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Slate Roof Installation – Slate Roof Layout

In this segment we will be talking about basic concepts for laying out a slate roof.

Slate Roof Layout: Factors to Consider

Roof Layout is critical to the roof’s appearance, performance, and efficient installation. Factors to consider before starting a layout plan are: the size of the slate being installed, slate pattern, overhang on the eave and gable, and the recommended exposure and head lap based on the slate size and roof slope.

The first step is to determine if the eave is straight and level. This can be done by attaching a taut line along the eave from end to end to check for straightness and undulations. Next measure and determine that the gables or end walls are square to the eaves.

Now, locate the line for the starter course considering the overhang, and the line for the first full course which will have its butt end on the lower edge of the starter course. Using the 3, 4, 5 method can be helpful when establishing this square line. Also, check if the ridge is parallel to the eave. Then mark and snap mutable lines using the exposure measurement.

Two vertical lines can then be laid out with one line being half the width of the field slate. Be sure to plan the location of these lines and consider the finish size of all of the gable or wall slate is within reasonable standards. Always plan your approach to walls, gables, ridges so several small adjustments can be made instead of one or two large adjustments. I hope this has helped you understand the basics of slate roof layout.

For part 4 of our series, on Cutting and Punching Slate, click here.

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When our clients are looking for a natural slate roof, we highly recommend North Country Slate.

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We have used North Country black on a large number of occasions, and we’ve found it to be an excellent quality slate it is very “workable”.

- John Chan, The Durable Slate Company
Looking for a slate roofing contractor?
We work with the top “slaters” to ensure quality installation from slate roofing repairs, restoration or new construction. Read More
What sizes of roofing slate are available?
The standard sizes for roofing slate start at 12″ in length and increase by 2-inch increments up to 24″ in length. Read More
How much does a slate roof cost? We are often asked by designers, architects, home and building owners “What will a slate roof cost me”?
On average, North American produced S-1 rated roofing slate will cost $400 – $600 USD per square (100 square feet) or $4.00 to $6. Read More

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