Fiber Cement as a siding option continues to be quite a popular choice. A review of U.S. Census data for new single-family houses sold in America shows Fiber Cement garners nearly a quarter of all siding materials.
Brick, Wood and Vinyl are on a downward trend while Fiber Cement continues to gain in popularity. Stucco is, perhaps surprisingly, the #1 siding option in America where its popularity in the Western portion of the U.S. is enormous, but so is Fiber Cement in that region. The two materials combined account for a whooping 92% of the overall market out west.
Fiber Cement is commonly referred to as James Hardie, which is the company that originally created this plank board. It’s also called Cement Board, as the materials are made of cement, wood pulp, clay and sand. Fiber Cement is relatively heavy, quite sturdy and will last up to 100 years, while its surface usually needs repainting every 20 to 40 years.
Pricing Information – Part 1
Due to its weight, Fiber Cement routinely requires two workers to install each piece. For this reason, along with the idea that waste adds great expense to the project, the material is not well suited for DIY installation. There are essentially four styles of Fiber Cement: lap siding is the most common, shake and shingle, vertical panels, and artisan lap, which equals architectural grade of lap siding.
Fiber Cement lap siding costs $9.50 to $14.00 per sq. ft. installed. The other styles usually exceed $12.00 per sq. ft. Sticking with lap siding, the overall project cost for installing cement board on a typical two bedroom American home is $18,000 to $28,000. As there are numerous factors that impact the price, we will help explain that, but first let’s break down the costs. Note: this is a ballpark estimate example based on the national average cost of materials and job tasks.
Tile roofs been going in and out of style, but they’re guaranteed to last for quite a while. Traditional tiles are made from either clay or concrete. The latter tends to be less expensive, but there is clearly more value in a clay tile roof.
Styles And Variety
In North America, tile roofing is often associated with the southwestern US feeling. Deep red, clay tiles on a home with stucco siding is what normally comes to mind when we picture roof tiles. Yet, that’s just one possibility.
Historically, Dutch and European immigrants have been in the business of importing clay tiles into the New World since about 1650. All the way through the end of the 1700’s, it was a very popular material which was viewed as superior to wood, because it was fireproof. By the mid 1700’s, America had established itself as a country able to manufacture glazed and unglazed tiles.
As the industrial age chugged along, metal roofing started to grow in popularity, which lead to the decline in the dominance of the clay tile market. Metal is as durable and in many cases, less expensive than tiles. Yet, there have been at least two revival periods in the last 200 years, which is why tile roofing has never lost its stature in the overall roofing industry.
Concrete vs. Clay Tiles and their Impact on Colors
While clay is the historic and predominant material, concrete is the other primary material option. Clay tiles normally come in two types: glazed (liquid glass baked onto the tile) or unglazed. They hold color much better than concrete, especially in the case of Terracotta clay.
Regardless of the material, color is mixed in with the material during the production. With cement, color will fade somewhere between 30 and 50 years. With clay, the color will hold steady for 50 to 70 years. And with Terracotta, it is indefinite or for sure 100+ years.
Adding in tile shape and texture, provides a rather limitless variety of options. But generally, architects are going for a particular, established style. Multi-colored tiles on a roof is an option that goes somewhat against the historic norms. Accessories are part of the installation, such that tiles shaped and formed for ridges, hips and gable ends add even more opportunity for greater variety.
Cost and Value
Cost of Materials
Nailing down the exact cost can be a bit challenging. If tiles are plentiful in your region, then expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $9 per sq. ft. for materials alone. Note that concrete tiles can be made to be very light-weight and are available in a wide variety of colors and shapes. Though again, concrete doesn’t hold color as well as clay.
Clay tiles will cost anywhere from $6 to $11 per sq. ft. for materials. Other research shows that clay tile will cost 30% more on average than concrete tiles.
Total Cost Installed
The 2017 data shows clay tiles cost between $12 and $17 per sq. ft. to install on a roof. If choosing a more sophisticated design of the tile, that range can go up to $20 to $30 per sq. ft. installed. — This would make it more expensive than natural Slate, or Copper roofing. For a home that has a roof size of about 2,000 sq. ft., the overall average installation cost can range from $25,000 to $40,000 depending on the choice of materials, roof complexity, and location. Should you decide to go for a high-end tile roof, a similarly-sized, premium clay tile roof could cost as much as $40,000 to $60,000 to install.
Before you can install clay or concrete tile roof, it is best to have your home inspected by an engineer to ensure it can hold the extra weight that comes with standard concrete and clay material. While, asphalt shingles weigh about 250 to 400 lbs per square (100 sq. ft.), concrete tips the scale at 950 to 1200 pounds per square, so up to 10 times the weight. Thus, unless your roof was specifically designed to carry the weight of tiles, it will likely require structural reinforcement.
But the benefits are enormous. At the top is longevity. Clay and concrete will last a good 50 years minimum, and exceeding 100 years is certainly possible with proper installation. To get the kind of longevity tiles are capable of providing, you will need to hire an experienced tile roofer.
Allowing a handyman to do the job will might help save some money upfront, but this might lead to problems later on. Furthermore, having anyone who is not experienced with how to properly traverse the roof can lead to broken tiles. While clay and concrete are undoubtedly durable over the long haul, the material itself is a bit fragile in terms of impact resistance from full body weight.
Clay and Concrete Tiles vs. Slate
Stone is rather impervious to water. Clay has water absorption of about 6%, while Concrete can absorb as much as 13%. Slate is a material that edges out clay, while wood is known to be rather poor in this regard. There are more benefits, and even disadvantages, which we’ll cover below.
longevity and durability – material will last 50+ years
virtually water proof, insect proof, fire proof, and resists rotting
low to almost no maintenance, though see Disadvantage with regards to underlayment
wonderful variety, very unique and beautiful appearance, color that will last (if going with Clay)
fragile when walked on, tiles can break rather easily
underlayment material won’t last as long as material, and so that underlayment needs to be replaced even while the roofing tiles will be fine. A roofer would remove all tiles, replace underlayment material and then re-install old tiles on the new underlayment.
one of the more expensive roofing materials
added weight is significant enough factor that it may not work for every home
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 the US, 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 quite 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 $7,500 to $12,500.
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 $7,500 to $12,500.
By the square, which equals 100 sq. ft. the price for wood shingles installed is $500 to $900 or $5.00 to $9.00 per sq. ft. of wood shingles installed.
If going with cedar shakes instead, the price rises up to $600 to $1,100 per square or $6.00 to $11.00 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.