Cedar Shake Roofs

If you’re looking for a truly upscale and rich look to your home, then cedar shake roofs fit the bill. There are few materials that mimic the natural look that cedar shake roofs offer, although that interesting and natural look does also come with a somewhat steep price tag.

Advantages of Cedar Shake Roofs


There’s nothing like the look of natural cedar shakes to compliment the overall look of your home. It offers a rich and upscale design. Cedar is also natural, renewable resource that adds a natural, rustic look to a home. Use our roofing guide to see if this material is right for your home.

Weather, Wind And Impact Resistant

With proper installation from a quality roofer or company, cedar shingles are highly resistant to strong winds and impact from other harsh weather conditions, such as hail.


As long as cedar shake roofs are installed properly, you can expect them to offer higher insulating properties than asphalt shingles. This will help to increase the energy efficiency of your home.

Long Lasting

You can expect cedar shake roofs to last for about 20 – 25 years (with warranties to match), which is longer than the 15 – 20 years most asphalt shingle roofs will last. Cedar that is pressure treated with chemical preservatives may last even longer.

Cost Of Cedar Shake

Expect to pay around $6 – $9 psf, which is as much as five times more than what you would pay for asphalt shingles. There are two main culprits to the high cedar shake roof cost – an increasing shortage of cedar to create the shakes and the cost of installation is typically quite a bit higher than other materials. Check our roofing cost calculator for estimates and prices.

Disadvantages of Cedar Shake Roofs

Susceptible To Fires

Since cedar shake roofs are constructed of a natural wood product, they are more susceptible to fires than other types of roofing material. They can, however, be treated with additives that make them more fire retardant, but if you live in an area prone to wildfires, you may want to opt for a more fire resistant type of roofing material.

Specific Installation Requirements

There are certain considerations to keep in mind which may make installation a slower process than installing other types of roofing. For example, it is better to hand nail each individual cedar shake. This is a slower process than using an air nailer, but those tools can result in splitting the shakes or driving the nails in too deep. Other installation considerations include using galvanized nails only, installing zinc strips on the top of the roof to prevent the growth of moss and not using cedar shake roofing on relatively flat roofs.

Potential Insurance Premium Increases

There are a few reasons why cedar shake roofs may increase your home insurance premiums. For one, they are generally less fire retardant than other roofing types, although you can get treated cedar shingles that meet class A, B, and C requirements for fire resistance. They are also considered a premium product which may increase premiums for insurance purposes. It is best to check with your insurance company prior to installation.

Maintenance Requirements

As with many other wood products, you will need to invest more time and money in maintaining cedar shake roofs. Cedar is prone to damage from both water and constant exposure to the sun. Although it can handle some degree of exposure, and will obviously be subjected to rain, snow and sun on the roof, there are some things you’ll need to do to keep your roof looking and functioning at its best.