How Much Does a Slate Roof Cost in 2023?

The average cost of installing a slate roof typically varies from $8,810 to $25,825.

close-up of a slate roof

The cost of a slate roof depends on your roof’s specific shape and size, but on average, prices range from $8,810 to $25,825. Depending on several factors (which we’ll cover in detail in this guide), you could spend as little as $1,375 or as much as $45,000 to have a slate roof installed.

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Average Slate Roof Costs

National Average Cost$17,170
Typical Price Range$8,810 – $25,825
Extreme Low End Cost$1,375
Extreme High End Cost$45,000

Depending on the size of your roof and the type of slate roof you choose, you can expect to pay $8,810 to $25,825. The national average cost of a slate roof, across projects of all sizes, is $17,170

Besides the size and type of slate roof you choose, there are many other factors that can affect the price of a slate roof, which we will cover below. You can expect the total costs to be around $1,375 for a low-end project and $45,000 for a high-end project. For example, if you have a smaller roof, the cost of the project will be on the low end, but if you have a larger roof, then the cost will be on the high end. 

Slate Roof Cost Estimator by Roof Size and Slate Type

There are two different types of slate roofs you could choose to install, and their costs are drastically different. The two options are: 

  • Natural slate
  • Synthetic slate

Natural slate can cost between $17.50 and $35 per square foot to install. It’s made from natural stone, and it’s a lot heavier and more expensive than the synthetic version. If you have an old roof, it may not be able to support the weight of natural slate tiles.

Roof size (square feet)Natural slate typical price range (materials and installation)
1,500$26,250 – $52,500
3,000$52,500 – $105,000
4,500$78,750 – $157,000

Synthetic slate costs between $9.50 and $16 per square foot to install. It’s usually made from a mixture of recycled materials. Synthetic slate costs are lower than natural slate costs because the synthetic material is easier to install and cheaper than natural slate. 

Roof Size (square feet)Synthetic slate typical price range (materials and installation)
1,500$14,250 – $24,000
3,000$28,500 – $48,000
4,500$42,750 – $72,000

Discuss with a roofing contractor in your area to find out which type of slate would be best for your climate, home size, and budget.

Other Factors that Affect Cost

Aside from the size of your roof and the type of slate, here are some other factors that could affect the cost of your slate roof. 

Roof Design

Depending on how your roof is designed, the costs of a slate roof can vary. For example, if you have a relatively flat roof with very little slope, the cost of the roof will be on the lower end, because the installation will require less work and less time.

On the other hand, if your roof features hazards or obstacles, such as steep slopes or a skylight to work around, the installation will be more difficult and take longer, so you’ll spend more on labor costs. 

Additional Materials 

When it comes to a slate roof, you need some additional materials to protect your roof and home from the elements. Examples include:

  • Bituminous membrane
  • Weather shield
  • Copper flashings and nails
  • Structural reinforcement
  • Sheathing

These materials will help protect your roof in the long term, but they can make your upfront roof replacement cost significantly higher. Check with your roofing company to see what your roof needs.  

Installation isn’t the last time you’ll spend money on your slate roof. If you want it to last as long as possible, you’ll have to maintain it. That means additional services (and additional costs) over the years, including:

Roof Cleaning

A professional roof cleaning costs about $370 to $600 on average. To increase your roof’s lifespan, you should have it cleaned once a year, especially if your area gets a lot of rain or if your roof is exposed to dirt, moss, and other debris. 

Roof Inspection

Just like roof cleaning, you should have your roof inspected by a professional every year. A roof inspection costs $120 – $320 on average, and it can save you a lot of money in the long run by catching issues with your roof before they become serious. 

Roof Repairs

Your roof will likely need a few repairs during its lifetime, especially if you live in an area prone to severe weather events. The typical roof repair costs between $348 and $1,186. How much you spend entirely depends on the extent of the damage being repaired. 

Cost of Slate Roofing by Location

Slate – the natural kind, at least – is a mineral that has to be mined. It then has to be shipped to your roofing contractor. If you live close to where natural slate is produced, such as in Virginia or the northeast United States, you can expect the cost of slate roofing to decrease due to reduced shipping costs. 

FAQ About Slate Roofs

Can you install slate roofing DIY?

Unless you are an experienced roofing professional, you should not attempt to DIY any roofing project. Roofing is a complicated process that requires specialized tools and experience. Plus, slate roofing is tricky even for roofers because it’s so heavy. 

Trust us on this one: You won’t save any money by installing your own roof. You’ll probably spend even more money fixing the damage you cause – to your home or yourself.

What is the life expectancy of a slate roof?

Depending on the type of slate roof you decide to install, the life expectancy can vary:

  • Synthetic slate roof lifespan: 20 – 50 years
  • Natural slate roof lifespan: 50 – 200 years

Slate’s long lifespan is probably the number one appeal of this type of roof.

Should I put shingles or slate on my roof?

Shingles are the most common roofing material in most of the US because they’re so cost-effective. These roofing shingles cost $128 – $190 per square on average. On the other hand, slate is more durable and lasts longer than shingles. 

Does a slate roof add value to my home?

With an ROI of 85% and a potential lifespan of 200 years, a slate roof is definitely worth the cost and will add value to your home. 

Find a Slate Roofing Pro Near You 

Depending on the type of slate roof material you install and the size of your roof, the cost of a slate roof will be between $8,810 and $25,825. There are a variety of different factors that can affect the total cost of a slate roof, including your roof design and the additional materials needed. 

By hiring a trusted roofing pro near you to install your slate roof, you can expect to have a roof that keeps you warm, keeps water out, and lasts for years to come – potentially for the rest of your life. 

Main Image Credit: George-Standen / Canva Pro / License

Sashank Sankar