What are the Basics on Red Cedar Shakes and Red Cedar Shingles?

By June 25, 2018BLOG

What are the Basics on Red Cedar Shakes and Red Cedar ShingleRed Cedar makes a beautiful covering for any home. It can be used as either a roof covering or wall covering. It is a sturdy, strong, covering that has a long history of protecting homes from the elements. However as with any material there are options to be considered.

Cedar comes as either Shakes or Shingles.  This defines the basic look of the covering.  Shakes are thicker than shingles and have a rougher surface. Shakes can be either sawed or split off when they are manufactured.  In either case they give the house a more rustic look than shingles do.  Shingles are thinner and smoother than shakes.  In some cases they are sanded for an even smoother look.  They look more refined than shakes.  Both are attractive but they have a different look.

Cedar is a natural building material.  Because it is grown rather than being manufactured there are some variations in the individual pieces.  This is not a bad thing. It is part of the reason people chose wood as a  material. It is the look of wood.  However, most people want some assurance that most of the shingles on their home are consistent and good quality.  This is assured by grading scales created by a trade association called ‘The Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau’.

The wood is graded with one being the highest grade and going down from there. The first grade has the least variations between pieces. As the grade numbers go up there are more differences allowed. For most applications you will want to stick with the first two grades and only use the third one for less critical uses. Shingles also use a color code for the first few grades.  Blue is the number one grade and red is the second grade.  Shakes can use the term ‘Premium’ for the first grade. Go by the grade number if the colors or terms are confusing.

Even though cedar has a natural resistance to the elements, the shakes and shingles can be purchased with a preservative or other protective chemical on them.

The other options for these items are the lengths and sizes of the pieces. This would be a topic for discussion with the people installing the material. The building design will effect the sizes needed.

These are some of the basics.  It is recommended that you look at buildings with the various types of Red Cedar Shakes and Shingles to see the different looks.  We at East Tennessee Building Supply would be glad to discuss any questions you have on the different materials.

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