How much does a cedar shake roof cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a cedar shake roof cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a cedar shake roof cost?

$7 – $15cost per square foot installed
$12,900 – $28,200average total cost to install

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$7 – $15 cost per square foot installed

$12,900 – $28,200 average total cost to install

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Kristen Cramer
Written by
Kristen Cramer
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Cedar shake roof cost

A cedar shake roof costs $7 to $15 per square foot installed on average. Wood shake or shingle roof replacement costs $12,900 to $28,200 on average, depending on the size, type, and grade. Cedar shake prices are $300 to $700 per square or $75 ­to $175 per bundle for materials alone.

Cedar roof replacement cost
Roof size (square feet) Average cost to install
1,000 $7,000 – $15,000
1,500 $10,500 – $22,500
2,000 $14,000 – $30,000
2,500 $17,500 – $37,500
3,000 $21,000 – $45,000
3,500 $24,500 – $52,500

  • Cedar shakes and shingles are priced by the bundle or square. One square covers 100 square feet.

  • Cedar shakes are thicker and more durable than wood shingles.

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Average wood shake roof replacement cost

The following table shows the average cost to install or replace a cedar shake roof.

Average cedar shake roof cost - chart
Average cedar shake roof cost - chart
Average cost to replace a wood shake roof
National average cost $21,000
Minimum cost $10,000
Maximum cost $48,000
Average range $12,900 to $28,200

*Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.

Cost of cedar shingles per square and bundle

Cedar shingles cost $50 to $95 per bundle or $200 to $375 per square for materials alone. In comparison, cedar shake prices are $75 to $175 per bundle or $300 to $700 per square. Wood shakes typically cost more than shingles due to their labor-intensive manufacturing process.

Cedar shake or shingle roof cost - chart
Cedar shake or shingle roof cost - chart
Cedar shake and shingle prices per square or bundle
Type Material cost per square Material cost per bundle* Total cost per square foot installed
Cedar / wood shakes $300 – $700 $75 – $175 $7 – $15
Cedar / wood shingles $200 – $375 $50 – $95 $5 – $12
Composite shakes / shingles $400 – $900 $130 – $300 $6 – $18

*Cedar and wood shakes/shingles require 4 to 5 bundles or more per square. Composite shakes/shingles require 3 bundles per square.

Cedar shake roof prices per square

Cedar shake roof prices are $700 to $1,500 per square installed or $300 to $700 per square for materials alone, depending on the shake size and grade.

Cedar shake roof replacement
Cedar shake roof replacement

Composite shakes or shingles prices

Composite shake roofing costs $6 to $18 per square foot installed, depending on the brand and quality. Synthetic shakes require less maintenance and last longer than natural wood shakes. Popular composite shake brands include CeDUR, Brava, DaVinci, and Enviroshake.

Cost factors to install a cedar shake roof

Labor to install a cedar shake roof costs $4 to $8 per square foot and typically makes up 50% to 60% of the total project cost. Cedar shake installation is labor-intensive as each shake requires hand-nailing.

Cedar shake roof installation costs
Factor Cost per square foot
Old roof removal $1 – $3
Shake materials $3 – $7
Installation labor $4 – $8
Total cost to replace $8 – $18

The following factors affect the cost to install a cedar shake roof:

  • Roof size and shape – Multiple stories, chimneys, and complex roof shapes increase the cost.

  • Roof slope and pitch – Cedar shakes are suited for roof pitches of 4:12 or greater. Roofs with steep pitches over 6:12 require more labor and extra safety precautions, increasing costs.

  • Shingles vs. shakes – Shakes typically cost 20% to 30% more than shingles.

  • Hand-split vs. tapersawn shakes – Tapersawn shakes cost 15% to 25% more than hand-split shakes. Hand-split shakes have a rustic, textured look, while tapersawn shakes are sawn on both sides for a semi-textured appearance.

  • Material grade – Number 1 Grade or Blue Label shakes typically cost more than Number 3 Grade shakes but are free of knots and defects and less prone to curling.

