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From the Forum – Did you Lose Money in Mt. Pleasant? and Any experiences replacing slate?

by Prince Of Petworth June 11, 2014 at 2:10 pm 10 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user elliotmitchell

Did you lose $$$?

“I found some money in a card on Mount Pleasant this past Saturday (5/31). If you think it’s yours, reply here. I’ll need details to know it’s actually yours.”

Any experiences replacing slate?

“We own a typical row house in Columbia Heights and recently lost 3 slate tiles off the front of our roof in one of the storms. We only have slate on the front portion – the rest is a typical tarred flat roof.

We had a guy out today to give us an estimate and he suggested we not bother replacing them with original slate tiles because of the cost to cut them and then replace them and any others which might be loose. He suggested we go with a cheaper synthetic alternative. We have been in our house almost 10 years and are planning another 10 at least so would like to preserve the character. Plus slate can last 100 years. Anyone with experience replacing slate tiles? Good companies to recommend? Anything to look out for?”

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  • “They were indeed what was known as ‘old money’, which meant that it had been made so long ago that the black deeds which had originally filled the coffers were now historically irrelevant. Funny, that: a brigand for a father was something you kept quiet about, but a slave-taking pirate for a great-great-great-grandfather was something to boast of over the port. Time turned the evil bastards into rogues, and rogue was a word with a twinkle in its eye and nothing to be ashamed of.”

    • Paul Tagliabue

      Get a job

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Mr.Pratchett.

  • soozles

    You might check around and see if you can find some slate tiles at someplace like Community Forklift. We had some slate replaced at our Mt. Pleasant house and may even have a few left over.

  • Jack5#

    If the amount of money was above $1,000 it was mine, but I will join the founder to spend it all on beer.

  • crin

    Slates don’t cost that much on a per unit basis, like $4.00 each. Slates are still quarried from family quarries in New England, Pennsylvania and Virginia. If you need alot and special shapes, the quarry will cut them for you.

    The “roofer” you talked to is probably part of an affinity rewards program with a roofing materials corporation. He gets points for every roof he sells. If he gets enough points he takes his family to Hawaii. The roofer you talked to does not get points for a couple slates. Slate doesn’t get him to Hawaii.

    Find a roofer who knows slate and has the equipment to get up your roof. It’s the equipment and getting up there that is expensive, not the slate, so once he’s staged up there have him replace all that make sense. A bit of preventative replacements. Replace slates once in a while, as needed, and a slate roof can last forever.

    Get slates at Roofing Center’s Slate Hill in Bethesda. They can recommend guys who do slate.

    Watch this guy replace a slate in one minute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pf8xdbtiCM0&list=PLCAFA8B61D36361D8#t=469

  • Slate

    It doesn’t sound like you’re trying to do the DIY route with the slate roof, but I’ll weigh in nonetheless.

    Slate can last over 100 years, depending on the conditions. If your front roof is facing the south, 100 years is a good estimate, but if it gets less sun, it will easily last longer–150 years or longer as long as it’s done properly. Also depends on the slate itself: while I love the textured look of ribboned slate, it is weaker and is more likely to break.

    Not sure if you’re considering replacing the entire roof (since your roofer suggested you go synthetic) or just the missing or damaged tiles. Matching the slate may be hard to do: you’ll need the thickness of the slate to match, the cut to be similar, and the slate itself to be similar. If you have a piece of slate (or a whole shingle) and can bring it with you to the quarry/showroom, that would be ideal. Take a good measurement of a full slate tile before you go. Most of the time roofing tile is pre-drilled, so be careful that the holes (used for hanging the slate) are in the right location so your tiles look even.

    I haven’t had any experience with Virginia slate companies, but my dad has used Penn Big Bed Slate Company in Slatington, PA (yes, the town is named after slate). I went with him to the quarry before, it’s a pretty cool place and the variety they have is incredible. A quick google shows that the Buckingham slate quarry in VA is a bit closer, but not by too too much.

    My dad replaced a big slate roof one summer, materials for a roof that is probably about 2500 square feet cost about $10,000, and that was around 2009.

    Personally, if I was looking to replace just a few tiles, I would go to the quarry or showroom myself to make sure I got the right stuff and that I was happy with it. A few tiles would be a small job and so it might be hard to find someone who wants to do such a small job, but it is also something you can teach yourself if you have the inclination.

    If you’re replacing the whole thing, then you can choose your slate and matching thickness and size doesn’t matter as much. You could also arrange a design with different colored slate (though that would up the cost for materials and labor).

    I love slate. My vote is to not replace it with something else.

    • crin

      Had to look this up in my records. Last time I ordered slate, I got 100 reds @ $5.25/ea, 100 unfading greens @ $1.90/ea, and 1,300 Gray-black @ $1.75/ea. Freight was $975. For total of $3,965. This was for a 500 square foot roof. Slates were from Camara Slate Products, Inc. up in Vermont. Vermont is the only source for red slates, and I needed red. Camara offers a 100 year warranty that their slates won’t delaminate of soften.

      • slate

        And red is the most expensive, my dad used all gray/black and hauled/delivered the slate himself, so he saved all the freight costs.

        The roof he replaced was put on in 1880 or before. The one side (in the sun) definitely needed to be replaced. The other could have gone for at least a decade longer, but he wanted to replace it all at once. He was able to pinpoint what quarry it originally came from, but it was long ago shuttered.


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