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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Roofing, Windows & Siding > Wood Shingle Roof

Wood Shingle Roof Cost

How Much Does a Wood Shingle Roof Cost?

average costMedium: Wood Shingle Roofs Run $6,800-$14,700 for an Average-Sized Roofhigh costHigh: Wood Shake Roofs Run $10,200-$20,000 for an Average-Sized Roof
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A roof of wood shingles or shakes will weather over the years to a stunning gray or a lovely soft silver. Many people love this traditional look, but wood roofs require regular maintenance, can be vulnerable to fire, and -- with proper maintenance -- only last about 20 years. While some homeowners continue to choose the luxurious look of a natural wood roof, others are choosing synthetic shingles that resemble wood but require less maintenance, and are more weather-resistant, longer-lasting and fire resistant.

Typical costs:

  • Wood shingles are cut by machine. They're usually tapered, smooth on both sides, and of a relatively uniform size. Having someone install a wood shingle roof runs anywhere from $4-$7 a square foot, or about $6,800-$14,700 for an average one-story ranch-style home (with a roof of 1,700-2,100 square feet).
  • Wood shakes are split by hand from wood blocks, are sometimes grooved and have a more rustic, unique look. Shakes can be hand-split on one side and machine-cut on the other to provide a relatively flat surface that is installed face down, away from the weather. Hiring someone to install a wood shake roof can cost about $6-$9 a square foot, or about $10,200-$20,000 for an average ranch-style house.
  • Roofing materials designed to look like natural wood shingles or shakes but manufactured from manmade materials such as polymers or rubber are much more fire resistant than natural wood and require little or no maintenance. Installed, they cost about $6-$9 a square foot, or $12,600-$18,900 for a roof on an average ranch-style home.
  • Costs go up for more complicated installations; provides an online roofing calculator[1] .
  • These prices typically cover installation only; the cost for removing and properly disposing of existing roofing shingles starts around $3-$5 a square foot or $510-$1,100 for a basic ranch-style home -- and costs go higher depending on the type of materials being removed, the location and the difficulty of the removal project.
Related articles: New Roof, Asphalt Shingle Roof, Metal Roof, Tile Roof, Slate Roof

What should be included:
  • Shingles and shakes are typically made of cedar, spruce or treated pine. Like most roofing materials, shingles and shakes are sold by the square -- which is enough to cover a 10x10-foot area (100 square feet). It's customary to buy about 10 percent extra materials (to cover unavoidable waste) for a basic roof and about 15 percent for a more complex project.
  • Fire is a major concern, especially with wood shake or shingle roofs in a high-fire-danger area. The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Program reviews the fire issues for wood roofing materials.
  • The Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau offers a free online installation and maintenance manual and the US Department of Agriculture gives tips[2] for a longer life for a wood roof.
Additional costs:
  • Roof rafters or trusses must support the weight of the roofing, which varies depending on the product. Your roof supports might need repairs if rotted or otherwise damaged, or reinforcing if not strong enough to support the new roofing materials. Repairs or remodeling can easily add $1,000-$10,000 or more to the cost, depending on what's needed.
  • A wood roof requires regular maintenance or it will begin to deteriorate.
Shopping for a wood shingle roof:
  • The National Roofing Contractors Association provides a general guide[3] for buying a new roof, as well as referrals to contractors[4] .
  • The Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau lists manufacturers of cedar roofing materials and explains how to choose a contractor.
  • Ask for written information about the warranty for the brand of shingles or shakes being installed. The written contract should include a detailed outline of the work required and materials used, dates within which the project will be done, and a payment schedule.
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