  • Shake / shingle layout – Installation costs increase by 25% or more for complex layouts or irregular patterns like thatch, serrated weave, or ocean wave.

  • Remove existing roofing – Old roof removal costs $1 to $3 per square foot.

  • Roof underlaymentRoofing underlayment costs $0.10 to $0.80 per square foot, depending on the material. Roof replacement estimates typically include a new underlayment.

  • Roof decking Roof decking costs $2 to $5 per square foot to replace damaged areas. Roof decking is a plywood layer that supports the underlayment and shakes.

  • Rafters or trussesRoof truss replacement costs $5 to $14 per square foot installed or

    $60 to $500 per truss for materials.

  • Roof repairs – Roof repairs cost $150 to $1,000 to patch small leaks or $3,000 to $6,000

    for structural repairs to fix a sagging roof.

  • Roof penetrations / ventilationRoof vent installation costs $200 to $700.

  • Soffits and fascia Fascia replacement costs $5 to $12 per linear foot. Replacing the soffits costs $4 to $22 per linear foot.

  • Gutter installation/replacement Gutter installation costs $5 to $15 per linear foot. Gutter replacement costs $6 to $17 per linear foot.

  • Drip edge – Installing a drip edge costs $1.50 to $3.00 per linear foot and protects the roof edges.

  • Permits – Roof replacement permits cost $100 to $500, depending on location.

  • Warranty – Because cedar shakes are a natural material, some manufacturers do not offer a warranty for premature failure. Check with your roofing contractor for installation warranties.

Cost to remove a cedar shake roof

The cost to remove a cedar shake roof is $1 to $2 per square foot. The tear-off process is similar to removing asphalt shingles but is often faster and less costly because contractors can roll up the wood shake from end to end and safely throw the roll into the dumpster.

Cost of cedar shakes by size

Cedar shakes come in 18” and 24” lengths, while cedar shingles come in 16”, 18” and 24” lengths. The size determines the amount of overlap between one shake and the next.

Cedar shake prices by size
Size / length Material cost per square Trade name
16 inches $330 – $550 Five-X
18 inches $450 – $650 Perfections
24 inches $550 – $850 Royals

Grades of cedar shakes or shingles

Cedar roof shakes come in three different grades. Number 1 Grade shakes are the highest quality and best suited for residential roofs.

Cedar shake grades
Grade Name Description
Number 1 Blue Label
  • Hand-selected shakes
  • 100% edge grain from the tree’s heartwood
  • Free from knots and defects
  • Won’t curl as easily as shakes with flat grain
Number 2 Red Label
  • Limited flat grain and sapwood allowed
  • Limited knots and defects allowed
Number 3 Black Label
  • Utility grade for economy applications or secondary buildings
  • Unlimited flat grain and sapwood allowed
  • Limited knots and defects allowed

Difference between wood shakes and shingles

Wood shakes and shingles are made from the same material but differ in appearance and durability due to their production method. Wood shakes are hand-split from lumber logs, while wood shingles are machine-milled and smoothed on both sides.

  • Shakes typically cost 20% to 30% more to install than shingles due to their more complex manufacturing process and installation requirements.

  • Cedar shakes are 30% to 50% thicker than wood shingles, making them more durable and insulating.

  • Hand-splitting gives shakes a rustic, irregular appearance. Wood shingles are smoother and more uniform in appearance.

  • Wood shakes are suitable for steeper roofs than shingles.

Cedar shake roof cost vs. asphalt shingles

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An asphalt shingle roof costs $3 to $5 per square foot installed or $5,700 to $12,000 on average. Dimensional asphalt shingles have a random pattern that can mimic the look of cedar shakes at a lower cost than a natural shake roof.

Cedar shake roof repair costs

Cedar shake roof repair costs $150 to $1,000 for minor repairs up to 10 square feet and $3,000 to $6,000+ to repair major damage up to 100 square feet. Wood roofs are more susceptible to damage from moisture, mildew, and UV rays than most other roofing materials.

