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The Design Impact of Cedar Shakes vs. Cedar Shingles

Cedar is a stunning home exterior design element. In this article we will explore some of cedar’s possibilities as an exterior design material and explain the differences between cedar shingles and shakes.

Cedar’s Impact on Exterior Design

Cedar is a popular building material due to its longevity, sturdiness, warm natural hues, and pleasant aroma. It’s used for roofing as well as siding, decks, furniture, interior walls, and floors. When used outdoors, cedar blends with surrounding trees, making your home look like part of the landscape.

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 sturdy for 30 years or more. Unlike other wood, it naturally repels insects and dries out quickly enough to avoid most water damage. Depending on whether you want a rustic or a refined look, installing cedar shingles or cedar shakes can make all the difference.



Cedar shingles will make your home the talk of the neighborhood – in a good way! (Cedar West Handcrafted Cedar Shingles – Mountain Ash)

Shingles are the more delicate-looking of the two options due to their precisely sawn and fitted design. Shingles are often thinner than shakes, especially at the butt end. This allows you to layer them more tightly. You see shingles more often than shakes as siding because they look almost like wall tiles. However, shingles also make excellent roofing material for Victorian homes and other elegant vintage housing.



If you want to add character to you home, cedar shakes are definitely worth considering.

Shakes offer a more rustic look, ideal for cozy cottages and country houses. In the past, shakes were split and not sawn from cedar wood, but modern shakes are usually sawn on at least one side. The other side has more texture due to being split from a log. Sometimes the texture is added via machine after a shake has been sawn on both sides. Because shakes have a more irregular fit than shingles, they are often weather-proofed with insulating felt between layers.

Benefits of Both

Both shingles and shakes are an excellent addition to an entire roof, as siding, or to small overhangs above windows and doors. They are most useful as roofing on houses in wet weather areas that have steeply sloped roofing. Using cedar on roofs with steep slopes is a great way to show off your roof while keeping your house safe from moisture.

Types of Homes that Benefit Most From Cedar Roofing

Whether in shakes or shingles, cedar adds an extra wow factor to a variety of home types. While you most often see cedar used in Colorado and the Pacific Northwest, the stylish wood fits with all kinds of homes that are surrounded by or composed of natural elements and colors. Georgian homes and Craftsman-style bungalows are just a few other house styles that look great topped with cedar.

If you live in an area with consistently harsh winter weather, you might choose cedar shingles over shakes. They provide excellent weather-proofing with a sophisticated look. Cedar shakes are more eclectic, ideal for summer cottages and cabins in the woods. No matter which option you choose, you will get all the design and practical benefits of cedar!

Do you prefer the look of shakes or shingles?

Browse our selection of sturdy Cedar Roofing here. Find the right choice for your property.

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  1. Pingback: Roofing in Saint Paul, Minnesota

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