Everything You Need to Know About Cedar Shake Shingles

Aerial view of a new cedar shake roof with copper details
For as long as homeowners have wanted to make their neighbors jealous, cedar shake shingles have been a staple of the roofing industry. Known for their natural beauty and resilience, these shingles can give your home a sense of elegance without compromising on protective quality. To that end, let’s take a look at both the traditional wooden cedar shake shingles and modern synthetic alternatives, all so you can have the information you need to determine whether cedar shakes are right for you.

The Charm of Traditional Cedar Shake Shingles

When it comes to both material quality and aesthetics, traditional cedar shake shingles are unparalleled, sporting a unique texture that can give any home a bit of rustic charm while protecting it from the elements. Made from natural cedar wood, these shingles not only enhance your home’s curb appeal but also provide impressive impact and weather resistance – in fact, cedar shake shingles can withstand impact from two-inch-wide hail travelling at over 70 miles per hour. Because of that, a home with a traditional cedar shake roof will likely be safe from major weather-related damage for decades on end.

Advancements in Roofing: Composite Cedar Shake Shingles

Composite cedar shake shingles capitalize on these strengths by merging the classic cedar appearance with modern material benefits. Made from recycled plastic and wood fibers, these “fake” cedar shake shingles stand out as a strong eco-friendly option, resisting rot and lasting longer than traditional wood shingles. In fact, faux cedar shake shingles can keep their protective value for up to 50 years – that’s 10-20 years longer than their wooden counterparts! Because of that, synthetic cedar shake shingles serve as not only a tool to protect your home but also a long-term investment in its future, saving you from costly maintenance, repairs, and replacement that could drain your bank account as the years come and go.

The Pros and Cons of Cedar Shake Shingles

Between lasting quality and impressive aesthetic appeal, cedar shake shingles stand out as a top-notch choice to protect your home. With that said, no product is perfect, and cedar shakes are no exception. Here’s a list of the benefits and drawbacks of a cedar shake roof:


  • Aesthetic Appeal: Cedar shakes offer a classic rustic look that can improve the curb appeal of any home.
  • Insulation: Cedar has natural insulating properties, keeping homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
  • Durability: When properly maintained, cedar shakes can last between 30 and 50 years – that’s up to 20 years longer  than the average roof!
  • Eco-Friendly: Cedar is a renewable resource, and its natural decomposition process has minimal environmental impact. Because of that, traditional cedar shake shingles are as nature-friendly as roofing products can get.


  • Maintenance: Cedar shakes, especially the traditional variety, require regular maintenance, including cleaning and treatment to prevent rot, mold, and insect infestation.
  • Cost: They are generally more expensive than other roofing materials – you can expect to pay at least $18,000 to roof a 3,000-square-foot home with cedar shakes.
  • Fire Risk: Cedar is not inherently fire-resistant like asphalt or tile, so cedar shakes may require additional treatment to improve fire safety.

Finding Cedar Shake Shingles

If you’ve looked at the pros and cons and determined you want to purchase cedar shakes for your home, there are several ways to do so. Major home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot may be your best bet, as they offer both the traditional and composite varieties on a reliable  basis. With that said, online platforms make it easy to locate “cedar shake shingles for sale near me” with a simple Google search, so if you live in an area without one of these stores, you may benefit from looking on the web.

However, the best way to get your shingles is by hiring a local roofing contractor (like, ahem, Baker Roofing if you live in the Southeast). We not only install your shingles but also purchase and ship them to you beforehand, saving you the effort of going on a wild goose chase through the roofing industry to buy and transport them separately. Because of that, roofing contractors are the most efficient path to getting your hands on your new shingles.


Cedar shake shingles, whether traditional or composite, excel in blending top-notch style with lasting protective value. From the natural charm of real cedar to the low-maintenance and durability of synthetic alternatives, there’s a cedar shake option to suit every home and personal taste. So, if you can afford a slightly more expensive roof, you won’t be disappointed if you choose cedar shake.