Slate, Concrete/Clay Tile or Metal?
If you had a choice of any roof material what would you choose? This assumes money is not a barrier and all the materials are readily available. What does each material offer? Let’s take a look at them, Slate and Clay tile are the natural material out of the options however this may limit colour choices whereas concrete tiles do have a wider colour choice and metal does have a massive range of colours to choose from.
Concrete tiles are as their name suggests cement based, while metal has different components depending on the grade you want but are most definitely not a natural resource. If time is an issue metal is the quickest to install followed by the concrete/clay tiles and then Slate but does this give an indication to what to expect lifespan wise from your chosen material? I would say yes as I do not know of a material deemed of higher quality that you can install faster than a material of a lesser quality and if this statement was true I would expect the lower quality and longer to install material to very quickly become obsolete. As longer install time does mean a higher cost.
From an aesthetic point of view Slate does look like a ‘picture postcard’ compared to the other materials when completed. However Metal can create many wonderful shapes and no doubt give Architects dreams of ‘awards’ with its clean lines and modern look. But I have always believed it is the customer who should have the final say on what their house should look like (assuming they are not constrained by local building laws) and too many times Architects impose their will on the customer and steer them away from their preferred choice for not the right reasons.
I would advise anyone considering their different options with roof materials to do a bit of digging around as there is information out there and you can then make an educated decision that will suit you.
Maintenance wise the metal does need more looking after than the other options with Slate being the least in need of upkeep. And I would even go as far to say that a Slate Roof would if correctly installed with quality materials be maintenance free. Whereas a metal roof will need maintenance and in comparison to a Slate Roof it would be unfair to compare life expectancy as even when a Slate Roof does need renewal you can in many cases re-use the slate and just need to re-new the roof underlay and battens this is also true for Clay tile roofs and to a lesser extent Concrete tile roofs. Whereas this would not be possible with a metal as this will need replacing many times in comparison to the Slate/Concrete or Clay tile roofs.