers that have experience with this type of material.

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Best of luck!

Alysse Musgrave
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2014
Generally slate roofs are considered part of a quality built home. It is advisable to have a roofer service it each year or two as occasionally one or two slates may be needed to be replaced, but a slate roof can last longer than the time you would be living in your home. I have a tile roof that was put on in the 1920s and with proper maintenance, they last longer than a lifetime.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 14, 2014
I think that buying a slate roof would be a pretty solid investment. It could really benefit you when you try to sell your home in the future. It might be costly if you tried to replace the roof you have now. I would really suggest taking pride in what you already have.

Mary Jane | http://customcupola.com/wp/?page_id=121
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 14, 2014
If you are unsure about this bring in a contractor who can tell you if it needs to be replaced, or if it can be repaired for a reasonable amount. Buyers that have a support system such as a Realtor, and an engineer or contractor are always the best informed buyers!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 25, 2014
I've never experienced it but I agree, my thought is that there could be tremendous expense. Check with a reliable firm, maybe two, to get expert opinions.

Lisa Wetzel and Jim Valentine

Certified Distressed Property Expert, CDPE
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates
1320 Hwy 395
Gardnerville, NV 89410
775-781-5472 Lisa
775-781-3704 Jim
775-781-3703 Jessie
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 10, 2014
Have a professional come out and inspect it for loose slate every year and get an ice dam. They can cost $50k+ depending on the size of the home and slate you use. The good thing is they can last 100 years...

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 10, 2014
Properly maintained, slate roofs will last a good long time. The problem, however, is one of finding a trades person skilled in this dying art.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 10, 2014
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