Cedar is a popular building material due to its long life, durability, warm natural hues, and pleasant aroma. It’s used for roofing as well as siding, decks, furniture, interior walls, and etc. When used outdoors, cedar blends with surrounding landscapes.
Over time, cedar loses its color and fades to a silvery gray but it can be restained or painted for an updated look. If properly installed and taken care of, cedar will remain strong for 30 years. Unlike other wood, it naturally repels insects and dries quickly enough to avoid water damage. Depending on whether you want a rustic or a refined look, installing cedar shingles or cedar shakes can make all the difference.
Appearance – Cedar shingles have a smooth and even look that spans the entire roof surface while cedar shakes have a more rugged appearance because each piece looks a little different than the rest. This visual difference comes from the different ways cedar shingles and cedar shakes are produced. Cedar shakes are split off while shingles are sawn smooth on both sides and cut tapered. Lastly, shakes are thicker than shingles.
Durability – Generally speaking, cedar shakes are more durable and last longer than shingles because they are thicker and made from premium grade wood. However, unlike shingles, they cannot lay completely flat on your roof. This is why an experienced installer will install a layer of felt paper between courses of shakes. This protects the cedar shake roof from wind-blown precipitation.
Distinctions – Cedar shingles come in a number of different grades. Grade 3 is affordable, perfect for walls or sheds. Grade 2 is typically used as a starter course or for re-roofing while Grade 1 is premium quality.