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How Much Does a Cedar Shake Roof Cost? (2024 Guide)

Typical cost range: $18,000–$25,000

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Author Icon Written by Angela Bunt Updated 03/25/2024

A cedar shake roof is a rustic twist on regular roof shingles. Cedar wood shakes are square or rectangular planks that are hand-split or sawed with a tapered thickness. It’s a popular roof type that is both durable and aesthetically pleasing, but works best in temperate climates with low humidity.

A new 3,000-square-foot cedar shake roof costs between $18,000 and $25,000, but this price can fluctuate based on your chosen materials, location, and roof size.* We’ve detailed the factors that affect the cost of a cedar roof and its pros and cons. We’ve also provided tips for finding an installer.

*Article cost data sourced from Angi, Fixr, and Home Advisor.

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What Are Signs That You Need To Fix Your Cedar Shake Roof?

Cedar lasts decades, but some shakes may require replacement after 30 or more years. Whether you should make repairs versus fully replace the roof depends on its age and condition. Here are some telltale signs your cedar shake roof needs fixing:

  • Water damage
  • Leaks
  • Warping
  • Curling
  • Split shakes
  • Moss
  • Rot
  • Missing shakes

How Much Does Cedar Shake Roof Cost?

Cedar shake roofs cost more than asphalt shingle roofs mainly due to material, but labor and roof size are also large factors. We’ll explore these costs below.

  • Materials: Cedar shakes cost nearly twice as much as asphalt shingles at about $240 per bundle or $725 per square (a 10-by-10-foot section). Professional installers typically charge for other materials separately, such as underlayment, flashing, and caulk.
  • Labor: Cedar shake installation is more time-consuming than other roofing materials, so labor costs are higher. The average cost to install or replace a cedar shake roof is $60 per hour or $2–$5 per square foot, but this depends on the roof’s pitch, square footage, your home’s location, and the job’s complexity.
  • Roof size: A professional roof installer will measure your roof to calculate square footage. Your roof size determines how many cedar shakes you need to buy and how long installation may take. Average labor and installation prices range from $5.50–$13.50 per square foot.


Your chosen roofing material is the biggest cost factor. Price varies depending on wood grade and quality.

  • Common-grade cedar shingle roof: This is the least expensive material but has a shorter life span. It requires more roof maintenance, warps, and curls faster, but costs 30% less for material than other grades.
  • Select-grade cedar shakes: Select-grade shakes are 20% common grade and 80% straight grain. This option is popular due to its durability but requires more maintenance than top-grade materials.
  • Straight-grain cedar shakes: This is the most expensive option, with each piece hand-selected for quality. These shakes lay flat and aren’t susceptible to warping and curling. They require less maintenance and have a longer life span. Straight-grain shakes cost 30%–50% more than lower-grade materials.
Because each shake is sawed or split by hand, they aren’t uniform like regular shingles. Hand-split shakes have a more rugged appearance, while taper-sawn is smooth. Hand-split shakes cost $3.50–$6.50 per square foot, and taper-sawn costs $4.50–$8.50.
MaterialsAverage Cost








Professional installation costs around $60 per hour, depending on the job’s complexity. Labor costs include everything required to complete the installation, such as the following:

  • Old roof removal: This costs $1–$5 per square foot or $1,000–$1,500 on average.
  • Permits: The cost of a permit for a new roof depends on your municipality but ranges from $400–$1,700.
  • Underlayment: This moisture-resistant material covers the roof deck under your cedar shakes. The average cost for material and installation is $0.20–$2 per square foot.
  • Roof flashing: Metal flashing helps waterproof your roof’s perimeter and other protrusions. Flashing replacement costs $300–$1,450.
  • Drip edge: A drip edge is a metal flashing that diverts water away from the roof’s edge. It costs an average of $1–$3 per linear foot. 
  • Weatherproofing: Depending on your climate, you may need a water and ice shield. This costs around $100 per square.
Type of LaborAverage Cost

Old roof removal

$1–$5 per square foot




$0.20–$2 per square foot

Roof flashing


Drip edge

$1–$3 per linear foot


$100 per square

Roof Size

The bigger the roof, the higher the price. Cedar shake roofs cost $5.50–$13.50 per square foot for both materials and installation. We calculated the average cedar shake roof cost by size.

