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How Much Does a Wood Shake Roof Cost?

Wood Shake Roof Replacement Prices

A roof made of wood shakes or shingles is a popular choice for its natural look. Wood shake roofs can be customized according to color, width, thickness and cut. Besides being nice to look at, a wood shake roof is energy efficient and breathable. However, wood does have a few downsides. It requires regular upkeep to protect against mold rot and insects making it more expensive in the long run. Wood is also not naturally fire resistant and spray-on fire retardants don't last more than a few years. Take care when choosing wooden shingles or shakes because the quality can vary greatly.

Wood Shake Roofing Costs

  • The price of a wood shingle roof is usually determined by the number of square feet of space it will be. Common materials for a wooden roof are red cedar shake shingles and yellow pine. Expect to pay between $100 and $200 per square for wood shakes and shingles. The price including installation is $200 to $325 per square foot. For an average-sized roof of 2,000 square feet, this works out to $4,000 to $6,500.
  • Wood shingles are machine cut to a relatively uniform size and shape. They are tapered and smooth on the sides.
  • Wood shakes are hand-split and thicker at the base than shingles. They typically have a rougher, more rustic appearance.
  • A wood roof cost usually includes a basic weather treatment.
  • A wood roof that is sparsely maintained may only last 20 to 30 years. However, rigorously cared for wood shakes or shingles can last 30 to 50 years. There are many determining factors that determine this as well. Environment, weather, and temperature changes are all very important aspects.
  • The traditional method of installing a wood roofs uses what's known as skip sheathing; strips of wood nailed to the wood rafters to provide for breathability.
  • A wood shingle roof fades and turns grey or silver over time as it absorbs the effects of the elements.
  • If you live in California, Colorado, or Texas wood roofing may be banned in your municipality due to fire concerns. There may be exception if they are made out of pressure treated lumber which is more fire resistant. Check with your local town or state agency.
  • If the existing wood shake roof or shingles need to be removed, you'll pay approximately $50 per square foot more than if it is a new roof.
  • A high or steeply pitched roof costs more to work on. Roofers will charge more according to the degree of difficulty of working on your specific roof. A roof with dangerous, hard to reach, peaks will cost more because the element of danger is greater.

Shopping For A Wood Shake Roof?

  • This Old House explains the use of new, pressure treated wood shingles.
  • Talk to your contractor about the warranty available on different kinds of wood shakes or shingles, as they can vary quite drastically. Find out what kind of weather sealant or fungicide is applied to the wood and what sort of maintenance will be required to keep them in good condition.