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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Howard Urbine, Agent, West Grove, PA
Wed Mar 5, 2014

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.
3 votes
This is very helpful, thanks. I knew that slate roofing can last forever, but it sounds like it depends on how it was installed as well. It's nice to know you can still decide when it comes time for a repair. For some houses, slate really does look better.
Flag Fri Jun 26, 2015
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.
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
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Wed Mar 5, 2014
For accurate information/advice, you really should be consulting with any local roofing specialists...
2 votes
Deborah Wilk…, Agent, Lancaster, PA
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
I think slate roofing is great as long as it has been properly cared for. If you give it enough attention it will do really well protecting your house. It's pretty similar to other materials used for roofing. Really it just comes down to what kind of area you live in, because some materials work better in different climates.
Flag Fri Mar 6, 2015
Phil Rotondo, Agent, Melbourne, FL
Wed Mar 5, 2014
Have it inspected .
1 vote
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 |
Flag Fri May 30, 2014
Albiecardew, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Fri Jul 17, 2015
Installing a slate roof can be a big expense mainly because it is such a good investment. If installed properly, slate roofs can last longer than most other types of roofs. Likewise, slate is typically a nicer looking type, which can increase the value of your home. I would suggest contacting a roofing company or realtor to see what they would advice for your home type and area. It may be worth the cost of investment.
0 votes
Caleb Hart, Renter, Orem, UT
Thu May 7, 2015
I would start by calling a roofing contractor. Ask the contractors about slate roofing and how it is maintained. You can also get a rough estimate from them and see what your potential expenses might be. That's what I would do if I were you.
0 votes
lynnnchase9, , Omaha, NE
Mon Apr 13, 2015
I'm not that familiar with slate roofing. However, if I were you, I would call a roofing company in your area and ask them what they think. Because they deal with a variety of roofs, they should know which one is best for you and your situation. They can also help answer any other questions you may have. I would try calling one in your area soon!…
0 votes
Lori Hicks, Agent, Columbus, OH
Tue Mar 17, 2015
Talk with a roofer that specializes in slate roofing.
0 votes
Gerald Vonbe…, Home Buyer, Jackson Springs, NC
Tue Mar 17, 2015
I would imagine that slate would last a really long time. Since it's stone, there's not much that normal weather can do to it that would make you have to replace it. As far as the cost of it is concerned, I'm not sure if it's much different than other roofing. Like I said, the big benefit of slate roofing is that it lasts a long time.
0 votes
Celine Sande…, Home Buyer, Walla Walla, WA
Tue Mar 3, 2015
I don't think a slate roof would be too much more expensive than other quality materials. However, yes, roofs will always be a large expense that you need to plan ahead for. I feel like you could look into a warranty with a roofing company to cover repairs. At least you didn't have to pay to get everything installed. It would just be a potential repairing issue in the future. Good luck, Kammhron!
0 votes
Gary Swank, Agent, Pittsburgh, PA
Sun Feb 15, 2015
Slate roofs that are well maintained have a long life. While it is true they are expensive to replace, many home owners replace with normal or specialized shingles to save cost.
0 votes
Myersjulie31, Home Buyer, Blakeslee, PA
Fri Feb 13, 2015
Slate roofs can sound a bit daunting, but honestly overall I think they seem nice. I would say that you shouldn't worry about replacing it right now. I have heard that they last for quite some time, so you might as well wait until it wears out. Then you can decide if you want to replace it with another slate roof, or if you want to try out a different type of roofing!
0 votes
lewisremingt…, Home Owner, Rochester, NY
Tue Feb 10, 2015
It depends on if you are replacing all of it or just part. I would figure replacing all of it would be quite a bit more costly than repairing, but in the end it's worth it because slate lasts forever. I would encourage you to buy the home.
0 votes
Diana Hellman, Agent, Larchmont, NY
Tue Oct 14, 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
Mary Jane Pr…, Home Buyer, Provo, UT
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 |
0 votes
Not Valid, Agent, Cotuit, MA
Fri Jul 25, 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
Lisa Wetzel…, Agent, Gardnerville, NV
Tue Jun 10, 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
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
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
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
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
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