Cedar Shingles and Shake Roof Cost (Homeowners Guide 2022)

Average Cedar Shake Roof Cost: $6,300 to $15,300 (materials cost)

  • Cedar shake roofs are durable and can withstand severe weather
  • Cedar roofs are energy efficient and have excellent insulative properties
  • The cost of cedar shakes per square foot of roof is between $4 and $9 (materials cost only)

EcoWatch guides to roofs have helped thousands of homeowners like you choose the right roofs for their homes. Let’s get started on this guide to cedar shake roofs.

Ecowatch Author Alora Rands

By Alora Rands

Updated 11/30/2022

Why You Can Trust EcoWatch

We work with a panel of experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other home services site has covered sustainable home improvements issues like EcoWatch. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

Made from high-quality cedar wood, cedar shakes are a popular roofing material for homeowners looking for a distinct roofing style. Not only are cedar shake roofs naturally resistant to pests and UV damage, they are resilient enough to withstand high winds, hail and even fire when properly treated.

Homeowners who live in warmer climates choose cedar shake roofs because of their aesthetics and excellent insulative properties. Even though these roofs are made from wood, they are eco-friendly due to cedar shakes’ recyclability and compatibility with solar panels.

To learn more about the total cost to replace your cedar shake roof, reach out to local contractors in your area.

Jump To: Cost of Installing a Cedar Shake Roof | Factors That Go Into Cedar Shake Roof Pricing | Pros and Cons of Installing Cedar Shake Roofs | Lifetime and Durability of Cedar Shake Roofs | Are Cedar Shake Roofs Environmentally Friendly? | Financing Your New Cedar Shake Roof | Cost of Maintenance and Repairs for Cedar Shake Roofs | Cost of Cleaning Your Cedar Shake Roof | Are Cedar Shake Roofs Worth the Cost? | FAQ: Cedar Shake Roof

Best Overall
Badge icon

Ecowatch rating

Average cost

$$$$$

Power Home

  • Pros icon Positive industry reputation
  • Pros icon Lifetime or lengthy warranty
  • Pros icon 10+ years of experience
  • Pros icon Positive customer reviews
  • Pros icon Uses eco-friendly materials
  • Pros icon Well-trained, certified installers
  • Pros icon Variety of roofing styles available
  • Con icon Limited variety of roofing materials
  • Con icon Short or nonexistent warranty
  • Con icon No financing information available
  • Con icon Expensive
  • Con icon Little information available on company website
Best for New Roofs
Badge icon

Ecowatch rating

Average cost

$$$$$

Erie Metal Roofs

  • Pros icon Lifetime or lengthy warranty
  • Pros icon Widespread availability
  • Pros icon 10+ years of experience
  • Pros icon Positive customer reviews
  • Pros icon Uses eco-friendly materials
  • Pros icon Financing options available
  • Pros icon Well-trained, certified installers
  • Pros icon Uses durable materials meant to last
  • Pros icon Variety of roofing styles available
  • Con icon Limited variety of roofing materials
  • Con icon Expensive
Most Eco-Friendly
Badge icon

Ecowatch rating

Average cost

$$$$$

Aspen Contracting

  • Pros icon Positive industry reputation
  • Pros icon Lifetime or lengthy warranty
  • Pros icon Widespread availability
  • Pros icon 10+ years of experience
  • Pros icon Positive customer reviews
  • Pros icon Financing options available
  • Con icon Little information available on company website

Cost of Installing a Cedar Shake Roof 

Homeowners can expect to pay between $6,300 and $15,300 for roofing materials only for a 1,700-square-foot cedar shake roof. Adding labor costs brings the national average for cedar shingle roofs to between $9,000 and $30,000.

The total cost of your cedar shake roof will depend on your unique roofing project, so the size, complexity and slope of your roof will impact cost. Variation in local installation costs will also play a significant role, so check with local roofing installers for an accurate estimate.

How to Calculate the Cost of Your New Cedar Shake Roof

There’s a simple way to estimate the cost of your cedar shingle roof: just multiply your roof’s square footage by the cost per square foot of the cedar shakes:

Square footage of your roof x average cost per square foot of cedar shakes = roof estimate

Your result is only an estimate of your total cedar shake roof cost. For the most accurate estimate for your area, contact a professional for a free quote

Factors That Go Into Cedar Shingles and Shake Roof Pricing 

Several factors contribute to the total cost of your cedar shake roof. The cost of materials will be a large chunk of the total, but other costs will include:

  • Labor rates and hours to complete installation
  • Costs to remove your old roof and dispose of the material (if applicable)
  • Size and layout of your roof

Material Pricing for Cedar Shingles and Shake Roofs

As we’ve mentioned, the price of cedar shake shingles is just one part of the full cost of the roof. The cost per square foot of cedar shakes is typically between $4 and $9 but depending on your location can exceed $13.

Basic Labor Cost and Time to Complete Cedar Shake Roof Installation 

Labor costs will vary depending on the contractor you select and the region where you live. Generally, the larger and more complex your roofing project is, the more you will pay for the cost of labor.

Removing Your Current Roof and Disposal Fees

wood roof repair costIf you already have two or more layers of roofing, your contractor must first remove the old layers before installing a new cedar shake roof. Removal of old cedar roofing takes time, and because this type of roofing is more complex to install, costs may be higher.

Removing old cedar shake roof material also involves disposal costs. Your old roof has to go somewhere, so your roofing company will fill dumpsters that must be taken away for disposal. You may avoid the cost for this if you donate the material to programs that reuse it, so be on the lookout for these opportunities.

