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Real or Synthetic Slate: Which is Best for Your Home?

by Kuhrich on Thursday, March 19, 2015

Slate: Real or Synthetic, and Why?

Commitment to authenticity is admirable, but oftentimes, it is rather misinformed and mistaken. In a world where we must be aware of our carbon footprint and how it impacts the world around us as well as the future and wellbeing of our entire planet, authenticity is sometimes just an unnecessary luxury, and an expensive one at that. When building your home, for example, you may be tempted to seek out authentic materials for your home’s construction; you have a dream house, after all, and it never involved reproductions and synthetic recreations in your mind. Yet when your dream becomes reality, you start having to deal with exactly that sort of thing.

The Problem With Slate

While authentic slate shingles have served as the roof of American and European homes for centuries, it suffers from some key problems that the builders of that time had to put up with, but which you do not need to deal with. The material is very expensive to quarry and produce, and it is actually quite heavy, increasing the cost of transportation and installation. Despite its weight and the care with which it is quarried, it is actually quite difficult to work with and install, and even once installed, it cracks very easily. In the end, while slate is beautiful and harkens back to an earlier time in home design, you can do better.

Why Synthetic Slate

Specifically, you can choose to invest in synthetic slate shingles instead. Synthetic slate is not actually slate, but in fact it is made of a combination of both plastic and rubber, two durable, lightweight materials commonly used in modern buildings. Owing to the method used to manufacture them, they avoid looking like “cook cutter,” generic pieces of roofing; they are all unique as any piece of slate, but their strength and light weight make them much easier to install and work with. Finally, they are also very durable, and last far longer than actual slate does.

Stronger, lighter, more affordable, just as beautiful, and a real relief for the people working on your home – what more could you want?

+Ken Uhrich is lead Estimator and Purchaser at Custom Home Group, a Design/Build company, located in Lancaster County, PA. You can follow Ken on Twitter: @kuhrich Or visit his company website: www.customhomegroup.com