Comparing Cedar Shakes vs Asphalt Shingles and Introducing a Better Alternative


The roof is a crucial part of any home design. While asphalt shingles are the most common roofing option people go with, it is not the only option on the market. Another popular, more traditional option, is cedar shake roofing. This option, which has been around since Colonial times, is an excellent look that can dress up any home.

But, what is the difference between cedar shingles vs asphalt shingles, which is the better option? And is there a better alternative?

Comparing Materials

The first thing to note in the debate of wood shingles vs asphalt shingles is the materials used to make each. Wood shingles or shakes, as the name implies, are made of natural wood–usually cedar or redwood that comes from split logs. This means no two shingles are the same, with each varying in thickness and length.

On the other hand, asphalt shingles are generally made using organic materials or fiberglass. Since these shingles are not made by hand, they have a more uniform appearance. Asphalt shingles do not offer the same beautiful look of wood as real wood shingles do. However, they are available in various colors to fit any design preference.

Differing Costs


Another significant part of the debate is the cost of cedar shake roof vs asphalt shingle roofs. For most people, the cost of the material plays a large role in the decision-making process, so it is important to note the price differences between these two options. For the initial installation, a wood shake roof can cost about $3.50 per square foot at its cheapest, compared to $2.75 per square foot for asphalt shingles.

Length of Life

In comparing the longevity of cedar shingles vs asphalt shingles, you must keep in mind the various things that can affect it; how the roof was installed, the location, how well it is maintained, and the overall quality of the materials used.

A well-installed, well-maintained cedar shake roof done with quality materials and that has been chemically treated can last up to 30 years without issue. But, again, this also means keeping up with the required maintenance–every 2 to 4 years, a cedar roof needs to be cleaned of moss and other fungi that can retain moisture and damage the shakes.

Similarly, a well-installed, well-maintained asphalt shingle roof can last 30 years or more, depending on the quality of the materials. But, like with the cedar shake roof, it requires dedicated maintenance for it to last that long.


The great thing about cedar shakes and shingles is that they are relatively resistant to things like insects. They can also hold up well against elements like the wind. They, however, do not hold up so well against moisture, which can weaken the wood and make it brittle and easily breakable. Wood shakes and shingles are also not resistant to fire.

On the other hand when comparing wood shingles vs asphalt shingles you’ll find that asphalt can hold up better against rain and moisture, but they are less likely to survive strong winds. When the wind is strong enough, asphalt shingles can easily be blown off. Which can lead to additional, unexpected shingle costs.

Added Maintenance


Initial installation costs are not the only costs that come with these roofing options. You also have to consider the required maintenance when you calculate the cedar shake roof vs asphalt shingles cost.

Cedar shake roofs require cleaning and maintenance work every 2 to 4 years to keep it functional and to prevent moisture deterioration. There is also the chemical treatments that you need to perform for fire and moisture resistance, which adds to the cost of cedar shake roof vs asphalt roofing.

Asphalt shingles need deep cleaning every couple of years to keep it looking good and to ensure the longevity. Shingles may become damaged due to severe weather or poor upkeep, which means you will have to spend time repairing section here and there.

An Alternative Solution - Synthetic Cedar Shake Shingles


People occasionally forget that there are other options when it comes to looking at roofing materials. There is far more out there than just cedar or asphalt shingles. Many people are becoming bored with the basic asphalt shingle look and looking for something new, but cedar shakes are a costly option that requires more maintenance than most are willing to commit to.

That’s where CeDUR Roofing Shakes come in. These unique shakes have the beautiful appearance of real wood shakes without the actual wood. Instead, they are made from a lightweight polyurethane material, that is incredibly durable; they have a Class A Fire Rating and a Class 4 Impact Rating, making them strong enough to withstand winds up to 115 mph. Unlike traditional cedar wood shakes, CeDUR’s Roof Shakes are also resistant to moisture, so there is no concern about the roof becoming damaged due to excess snow or rain.

Additionally, when considering the cost of cedar shake roof vs asphalt and CeDUR synthetic roofing, you will find that CeDUR provides the greatest value of all the options. Not only is it cheaper to install, but it requires no extra insurance, unlike cedar shake roofing. In addition, CeDUR’s roof shakes are virtually maintenance free, so there is no need to spend extra time or money on cleaning and preserving the roof beyond a simple washing every so often. CeDUR roofing also has a longer life span, meaning you will have a beautiful roof for decades to come.

You no longer have to choose between cedar shake roof vs asphalt shingles cost for your home. There are countless roofing options that are more durable, energy efficient, and cheaper, all without sacrificing the look of your roof. CeDUR is shake roofing that looks like real wood but at a much better value. When looking for a new roof, contact CeDUR for a more attractive, durable, and unique option or request your free samples below.

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