If only it was that simple! Each of the most frequently installed domestic roofing systems offers plenty of pros, a few moderate cons and a cost. But which one is right for your home – the classic beauty of slate, the Mediterranean appeal of clay or the plentiful options of concrete?
As it’s a choice that’s going to stick with you for a good while, it’s worth knowing what each choice means before you make it.
We’ve put this section first as, unfortunately, it could be as far as you get when deciding on a new roofing system. Slate simply has that incredible, traditional appeal in the UK, and it’s often missed that it’s a naturally heavy material.
Because it’s cut into thin tiles, slate’s astounding strength-to-weight ratio can be unanticipated, and many new-build homes simply aren’t built to withstand an entire roof made from the material.
And the same goes for concrete, in that respect. Concrete weighs around 2,400 kilograms per cubic metre, compared to just over 1,800 kilograms per cubic metre of clay – but slate comes in at the heaviest of all three (2,690 kilograms per cubic metre!).
The cost and longevity
From a spending perspective, concrete is the clear winner. Depending on the brands you’re looking at, you could find that clay tiles are up to three times more expensive than concrete options.
However, slate comes out on top when it comes to cost, too. Slate also has to involve a slate specialist roofer, which can often mean paying a little bit more for the installation itself. When searching for roofers in Middlesbrough, Manchester, Motherwell and beyond, you should look for companies with a history of slate tile installations, to ensure you’re buying into a professional job.
The bonus of this extra cost, however, is that slate is naturally far longer-lasting as a material, and is usually cheaper to maintain over time (just keep in touch with the roofers that installed the system, for quick and professional repairs when you need them).
Of the three, slate is the one with the most time-tested and unquestionably striking design. Beyond choosing tiles with a rounded edge over square-edged tiles, there’s little else to think about on the design front when it comes to slate.
But as far as concrete and clay are concerned, you’ve got far more to consider. Clay comes in a range of rich shades, with autumnal reds and browns giving a property a classic Romanesque appeal.
Concrete, however, which is also a more malleable and versatile material than slate, comes in a wider range of colours, and does give you more opportunity to add individuality to your property.
What each material has in common though, when it comes to design, is a high level of resilience and water resistance. Modern concrete and clay tiles are now also designed to work as part of a dry ridge system, which is also highly resistant to wind, and less likely to lose tiles over time – one thing you can never guarantee with a slate roofing system.
Bear all of the aforementioned factors in mind, and you can help to ensure you make the right choice of material for your own roof!