Size and Complexity of Your Roof 

Larger and more complex roofs cost more to replace, so homeowners that have chimneys, ventilation systems, skylights or complicated roof configurations can expect to pay more for their cedar shake roofs. If your property has features that make it hard to access your roof, such as large trees, you can also expect to pay more for labor.

Pros and Cons of Installing Cedar Shake Roofs

When you replace your roof, it’s important to research your options to pinpoint the best roofing material for your home. As you weigh your options, you might find it useful to contact the best contractors for roof replacement to get expert input on cedar roof installation.

Advantages of Cedar Shake Roofs 

  • Treated with fire retardant and naturally pest-resistant
  • Stand up to high winds and hail
  • Recyclable and reusable
  • 30-plus-year lifespan when installed properly

Disadvantages of Cedar Shake Roofs

  • High material and labor costs
  • Regular roof maintenance needed to prevent mold, mildew and moss
  • Complex installation requires special expertise

Lifespan and Durability of Cedar Shake Roofs

The life expectancy of a cedar shake roof is 30 years or so, but with meticulous maintenance, these natural wood roofs can stand strong for more than 50 years. Cedar roofs can withstand any climate but are best suited for warmer regions. Because cedar shakes are naturally UV resistant, they are perfect for southern locations that get a lot of intense sun.

Because they’re susceptible to mold and mildew, cedar shake roofs are not the best choice for humid or rainy climates. Homeowners in humid areas can still choose cedar shakes, but must keep in mind that they’ll have to commit to more maintenance and may need to replace the roof more frequently.

Cedar roofs are durable and can withstand high winds, hail and other forms of extreme weather. If you live in a northern region that experiences snow and freezing temperatures, though, it’s important to note that cedar shakes may be damaged by cycles of freezing and thawing.

Average lifespan roof

Are Cedar Shake Roofs Environmentally Friendly?

Cedar shakes are made from cedar trees. Although companies continue to develop more sustainable ways to harvest and replant these trees, nothing can negate the fact that they must be cut down to make this product. Depending on how you feel about this, cedar shakes may not be the best roofing option for you.

On the upside, cedar shakes improve energy efficiency due to their excellent insulative abilities, helping your home maintain its internal temperature. If you’re looking for additional ways to improve your home’s sustainability, you may want to consider installing solar panels at the same time as your new cedar shake roof.

One environmental benefit of cedar shake roofing is its recyclability. Unlike asphalt shingles, cedar shakes can be recycled or repurposed. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity take advantage of used cedar shakes to build new roofs for families in need.

Financing Your New Cedar Shake Roof 

If you don’t wish to pay for your new cedar shake roof up front in cash, there are a number of financing options available, including a home equity loan or line of credit, cash-out refinance, FHA loan, personal loan or credit card. 

In some cases, your roofing company may offer a discount for cash payment. Some contractors even have their own financing options available, so make sure you talk to your roofer before you commit to a payment plan. 

Some cedar shake roofs come with a generous 30-year warranty, but others may offer as limited a warranty as five years. If you’re shopping for a replacement cedar shake roof, be sure to check out warranties offered by different roofers. 

Regional government assistance such as weatherization programs, single-family home improvement aid, and house preservation programs may be available for cedar shake roof installation for homeowners that qualify1

The ROI of Your Cedar Shingles and Shake Roof 

Because of their 30-plus-year lifespans, cedar shake roofs have an excellent return on investment (ROI). These roofs tend to last a long time due to their durability, and cedar roofs are a great way to add curb appeal. You will see at least a 60% to 70% ROI on installing a new roof before you sell your home2.

Costs of Maintenance and Repairs for Cedar Shingle and Shake Roofs

Cedar shingles are more expensive than other roofing materials, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that the cost to repair your cedar shake roof is more than for a roof with traditional shingles. To avoid warping and cracking, homeowners should expect to replace some shakes every few years, which can cost as little as $500 to more than $1,000 depending on conditions.

Because cedar shingles are made of wood, they’re prone to mildew, moss and fungus growth. There are treatments such as a mix of water with chlorine or oxygen bleach that can be applied to combat these growths but homeowners may also need to physically remove affected wood shakes.

Additionally, just because cedar wood shake roofs are treated with fire retardant doesn’t mean that your roof is completely fire resistant. You’ll need to conduct proper maintenance, including keeping your gutters clear and removing debris from your roof, in order to maintain good airflow and avoid house fires.

Costs of Cleaning Your Cedar Shake Roof 

When you clean your cedar shake roof, you’ll need a power washer. Power washing is the best way to remove stains, algae and debris from your roof, but you may need more intense cleaning if moss has taken over your roof.

Homeowners can clean their own cedar wood roofs, but it may be best to hire a professional roof cleaning service to take care of power washing and gutter cleaning. The cost to clean your cedar shake roof will vary depending on its size and complexity, but you can expect to spend a minimum of between $0.30 to $0.70 per square foot of roof.

As you clean your cedar wood shingles, don’t forget to clean out your gutters. Even the best gutter guards need to be cleaned to prevent moisture buildup and fungus, so take the extra time to make sure these are free from debris.

Are Cedar Shake Roofs Worth the Cost?

As a more expensive roofing option, cedar shakes definitely deliver on the curb appeal. These classy roofs are UV and pest resistant, so they are great for hot climates with a lot of sunshine. With their durability and longevity, cedar shake roofs can be worth the investment if you live in the right area.

FAQ: Cedar Shake Roof

Blog author image

Alora Rands

Based in the Minneapolis area, Alora is an avid writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Alora has a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in child, family and school psychology, but she has always had a love for biology and environmental studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Alora spent her days working with children with disabilities and nights as a freelance writer of commercial, blog and technical content. When she is not at the workplace, Alora can be found hiking with her dogs, chasing sunsets with her camera or plotting her next novel.