The three most important parts of a quality slate roof installation are having quality materials, the right contractor for the job, and knowing the in's and out's of slate roofing yourself.
Quality Slate for Your Slate Roof
Since slate roofing is a natural material, there can be large variations in quality and color, sometimes even with tiles sourced from the same pit. Make sure the slate roofing you choose has been tested for durability.
It is also important to trust the slate tile manufacturer. A quality manufacturer will examine every tile they produce, and will hand-punch the holes. If your shipment has a large amount of broken tiles, you can likely put the blame on the manufacturer. Make sure your slate roof installation contractor knows and trusts their producer.
Choosing Your Slate Roof Installation Contractor
Slate installation is nothing like asphalt installation. There are tons of small details that can either make or literally break your new slate roof installation. When obtaining quotes for your slate installation, find out their track record. If possible, visit past slate installation jobs they have done, and talk to the homeowners.
Go over their slate installation proposal with a fine-tooth comb. It should include all information regarding the slate roofing they are using, the type of nails, underlayment, flashing and cant strip they will be using, as well as the number of squares to be installed. No detail should be left out, and they should be able to answer every single question you pose.
The bottom line is that you should not let your slate roof be the guinea pig for an inexperienced slater. An inexperienced slate installation contractor can make many easily avoided mistakes, costing you a lot of money.
Educate Yourself on Slate Roof Installation
"Knowing is half the battle," after all. Scour the internet for slate installation tips and tricks, know the components of a roof by heart, become a foliated metamorphic rock nerd. Knowing the ins and outs of slate installation, as well as the most common mistakes, will also help you when choosing your slate roof installation contractor.
However educated you are on slate roof installation, consider hiring a slate roofing consultant, before the job begins. The cost may be worth it to ensure a proper slate installation.
Slate Roof Installation: The Final Word
Remember, a well-constructed slate roof can easily last 100 years. But rushing ahead could mean that your roof needs to be ripped off almost as soon as it has been installed. Take your time, do your research, and be sure you can enjoy your beautiful new roof for decades to come.