Posted On: February 5, 2024

How to Install Cedar Shingles (2024 Roofing Guide for Homeowners)

Cedar shingles have been a popular roofing choice for centuries, prized for their natural beauty and durability. If you’re considering installing cedar shingles on your roof, this comprehensive guide will walk you through:

  • The advantages and disadvantages of cedar shingles
  • The installation process
  • The decision between DIY and hiring a professional
  • Cost considerations
  • Their lifespan

Looking to learn how to install cedar shingles? We’ll cover that, too!

Advantages of Cedar Shingles

close up cedar shingles

Before delving into the installation process, let’s explore the advantages of using cedar shingles for your roof.

  • Natural Beauty: Cedar shingles are renowned for their stunning appearance. The wood’s warm, reddish-brown hues and distinctive grain patterns give roofs a timeless and charming look. Over time, cedar shingles develop a beautiful silver-gray patina, adding to their visual appeal.
  • Durability: Cedar is a durable wood that can withstand harsh weather conditions. It naturally resists decay, rot, and insects, making it an excellent choice for roofing. Properly maintained cedar shingles can last for decades, even in areas with extreme climates.
  • Insulation: Cedar shingles provide natural insulation, helping to regulate the temperature inside your home. This insulation can reduce heating and cooling costs, making cedar shingles an eco-friendly choice.
  • Eco-Friendly: Cedar is a renewable resource, making it an environmentally friendly roofing option. When harvested sustainably, cedar shingles have a minimal impact on the environment.

Disadvantages of Cedar Shingles

While cedar shingles offer many advantages, they also come with some disadvantages that you should consider.

  • Cost: Cedar shingles tend to be more expensive than asphalt shingles, which are a common alternative. The initial cost can be a significant investment, but their long lifespan and aesthetic appeal can justify the expense.
  • Maintenance: Cedar shingles require regular maintenance to ensure their longevity. This includes cleaning, staining, and occasional repairs. Failure to maintain cedar shingles properly can lead to premature deterioration.
  • Fire Risk: Cedar is a combustible material, which means it poses a higher fire risk compared to some other roofing materials. However, treating cedar shingles with fire-retardant coatings can mitigate this risk.

How to Install Cedar Shingles: 6 Steps

Installing cedar shingles is a meticulous process that requires careful attention to detail. Here’s a step-by-step guide to installing cedar shingles on your roof:

1. Prepare the Roof

Ensure the roof deck is clean, dry, and in good condition. Repair any damaged or rotted areas and install a waterproof membrane or felt underlayment to provide additional protection against moisture.

2. Install Starter Course

Begin by installing a starter course of shingles along the eaves, leaving a small overhang (usually 1/4 to 3/8 inches). This helps protect the roof from water infiltration.

3. Apply Shingles

Start at the bottom and work your way up the roof, staggering the shingle joints to create a pleasing appearance. Attach each shingle with stainless steel or galvanized nails, ensuring they are properly spaced and aligned.

4. Cut Shingles

Use a saw to cut shingles as needed, ensuring accurate fits around vents, chimneys, and roof edges. Take care to maintain consistent spacing and alignment.

5. Apply Ridge Cap Shingles

Finish the installation by applying ridge cap shingles along the roof’s peak. These shingles provide a protective cap and enhance the roof’s appearance.

6. Seal and Protect

After installation, it’s essential to apply a protective finish or stain to the cedar shingles. This helps preserve their natural beauty and enhances their durability.

DIY Installation vs. Hiring a Professional

Deciding whether to install cedar shingles yourself or hire a professional is an important consideration. Here are some factors to help you make an informed choice:

DIY Installation

👍 Pros:

  • Cost savings on labor.
  • A sense of accomplishment.
  • Ability to control the quality of work.

👎 Cons:

  • Time-consuming and physically demanding.
  • Risk of mistakes that could lead to leaks or premature shingle deterioration.
  • May void warranties if not installed correctly.

Hiring a Professional

👍 Pros:

  • Expertise and experience.
  • Faster and more efficient installation.
  • Reduced risk of errors and leaks.
  • Warranty coverage on workmanship.

👎 Cons:

  • Higher upfront cost due to labor.
  • Less personal involvement in the project.

Ultimately, the choice depends on your skill level, available time, and budget. If you’re confident in your abilities and have the time to dedicate to the project, DIY installation can be a rewarding endeavor. However, for those seeking a hassle-free experience and the assurance of professional quality, hiring a skilled roofer is a wise decision.

Cedar Shingle Roof Costs

The cost of a cedar shingle roof installation can vary significantly based on several factors:

Roof Size and Complexity 📏

Larger roofs with more complex designs require more shingles and labor, increasing the overall cost.

Shingle Grade 💯

The grade and quality of cedar shingles affect their price. Clear, high-quality shingles are more expensive than lower-grade options.

Labor Costs 💸

Labor costs depend on whether you choose to DIY or hire a professional roofer. Labor typically accounts for a significant portion of the total cost.

Geographic Location 📍

The cost of materials and labor can vary by region, so your location will impact the final price.

As a rough estimate, the cost of cedar shingle roofing can range from $7 to $15 per square foot, including materials and labor. Keep in mind that this is a general range, and specific costs may differ based on the factors mentioned above.

Lifespan of Cedar Shingles

Cedar shingles are known for their longevity when properly maintained. On average, cedar shingles can last anywhere from 20 to 40 years or more. Factors that influence their lifespan include:

  • Maintenance: Regular cleaning, staining, and repairs can extend the life of cedar shingles.
  • Climate: Cedar shingles in areas with harsh weather conditions or high humidity may have a shorter lifespan.
  • Quality: Higher-grade cedar shingles tend to last longer than lower-grade ones.
  • Installation: Proper installation by a skilled roofer can significantly impact the shingles’ longevity.

Trustworthy Cedar Shingle Installation

house with cedar shingles

Installing cedar shingles on your roof can be a rewarding investment that combines natural beauty with durability. While they come with a higher initial cost and require maintenance, their aesthetic appeal and ability to withstand the elements make them a timeless choice for homeowners. Whether you choose to embark on a DIY project or hire a professional, a well-maintained cedar shingle roof can provide decades of protection and charm for your home.

Ready to install shingles on your new roof? Northface Construction has got you covered. Contact us today to get a free quote for your roofing project.


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