Natural slate is a heavy material that can be quite expensive to install for steep slope roofing or any roofing for that matter. The ability to gauge the correct amount of slate needed varies with the project because each roof is sized and shaped differently.
With natural slate, additional material is required due to breakage. Natural slate also requires more labor – not only to set up the roof pattern (if you’re getting a variety of colors), but also it requires more labor to roof a structure with natural slate. This results in a higher overall roofing cost because installing natural slate is labor intensive in addition to the expense of the slate itself.
When you choose slate alternative roofing tiles, you are installing a lightweight roofing material that weighs only about a third of the amount per square as natural slate.
Composite lightweight roofing tiles from DaVinci Roofscapes weigh on average 300 pounds per square as compared to 1,000+ pounds per square for slate.
In many cases, roofs that are able to withstand the weight of an asphalt roof can also withstand a polymer roof so no additional reinforcement is needed to the structure of the building. With a lighter material, transportation costs are reduced as well.
Installation is easily applied with a nail gun; whereas, natural slate must be nailed by hand. These roofing tiles offer durable flexibility with little breakage so there is hardly any waste as compared to natural slate which easily breaks due to its fragility and requires much more cutting and waste in the installation process. Cutting composite tiles doesn’t require any special equipment or tools. As a matter of fact, they can even be cut with a utility knife.