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Cedar Roof Shingles Versus Cedar Shakes

Updated: Jan 14


When planning a cedar roof installation for your home, there are numerous factors that come into play. The time of year affects your decision of when to begin major renovation. The choices are also vast when it comes to selecting the right materials for the job: pine versus cedar, shingle roofing versus shakes.

It's important, when making this decision, to know the difference between shingles and shakes. They are both made of wood and go on your roof, but understanding what separates these two types of roofing materials and the manufacturing process and standards applied to their preparation will help you make the right choice for your roof.

The Aesthetic Difference between Shingles and Shakes

Cedar shingle roofing has a smooth and uniform look. Shingles are made by sawing both sides of the wood. Shakes, on the other hand, are created by splitting the wood and then sawing down the side that is applied to the roof. This creates a more natural look.


If you choose to install cedar roof shingles, your home will have a cleaner look. If you live in a more rural environment, however, shakes create a more rustic feel that's perfect for vacation homes or ranches. Because shakes are larger and heavier, they also look great on bigger homes.

The Advantage of Cedar Shakes

When choosing between cedar shingle roofing or shakes, you should also take into account the standards each material must be manufactured to meet. Shakes are required to protect against the elements. This includes:

  • Holding up against winds as strong as 395 km/hour

  • Resilience against impact damage

  • Fire resistance through the application of particular fire-retardant treatments

Shakes also have their own classification system, which breaks them down into various grades depending on the type of grain the wood was cut along and the presence of defects. Typically, they are split into Number 1 and Number 2 Grade shakes. There is also a Premium Grade which assures 100 percent edge grain. This differs from other grades that simply have flat or slash grain.

Contact Us

If cedar roof shingles are your roofing of choice, contact us. Our Connecticut cedar roofing specialists can help you maintain your cedar shingles or shakes.


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