Roof Size (per Square Foot)Average Cost









What Are Additional Cedar Shake Roof Cost Factors?

There are some less impactful but still important cost factors to consider. Here’s what you can expect to pay for things such as location and special roof treatments.

Roof Complexity

A complex roof with many slopes, peaks, or chimneys will have a higher installation cost. For example, a roof with a steep incline poses a bigger danger to roofers and may require extra safety gear. Installing around vents and chimneys requires more time, work, and materials.


Labor and material costs can change depending on where you live. Additionally, your region’s climate influences how often you need to maintain your cedar shake roof.


You’ll need to perform proper maintenance to avoid rot, mildew, and leaks. Regular roof cleaning can prolong your cedar shake roof’s life span, costing 40 cents per square foot. Schedule a regular cleaning one to two times per year and a deep cleaning once every five to seven years.

Remove ice dams immediately and watch for signs of cracking. Replace rotted shakes and reapply treatments when necessary.

Finishing Treatments

You can opt for special finishing treatments for your new cedar shake roof. Treatment costs range from $200–$1,000, depending on what you get and its application. Finishing treatments include sanding, sealing, and staining, but there are also protective treatments for new roofs, such as the following:

  • Algaecides
  • Fire retardant treatments
  • Fungicides
  • Sealants
  • Water repellents
Quick Tip
Yearly coatings cost around 50 cents per square foot. Keep in mind that you should never apply a sealant to certain cedar shake roof types. This prevents the shakes from staying dry and can lead to rot. Reapply treatments every one to three years to prevent shakes from degrading and darkening.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Cedar Shake Roofs?

Cedar shake roofs have several advantages and disadvantages. They last up to 50 years if properly installed and maintained—significantly longer than asphalt shingles, which only last up to 20 years. Wood can withstand harsh weather conditions and is also an eco-friendly and recyclable material. Finally, cedar is energy-efficient, which can help you save on heating and cooling costs.

The biggest disadvantage to cedar shakes is their high cost. Not only is installation expensive, but ongoing maintenance and treatments add to the total. Even though wood is durable, it’s prone to fire and insect damage, although treatments are available.

How Do Cedar Shakes Compare to Other Roofing Materials?

Though there are a number of factors to consider when choosing a new roof, two of the most important are the overall cost and projected life span of each material. Learn how metal roofing compares to other roofing material options by gauging both of these factors.

Asphalt shingles
Basic, three-tab shingles are the cheapest and most common option, beginning at $4.25 per square foot and going up to $8.25. Asphalt shingles can be made from a variety of materials. Fiberglass shingles are less expensive, while composite shingles made from recycled material are costlier.
Aluminum shingles
Aluminum is a step up from asphalt but not as pricey as tile or other metal options and is seen as an inexpensive metal roofing option. It is fairly resistant to saltwater corrosion. It ranges from $6.50-$21 a square foot when installed.
Cedar shingles or shakes
Cedar shingles and shakes are some of the most common types of wooden roofing material. Cedar shake roof cost is comparable to wood shingles and shakes that can also be made from spruce, redwood, pine, or other coniferous trees. Wooden roofs typically cost $6.53–$9.90 per square foot.
cedar roofing shingles
Clay and concrete tiles
Clay tile roofing is one of the oldest roofing materials. It’s eco-friendly, extremely durable, fire-resistant, and has great thermal properties, making it advantageous in hot climates or areas where wildfires are common. The cost of tile roofing is $5.90–$14.68 per square foot.
Copper tiles
Copper roofing is extremely durable, lightweight, and is one of the most unique-looking roofing options ranging from $20-$40 per square foot installed.
Flat roofing materials
Ethylene propylene diene terpolyme (EPDM) roofing is a type of synthetic rubber. It’s cheaper than many materials at $5.50–$7.50, but the labor to replace them usually costs more. 
Slate tiles
Slate tiles are not as common as they once were but are considered one of the most durable and trustworthy roofing materials, with a lifespan that can stretch from 75 – 150 years. They are not for everyone though, with a high cost of $7.56–$18.70 per square foot and can be too heavy for some roofs.
Standing seam metal panels
Standing seam panels are a metal roof option that will cost you considerably more than corrugated metal.
Steel shingles
Similar to aluminum, stainless steel shingles are more expensive than asphalt but mid-range for metal options. They range from $7 – $20 depending on the quality of steal used.
Zinc tiles
Zinc tiles are the second-most expensive metal roofing option because they’re less available and one of the most corrosion-resistant roofing material. The price of zinc tiles ranges from $14.50-$21 per square foot when installed.
MaterialCost per sq. ftLife span in YearsCost Per Year of Use*

