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Last Revision
February 27, 2017

 

     



Cedar Shakes and Shingles

 

Cedar Shakes and Shingles are made of natural, renewable resources - trees.  Cedar Shakes and Shingles are the most imitated type of roofing material.  Manufacturers of Asphalt Shingles, Clay and Concrete Tile, Metal Panel roofing, and most of the Alternative Roofing products all try to duplicate the look and feel of Cedar Shakes and Shingles.  They are also the most versatile roof that can be installed with their many different weather exposures, cuts, and installation patterns.

Wood Shakes and Shingles are available in several grades, fire ratings, lengths, thicknesses, types and two species, cedar and southern pine.  The most common type of wood used is cedar.  Cedar has a natural resistance to decay and can also be easily split and cut making it the perfect wood for roofing.

Cedar Shakes and Shingles are produced by many saw mills located mainly in Washington, Oregon, and in Canada. 

The difference between a shake and a shingle is in how they are cut and in their dimensions.

 

Shakes

Grade

Fire Rating

Length 

Butt Thickness

Type

When specifying Shakes, make sure to state the Grade, Fire Rating, Length, Butt Thickness, Type, and Species.  Example: Premium Grade (100% Edge Grain), non-Fire Rated, 24", Heavy, Hand-Split Resawn, Cedar Shakes.

 

Shingles

Grade

Fire Rating

Length

Butt Thickness

Type

There is basically only one type used for roofing and it is simply called a wood shingle.  However, there are three sizes that vary in butt thickness and in length.  All are cut on both sides using an automated circular saw.

There are also three other styles of wood shingles mainly used for both interior and exterior walls and one is sometimes used on roofs.  These are wood shingles that are further cut, grooved, sanded, or even painted to change their appearance either at their butt or face.

When specifying Cedar Shingles make sure to state the Grade, Fire Rating, Type, and Species.  Example: Number 1, Class C Fire Rated, Fivex, Cedar Shingles.  The type dictates the length and butt thickness of the shingles.

 

The installed cost of a Cedar Shake and Shingle roof is more expensive compared to most Asphalt Shingles and slightly more expensive than a properly installed Concrete Tile but less than most Clay Tile.

The life expectancy depends a great deal on two things: 1) the better quality wood will last much longer  2) the roof must be installed well by a craftsman to get the most life out of the good wood.  My old roofing installation company replaced many Cedar Shake roofs that were 35 plus years old.  One roof in Cherry Hills Village was a Tapersplit Cedar Shake that was roofed originally in 1923.  The wood and the craftsmanship of installation were unbelievable.  We replaced the original roof in 1985 - 62 years later!  Of course they chose Cedar Shakes again.  We also replaced many Cedar Shingle roofs which were installed over spaced sheathing in Denver that were 40, 50 and 60 years old.  Cedar Shakes and Shingles can last a long time if you use the highest quality Cedar and a craftsman in roofing for the installation.

 

Cedar Shakes and Shingles

 

Staggered Cedar Shake Roof

 

Tapersawn Cedar Shake Roof

 

Heavy Cedar Shake Roof

 

Cedar Shingle Roof