As the crowning touch of a home, roofing is the barrier that protects the inside from harsh outer elements. As such, a roof must be strong and durable enough to withstand the wear and tear that often accompanies hot summers, cold winters and freak weather occurrences.
With all these things considered, one of the best roofing options for homeowners today is wood, which has proven itself to be one of the most durable roofing options on residential properties for decades. All wood shingles and shakes — and particularly cedar, teak and wallaba roofing products — are well worth the price to anyone who understands the benefits of these roofing options.
Increase in Your Home’s Value
One of the primary benefits of custom wood shingles is the value they add to residential properties. This is due to factors such as visual appeal and durability. From an aesthetic standpoint, cedar shingles have a timeless charm that has spanned the last century of home building in the U.S. As homeowners generally agree, wood shingles look better and add more style to a home than other types of roofing.
The price associated with wood roofing is also advantageous, since the cost of wood shingles per square — defined as 100 square feet — pays off in the form of low maintenance costs and long life. While wood roofing can easily withstand year after year of rough weather and wintery storms, asphalt roofing can require repairs that exceed the cost of, for example, cedar shingles.
Longevity of the Product
When you make any sort of investment in the structure of your home, longevity should be your foremost concern. While wood shingles might cost more to install than asphalt, the wood shingles are far stronger. In fact, wood shingle roof life expectancy is among the longest in all of roofing.
In neutral climates, wood shingles on well-maintained homes can last up to 30 years for cedar shingles, and anywhere from 50 to 80 years for teak and wallaba shingles. Even in more hostile climates, wood shingles will generally last for at least three decades.
So, instead of thinking in terms of cedar shake roof cost per square, wood roofing should instead be perceived as a long-term investment that pays off within the time you occupy a property, and beyond.
Of course, wood shingles do require maintenance from time to time. In most cases, wood shingle maintenance doesn't amount to much more than gutter cleaning and tree trimming. The gutters should be cleaned periodically to prevent buildup along the edges of the roof. To keep the wood breathing, shingles should also be free of leaves and branches as much as possible. Therefore, branches from nearby trees should never be allowed to hang over a roof with cedar shakes or shingles, to eliminate falling debris.
During the time you own a house with wood roofing, some of the shingles or shakes might need to be replaced. The reason for this could be an external factor, such as a savage storm. Then again, it could be due to premature wear along a certain portion of the roof, which might be brought on by rot or neglect. In any case, you might need a partial roof replacement at some point.
Thankfully, wood shingles can be replaced in select areas, and new shingles or shakes blend in seamlessly with the old ones. Furthermore, the cost to replace wood roof shingles is inexpensive compared to other roofing types.
All of this is because wood shingles are a natural insulator. During the winter, wood shingles and shakes keep houses warmer than average. In the summertime, shingles made of wood seal off humidity from the outdoors and therefore allow your house to remain cooler when things get unbearably hot outside.
As a result, homes with cedar roofing require less investment in heating and cooling, and can save you money on your electric bill — plus reduce the time you have to spend constantly balancing your thermostat.
When thought of in terms of annual energy savings, the cost of wood shingles per square is a relative bargain. Compared to cheaper types of roofing with shorter life spans, cedar shingles and shakes are lasting investments that can help you save money on various other fronts.
Historical Accuracy for Older Homes
Wood shingles have been a popular form of residential roofing for more than a century. Thanks to their classic appearance, wood roofs have spanned numerous eras and changes in popular taste. From the more rustic-looking homes of the first few decades of the 20th century to the modern designs of the past 50 years, wood shingles and shakes have proven themselves to be adaptable options that never go out of style.
Originating from trees that are unique to the Pacific Northwest, cedar was a popular building material long before the area was settled by European Americans. Natives in the region had used the wood for centuries to build everything from totem poles to canoes. Due to its straight grains, cedar is an easy wood to cut into any shape, yet strong and reliable enough for even the most demanding applications. As such, cedar was soon found to be a perfect material for residential roofing.
Due to the fact that wood shingles come from the exact same sources that they did 100 years ago, it's easy to retain the historical integrity of older homes with new cedar. As long as the shape and cut of the shingles or shakes match the original style of roofing on a particular home, new wood roofing can be applied that would look identical to the old shingles in side-by-side photographs.
The ease with which the wood can be cut into shingles has made cedar roofing easy to produce in vast quantities. Today, when people ask if wood shingle roof work is worth the price, the answer lies in the tremendous history that backs up the style. Older homes that have had cedar shingles since the beginning have proven to be some of the most prized properties on the real estate market.
One of the greatest benefits of wood shingles is the unique style they provide. Custom wood shingles can be bent, shaped, and cut to fit exacting specifications – something that’s difficult to find with asphalt shingles. Homeowners and architects are able to express their unique design taste, and add interesting flares of detail to their home that draw the eyes of passers-by. From fish-tail cuts to colorful stains, wood shingles are the most versatile in their style and character.
Wood shingles can also be a great option for unique roof shapes. For owners of a home with a mushroom shaped roof, a geometric dome shape or other unique curve, wood shingles are the best way to find the roofing that best fits and protects your unique roof while holding onto its historical or stylistic authenticity.
