Slate Roofing Or Metal Roofing | NSW Slate Roofing

Metal vs. Slate Roof

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At NSW Slate Roofing in Sydney, we’ve helped hundreds of property owners repair and replace their slate and timber shake roofs. Slate roofing materials comprise some of the most iconic architectural styles in Australia. But recently, metal and tin roofs have made an appearance and are becoming a common choice of roof replacement material. Today, we’ll explore different roofing materials and the pros and cons of a slate vs. metal roof.

What are the different types of roofing materials?

The most common roofing materials for Australian homes are as follows:


Property owners can choose from natural slate tiles or composite slate tiles. Slate is a heavy material, and it is the longest lasting roofing material on earth. Investing in a slate tile roof is a ‘forever’ decision. A slate tile roof can last for more than 100 years. Best of all, a slate tile is virtually maintenance-free.

Slate Roof by NSW Slate Roofing

Timber Shakes and Shingles

Cedar and other hardwood varieties make beautiful, iconic roofs. They come in a wide range of textures, sizes, and colours and give homes an attractive look straight out of a painting. But, these types of roofs are considered one of the highest maintenance materials on the market.

Timber Shingles by NSW Slate Roofing


Tile roofs are very popular in Australia, and they come in a variety of materials. Homeowners can choose from terracotta clay tiles or cement tiling that are durable and can last for up to 50 years. These tiles do require a lot of maintenance, though. Cement is not mould resistant, and terracotta tiles are prone to cracking and corrosion from bird droppings. Birds also love to make their nests on terracotta tiles, and that will significantly shorten the roof’s lifespan.


Metal is an attractive, durable choice of roofing material. Metal roofs, also known as steel roofing, come in a range of materials, including zinc, copper, alloy, and steel.

Steel roofing is also much lighter than slate or tile. Metal roofs come in a variety of styles and colours, and a metal roof can last between 30 and 50 years. However, metal is prone to denting and also corrosion from environmental pollutants.

Metal Roof by NSW Slate Roofing

Asphalt Shingle

Asphalt shingle roofs are extremely popular in North America for their versatility and affordability. However, these roofs do not last very long, and homeowners will have to replace them more often than the other materials.

What factors will determine the type of roofing material someone will choose for their property?

  • Budget
  • Architectural Style
  • The Building’s Structural Integrity
  • Weather Conditions, Climate, and Location

What are the pros and cons of a metal versus slate roof?

The most significant issues with a slate versus a metal roof come down to weight and budget. Slate is a heavy material, and it is one of the most expensive roofing materials. Metal falls within the middle pricing range.

When it comes to damage, slate can crack if something heavy, like hail or a falling branch, land on the roof. However, it is relatively easy to replace a broken tile. Metal roofs are a little trickier to repair, and a metal roof is also more prone to damage. It’s not quite as durable as slate. Corrosion from jet fuel and denting from falling debris can significantly damage a metal roof compared to a slate roof.

Cons of a slate roof:

  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Pros of a slate roof:

  • Attractive
  • Lasts forever
  • Durable
  • Require little maintenance
  • Comes in a variety of colours, shapes, thicknesses, and textures

Pros of a metal roof:

  • Lighter-weight material
  • Comes in a variety of colours
  • Less expensive than a slate roof

Cons of a metal roof:

  • Prone to corrosion and denting
  • More expensive to repair
  • Requires more maintenance than a slate roof
  • Doesn’t last as long as a slate roof.

How do you know if a roof needs to be replaced or simply repaired?

It’s possible to repair a roof, and in some cases, it might be a more economical choice for the homeowner to repair rather than replace the entire roof. Worn out, or missing asphalt shingles can be replaced, and cracked or missing tiles can as well. When it comes to a slate roof, an experienced contractor can find matching tiles and replace any cracked ones. Contractors can also replace sections of a metal roof that have corroded or become dented.

A good rule of thumb to follow when you have to decide to repair or replace the roof is the cost. If the repair exceeds 20% of the replacement cost, then you might want to install a new roof. Also, if your roof is close to the end of its lifespan, it’s best to take the plunge and get a new one installed.

Why should you choose a slate roof over a metal roof?

If your building can’t withstand the extra weight of a slate roof, then you will need to choose a metal roof. Metal roofs are a durable, attractive choice and will last a long time. They will also improve the resale value of your home.

But if your building is structurally sound, a slate roof is the way to go. A slate roof will outlive you and probably your children if they inherit your house. Slate will inspire confidence in potential buyers if you’re looking to sell the property, and a slate roof will significantly improve the home’s resale value. Plus, you hardly have to do anything to maintain the roof. It’s virtually maintenance-free.

Fortunately, there are numerous slate materials to choose from, and you can get a slate roof in a colour and texture of your choice that is going to add some serious, eye-catching curb appeal to your house.

Slate Roof by NSW Slate Roofing

What are the different slate roofing materials?

With proper installation, your new slate roof will last well over 100 years. Welsh, Canadian, and Spanish slate are natural slate materials. These are more expensive, but composite slate is an excellent choice for homeowners on a tighter budget. Composite slate is a synthetic material designed to look like natural slate, and it’s also a low-to-no maintenance material. Homeowners can enjoy the appearance, durability, and low-maintenance of a slate roof without the steep upfront cost when they choose a composite slate roof. Composite slate will last at least 30 years.

When you contact NSW Slate Roofing for a quote, we will thoroughly inspect your building. A structural engineer will be able to tell you if your home is structurally sound and an ideal candidate for a slate roof. We’ll be glad to help you choose a beautiful, and durable slate roofing material that will be sure to meet your needs and budget. Contact NSW Slate Roofing today for your free, no-obligation quote. Call us today on 1300 102 908.