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How Much Do Wood Shakes Cost, And Is It Worth It?

How Much Do Wood Shakes Cost, And Is It Worth It?

If you want a roof that not only protects your home but looks great while doing it, you may be considering alternatives to asphalt shingles. One such roofing material is wood shake roofing. Made from natural cuts of cedar, wood shake roofing has a distinct look that many Virginia homeowners love. But looks are only one thing to consider when it comes to your roof. Keep reading for a more in-depth look at the cost, benefits, and suitability of wood shake roofing.

How Much Do Wood Shake Roofs Cost?

Replacing a roof is a big endeavor, and most homeowners have a budget to consider. Cedar shake roofing is more expensive than asphalt shingle roofing. Cedar shakes cost more because of the way they’re made. They have to be chiseled, one at a time, from a cedar log. Installing a cedar shake roof is also more intensive than installing a shingle roof.

Costs vary based on the size of your home, your location, and the current cost of shakes. In general, a cedar roof will cost about twice as much as a shingle roof. The cost of a wood shake roof is comparable to the cost of a metal or tile roof


The Benefits of Wood Shake Roofing

There are four key reasons why homeowners choose cedar roofs in spite of the higher cost.


Aesthetic Appeal

Cedar shakes have a very distinct aesthetic. They differ from wood shingles in the way the wood has been cut. Shakes are cut in the direction of the wood grain. This gives them a rather rustic appearance. Each shake is also a slightly different size, depending on the size of the log it came from. Many homeowners love the natural, cottage-like look of a shake roof. It’s very different from the modern look of a metal roof or the contemporary look of asphalt shingles.


Architectural Integrity

Certain architectural styles call specifically for wood shake roofing. Owners of homes built in these styles are willing to pay more for a wood shake roof because it preserves the home’s architectural authenticity.

Craftsman homes, for example, look most authentic with wood shake roofing. The Craftsman style focuses on the use of natural materials, and wood shakes are certainly natural. Craftsman designers also like to mix materials. As such, a cedar shake roof looks right “at home” on a Craftsman home with stone or brick siding.

Tudor homes from the 19th century also look most authentic with cedar shake roofing. It adds to the whimsical look of these homes, which are known for their arched doors, turrets, and casement windows.

Cape Cod homes also look cozy and inviting with cedar shake roofs. The shakes complement the dormers and symmetrical windows of this simple style. 


Ease of Repairs

Cedar shake roofing also has an advantage when it comes to repairs. Each shake is an individual piece of wood that has been nailed to the roof deck. So, when a shake is damaged, your roofer can simply replace that one damaged shake. There’s no need to remove entire sections of the roof or replace the whole thing. Therefore, repairing a shake roof is less intensive and less invasive than replacing a metal or asphalt shingle roof.

Storm damage that may warrant a roof replacement for a metal or shingle roof may only require some basic repairs for a cedar shake roof. Plus, repairing these roofs does not require a lot of specialized equipment. Your roofers appreciate this!



These days, there is a big push to use more sustainable building materials, and for good reason. Landfills are overflowing, and reducing waste is important. It’s hard to imagine a more sustainable roofing material than cedar shakes. They’re just wood. When you eventually strip them from your roof, they’ll break down naturally.

Cedar is also abundant in North America. These trees are abundant, easy to plant, and produce lots of oxygen while alive.


When Wood Shake Roofing Makes Sense

If you are on a tight budget and need a new roof ASAP, it may not make sense to choose wood shakes. On the other hand, if you can afford the higher cost of this roofing material, it will pay off in the long run. Your home’s value and appearance will be preserved or elevated. Repairs will be easier, and you’ll be making a sustainable purchase. Many Virginia homeowners with Craftsman, Tudor, and Cape Cod homes have had wood shake roofs installed — and love them.

If you do decide on a wood shake roof, make sure to hire an experienced roofing team to install it. The process differs from that of installing asphalt shingles, and cedar shakes must be installed properly for longevity. In the Norfolk or Richmond area, contact Stevens Roofing. Our experienced roofers will provide you with an estimate, which can help guide your decision. 


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