Asphalt Shingles




Built-up Roofing (BUR)




Clay Tiles




Concrete Roofing




Green Roofing




Metal Roofing




Slate Roofing




Solar Roofing




Wood Roofing




*Cost per Year of Use is an estimate for how much each roofing material costs for a 2,000 sp. ft roof for each year of its life span and is meant to help show the potential value of each option.

**Solar roofing life span is a general estimate due to the technology only being 10 years old.

Your roof’s life span may vary depending on how well you maintain it and various weather and locational conditions. If not maintained properly, your roof may need replacement sooner rather than later.

Should You Hire a Professional vs. DIY Cedar Shake Installation?

Cedar shake requires skill and expertise to install correctly. Do-it-yourself (DIY) roof installation poses a safety risk and can lead to structural damage.

DIY Cedar Shake Roof Installation

Unless you have professional experience installing cedar shake roofs, DIY installation isn’t advised. Roof installation is time-consuming, physically demanding, and dangerous. It may seem like a good option to save money, but one mistake could result in expensive roof repair costs or injury. 

A professional is also the best choice for minor cedar shake roof repairs. A pro can better assess the damage and make necessary fixes. For example, if you need to replace a few damaged shakes, you must find ones that match the existing shakes’ size, shape, and color. Gaps and spaces between the shakes could allow water or debris to damage the roof.

Professional Cedar Shake Roof Installation

Professional installers have the knowledge, skills, and experience to install cedar shake roofs correctly, ensuring a structurally sound and properly secured roof. This reduces the risk of damage and leaks. Professional installers also have access to high-quality materials and roofing warranties, as well as the equipment necessary for a successful installation.

How To Hire a Professional Roofer

Hiring a professional cedar shake roof contractor is similar to hiring other home improvement professionals. Here’s what to look for:
Ask friends and family for referrals and search online for a local roofing contractor who has experience installing cedar shake roofs.
Check ratings and reviews on sites such as Yelp, Trustpilot, and the Better Business Bureau. Watch out for a pattern of complaints or negative reviews.
Check for licensing and insurance and ask for examples of previous work.
Request quotes from at least three companies and compare prices. Ask what is and isn’t included in the quote.
Request an exact timeline for the project.

Our Conclusion

A cedar shake roof is an excellent choice for homeowners who want durability, sustainability, and a unique, natural look. The average cedar shake roof cost is high and requires ongoing maintenance, but its long life span makes it worth the investment. We don’t recommend attempting a DIY installation. Hire a professional cedar shake roofing company to ensure a safe and successful installation or repair.

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FAQ About Cedar Shake Roof Cost

What can I use to replace cedar shake roof?

Natural wood or composite shingles are a suitable roof replacement for a cedar shake roof. Wood shingles provide a similar aesthetic appeal at a lower cost and don’t require as much maintenance. A composite shingle roof is also resistant to fire and insect damage, whereas cedar is a fire hazard and susceptible to termites, carpenter ants, and carpenter bees.

Can you put metal roof over cedar shake shingles?

You can put metal roofing over cedar shake shingles, but there are a few considerations. First, the existing roof must be in good condition and able to attach securely. Installing metal over cedar adds to the roof’s weight, which could compromise your entire roof system.

How do you replace rotted cedar shakes?

A professional contractor can identify and replace rotted cedar shakes. After the rotted shakes are removed, repairs are made to any additional damage underneath. The contractor then cuts new shakes to the appropriate size and shape, installs them, and applies any necessary sealants.

How long will cedar shake roof last?

A 100% straight-grain cedar shake roof can last up to 50 years with regular maintenance and repairs. Even with proper care, cedar shakes can break down faster in areas with extreme temperature changes, high moisture levels, and harsh weather conditions.

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