Slate Book Review:
Author: Joseph Jenkins
This is by far my favorite book about slate roofs. It's amusing, witty, and informative. It's loaded with color photographs. The book describes (in great detail!) various styles of slating, the tools you'll need, how to repair a slate roof, the types of slate that are available, the geology and chemistry of slate, and some interesting history of slate quarries in the US and abroad. It seems clear to me that Joseph Jenkins has been as important to the craft of slate roofing as Ted Benson has been to timber framing. The author and his family personally visited quarries all over the world in the process of compiling information for this book. If you own a slate roof or if you're just comtemplating a slate roof, you really need this book. Like the best books on timberframing, I have read this book several times and each time I discover something new. My copy is well worn and dog-eared. The book lives up to its lofty title.
Title: The Slate Book: How to Design, Specify, Install, and Repair a Slate Roof.
Authors: Brian Stearns, Alan Stearns, and John Meyer.
95% of what you need to know about slate roofs is in Joseph Jenkins' book - the other 5% is in this book. Whereas The Slate Roof Bible has hundreds of color photographs, this book has only a few black and white photographs of actual slate roofs. This book also has three authors... and it shows... when was the last time you read decent prose written by more than one author? But this book is not meant to be a work of art - it's a "manual," and somewhat useful. I'm glad that I bought it, as it fills in some of the blanks left in Jenkins' book, because it walks you step-by-step through each step of installing a slate roof. I found the comprehensive review of flashing methods and valleys to be extremely helpful. One of my complaints about this book is that I bought it to gain more insight on how to lay out eyebrow dormers, and here it falls woefully short. In fact, although the book has a "diagram" of layout lines for an eyebrow dormer, there's no photograph of a finished eyebrow dormer in this book. Any book that proposes to teach you something about eyebrow dormers darn-well ought to have at least one photograph of one! (Jenkin's book has two pages of color photos of eyebrow dormers.) If you're just a little interested in slate roofs or wondering what questions to ask, buy Jenkins' book, but if you're staring at 43,000 pounds of slate (like I was a few weeks ago) that need to be nailed to your roof, then you owe it to yourself to buy this book as a "second opinion" on slate roofs.