Cedar shingles and shakes were here long before the advent of asphalt shingles and are in fact the forefather of the asphalt shingle. Cedar shake and cedar shingle come primarily from western red cedar trees, eastern white cedar trees and Alaskan yellow cedar.

Cedar Shingles VS Cedar Shakes

The difference between shakes and shingles are how they are made. Basically a cedar shingle is sawn with uniform ends, tapered evenly and they have a smooth front and back (or similar/identical surfaces); a shake is split but can be sawn, they are more thick at the base end (a.k.a butt end), and are tapered from one end to the other.

Benefits of Cedar Shingles:

  • With a little maintenance and TLC a wood shingle roof can actually outlast cheaper roof types which can turn the higher cost of wood shake into a cost savings benefit. A good wood roof that is not exposed to too harsh of weather conditions should last up to 30 years.
  • Wood shingles are undeniably unique in their appearance. The unique look of wood is one of its most desired benefits.
  • Wood shingles are organic and eco friendly. This is an important benefit for those that are looking to be environmentally friendly when choosing what type of roof material they should get installed on their roof.
  • Wood shingles are much more energy efficient than asphalt shingles. This energy efficiency could save the homeowner money on their heating and a/c bills.
  • Wood shingles are very durable. Unlike other materials they are not prone to crack from hail or by being punctured. They also can withstand high winds much better than asphalt shingles.

Negatives of Cedar Shingles:

  • Wood shingles or shakes cost more in material and in installation costs. This can be a drawback to many homeowners.
  • Wood shingles catch on fire much easier than other types of roofing material.
  • Wood shingles are harder to install.
  • Wood shingles take more to maintain. Wood shingles definitely do not fall under the “do it and forget about it” category. To make sure a wood shingle roof lasts it takes some TLC.
    Wood shingles are susceptible to termite damage or other insect problems. They can also suffer from rotting and mold more easily.