Are you a homeowner considering a roof replacement and wondering how much cedar shingles cost? Cedar shingles aren’t always the cheapest material, but they offer durability, better protection from damaging winds and hail, and a classic aesthetic, making a cedar shingle roof worth the investment.
This guide runs through the cost of this roofing material and ways you can save money on a cedar roof. Read on to decide whether cedar is suitable for your roofing project.
- There are two products in the cedar roofing world — cedar shingles and cedar shakes.
- Investing in cedar roofing means a long-term investment in protecting your home. Cedar roofing generally lasts about 10 years longer than an asphalt roof.
- Generally, you can expect to spend between $8,000 and $30,000 on new cedar roofing for your home.
What Is the Cost of Cedar Shingles and Shakes?
There are two products in the cedar roofing world — cedar shingles and cedar shakes. For a 3,000-square-foot roof, the average cost of cedar shingles is between $13,500 and $25,500. For a similar-size roof finished with cedar shakes, you can expect to pay between $18,000 and $33,000.
Cedar Shingles Cost
|National Average Cost||$15,675|
|High||$8.50+ per square foot|
|Low||$4.50 per square foot|
Cedar Shakes Cost
|National Average Cost||$21,825|
|High||$11+ per square foot|
|Low||$6 per square foot|
We retrieved this cost data on RS Means, a project estimate system that provides up-to-date industry pricing for contractors and construction professionals. Please note that this data primarily covers materials costs, so additional labor and crew fees are not included.
How Much Do Different Types of Cedar Roofing Cost?
Installation costs differ depending on the type of cedar wood roofing you select.
|Type||Typical Price Range Per Square Foot||Average Cost per Square Foot|
Cedar shingles cost between $4.50 and $8.50 per square foot. They’re machine-sawn and milled to be uniform and precise. Wood shingles lay flat and give your roof a consistent appearance. Because of their precise edge and uniform shape, a homeowner can install wood shingles on their own.
Cedar shakes are hand-split, which gives them a more irregular shape. The difference between shakes and shingles mainly lies in their shape. Shakes have a more rustic shape that can result in gaps during installation, leaving your roof susceptible to the elements.
Because of their irregularity, installing shakes is a job that should be left up to professionals, resulting in a higher price per square foot. You can expect to pay anywhere between $6 and $11 per square foot for the installation of cedar shakes.
How Much Does Cedar Roofing Cost by Grade?
Cedar shingles are milled uniformly, but cedar shakes come in various grades. Depending on the grade of cedar shake you select, the cost can vary.
Number 1 Grade
Number 1, or “blue label” shakes, are the highest grade and come at a premium price. They’re cut from heartwood along the edge grain, meaning they have a perfectly straight grain. These shakes are also considered 100% clear, meaning they have no visible knots or other deformities that could cause them to deteriorate more quickly.
Number 2 Grade
Used in many applications, Number 2 graded shakes are mostly straight grain with some curved grain. These “red label” shakes are an economical choice. They’re higher quality and require less maintenance than Number 3 shakes, and they’re suitable for most projects.
Number 3 Grade
While they are the least expensive cedar shake, these lower-graded ones won’t last as long and require more maintenance. Generally, Number 3 grade “black label” shakes warp and curl faster — they’re the off-cuts and unwanted leftovers from the straight-grain shakes.
They’re often used on outbuildings or as an underlayment or starter course for higher-graded shakes. Although they cost less upfront, you may spend more money on maintaining them.
|Grade||Average Cost Range per Square Foot|
How Do Cedar Shingles Costs Compare to Wood Alternatives?
While red cedar is considered the premium wooden roofing material, you can choose to use white cedar or other wooden roofing options.
Composite wood is made of recycled or synthetic materials, which looks similar to real wood shakes and shingles but offers superior durability. Composite wooden roofing material is incredibly resistant to weather conditions, rot, and impact.
Other Types of Wood
Depending on where you live, more types of natural wood roofing, such as pine or redwood, may be readily available. Different types of wood may offer the same aesthetic of a cedar roof but at a lower material cost due to its local availability.
|Type||Per Square Foot||Per Square (100 Square Feet)|
Which Factors Impact Cedar Shingles Cost?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most roofers earn up to $35 per hour. Our research on RS Means points to some labor costs going as high as $60 per hour for each laborer on your project. Therefore, your cost will vary based on your project’s materials, work crew, and other factors specific to your roof. Below you’ll find a deeper breakdown of what tp expect.