Cedar shake roof maintenance and cleaning costs

Roof cleaning costs $0.15 to $0.60 per square foot. Clean a cedar shake roof with a soft wash every 3 to 5 years. Additional cedar shake roof maintenance includes applying a protective treatment every 5 to 7 years to preserve the wood and prevent the shakes from rotting, splitting, or buckling.

Shake roof pros and cons

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Cedar shake roofs are attractive and energy efficient but are susceptible to mildew and rot and offer little fire resistance

Cedar shake roof pros and cons
Pros Cons
  • Attractive
  • Durable
  • Weather resistant
  • Energy efficient
  • Excellent thermal insulation
  • Eco-friendly material
  • Can be installed in any season
  • Expensive
  • Complex installation process
  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Not fire resistant
  • Susceptible to rot and curling
  • Not ideal in damp climates
  • Not recommended for homes in heavy shade

Cedar roofing FAQs

What is a shake roof?

A roof shake is a natural wood shingle made from hand-split lumber logs. Wood shake roofing is one of the oldest roof styles in America and is typically made from Western Red Cedar, redwood, or pine. Because the shakes are hand-split, each one is unique.

How long does a cedar shake roof last?

A cedar shake roof lasts 25 to 30 years on average but may last up to 50 years with regular maintenance, proper ventilation, and ideal climate conditions. Cedar shakes have a shorter lifespan in overly moist or dry climates.

Follow these tips to extend a cedar shake roof’s lifespan:

  • Remove leaves and other natural debris to prevent rot.

  • Trim overhanging branches to allow direct sun exposure and decrease drying time.

  • Have the roof cleaned and inspected regularly.

  • Keep the gutters clean and free of debris. Gutter cleaning costs $110 to $185 on average.

When to replace a cedar shake roof?

Look for these signs a cedar shake roof needs replacing:

  • Leaks or water damage

  • Splitting, curling, or buckling shakes

  • Loose or missing shingles

  • Extensive moss or rot

  • Roof is older than 30 years

Should you seal a cedar shake roof?

No, you should never seal a cedar shake roof. Cedar shakes need to breathe to stay dry, and sealing locks in moisture that may cause rot and premature deterioration. To increase the roof’s lifespan, apply a protective water-repellant treatment every 1 to 3 years instead of sealing.

Are cedar shake roofs a fire hazard?

Cedar shake roofs are flammable and may present a fire hazard. Most modern wood shakes are pressure-treated with fire-resistant chemicals, but the treatment eventually wears away. Cedar shakes are more susceptible to wind-driven sparks than other roof materials.

Where can I buy roofing shakes?

You can buy roofing shakes at home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s, building material supply stores like ABC Supply or Beacon Roof Supply, or specialty wood shake suppliers.

Do insurance costs increase for a cedar shake roof?

Because cedar shakes are not fire resistant, some insurance companies will deny coverage or charge higher rates. Many companies also require homeowners to apply a fire-retardant treatment to a wood roof for insurance coverage eligibility.

Getting estimates from cedar roof installers

Before hiring a roofing contractor near you, be sure to:

  • Get at least three in-person estimates to compare.

  • Confirm the roofing contractor has experience installing cedar shake roofs.

  • Look for a contractor who is a member of the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau (CSSB).

  • Check their credentials:

    • State contractor license

    • National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) certification

  • Read their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Choose licensed, insured, and bonded companies with 5+ years of experience.

  • Get a detailed written estimate, contract, and warranty before work begins.

  • Beware of companies with the cheapest quotes as quality may suffer.

  • Avoid making large payments up front. Follow a payment plan instead.

Questions to ask

  • How long have you been in business?

  • Are you licensed, insured, and bonded?

  • Are you NCRA-certified?

  • Are you a member of the CSSB?

  • How many cedar shake roofs have you installed in the past year?

  • Can you provide references from past work?

  • Do you provide a free estimate?

  • Where do you source the cedar shake?

  • Does the estimate include removing the old roof?

  • How long will the project take?

  • Will you obtain any necessary permits?

  • How will you access my roof? What safety precautions will you take?

  • What will you do in the event of unexpected bad weather?

  • How long is the warranty, and what does it include?

  • What kind of maintenance will the roof require?