John Russo

John Russo

Richard B. Arnold Real Estate

A Slate Roof Is Simply Beautiful: Is it for You?

Many homes on the North Shore of Long Island have a slate roof. Manhasset, Roslyn, Port Washington, and many other North Shore communities have countless homes that enjoy the beauty of a slate roof. As you begin your search for a home, a slate roof is a luxury that must be examined from many angles.

Slate roofing has been celebrated for centuries because of its beauty & its longevity. However, investing in a house with a slate roof is a big financial commitment. Therefore, smart buyers will consider the advantages & disadvantages of having a slate roof before making a purchase decision.


Aesthetically Appealing Appearance

No matter what you believe about the look of a slate roof, its natural aesthetics are what capture people’s attention. As I previously mentioned, slate roofing has been celebrated for centuries for its classic, natural beauty. Whether a home is a classic Victorian townhouse or one modeled after the Tudor style of architecture, the texture and color of slate roofing can enhance the overall appearance of a house. 

Multi-colored slate offers a striking design option for your home.

A slate roof gives you the liberty to customize the roofing just the way you like it. In terms of color, you have the option of classic slate grey, red, green, black, and purple. You can also find mottled slate tiles that have a mixture of colors. Besides its customizable nature, slate roofing retains its distinctive aesthetics over time.


Slate roofing is known for its uncontested durability when compared to other man-made roofing materials. Since slate is a natural stone, it is waterproof, which means it’s immune to damage caused by heavy rain, snow and wind.

Slate roofing, unlike other man-made and natural roofing materials, is non-combustible, which makes it fire resistant. This means that in case of a fire, slate roofing can prevent the fire from getting out of hand.

Longevity of the Material

There are only a handful of other roofing materials that come close to competing with slate roofing in regards to longevity. A reasonable life expectancy of a slate roof on a house on the North Shore of Long Island is between 100 to 150 years when constructed, installed and maintained correctly. If this doesn’t fit the definition of long-lasting, what else will!

Compared to other roofing materials that require replacement within 20-30 years of being installed, slate roofing is a reliable option.

Increased Home Resale Value

When searching for a home on the North Shore of Long Island, people always consider aesthetics. With its durability, longevity, and aesthetic appeal, a slate roof increases the resale value of the home.  Who doesn’t want a house that sells quickly at a great price?!?!

With that said, let us not forget that there are some cons to slate roofing as well, which are just as important to consider when looking at houses.


Heavy Weight

Even though slate roofing has several positive attributes, its heavy weight sometimes prevents contractors from installing it. The general average weight of 100 square feet of slate roofing is anywhere between 800 and 1500 pounds.

It is crucial for the long-term structural integrity of your home that you get it evaluated to see whether the structure can bear the weight. If your house lacks this integrity, you might end up needing additional reinforcement to support slate roofing.


While slate roofing is durable against weather and fire, it can be quite fragile. Since slate roofing is essentially sheets of hard stone, they snap easily when stepped on by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. You will find numerous incidences detailed by North Shore, Long Island homeowners about how an inexperienced HVAC contractor broke a couple of tiles while on the roof. Imagine the horror of the homeowners as they then need to spend money fixing a roof that was supposed to last over 100 years!

Replacement Issues

Tiles for slate roofing come in a lot, making it quite difficult to find replacement tiles that match the ones already on the roof. And as we already know, finding the right fit can be quite a vexing process. Beyond the price concern, you have to factor in functionality.  The more difficult and time consuming it is to replace sections of your roof, the higher the chance of other complications – perhaps water issues! 


Lastly, it is no hidden fact that slate roofing can be an expensive investment. Besides the direct high cost of tiles per square feet, you need to hire trained and specialized contractors to install the roofing. With direct and indirect costs combined, slate roofing can be out of the budget for some homeowners.


A slate roof is beautiful!  It adds character to your home and compliments a variety of architectural styles.  It is also a long-term investment that adds value to your home.

That said, a slate roof is expensive – really expensive!

If the investment is within your budget, then you should jump in and enjoy the benefits!  If the costs are a concern and you’d rather redirect the funds into another area of your home, then you should consider avoiding a slate roof.

Either way, don’t hesitate to contact me directly if you have any questions about Long Island homes.  The Russo Kaufman Team at Richard B. Arnold Real Estate is here to assist you with all of your real estate needs.

John Russo

John Russo

John transitioned from a 30-year successful career on Wall Street to follow his true passion, real estate. As part of The Russo Kaufman Team at Richard B. Arnold Real Estate, John has become a key member of this boutique agency. He has lived in Sea Cliff for over 20 years and is highly regarded in the community. Click on John's picture to see all of the homes available for sale on Long Island.

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