Shingles vs. Shakes
One of the neat things about wood roofing is the difference in style between shingles and shakes. Cedar shingles are the result of machine cuts, and are thus smooth, flat and uniform in shape. Cedar shakes are cut by hand instead, and as a result have a rougher, more grooved surface and an individualized appearance. Shingles and shakes appeal to slightly different aesthetic tastes:
While cedar shake roof cost totals are slightly higher, many homeowners agree that the detail and uniqueness of shakes make such roofing well worth the price for residential properties.
Deciding between shingles and shakes can depend on your preferences between vintage and modern exterior styles. If you want your home to look modern, cedar shingles could be the most congruent option. On the other hand, if you'd rather your home evoke more of a vintage, rustic look, shakes might be the better choice.
Stylistically, wood shingles and shakes can be selected in a variety of shapes, such as round, octagonal, arrow, horizontal and diamond, in addition to square. For years after its initial application, this roofing material maintains the look of freshly cut wood. As they age, cedar shingles and shakes assume a silvery gray tone, which adds to the vintage appeal of this type of roofing.
Other Types of Custom Wood Shingles: Teak and Wallaba
When examining the cost to replace wood roof shingles, it's important to understand all of the natural roofing options. In addition to cedar, the most popular types of wood roofing are teak shingles and wallaba shingles.
Teak shingles are a water-resistant, mold-proof roofing option that originate from the wood of an Asian mint tree. For the homeowner with more exotic tastes, teak shingles are an ideal choice for the following qualities:
- Classy appearance that comes in a range of shapes (tapered, ridge) and colors (gold, gray).
- Durable surface that requires little maintenance over the years to remain in top condition.
- Weather-resistant quality that won't deteriorate or shrink through seasonal hot, cold and wet spells.
- Natural origin and long life makes for an eco-friendly and cost-effective roofing option.
Wallaba shingles are a non-corrosive, mite-resistant roofing option that originated in South America, but has since spread throughout the South Pacific, the Middle East and the U.S. This reddish wood has become popular with American homeowners for the following reasons:
- Long-lasting quality that has made wallaba the preferred roofing option of many world-class architects.
- Ageless appeal that endures for many decades, even as the wood changes from reddish-brown to gray.
- Environmentally sound, due to the wood's natural resins, which allow for a chemical-free production process.
- Storm-resistance, which makes wallaba shingles a smart roofing choice for people in areas that are prone to hurricanes and rain/snow storms.
For the reasonable cost of cedar shingles, teak shingles or wallaba shingles, you could have a roof that will pay itself back many times over though the years, thanks to its durability, strength and warmth.
Use of an All-Natural Product
Wood shingles and shakes are completely natural products, and are therefore among the purest of all roofing types available to homeowners. Sourced from woods originally native to the Pacific Northwest, cedar roofing is derived from one of the world's most widely available resources. The same applies to teak and wallaba shingles, the trees for which are now cultivated in other parts of the world. As such, shakes and shingles made of this wood are among the most eco-friendly of roofing options.
The process through which cedar, teak and wallaba shingles and shakes are produced, for instance, is none too complicated. In fact, it can be broken down to the following two stages:
- Trees are chopped from the woodlands.
- Shingles and shakes are cut from the timber.
The whole process is that simple. There are no chemicals or high-pollutant machinery involved. Wood roofing is an environmentally sound option from beginning to end. Years down the line, when a given set of shakes or shingles is removed, the discarding process is just as easy and eco-friendly. Since wood is a natural product, the wood can be left to decompose naturally at any compost site.
When factoring wood shake roof cost into the estimated total of a roofing project, consider the environmental benefits. The production, installation and disposition of wood shakes and shingles make few contributions to greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore presents no harm to the environment.
Hurricane & Wind Resistance
As homes built in rough climates have shown, cedar and other wood shakes and shingles are among the strongest of all roofing materials. For example:
In regions that have been recurrently subjected to hurricane activity, homes with wood roofing remain intact.
In fact, wood shingles can endure wind speeds of at least 245 miles per hour.
The same cannot be said for asphalt roofing, which typically requires heavy maintenance in the aftermath of such weather.
Wood roofing is also largely impervious to assorted factors that can damage asphalt and other roofing types. Falling branches, for one, will rarely damage a wood roof — barring the unlikely event of a far-falling heavy branch. Cedar shingles and shakes are also largely resistant to moss and algae, both of which are big maintenance concerns for homeowners with asphalt roofing.
Whether you live in an area that's prone to extreme temperature cycles or natural disasters, wood roofing is more likely to come out unscathed than any other kind of roofing. Throughout the harshest of times, wood shakes and shingles will likely keep you comforted when outdoor temperatures become unbearable, and safe whenever wind cycles and downpours get frighteningly heavy.
Therefore, when you consider the cost of wood shingles, think of the safety and protection your home will have when you choose this roofing option.
Re-Roof Your Home With Wood Roofing From Custom Shingles
On most homes throughout the U.S., shingle replacement is needed every three to five decades. When the time comes to get new roofing, Custom Shingles offers some of the most unique and original custom wood roofing available. To learn more about our products, browse through our site or contact us today.