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Cedar Shake Roof Installation Cost

Cedar Shake Roof Installation Cost

National average
(1,500 sq.ft. Cedar shake roof with a moderate pitch and chimney)
Low: $7,500

(1,500 sq.ft. Average quality shakes and moderate pitch)

High: $18,000

(1,500 sq.ft. Premium-quality shakes with a high pitch and large chimney)

Cost to have wood shake roofing installed varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from roofers in your city.

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Cedar Shake Roof Installation Cost

National average
(1,500 sq.ft. Cedar shake roof with a moderate pitch and chimney)
Low: $7,500

(1,500 sq.ft. Average quality shakes and moderate pitch)

High: $18,000

(1,500 sq.ft. Premium-quality shakes with a high pitch and large chimney)

Cost to have wood shake roofing installed varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from roofers in your city.

The average cost of installing a cedar shake roofing is $7,500 - $15,500

How Much Does It Cost to Install Cedar Shake Roof?

Cedar shake 1 roofs are a popular option for homeowners who want a rustic or natural appearance for their home. They are also popular among those who want a more environmentally friendly or green roof as well. Properly installed cedar shake 1 roofs can last years longer than asphalt 2 and can improve the appearance of a home.

Many cost factors go into the price of a cedar shake 1 roof. The average costs range between $7,500 and $15,500 per 1,500 sq.ft. roof, with most homeowners paying around $10,500 for a cedar shake 1 roof fully installed.

Cedar Shake Roofing Installation

Cedar shake 1 roofing installation costs
National average cost$11,500
Average range$7,500 - $15,500
Minimum cost$7,500
Maximum cost$18,000

Pros and Cons

Like all materials, cedar shake 1 roofs have positive and negative attributes that you need to weigh as you make your decision. Cedar is very attractive and durable, lasting roughly 50 years on average with proper maintenance. They are also fairly durable and are not affected by things like hail, which could damage an asphalt 2 roof.

Cedar also makes a good insulator, helping most homes keep their energy costs down. This, combined with the fact that cedar shake 1 roofs last long and are easily recycled or biodegradable, makes them an eco-friendly choice as well.

Cedar shakes 1 are more expensive than standard asphalt shingles, however, and require expert installation. In addition, cedar shakes 1 require a lot of maintenance. You need to keep the roof clear of any leaves and debris at all times, prevent or remove ice dams as quickly as possible, and make repairs frequently to stop any damage from spreading.

Cedar Shakes vs Shingles

Cedar roofs can be made of cedar shakes 1 or cedar shingles 3. Some people may use the terms shakes 1 and shingles 3 interchangeably, but these two materials are distinct and produce different looks for your roof.

Cedar shakes 1 are hand-split pieces of wood, so they have a rustic appearance, often with a deeper texture to it. Cedar shakes 1 tend to be more irregular in size and are usually thicker as well.

Cedar shingles 3 are machined to provide a more precise appearance and size. The shingles 3 are even and neatly taper toward the back with a uniform style.

Shakes 1 tend to look more rustic in appearance, while shingles 3 are more transitional in style. Both shingles 3 and shakes 1 can be larger or thicker, and they have similar costs for price and installation. Costs vary, mostly in terms of the size and weight of the material. Expect both to cost roughly $1.75 - $3.50 a square foot uninstalled.

Installation Process

Cedar shake 1 roofs are installed differently than other roofing materials because it needs to breathe. This means the installation is longer and more time-consuming than other roof types.

The traditional roof deck is removed, and spaced sheathing is installed in its place to allow for air circulation. This is covered with a cedar shingle 3 underlayment 4, which helps facilitate air movement while helping manage moisture.

Flashing 5 is installed around all openings and along the drip edge, and then the first course of the shakes 1 is installed at the bottom edge of the roofline 6, overlapping it by a few inches. The shakes 1 must be nailed down by hand, rather than using a nail gun, because a gun could damage the material. Each course is laid overlapping the one installed below it, moving up to the ridge.

Installing shakes 1 instead of uniform shingles 3 may take longer because the installer has to dry fit and piece together the different shakes 1 to get the best fit. Shingles 3 can be done slightly faster because they are a uniform size. A good installer, however, can usually install a shake 1 roof as quickly as a shingle 3 roof.

Labor Costs

Labor is the biggest part of the cost of a cedar shake 1 roof. Most installers charge between $200 and $400 per square (100 square feet) to tear off an old cedar shake 1 roof and install a new one. Cedar shakes 1 may cost slightly more to install than cedar shingles 3, and homes with a higher pitch or slope to their roof will also have higher installation costs than homes with more moderate pitches. For a 1,500sq.ft. roof with cedar shakes 1 with a moderate pitch, the installation costs will be about $4,500 out of the $10,500 total.

Cedar Shake Roof Maintenance

Cedar shake 1 roofs require a lot more maintenance than other roofing materials. They need to be cleaned frequently to remove any debris that could stop them from breathing properly. They need ice dams removed immediately to help prevent wood rot. They should also be treated periodically to make them flame-retardant. Some homeowners may choose to treat them against insects and fungus, although this is not always necessary because cedar is naturally resistant to both.

