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Wood Shingle Roof

Updated: May 22, 2023

Wood shingles provide some of the most beautiful natural roofing options for your home. They can go by other names such as ‘perfections’, ‘fivex’, ‘5X’ and ‘royals’ and are precisely cut and sawn to specific sizes. Wood shingles are most commonly made from red cedar due to red cedar's availability and natural resistance to rot. In addition to being a roofing option, wood shingles can also be used as an exterior wall siding.

Wood species less commonly used than red cedar include other rot-resistant options such as white cedar, redwood and cypress (yellow cedar). Some wood species that are prone to wood rot (such as pine) will require special installation and rot treatment to minimize weathering problems.

Part of selecting the correct wood shingle includes selecting the correct amount of exposed surface the wood shingle presents to the weather. This can vary by roof pitch, shingle length and shingle grade. As the roof pitch increases, so will the exposure of the weathered surface. As a result, for roof pitches of between 5:12 to 12:12, a 16" 5X shingle will have between 5" to 3-1/2" of exposure; an 18" Perfection can have 4" to 5-1/2" exposure and a 24" Royal will have between 5-1/2" and7-1/2" of exposure.

Maintenance Required: Generally low maintenance however soft wood species such as pine require special installation and treatment to minimize weathering problems. Unsealed wood shingles may experience rotting, warping or splitting. Over time, they will develop a patina of a soft grey. Wood shingles are easily replaced.

Life Expectancy: Cedar and redwood shingles will last between 20 to 30 years if properly maintained and not located in damp wooded areas.

Cost: Wood shingles cost more than asphalt shingles and can range from $350 to $450 per square (100 square feet of roof area) furnished and installed in 2017 dollars.

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