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Branden_wilson (Branden_wilson)
Senior Member
Username: Branden_wilson

Post Number: 57
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Friday, December 11, 2009 - 01:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

i thought most of the roof wieght gets transfered to the outside walls so regardless of how beefy it is up top, you've gotta have good walls and a good foundation. i have a structural engineer look over my questionable projects. for about 300 bucks he will certify wether or not the building can handle natural slate. i haven't had one yet that i couldn't slate but homes here are built for concrete tile and walls are cbs not stick framed. anyway, it's nice to have someone look it over and give you absolute peace of mind. we under estimate what wood framing can handle all the time.however, if it's a newer structure in the US i would have a lot of concerns. most of the newer homes need to be knocked down because of poor building practices and cheap materials. i would not slate a pulte home or similar no matter what anyone says. if your builder built a whole sub, that's a clear red flag that they are temporary homes. if the stuff you can see is falling apart, imagine what they did in places you can't see. i hope you have a quality home and i hope you end up choosing a beautiful slate roof. please try to spread your mentality as much as possible.
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Slate_man (Slate_man)
Senior Member
Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 529
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, December 11, 2009 - 07:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you want a way to calculate some of this, I would suggest getting the Slate Roof Bible.
This book has most the info on rafter side and boards for a slate roof system.

You can order it to the tool bar to the left, scroll down.
The award-winning book!
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Slate_man (Slate_man)
Senior Member
Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 528
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, December 11, 2009 - 07:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

First off, if you are able to provide some pictures to posted, of the inside frameing and out side conditions, this would help all of us here. A few other things are how old is the house, pitch, what is the foundation, wall construction and rafter size to name a few. Most likely like Chris said the weigth is insignificant overall and there may be little you need to do.

A few thing I have done is added triangle gussets, at the rigde with plywood (Alot of older roofs in my area do not have rigde rafters.). We have added collor ties with 45dr brace. We have had to rebuild the rafter system to provide the correct nailer for a slate roof. We would try to use 1" rough cut for decking, rather then plywood.
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Chris (Chris)
Intermediate Member
Username: Chris

Post Number: 33
Registered: 09-2009
Posted on Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 09:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

usually nothing special.
just sound construction practices.
the live loads (wind, snow, rain etc)is usually the heaviest of forces the roof encounters.
the actual roof covering be that of slates(standard), or asphalt shingles is really quite insignificant, weight wise, in the whole scheme of things.
as far as the roof deck goes, i guess 3/4 plywood is just about the bare minimum you could get away with.
good luck
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Buddy (Buddy)
New member
Username: Buddy

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 08:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello all. I am wanting to purchase a home and eventually put a slate roof on it. All of the homes in my area were built to take the weight of an asphalt roof, it seems. My question is : what do I have to do to a simple design wood frame structure to have it capable of holding the weight of a slate roof. Do I have to modify the wall framing, the foundation, etc.? I know I will have to modify the roof framing but how, generally speaking? Im figuring there are some calculations / formulas regarding board size, spacing, etc.? Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

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