Cedar Shakes And Shingle Roofing Costs and Pros and Cons in 2017

$7,000 to $12,000. — That’s the low end price you can expect to pay for a Cedar Shake roof, fully installed in 2017. Which of course depends on a number of factors, so let’s get into that.

via Inspirational Village

What A Cedar Shake and Shingle Roof Entails

First, let’s differentiate between the two. Shake means split with an axe, Shingle means cut with a saw. It’s that simple. Obviously shake came first historically. Both are used today, while shake is generally considered the premium product between the two. Shake tends to be thicker (up to 3/4th an inch thick) than shingles (up to 1/2 inch thick). With the advent of shingle mills in the early 19th century, came the ability to mass produce the wood material, along with possibility to access it in several locations.

Besides thickness, there is also variation in shape, width, texture and eventually treatment and color. Royalty and Perfection. These terms refer to length, with Perfection referencing an 18 inch wide shingle and Royalty attributed to 24 inch wide shingles. Shape tends to be rectangular, especially as it relates to material for roofing. As cedar shakes are also used for siding, the shape may vary, with how the butt-end (lower side) appears, as in whether it is rounded, straight or even a bit wavy. Being that these shingles are on the upper portion of the home, the need or even purpose for anything uniquely shaped is less necessary.

Did you know? That shake material of higher quality is often used for roofing, whereas cedar siding projects tend to use lower quality shakes.

The material itself is routinely synonymous with cedar shakes, though that’s not the only grain of wood used. There’s white and red cedar, along with California redwood which are the primary wood choices in North America. Outside of the U.S., pine may be the primary choice for shake.

Color options are essentially without limit as any paint or stain can be applied, but typically a clear stain is used due to the natural beauty associated with the material. What is more common is how the wood is treated. Chemically treated wood will last longer than if it is not treated. Often it is laced with fire retardants to overcome an inherent, albeit, natural design flaw. Or treated to prevent algae and insect infestation. Such treatments can have the material last a good 30 years, or longer.

Value and Cost Further Explored

The rustic charm of wood shake is arguably its most alluring value. While there are metallic, and stone tile products that can come close in matching it’s appearance, none really compare to the authentic beauty of natural wood.

Added thickness in the material means better insulation of the home’s uppermost layer. But the real value is in how it holds up to wind. Asphalt shingles top out at 130 mph for wind uplift resistance, whereas cedar shakes can withstand speeds up to 245 mph. It is also impact resistant, or more so than most other materials with exception of stone.

While the product isn’t requiring special tools or skills to install, it can be labor intensive due to the multi-layering, general thickness and moderate heaviness of the material. For a 1200 sq. ft. roof (which is equal to a small home), the total installation cost averages $7,000 to $12,000. If using premium materials, or a licensed and insured contractor, or having a complex roof with multiple slope angles, then the price goes up. Unless the home is unusually large, you can expect to not exceed $20,000 for a cedar shake roof, but a fair average is $7,000 to $12,000.

via ASCH Roofing

By the square, which equals 100 sq. ft. the price for wood shingles installed is $400 to $700 or $4.00 to $7.00 per sq. ft. of wood shingles installed.

If going with cedar shakes instead, the price rises up to $600 to $900 per square or $6.00 to 9.00 per sq. ft. installed.

If going with bargain priced material, the costs can come significantly down, but the value or how long it lasts will also go down. Home Depot sells bundles at about $50, where 4 bundles are enough to cover a square, thus $200. This doesn’t take into account the other materials that go into a roofing job, such as fasteners, underlayment, etc. but does let you know that if you go the DIY route, costs could be cut nearly in half.

A roof in general will see a recoup value of 70%, though that is based on the popular asphalt shingle. It goes up from there, and given that cedar shake has allure and better than average durability, it is likely closer to 75% or even 80% ROI.

This assumes they are in good condition, and that they are well maintained. Which brings us to the significant drawback. If not paying for premium, read as treated, material then the product will probably last 20 years, or less if in area with heavy precipitation or much moisture. If properly cared for, and inspected annually, a cedar shake roof could last as long as 50 or even 60 years.

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