Cedar Roofing Options
for the Greater Chicago Area
and Northwest Suburbs
While the different types of cedar roofing products are similar in their form, how they are installed as well as their overall aesthetic bring about key differences between them in both appearance and durability. Most homeowners are not aware of the difference and often ask us what’s the difference between Cedar Shake and Cedar Shingles?
With Gold Standard Restorations, you can rely on our professional contractors to happily answer your questions on all the pros and cons of upgrading your roof with cedar and we guarantee quality material from start to finish.
The biggest difference in appearance between the two styles is that shake provides a uniquely textured, rough-faced look that allows a varied appearance and beautiful natural grain that makes each home take on its own beautiful style.
Cedar Shake roofing material is created by splitting the material from its original form as a log and they are split on one side and sawn or milled on the other to give them their distinct look. Historically, these were created using a blade or mallet to separate the wood along the grain pattern to create rectangular pieces of tapered wood to be used for roofing.
Currently, cedar shake roofing styles are more commonly installed by using power tools that are designed to keep the same look and classic appeal. Another added benefit is they are created straight from the source and they are typically the thickest and most durable of all the cedar roofing products.
Cedar shingles are manufactured by sawing the tapered sides on both the face and bottom of the wood which causes the pieces to be slimmer and slightly less durable than shakes. The small yet significant difference in the process of creating cedar shingles, however, is the milled or sawed face of the material allows for a cleaner, more uniform appearance.
Cedar shingles allow for a variety of color that comes from the wood but because they remain smooth textured, they don’t show as much rigidness as the cedar shake does. Since these shingles are sawn, oftentimes there can be some cuts across the grain as opposed to the shake that is split along the grain. When our expert roofers come out to look over your roof, we’ll explain what may be better for your home.
Cedar shake and shingles are both sold in fire-treated options that are required by some code enforcement agencies. While they will always add cost to the project, it only means whatever style you choose will bring reliability along with the peace of mind of knowing your roof is safe. This process will make the cedar a bit darker than its natural hue but it will help them from burning rapidly in case of a fire.
For many roofs in the greater Chicago area, there are usually two categories of fire-protected shakes: “Class B” and “Class C”.
There are also preservative treatments available for Western Red cedar shake & shingles that will help keep your roof standing for a long time. Unfortunately, there is no way that Cedar can be pressure treated with both fire-retardant and preservative treatments, nor can either one perform both results, so it is important to make the best decision for your property. Thankfully, our experts at Gold Standard will help to advise you of what we think would be the most beneficial treatment for both your home and its location.
The pricing for all these materials depends on the thickness as well as if they are treated or not. The rule of thumb is that untreated cedar shingles will be the cheapest, followed by ½ inch cedar shake, and then ¾ inch cedar shake, and typically, getting cedar treated usually adds more to the cost as well.
Cedar Mills and Certifications
Just like many other roofing materials, there are several different places Gold Standard gets the material we use for our quality cedar. We source our material from companies like Watkins Sawmill & Teal-Jones because of their own dedication to quality products, sustainable products, and their effort in preserving the local forestry.
These products all stand up to the Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau’s rigorous standards for quality and grade. Depending on your needs, we also have options available that are tested & certified by 3rd party inspection agencies like the Quality Auditing Institute (QAI). Any that we use help to ensure that the quality Gold Standard expects is being met by our suppliers.
No matter the style you choose, a cedar roof is a classic and beautiful material that will add a timeless appeal to your home even though there are a few downsides to keep in mind if you do choose it for your roof.
Cedar will perform best when you implement regular maintenance, which should occur about every five years. This includes replacement of any cracked, broken, or split shakes, as well as a treatment along with it to keep moisture in the wood and help prevent it from drying due to the elements. This can add up to be costly over the years but it is imperative that it is accomplished to ensure that your timeless roof will last its full lifespan.
Western Red Cedar is one of the most popular and commonly used products in our area. It has a beautiful golden amber hue that, when installed correctly, will glow with the sun. However, with any kind of wood product, even cedar will lose its color vibrance over the years and often weather out to a more silver or grey color in less than ten years from installation.
While the material will keep a lot of its aesthetic and charm, it is important to have an expectation of how your roof color will progress as the elements begin to take a toll. GSR experts have found this to be especially true in the Chicagoland area with our abundantly sun-filled summers and harsh, dreary winters.
As our industry continues to expand the boundaries of roofing materials, many manufacturers are coming up with beautiful alternatives to the standard cedar roofing products that have been available on the market and our offices are no exception.
Gold Standard Restorations has been working with homeowners that are interested in keeping that same timeless curb appeal but want to move to a more, maintenance-free product. For these particular customers, we have partnered with several of the key players in synthetic roofing products that work to make their products appear like cedar. We’ve also been introducing high-end shingle products that provide the depth, protection, and quality you expect out of a cedar roofing product.
The high-end shingle options include GAF Glenwood, GAF Grand Sequoia, Certainteed Presidential Shake, & Certainteed Solaris. These products have a different look than your standard dual or triple-layer laminate asphalt shingle that brings out the look and feel of cedar shake with a variety of color options. They also come with the added benefits of upgraded warranties from the manufacturers because of the durability of their construction.
Beyond asphalt shingle options there is a world of synthetic and metal products that maintain the curb appeal of cedar but add longevity to your roofing system and a reduction in maintenance costs. These products include Davinci Roofscapes, Brava Roof Tiles, Euroshield, Enviroshakes & Certainteed Matterhorn.
Find Out How Cedar Looks on Your Roof!
Even with the added maintenance, a cedar roof can be an amazing attribute to your home and if actual wood isn’t what you prefer, the synthetic options we offer could be even better! Don’t wait and call us at 847-495-2399 and have our professional designers come out to show you the golden option! Go for Golden Standard Restorations!