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How Much Does A Shake Roof Cost?

National Average
$20,000
Low End
$16,000
High End
$27,000

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The figures in the grid above are based on a 3,000-square foot roof

The average price range to install a 3,000-square foot shake roof is between $18,000 and $20,000, or about $600 to $670 per square. Low cost for installation is around $16,000 and high cost is about $27,000.
A shake is a wooden shingle that is split on one side and sawn on the other. These are a traditional form of roofing material that has been used on homes for hundreds of years. Perhaps one of the most popular types of wood used is cedar because it is relatively budget-friendly, durable, and long-lasting. With proper maintenance, these roofs last for around 30 years, but eventually they must be replaced because they may begin to rot, split and leak.
Throughout the life of the roof, wooden shakes may need to be replaced from time to time. This happens when they become cracked, damaged, moldy, or rotten. When adding a new roof or replacing a shake on your current one, it's important to hire a professional. Roofing is complex work that can be dangerous for an inexperienced individual. Hiring a pro can prevent accidents and ensure that the installation is performed according to warranty or regulation standards.

Comparing Per Square & Bundle Prices of Shakes

The average price for shake roofing is around $6.30 per square foot. A square is 100 square feet and a bundle is equal to 1/3 of a square. Therefore, the average price of a square of shake is $630, and a bundle costs around $210. The final cost will depend on the type of wood you select, brand, quality, and other factors.
Average Shake Cost
TypePer SquarePer Bundle
Cedar$400$130
Wood$350$120
Composite$325$110

Cedar

Cedar shakes cost around $130 per bundle or $400 per square. This particular wood is desirable because it is attractive, long-lasting and has a fine texture that makes it easy to seal against the elements. It's resistant to pests. It also provides better insulation than many other varieties. This helps control heating and cooling costs in the home.

Wood

Non-cedar wood shakes can be made from a variety of different species, including cypress, redwood, or pine. They average in price at about $120 per bundle and $350 per square. This material can vary in quality and appearance, with some having a rougher grain and less refined appearance when compared to cedar. Pine, when properly maintained, can last around 20 years. Other types may last 30 years.

Composite

This man-made material costs around $110 per bundle or $325 per square, and prices go up from there depending on quality and brand. This material is popular because it's durable and requires less maintenance than real wood. It is not vulnerable to rot, and is far less susceptible to mildew and mold.
Consult a pro when choosing roofing shakes
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Costs to Replace Shake Shingles

Professional installation costs run about $60 per hour, but can vary depending on the specifics of the job. Factors like square footage and pitch of the roof, complexity, type of material, and your home’s the geographic location can affect the hourly rate.
Materials like underlayment, flashing, and caulk are not typically included in the price of labor and will be charged separately. Homeowners who get bids for shake installation should go over each one carefully to ensure that these prices have been noted. If the price isn't listed, ask the contractor if this amount is included. Either way, the answer should be noted in the final contract.
Getting a roof inspection prior to replacement can help the homeowner decide whether a new roof is necessary. The inspection may also reveal other details such as the best materials to use to replace the roof and problem areas that might come up during the job. Those who decide to remove their own shakes before new ones are installed should follow the proper procedures by removing the ridge cap and then rolling the underlayment up horizontally.
Typically, one doesn’t need to replace their roof until the shakes have become weathered and deteriorated. Homeowners may notice cracks, missing shakes or leaks in their home. In those cases, repairs may be the necessary and a more cost effective solution. The cost to repair a roof varies depending on the extent of the damage.
Hire a pro to install roofing shakes
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Life Expectancy of a Shake Roof

A wood or composite shake roof can last around 30 years (except pine, which lasts around 20). Climate can affect its life expectancy. In harsh weather, where freeze-thaw cycles are common, or in wet -weather climates, they may not last as long. Even with proper maintenance, they may deteriorate more quickly if regularly exposed to temperature extremes and constant moisture. Most often, they fail prematurely due to lack of proper maintenance.

Maintenance and Cleaning

These types of roofs need to be cleaned and chemically treated periodically to preserve the wood. The first coat of preservative can be added within 3 to 7 months of installation. After that, the roof will need to be retreated regularly. The amount of time between coatings depends on the type of sealant used. Check the manufacturer's instructions to find out when it should be recoated again. Typically, preservatives last between 2 and 5 years.
Preservative is best installed by an experienced roofing company to ensure that a long-lasting product is used and the product is applied properly. The cost of preservative application will vary depending on the size of the roof, pitch, height and other factors.
In addition, debris must be removed on an annual basis. In regions with a definable rainy season or where snow is common, debris should be taken care of before the season begins. Debris removal is best done by a professional to ensure it is completed safely, but DIYers may be able to do this task themselves. Like preservative, the costs of debris removal may vary. Roofs that are not maintained and cleaned regularly may develop leaks. When this happens, calling a professional roofer is the best way to take care of the problem.

FAQs

How Much Does it Cost to Install Per Shake Shingle?

One square (100 square feet) costs between $600 and $660 on average. To have them installed on your home, find an experienced contractor in your area.

What's Better for a Roof? Shakes vs. Asphalt Shingles

Shakes and asphalt shingles are like apples and oranges; they're very different. Shakes are made from wood and have natural, rustic beauty that appeals to many homeowners. However, they will need to be regularly resealed or they may develop premature leaks.
Asphalt has a more modern appearance and can vary in color to complement the house. Asphalt shingles are durable and easy to maintain. They have a low price, around $150 per square, and last around 20 years. Asphalt shingles vary in price depending on the quality and type.
By contrast, shakes are costlier, $600 per square, and depending on the type of wood used, may last somewhat longer (30 years).

Where Can I Buy Roofing Shakes?

Roofing shakes are available at supply stores and some home improvement centers. Roofing contractors often buy them through suppliers at a discount often better than many homeowners could obtain.
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DIY vs. Hire a Pro

Shake roofing is a costly product that requires expertise to install. Installing your own roofing can lead to mistakes like water leaks and structural damage. In addition, DIY installations can damage the shakes and invalidate the product warranty. The best way to add them to your home is to hire a licensed contractor to do the work.
When looking for a contractor, read reviews, check the license and insurance, contact references, and ask about his or her previous experience. Remember that the most common type of roofing in most areas is asphalt shingling. Finding a contractor with the proper wood shake experience may take some research. Talk to at least three roofers before making your final decision.
Contact contractors to look at your home and bid on your project. If possible, meet with them on site so you can ask each roofer questions and find out more about his or her process. When making your selection, remember that the lowest bid may not be the best bid. Professionals who underbid other contractors may do so by cutting corners like hiring inexperienced workers or using a cheap product.
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