The Pros and Cons of a Slate Roof
Slate roofing tiles have historically been known as one of the highest quality and longest lasting roofing materials; not only does a slate roof look beautiful, it is one of the most durable roofing materials available. However, there are some drawbacks to a slate roof; the entire roofing job requires an experienced contractor as a slate roof is not easily installed and the tiles can be fragile and break easily. A slate roof may not be for everyone, but there are many situations when a slate roof is the best choice.
There are many reasons to choose a slate roof, and the appearance is just one. Roofing Jobs Online, an authoritative online roofing resource, says that “A slate roof is beautiful; depending on the style of home you live in, a slate roof can make your home elegant and sophisticated. Slate tiles come in a variety of sizes and thicknesses and a wide range of colors allowing the homeowner to have roof with a unique design pattern.”
Slate roofing tiles are designed to last at least 100 years; and 150 years is not an unrealistic expectation if the roof is installed properly. Although most of us do not live in the same house for this length of time, a slate roof is a big plus when it comes to resale. The new owners will be pleased to know that the roof will not need replacing for many years to come.
A slate roof is one of the most fire-resistant roofs that exist; the slate tiles themselves are completely fire proof. This is a big advantage if you live in an area prone to brush and wildfires; depending on the area you live in a slate roof could be a prudent investment for this reason only. Slate is also an environmentally friendly roofing choice. According to statistics, roofing waste accounts for more than 5% of the total waste sent to landfills; asphalt shingle that must be replaced every 20 to 30 years are the primary component of that waste and since slate roofs need only be replace every century or so, they do not contribute to that waste.
There are several drawbacks to slate roofs, most notably is the cost. Slate is an expensive roofing choice and the installation makes it even more costly. Slate is difficult to install and takes a very knowledgeable and skilled contractor to install it properly; this causes the cost to be even higher. When choosing a contractor to install you slate roof make sure he or she has the experience necessary and don’t be afraid to ask for references.
The weight of a slate roof is another drawback; a slate roof can weigh between 800 and 1,500 pounds per 100 square feet. You will need to make sure that your home is structurally equipped to handle this weight before deciding on a slate roof. Another disadvantage to a slate roof is the fragility; slate tiles break very easily. If you do choose a slate roof make sure any maintenance technicians that may need to be on your roof know how to walk on a slate roof without breaking the tiles; it is often difficult to find matching replacement tiles.
As you can see, a slate roof has many advantages and disadvantages. It is important to take all these into consideration before choosing a slate roof. If you do decide on a slate roof you will have a beautiful, long lasting roofing system that will be the envy of the neighborhood.
Is Your Roofing Contractor a Con Man? Red Flags & Warning Signs
When it is time to replace or repair the roof of your home then you need to find the top residential roofing contractor for the money.
Unfortunately all roofing contractors are not the same, and besides the basic differences there is a chance that you will need to weed out at least one con man in the crowd.
There are some red flags that will alert you to a shady contractor and these warnings can save you money and time as well as keep those frustrations at bay.
A reputable residential roofing business will have a permanent address and more than one telephone number. Make sure that you are able to get a home and business address as well as home and work phone numbers from any individual who claims to be a professional roofing contractor.
Do not accept this information at face value. Be sure to follow up by thoroughly checking up on the information you are provided.
Lack of Professional Credentials
Check with the Better Business Bureau or professional contractor’s associations in your area to determine the validity of the roofing contractors with whom you are negotiating. Most roofing businesses will be known to one or more of these organizations.
One of the key tipoffs is a lack of appropriate licensing. Con men and shady residential roofing contractors may come up with excuses but they will not be able to show you a valid contractor’s license.
Check the Insurance
Residential roofing contractors who are honest will be able to verify that they have insurance coverage. Never hire anyone who is merely promising to ‘get the necessary insurance’. Demand that these professional overages be in effect beforehand.
Refusal to Answer Detailed Questions
If the contractor is hesitant or refusing to fully answer your questions about this roofing project you should be wary of their intentions.
A reputable contractor will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Bids that are Too Good to Believe
If a residential roofing contractor is bidding and the price they quote is far lower than any other estimates this is a major red flag.
While everyone wants to save money the quotes for a residential roofing renovation should all be in the same ballpark. If one bid is thousands of dollars less than any others on the board you should investigate thoroughly before just blindly accepting the bid. In almost every instance an offer that is too good to believe-is just that-unbelievalbe.
Lack of References
This is another tipoff that should have you doubting the professionalism of a potential residential roofing company. A reputable contractor will be able to furnish you with at least a few references that can be checked out and verified.
Dancing around a Written Contract
Con men will try to tempt you with the promise of low cost and speedy service.
However they will usually be reluctant to sign a formal contract that legally binds them to complete the work as promised. If you notice any reluctance to enter into a work contract you should drop the residential roofing contractor immediately, just as you would drop a ‘hot baked potato’.
Some of the less reputable individuals in the construction industry will be very inflexible on certain demands. They may insist on handling all of the material purchases and refuse to consider other options. These individuals may also demand large amounts of money for the job ahead of time. Some will insist you pay all of the costs before they even start the job.
The Instant Sealing Offer
One of the oldest con games in the business is the offer of a roof sealant. Generally these individuals will come to your door and state they have some roofing sealant left over from another job. They will offer to cover your roof for a very cheap price.
This is one time when you do not even have to consider the decision-Just say No.
There are some types of sealants that can be used on residential roofing projects but this is not what these shady folks are trying to sell you.