Dear PoP – roofing material

Photo by PoPville flickr user JosephLeonardo

“Dear PoP,

I know you have fielded a lot of requests about roofing lately but I am curious if any of your readers have used any of the faux slate products for replacement roofs.”

Anyone have experience with faux slate products for roofs?

10 Comment

  • My porch roof is of faux slate made from recycled plastics. Had they been properly installed, they would be great. As is, they have buckled in a couple of places because the installers didn’t properly gap between pieces. Prices and quality are all over the map, so my advice would be to look into specific products with high ratings, and then get multiple estimates considering only those specific products–don’t let a roofer sweet-talk you into a manufacturer or product line you’ve never heard of.

  • We had our roof redone last year using Ecostar synthetic slate. It is made from recycled products. Ecostar has a very good reputations and is one of the older producers of such products. We’ve been very happy with the roof.

    • My neighbor and I both installed using Ecostar products and are satisfied with the results. Certainly from the street you can’t tell it isn’t real slate which is a good thing since we live in a historic district and in theory should have replaced the roof with slate.

  • I’ve heard that real slate is very, I mean VERY VERY expensive. Is there a significant cost savings with the synthetic stuff?

    • There is a very big cost difference.

    • I had estimates to replace an 80+ year old slate roof that was starting to fail. As I recall, Ecostar faux slate was about 65% of the cost of real slate, and Certainteed 35 year asphalt shingles were about 50% the cost of the Ecostar.

  • we had ours redone with real slate – for a small mansard most of the cost was in labor, not materials. that said, labor included chipping each piece of slate into the diamond shape to match our original.

  • greenroofgoddess

    We installed synthetic slate on the front angle and peak of our house when we installed our green roof. Ordered through Smoot Lumber in Alexandria, we got 3 different colors in the deep bevel/fish scale shape to match the historic look of the house and add a pattern. Can’t tell the difference, even up close, and it was very easy for the roofers to install.

    Another option is to use reclaimed slate, which Second Chance in Baltimore often stocks.

  • Check out Community Forklift if you want real slate. I saw several pallets of them there this past weekend. I don’t know the price though, since I wasn’t looking to buy any, but a friendly call to them may give you a price check. Everything there is pretty cheap, so I imagine it can’t be too bad, but who knows…

  • Beware — Faux slate is not appropriate for low-slope roofs. We have faux slate over our bay window. The pitch of the roof is less than 3:1, and the roof leaks badly. The manufacturer’s instructions say not to install it on roof with a slope of less than 3:1, and it not ideal for roofs with a pitch of 3:1 to 6:1. Don’t let a contractor talk you into faux slate because it looks nice if the slope of your roof isn’t steep enough!

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