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Cedar Roofing Costs & Considerations

There are many different options when it comes to roofing types. Over the past couple of decades, cedar has quickly become an increasingly popular option due to its beauty and durability. Homeowners looking to install new roofing at their homes often opt for cedar roofing as a means of greatly improving their home's cosmetic appeal and driving up potential resale value down the road.

The Costs 

Per 1,250 square feet

  • Average Price: $9,200
  • Minimum Price: $8,150
  • Maximum Price: $10,600

Types of Cedar Roofing

Homeowners who are interested in cedar roofing will want to start by determining which type is best for them. The two most common types are red and white cedar. Aside from differences in their aesthetic appearance, there are several other notable distinctions between each type. Furthermore, homeowners' budgets may also help guide them towards a the right choice.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cedar Roofing

Red cedar is the most popular option due to its durability and rustic, natural beauty. Red cedar is a deeper color and known to be significantly more durable than white cedar. The tight grain of the wood, in addition to the preservatives that red cedar is soaked in before it's released as a roofing shingle, makes it resistant to water damage, extreme temperatures and other potentially severe circumstances over time.

Homeowners considering red cedar, however, should note that the color of the wood will change over time. This is simply due to weathering, which is unavoidable with any type of wood. Fortunately, red cedar tends to weather beautifully, reaching a deep, rich look. Another possible drawback for some homeowners is the fact that red cedar is significantly more expensive than white cedar.

White cedar is much more affordable for many homeowners. However, its appearance and durability are not the same as that of red cedar. Specifically, white cedar does not have the deep, rich appearance that red cedar does. Instead, it appears grayer in color. The grain of white cedar is also much looser, making it possible for more water, dirt and debris to penetrate the wood and cause warping or other damage down the road. Still, compared to asphalt shingles and other forms of roofing, white cedar is a relatively durable option.

Both red and white cedar require very little maintenance and can easily last 50 years or more. In fact, some historical buildings with original cedar roofing have lasted over 100 years without significant maintenance or repairs. In general, the only significant maintenance required on a cedar roof is that of occasional mold and mildew removal.

Considerations When Buying Cedar Shingles

Homeowners who have decided to go with cedar roofing should be aware of some important factors to consider when shopping. All homeowners should take the time to make sure their cedar shingles are fire resistant. Of course, any type of wood is naturally flammable. Therefore, cedar needs to be specially treated in order to be fire resistant. Even with this special treatment, it's possible that homeowners will find themselves paying slightly higher home insurance premiums as a result of the increased fire risk. 

Other Costs

Regardless of the specific type of cedar a homeowner decides to go with, there are other expenses to consider besides the cost of the materials, which can easily be about six times more than for traditional asphalt roofing. Homeowners must also pay installation and clean-up costs. Depending on the size of the roof and some other factors, installation typically costs between $1,500 and $2,200. Of course, size is not the only factor that can affect price; the steepness of the roof can also impact installation costs. The steeper the grade of the roof, the more time and care it will take roofing contractors to complete the installation job. As a result, the installation costs will be significantly higher.

Regional pricing variations can also have an impact on the overall cost of the roofing job. For example, in areas of the country where cedar is easier to come by, the materials for such a roofing project will be more affordable. In other regions of the country, however, cedar is less common and will cost more due to the fact that it will need to be shipped in from a long distance in order to obtain.

Saving on Cedar Roofing

While cedar roofing is significantly more expensive than other types, the good news is that there are some ways in which homeowners can go about saving money on their roofing. It's possible to save money by shopping around and finding the best rate from a local roofing contractor. Estimates are generally free. Typically, it's cheaper to hire independent roofing contractors as opposed to dedicated roofing companies. However, when hiring a contractor, homeowners should take the time to check and ensure that they are licensed and insured. Furthermore, it's a good idea to read reviews on the contractor in order to find out what others have had to say about the contractor in the past. Ultimately, if the estimated quote seems fair, if the contractor is licensed and insured and if the contractor has good reviews, then they are probably a good choice.

Finally, having roof work done during non-peak times of the year can be a great way to take advantage of special deals and promotions. Specifically, having roofing work done towards the end of summer or beginning of fall is typically a bit cheaper than having it done during the busier times of spring or summer.

Cedar roofing is a great choice for a number of reasons, including its unbeatable beauty and durability. Homeowners willing to spend a little bit more on their new roofing in the short term can enjoy long-term benefits such as less maintenance and an increased resale value. Furthermore, homeowners can save money on their new roofing by keeping the above tips in mind.

Last updated on May 18, 2016

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