The truth is that a DaVinci Slate roof is much more than an imitation slate roof. However, because of the labor and performance advantages that you get with DaVinci Slate shingles, they are so much more than imitation slate shingles.
Pre-Mixed Color Blends
DaVinci Slate comes in pre-mixed color blends with assured proportions in every bundle, whereas natural slate requires the roofing company to sort and blend the tiles at the job site. As you might imagine, sometimes that sorting and blending can go wrong and you might end up with a striped roof or a polk-a-dot looking roof.
DaVinci Slate also comes with 5 different widths in each bundle, already collated and ready for installation when it leaves our factory. With natural slate, the roofer has to make the appropriate widths at the job site or before the installation begins, adding to your overall labor cost on the roof.
Less Material Waste
There is also a good deal of material waste with natural slate. Natural slate with hairline cracks or those broken during installation have to be thrown away. This ends up being about 15% of your material cost.
DaVinci Slate is much lighter in weight than natural slate. So depending on the distributor of your DaVinci Slate tiles, they may or may not be able to "roof load" your tiles. Roof load means that they use a crane to set and space the tiles on the roof, so that the roofer does not have to lug them up to the roof. Because they are lighter weight than slate, DaVinci Slate shingles can be set on the roof and are ready to install the next day.
And perhaps the biggest advantage DaVinci Slate has over natural slate is that it is maintenance free! Natural slate requires inspection and repair throughout the life of the roof.
So although DaVinci Slate is a slate alternative, it really does have some true advantages over natural slate.