Everything You Need to Know about Cedar Shakes

  1. Types of roofing materials
  2. Wood shakes and shingles
  3. Cedar shakes

Cedar shakes provide a unique and beautiful look for any roof. With their natural appearance and long-lasting durability, cedar shakes offer the perfect combination of style and strength for your home's roof. But there is so much more to know about cedar shakes than just what they look like. In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about cedar shakes, from the different types available to how they're installed, their benefits, and more.

We'll also discuss the pros and cons of cedar shakes and other wood shake and shingle options so that you can make the best choice for your home.

Cedar shakes

are a popular choice for roofing materials due to their unique and attractive look. They are made from split cedar logs, and offer a rustic yet elegant appearance. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of cedar shakes, installation tips, maintenance requirements, and more. One of the main advantages to using cedar shakes is the appearance. They offer a rustic, natural look that is both attractive and durable.

Cedar shakes are also highly resistant to weathering, making them an ideal choice for areas with high winds or frequent rain. Additionally, cedar shakes are relatively lightweight and easy to install, making them a great choice for DIY projects. However, there are some drawbacks to using cedar shakes. Cedar shakes can be costly compared to other types of roofing materials, and they may require more maintenance than other options. Cedar shakes are also susceptible to discoloration or staining over time, so it's important to select the right type of cedar shake for your project. When it comes to installing cedar shakes, it's important to follow all safety protocols and use the right tools.

Make sure you wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and a dust mask when cutting or handling the material. Additionally, you should use a chalk line to mark out the area where you plan to install the cedar shakes. This will help ensure that your installation is even and consistent. Once your cedar shakes have been installed, it's important to keep up with regular maintenance. It's important to regularly inspect your cedar shakes for signs of damage or wear.

Additionally, you should make sure to clean the cedar shakes regularly to prevent staining or discoloration. If you notice any signs of damage or wear, it's important to address them quickly in order to protect the integrity of your roof. The cost of cedar shakes can vary depending on the type of cedar shake you choose and where you purchase them from. You can typically expect to pay between $7 and $15 per square foot for cedar shakes. This cost includes both the materials and installation. When selecting the right type of cedar shake for your project, it's important to consider factors such as the size of your roof, the climate in your area, and your budget.

Additionally, it's important to select a type of cedar shake that is compatible with the other materials in your roofing system. It's also important to consider the life span of different types of cedar shakes in order to choose one that will last for many years. Examples of successful projects using cedar shakes include residential homes, commercial buildings, churches, and more. Cedar shakes can add a unique look to any building, and they can be used in combination with other types of roofing materials to create a unique look. Additionally, cedar shakes can be used in a variety of climates due to their durability and weather resistance.

The Pros of Using Cedar Shakes

Cedar shakes offer numerous advantages as roofing materials.

Firstly, they are naturally fire resistant, meaning they will not easily ignite. This makes them a great choice for areas prone to wildfires. Cedar shakes are also incredibly durable and can last for decades with proper maintenance. They are also easy to install, making them an ideal choice for do-it-yourselfers. Aesthetically, cedar shakes provide a unique and attractive look that can enhance the appearance of any home. The natural wood grain gives a rustic yet elegant look that is sure to impress. Finally, cedar shakes are environmentally friendly and sustainable materials, as cedar is a renewable resource.

This makes them an ideal choice for those looking to reduce their environmental footprint.

Installation Tips for Cedar Shakes

When installing cedar shakes, it is important to ensure proper roof ventilation and use the correct tools and materials. Make sure your roof has adequate ventilation to prevent moisture buildup and the growth of mildew or mold. You should also use galvanized nails to attach the cedar shakes to the roof, as these will be resistant to rust and corrosion. Additionally, use a breathable underlayment beneath the shakes to protect against water damage. It is also important to use a starter strip of cedar shakes when you begin installation.

This strip helps protect the edges of your roof from water damage and wind uplift. When installing the cedar shakes, make sure that each shake overlaps the previous one for added protection. Lastly, be sure to caulk any gaps between the cedar shakes and flashing.

The Cons of Using Cedar Shakes

Although cedar shakes offer an attractive and unique look for roofing materials, there are some potential drawbacks that should be taken into consideration before making a decision. The most significant downside of using cedar shakes is their high maintenance requirements.

Cedar shakes require regular staining and sealing to preserve their natural beauty and protect them from the elements. This process can be costly and time consuming, and should be factored into the overall cost of installation. In addition to regular maintenance, cedar shakes are also more expensive than other types of roofing materials. The cost of installing cedar shakes can range from $6 to $9 per square foot, compared to asphalt shingles which can cost as little as $2 per square foot. Furthermore, cedar shakes are more susceptible to damage from strong winds and hail, meaning more regular repairs may be necessary. Finally, installing cedar shakes requires a higher level of skill and expertise than other types of roofing materials.

It's important to hire a professional contractor with experience in installing cedar shakes in order to ensure a quality installation.