There may be additional fees for your roofing job depending on how accessible your roof is. For example, if your house has multiple stories and a steeply inclined roof, they may need extra safety equipment, which will cost more.
Some contractors bundle the cost of removing and disposing of your old roof into their installation fee. However, some roofing contractors charge a separate fee for this, adding to your final total.
You may be charged extra if your home has special features, like skylights, chimneys, or dormers. Working around these features takes extra attention and caution, adding to labor costs and installation time.
Government Fees and Permits
While you won’t necessarily need a permit to put a new roof on your home, you will if you make any major changes or additions. Before starting any work on your new roof, ensure that you don’t need any special permits on a state or local level.
In addition to the shingles or shakes you select, you’ll need to pay for other materials like underlayment or new ridge caps. While these can sometimes be reused, that isn’t always the case.
Cedar roofing, in particular, requires a special set of skills and knowledge. Seeking professionals with experience in cedar roofing is a worthwhile investment. While it may cost more initially, proper installation can prolong the life span of your roof and save you money long-term.
What Are the Benefits of Investing in Cedar Roofing?
Investing in cedar roofing means a long-term investment in protecting your home. Cedar roofing generally lasts about 10 years longer than an asphalt roof. If you opt for premium-grade shingles and stick to a proper maintenance schedule, a cedar roof can last up to 50 years.
Cedar roofing is resistant to rot, deters insects, and is durable even in extreme weather conditions. Wooden shakes also have superior insulating properties to asphalt roofing, making cedar an energy-efficient roofing option.
What Are Professional Vs. DIY Cedar Roofing Costs?
If you install cedar roofing yourself, you’ll save money on labor and other charges that come with professional installation. While you could end up paying only the cost of materials, if you have a complicated roof structure, you may need to invest in safety equipment. In addition, replacing your home’s roof is no small feat — it will likely be a large investment of your time.
Installing Cedar Shingles Yourself
While installing your own cedar roof is not impossible, we don’t recommend it. Making a mistake while installing your roofing may lead to water leaks or structural damage.
If your roofing material is under warranty, the warranty may not be valid if it’s damaged during a DIY installation. The best action is to hire a licensed professional to install your roof properly.
Hiring a Professional for Cedar Roof Installation
Hiring a professional roofing contractor is relatively straightforward. However, we recommend following these steps for the best results.
- Source local experts: Research local roofing contractors and speak with a few.
- Obtain at least three quotes for your project: Solicit multiple bids for your project to get a frame of reference.
- Ask clarifying questions about their recommendations: Ensure you understand everything a roofing contractor recommends and that there aren’t any hidden costs.
- Ask for references: It’s a major red flag if your contractor isn’t willing to give references. Ask for a few references and speak to them before deciding to work with your contractor.
- Confirm licensing: It’s essential to confirm that your contractor’s license is up-to-date and that they’re bonded and insured. This way, you’ll be protected in the event of an accident that causes damage to your property or injury to a worker. Remember, a low bid isn’t always a good one — it could mean that unqualified workers are being hired or low-quality materials will be used.
Our Recommendation on the Cost of Cedar Shingles
Generally, you can expect to spend between $8,000 and $30,000 on new cedar roofing for your home. Just remember that your home’s unique features, the type of material you select, and other factors will contribute to the overall project cost. Investing in quality materials and hiring a trustworthy licensed roofing professional will leave you with a new cedar roof that’ll protect your home for many years to come.
FAQs About Cedar Shingles Costs
Why Are Cedar Shake Shingles So Expensive?
Cedar shake shingles are expensive because their production costs more than other shingles. They’re long-lasting, making them more valuable per square foot than other materials.
How Much Does a Cedar Shake Roof Cost per Square Foot?
On average, a new cedar shake roof costs approximately $8.50 per square foot. The final cost of your roof can be impacted by various factors, like the pitch of your roof or the quality of materials you select.
What Costs More, Cedar Shingles or Asphalt?
Cedar shakes and shingles can cost up to five times more than an asphalt shingle roof for materials and installation. However, cedar has a longer life span and higher durability, making it more valuable long-term.
What Are the Benefits of Cedar Shingles?
Cedar shingles offer many benefits. In addition to its visual appeal, cedar roofing is mold, mildew, and rot-resistant; durable; lightweight; and naturally insect-repelling.