But I Want a Cedar Roof!

I will be the first to admit that a good quality cedar roof looks great! Some styles of homes just call for a wood shake or shingle - no doubt about it. In addition, some homeowners associations require re-roofing with cedar shakes or shingles. So, here are the options (in rank order):

(1) Look at some of the many imitation products. You will find that almost every other roofing material comes in a shake or shingle "look alike". (no I don't like to use imitation material either, but when it works better than the "Real McCoy"...).

I have also found that most homeowner organizations are willing to change the rules and allow for a selected number of "look alike" products to be used; for example, architectural grade composition roofing, concrete and concrete composite tile.

(2) Look at some of the other 'distinctive' looking roofs and roofing materials, and the way top quality architects use them. I am thinking about metal roofs, torch down 'flat roofs', and various other roofing materials combined with special design elements.

(3) Use factory treated shakes.

(4) Specify "Number One - Blue label" product and have the roofer select out the 25% or so of the shakes which don't conform to #1 grade. Yes, it's true up to 25% of the shakes and shingles in a bundle may be "off grade."

Within two years of the installation, have the roof treated with a wood preservative. Every 5 years have any curled or damaged pieces replaced. Have the roof cleaned with a garden blower (avoid pressure washing) and have the roof repaired and re-treated every 5 years.

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Cedar Roofs