Slate roof-what to do?

Ask the pros-August, 2005
By Reggie Bullard


  I appreciate the fact that you answer anyone's questions as I am at 
a loss..  I am building an 11,000 square foot house which will be 
stuccoed entirely.  I have 63 windows and doors made of Spanish Cedar. 
My stucco guys is using La Habra with a Sand Finish.  We like the look of the old cracks etc.  We are not using expansion joints and we did not leave the space around the windows.  He is going to use an 
elastomeric caulk to fill the gap between the stucco and the window. 
I'd like to know if we made the right decision so far?

My next question is that my Stucco guy has said from the beginning that  he wants the slate roof on and the sheetrock installed before he puts up the stucco because the weight could cause it to crack.  I thought that sounded like a good idea.  The roof is on and actually the roofer cannot complete the job until the stucco is on.  He has asked for the stucco guy to start.
                         Counter flashing a slate roof

                            Here counter  flashing is put on this dormer 
                            allowing the stucco to be finished. 
                           A pre-painted one by six is put on, providing 
                           a gap and a nailer for the step flashing when
                         the slate is put on. I have also seen just leaving
                          a large enough gap below the counter flashing.
                         The step flashing can then be nailed with a punch. 

It is important to load down a slate roof or a spanish tile roof before
the stucco goes on, even if the roof isn't put on yet.  The weight of the 
slate can bow the framing and crack the stucco.

The dilemma is if the skate is on first, the slate cannot be walked on without breaking the slate (Spanish tile is worse). BTW we have tricks for walking on slate and Spanish tile.

The solution is to counter flash the dormers and chimneys first
like above, finish the stucco on the dormers and chimneys,
put the slate on the roof, come back and stucco the main house later.

I insist on having the roof loaded down, at least for the most part, before lathing, if it is heavy, like spanish tile or slate.

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