Cost of Cedar Shakes

Cedar shakes can be a costly roofing material, but the long-term benefits often make up for the initial expense. Installation costs vary depending on the size and complexity of the job, but they typically range from $7.50 to $15.50 per square foot. This means a 1,000 square foot roof can cost between $7,500 and $15,500 to install. In addition to installation costs, you may also need to factor in additional expenses such as felt paper, flashing, and trim.

There are also some discounts and promotions that could be available for cedar shake installations. Ask your contractor if they offer any discounts or deals on cedar shake roofs. Additionally, you may be able to get a discount from your supplier if you buy in bulk. You may also qualify for a tax credit if you install a cedar shake roof that meets certain energy-efficiency standards. Overall, cedar shakes can be a costly roofing material but their many benefits often outweigh the cost.

Make sure to take into account all associated installation costs as well as any potential discounts or promotions that could be available.

Maintenance Requirements for Cedar Shakes

Cedar shakes require regular maintenance to remain attractive and properly functioning. Sealing and staining should be done every two to three years to protect the shakes from water damage. In addition, debris should be removed from the roof after storms to prevent it from becoming clogged with dirt and debris. If the cedar shakes are exposed to extreme weather conditions such as high winds, it is important to check the shingles for signs of damage and repair or replace any that are damaged.

For extreme weather conditions, it may be necessary to hire a professional to inspect and maintain the roof. When cleaning cedar shakes, it is important to avoid using high pressure water or harsh chemicals as these could damage the wood. A soft brush and mild soap should be used to gently clean the shakes. After cleaning, a sealant should be applied to help protect them from the elements. It is also important to check the flashing around chimneys, vents and other areas where the roof meets other components of the building, as this is where most leaks occur. Cedar shakes require regular maintenance to stay in good condition and provide a reliable roofing option for your home.

Sealing and staining, cleaning, and checking for damage are all important steps in keeping your cedar shakes looking great for years to come.

Tips for Choosing the Right Type of Cedar Shake

When selecting the right type of cedar shake for your project, there are several factors to consider. Grade, thickness, weather protection, and color are all important elements to consider.


The grade of a cedar shake is determined by its visual appearance and by its resistance to decay. There are three grades of cedar shakes: Premium, Number 1, and Number 2.Premium cedar shakes have the fewest knots and the best overall look.

Number 1 and Number 2 cedar shakes have more knots, but still offer a good look.


Cedar shakes come in various thicknesses, ranging from 1/2 inch to 1-1/2 inch. Thicker cedar shakes are more durable, but also more expensive. Consider your budget and the area you plan to install the shakes when selecting the right thickness.

Weather Protection

Cedar shakes are naturally resistant to weathering and will last for many years.

However, for added protection against the elements, you can choose cedar shakes that have been treated with a preservative. This will give your roof added protection from rain, snow, and other weather conditions.


Cedar shakes come in a variety of colors and shades, from light browns to dark grays. You should choose a color that complements your home’s exterior. Additionally, darker colors tend to fade more quickly than lighter colors, so keep this in mind when making your selection.

Examples of Successful Projects Using Cedar Shakes

One of the best ways to get an idea of how cedar shakes look on a roof is to look at examples of successful projects that have used them.

In many cases, cedar shakes can be used to give an extra touch of rustic elegance to a home’s exterior. Here are some great examples of projects that have used cedar shakes for roofing materials.

The Lucas Residence in California

This beautiful home, located in California, was built with a cedar shake roof to give it a rustic yet elegant touch. The home is surrounded by lush trees, giving it an even more natural feel. The cedar shakes give the home an overall cozy and inviting look.

The Marshall Residence in Texas

This stunning home in Texas features a classic cedar shake roof.

The home’s exterior is painted in a light shade of blue, which contrasts beautifully with the warm tones of the cedar shakes. The roof adds a rustic charm to the home, while still looking modern and stylish.

The Johnson Residence in Florida

This gorgeous home in Florida features an eye-catching cedar shake roof. The roof is painted white, which gives it a bright and airy feel. The contrast between the light color of the roof and the dark wood of the cedar shakes creates a beautiful look that will never go out of style.

The Smith Residence in New York

This stunning home in New York features a classic cedar shake roof.

The warm tones of the shakes contrast beautifully with the white exterior of the home. The roof gives the home an overall rustic yet modern feel. In conclusion, cedar shakes are a great choice for roofing materials because they are attractive, cost-effective, and easy to install and maintain. For homeowners looking for a rustic yet elegant look, cedar shakes offer a great option. When choosing and installing cedar shakes, it is important to consider the local climate and weather conditions, the type of cedar shake to use, and the cost.

With proper planning and installation, cedar shakes can last for decades and provide a beautiful, timeless look for any home.

Karina Chubb
Karina Chubb

Friendly bacon lover. Professional music fan. Lifelong zombie enthusiast. Avid travel practitioner. Wannabe music aficionado. Subtly charming bacon advocate.