If you do not want your cedar roof to weather and turn gray, apply stains or sealants to help maintain its original color. In some climates, you may also need to use sealants to prevent moisture problems that can lead 7 to wood rot, swelling, or buckling of the wood. Cedar is most prone to cracking, so watch for signs of cracked shakes 1 and replace them as needed.

Enhancements and Improvements

High-end Materials

Larger, thicker, or premium shakes 1 increase the cost of the project. If you choose premium-grade, 24-inch straight-split shakes 1, your costs will increase by about $200 - $500 per square.

New Gutters

Many people choose to install new gutters at the same time as their new roof. This will add $1,800 to $2,400 to the total cost of the project.

Heated Cable

If you live in an area with a lot of snow, you may want to install a heated cable to prevent ice dams on your roof by melting the snow as it falls. This can add about $600 - $700 to the cost of the project.


If you have skylights, you need to have additional flashing 5 installed around them before the shakes 1 can be installed. This can add about $450 per skylight to the cost of the project.


Chimneys are also intrusions in the roof and need to be flashed 5 and sealed prior to installing the shakes 1. A chimney will add about $450 to the cost of the project.

Additional Costs and Considerations

  • High-pitched roofs increase the number of squares (100 square feet) of material and labor. Very steep roofs will, therefore, have a higher cost to install. A 1,500 square foot roof would normally be $10,500, but one with a much higher pitch could raise it to $15,500.
  • Cedar shake 1 roofs are the ideal complement to many styles of architecture, including rustic homes, Arts & Crafts homes, Cape Cods, Dutch Colonials, and Gambrels.
  • Most areas require a permit for a new roof. Check with your local town hall to find out if this is the case for your area.
  • The lifespan of a cedar shake 1 roof varies based on the climate and how well it is maintained. While many roofs last up to 50 years with proper maintenance, they may only last 20 - 25 years in very wet climates.
  • Most people want to treat their cedar roofs to make them flame-retardant. There are other treatments available for insects or fungus, but many people choose not to use them because cedar is naturally repellant. Expect treatments to cost around $200 an application.
  • You can also choose to seal your cedar roof if you live in an area with a lot of moisture or if you want to maintain its color. Sealing can be done for $100 - $300 on average.
  • If needed, you can pressure wash your cedar shakes 1 to clean them before sealing or treating.


  • How long should a cedar shake 1 roof last?

When well-maintained, a cedar shake 1 roof can last up to 50 years.

Yes, in fact, you should make repairs frequently to maintain the overall quality of the roof.

Yes, walking does not damage the shakes 1.

If you notice a lot of cracks in the shakes 1 or if you have issues with dry rot, then it may be time to replace them.

This is a personal choice. Some people seal the roof to preserve its original color, while others seal it if they live in a very wet climate.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Shake 1 Shake: A rugged flat piece of wooden construction material with at least one grain-split face, generally made of either redwood or cedar, laid in a series of overlapping rows and used to cover the outside of roofs and walls to protect against weather damage and leaks
glossary term picture Bitumen 2 Asphalt: A viscous, black mixture of hydrocarbons often used for roofing and waterproofing. It is also used in asphalt for paving roads
glossary term picture Shingle 3 Shingles: A smooth, uniform, flat piece of construction material, available in a wide variety of materials and laid in a series of overlapping rows, used to cover the outside of roofs or walls to protect against weather damage and leaks.
4 Underlayment: Roofing material laid underneath roofing tiles to seal the roof, preventing leaks
glossary term picture Flashing 5 Flashing: Pieces of sheet metal used on roofs to cover joints, such as where the roof meets the wall, or around a chimney or skylight, to protect them and prevent water leaking through
glossary term picture Soffit 6 Roofline: Construction material, typically composed of vinyl or aluminum, used to enclose the underside of eaves and ceilings
glossary term picture Lead 7 Lead: A naturally occurring heavy metal that is highly toxic to humans, and has been used in paint, gasoline, piping, and other applications

Cost to have wood shake roofing installed varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Cedar shake roof

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Anchorage, AK
Ashland, NH
Athens, GA
Austin, TX
Baltimore, MD
Brookfield, WI
Buffalo, NY
Cedar Rapids, IA
Chesapeake, VA
Chicago, IL
Cleveland, OH
Coldwater, MI
Corpus Christi, TX
Detroit, MI
Fort Worth, TX
Fremont, CA
Hartford, CT
Houston, TX
Huntsville, AL
Jacksonville, FL
Joliet, IL
Las Vegas, NV
Laurel, MT
Los Angeles, CA
Miami, FL
Mission, TX
Nashville, TN
North Charleston, SC
Ogden, UT
Orlando, FL
Pensacola, FL
Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix, AZ
Pioneer, CA
Pittsburgh, PA
Portland, OR
Reno, NV
Round Rock, TX
Sacramento, CA
Saint Louis, MO
Saint Petersburg, FL
San Diego, CA
San Jose, CA
Seattle, WA
Smyrna, GA
Tampa, FL
Tucson, AZ
Washington, DC
Wichita, KS
Wilmington, DE
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