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Slate Roofing Cost Guide

Does your property need a new roof? Slate roofs are valued for their unique style, long-lasting durability, and its aesthetics. As such, installing slate roofs should be considered as an investment. In this article, you’ll read through different types of slate roofing cost relating to installation and maintenance.

You’ll also find information on the different factors that affect slate roofing cost, types of slates and how to find a slate roofing installer. This article will also address answers to common questions that come up when requesting for quotations from your roofing contractors.

Slate roofing cost guide

How much does slate roofing cost?

The cost for slate roofing are mainly determined by the roofing size, slate roofing tiles used, labour costs to install and any additional costs involved such as scaffolding etc.

The table below outlines various scenarios to provide you an estimate:

2 bed terraced house (approximate roof size 55 sqm)£4,000 to £8,000£300 to £600 per day3 to 5 days£6,000 to £7,000
3 bed semi-detached or end terrace house (approximate roof size 70 sqm)£6,000 to £10,000£300 to £600 per day4 to 7 days£8,000 to £9,000
4 bed detached house (approximate roof size 100 sqm)£8,000 to £15,000£300 to £600 per day5 to 10 days£10,000 to £12,500

Factors that determine the cost of slate roofing

Roof installation vs repair vs restoration

A new slate roof will cost between £4,000 and £15,000 as outlined in the table above. A slate roof repair, on the other hand, costs much less. For example, replacing 6 damaged Welsh slate tiles will cost about £200.

You might also need a roof restoration which goes beyond a simple roof repair. A professional roof restorer will inspect your roof and fix any problems they find, whether it’s replacing tiles damaged by the weather or removing loose tiles. They can also spot roof damage that you may not be able to see, such as moss growth in the gutters. 

Shape and size of the roof

Smaller roofs are less expensive to install and there are fewer materials required. The shape of your roof can impact the cost as well. For example, installing slate tiles on a hip and ridge roof is relatively straightforward. However, you may pay more if your roof has dormers or valleys. This includes fitting slate tiles on these roofs requires more time and skill to ensure a neat finish.

Choice of slate

The cost of slate can vary based on where it’s coming from:

  • Wales: most popular due to its durability and water-resistance. It’s known to last for more than 100 years and ​​​​​comes in a distinctive blue and grey colour​.
  • Canada: With a lifespan of approximately 75 years, it’s also known for its durability. Though it’s similar to Welsh slates, it has a purple tone in its colouring.
  • Spain: These tiles are only available in black or grey. They are also known for durability as some can last for more than 75 years. 
  • Brazil: These tiles have a high resistance to damage and are long lasting. They come in blue, green, cyan and purple.

In terms of slates cost, Welsh and Canadian are more expensive than the other two.

Fitting Accessories

These are additional components that may require replacing because they are worn out or damaged.

The price for new flashings and gutters varies depending on material choice, these costs will be based on the location of the property and other factors. If you need to replace your old flashings with new flashings then it will increase the total cost further.

If you require roof battens, they are sold per metre squared. The requirement would vary based on the size of your roof and whether or not you are carrying out a replacement or a repair. The average cost of this approximately £20 to £30 per square metre, supplied and fitted.

Breathable membranes and vapour barriers are also sold per metre squared and once again, the total cost would depend on the size of your roof. The membranes are priced between £5 to £10 per meter including fitting and vapour barriers are £4 to £6 per square metre.


Depending on how easy it is to access the property and also the roof that needs replacing/repair, the labour charges can vary. For instance, if the contractors cannot leave the roofing materials and their equipment close to their work area, the repair work may take longer which can in turn increase the labour charges. If the roof requires more scaffolding than is normally required, this will cost more too.


Some roofing contractors may include the cost of scaffolding, while others will leave the responsibility to you. If you purchase scaffolding on a weekly basis, you’ll pay approximately £500 to £1,000 per week, depending on the complexity of the scaffold structure itself.

You don’t need a licence to put up scaffolding within your property boundaries. However, if any part of your scaffolding is on a public street or path, then you must apply for a licence from your local authority.

Skip Hire

If rubbish removal isn’t included in your quote, it’s worth considering hiring a skip. Skip hire costs vary depending on your location and the size of skip you need to hire. It costs anywhere from £100 to £300 a week to hire a skip in most areas of the UK.

Different types of slates

As noted above, the slate roofing cost can vary depending on the types of slates used. This section looks at different types available in the UK:

  • Natural slate: Natural slate is a popular roofing material. It has a distinctive appearance and, once installed, it requires little to no maintenance. The biggest advantage of natural slate is that it’s extremely low water absorption which makes it perfect for people who live in the British Isle given its high annual rainfall.
  • Man-made slate: These are made from synthetic resin and ground down slateThey’re available in a larger selection of colours, befitting any number of tastes, from brown to gold to blue. But over time, the colour will fade due to UV rays from the sun and you will need new roofing. The cost of the entire roof is dependent on size, but for a semi-detached property this will cost approximately £1,500. They are generally easier to install than natural slate and also come with a greater durability guarantee than slate. Generally speaking, they last from 20-30 years or longer.
  • Fibre cement slate: Fibre cements are made from a mixture of fibres and cement. They are lighter than man-made or natural slate roofs which makes them easier to install. Cement fibre tiles are delivered with a coloured coating, but you can choose either smooth or textured design. Fibre cement slates have a manufacturer’s guarantee of 30 years, but it could last up to 60 years or more. 

How to reduce slate roofing cost?

  • Reduce supply costs: Man-made and fibre-cement slates are a great low-cost alternative to natural slate. They’re still durable, easy to clean and won’t break the bank.
  • Reduce wastage: If you work with a professional roofer, they will suggest the right amount of materials required to install, replace, or repair a slate roof. This will reduce wastage, thus in turn reducing your overall cost.
  • Provide clear access: If the roofers are finding it hard to reach certain areas, clearing the area and providing a clear access can greatly reduce the labour time required to get the job done. This way, you can reduce the labour cost.

Planning permission for slate roofing

You generally do not need a planning permission though a Building Regulation approval may be required for a new roof.

The regulations state your roof needs to:

  • have enough strength to support the weight of a new roof
  • be structurally sound
  • have the draining and ventilation ​​comply with building regulation standards
  • be fire-resistant
  • have weatherproofing features
  • have adequate insulation

Process of installing slate roofing

Installing a slate roof on your house is not hard and is quite straightforward to most experienced roofers. The process goes as follows:

  • Find the size of the overlap by checking the angle of the pitch roof
  • Determine the size of the slates that would depend on the angle. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions at this point.
  • Determine the size of the overlap depending on the nature of the wind and rain.
  • Ensure no nails or other materials are sticking out of the wood. This is to ensure the breathable membrane is not damaged.
  • Roll out the breathable membrane, pull taught and secure with nails.
  • Next, place the first batten and tile together. This way, determine the number of battens required.
  • Starting from the top, place the with the correct amount of space in between.
  • Lay the first row of tiles to create the overlap.
  • Next start to lay the slates.
  • Secure the tiles in place with nails or fasteners. These can be made from aluminium, stainless steel, galvanised steel or copper.

Finding the right roofer to install slate roofing

Using an online form or directory, you can ask for quotes from a number of different roofing contractors. You can also ask friends and family for recommendations. 

These local contractors should be well-established in the area and reliable, so it’d be in your best interest to ask around. 

Local roofing companies may be registered members of one or both of the Single Ply Roofing Association (SPRA) and the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC). These are both strong trade associations that expect high standards from each member; their members have been ranked.

If you’re around Nottingham, you can always get in touch with our roofers who are well equipped and qualified to help you with all your slate roofing needs.

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