Sometimes keeping it real comes at a cost. Let’s take real wood shingles on a roof, for example.
Genuine wood shingles – whether cedar, pine, redwood, or other types – undoubtedly offer classic beauty, a traditional rustic American look that’s been popular for hundreds of years. And wood shingles provide generally excellent protection for your house.
Wood shingles, however, are a major investment cost-wise and require regular maintenance to hold their integrity and beauty. This includes regular cleaning to keep away moss, algae, or mold. Also, these shingles need a protective sealing treatment applied every few years to avoid sun and moisture damage and shortening the roof’s lifespan. This level of commitment to something as ordinary as a roof might be hard to make a top-of-mind consideration in a busy life.
And if the structural integrity of your home’s roof is eventually breached with moisture or mold, the result will be rot – a three-letter bad word in the contracting business (well, in probably any business!). Roof rot = time to repair.
By the way, there are two kinds of rot: wet rot and dry rot. Both are a type of fungus, with wet rot typically occurring when wood is more than half saturated, dry rot when the wood is less saturated than that. Neither happens overnight, though, so it’s good policy to have an annual roof inspection to stay ahead of the game. You know what they say: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Even taking these precautions, you’re still going to incur gradual degradation. After all, it’s wood, and wood inevitably wears out or unusual conditions occur despite your best efforts. And wood is the most flammable type of roofing, so shingles like real cedar will have a lower fire rating than other roofing materials.
OK, you say. I can understand the downside of real cedar shingles, but what happens if I really love this look? Well, we can provide the best alternative to cedar roofing shingles. Up for your consideration: synthetic cedar shake roofing.
Synthetic shake has many things going for it, most notably the ease of maintenance compared with real cedar. Time and again we’ve had clients who tell us how much they love the appearance of their wood roof but dread the prospects of decay, rot, or splitting.
Synthetic shake has a split texture and comes in a variety of thicknesses, and it being fabricated also allows for a wide range of custom color options.
And best of all, it has the look of natural wood. So you lose nothing in curb appeal with synthetic cedar shake while getting essentially a maintenance-free replacement at a lower project cost. It’s environmentally friendly, too, as these shakes are normally made of recycled materials.
A good example would be this roof replacement we accomplished in Darien, Connecticut, the smallest town on the state’s Gold Coast. It’s a high-income community filled with some of the best beaches and water views around.
The homeowner loved the look of his cedar shingles but was tired of the upkeep and already waging a losing battle, as the roof was beginning to succumb to dry rot. He was encouraged to hear that synthetic cedar shake roofing shingles would deliver that classic wood look he loved at a reduced cost.
The challenge for us: This roof had more angles than a trigonometry test! Take a look at the photos included in this post to see what we mean. It might have been one of our most challenging projects ever.
We recommended to go with Brava roofing tiles, and the client chose Sierra for the color. Brava synthetic cedar tiles are made of recycled materials, have received numerous third-party certifications for their durability against the elements, and carry Class A and Class C fire ratings and a Class 4 impact rating (highest in the industry). Brava products also offer a 50-year limited warranty.
On top of that, their lightweight design makes it easier to work with, which was especially key on this job, given the different roof shapes and assorted pitches, spires, and chimneys.
Since there were so many particulars with this roof to consider, as well as a tight deadline, we expanded our crew and working hours so we could give everything the attention to detail it deserved at a reasonable pace. Two of the weeks were particularly busy, but we hit the deadline.
The homeowner was impressed we made deadline. He was even more pleased with the result – a new roof that looked like real wood without the prospect of high maintenance.
This was a unique roof replacement, for sure, but, well, “real” rewarding!
Materials used (manufacturer): Brava
Materials used (type): Synthetic Shake
Materials used (color): Sierra
Project Cost: $120,000
Time to Complete: One month