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Cedar Shake Roof Pricing: 4 Factors that Impact Cost

November 16, 2022 | 4 min. read

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After thinking about your dream home for years, it’s finally time to start the renovation. You might be planning on an exterior overhaul – including your roof.

Or you’ve got the stressful and costly news that you need a roof replacement. Whether you’re beginning a dream project or making necessary repairs, there’s always one thing you need to plan for: the price of your new roof. 

While many homeowners opt for asphalt roofs, cedar shake roofing might be the option for you if you’re looking for a more rustic vibe. 

Rescue My Roof is here to help you decide. We have been leading educators in the roofing industry for over a decade, helping homeowners make the best decisions for their homes.

We’re here to talk about the burning questions other roofing companies don’t want to address – including roof prices.

This article will cover the cost of a cedar shake roof and the four factors that impact pricing. Ultimately, you’ll be able to decide whether or not a cedar shake roof fits into your budget. 

The Average Cost of a Cedar Shake Roof

On average, cedar shake roofs cost between $12,000 to $20,000.

Breaking it down, cedar shake roofs are roughly $10/sq. ft. However, these prices can vary widely depending on factors like the complexity of your roof, labor, and the contractor. 

The Four Factors Impacting the Price of A Cedar Shake Roof

When you pay for a roof replacement, you don’t just pay for the materials. There are other costs involved to cover extra labor or materials. 

Here is a breakdown of factors that can impact the price of a new roof:

1. Time and Labor

Two contractors installing cedar shake roofing.

Think about the overall cost of your roof, and split the costs into three categories: materials, labor, and profits.

Regarding materials, the more expensive the material you choose, the more expensive the overall roof will be. But now we have to consider time and labor.

Whether in-house or subcontracted employees, Roofing professionals need to be paid. 

This cost is factored into the initial estimate you receive from your roofing company and shouldn’t increase afterward. 

2. Specialized Crews and Contractors 

A specialized contracting crew installing wooden shingles on a home.

Traditional asphalt roofs only take approximately one day to complete. However, you may need a specialized crew if you choose a more challenging material, like cedar shake. 

Specialized crews can charge more because they are experts at what they do. They should have the reviews and the portfolio to prove it. You know you will get the best-of-the-best in your area when you hire them to complete your project. 

It’s essential to note that homeowners shouldn’t go with a less-qualified contractor to cut costs. If a cedar shake roof is installed incorrectly, you’ll spend more on repairs down the road. 

3. Roof Complexity

Some homes (like the one pictured below) have relatively simple roofs. They don’t have many angles, aren’t too steep, and have a lot of accessibility.

A Wisconsin home with a simple, asphalt roof.

If your roof looks a lot different from this one (for example, it has a lot of angles and valleys), it will cost more because there will be more time and labor associated with it.

 To get a vague idea of how the costs will be impacted by roof complexity, use the following list:

  • A roof with no penetrations (chimneys, exhaust vents) and no valleys will be approximately $3.60 per square ft. 
  • A roof with some complexity, angles, valleys, or a chimney will cost approximately $4.70 per square ft. 
  • For a roof with a lot of complexity- perhaps it is steep, has a lot of different angles, and a lot of exhaust vents- it will cost, on average,  $7 per square foot.

If you recognize your home in the list above, that will give you a good idea of what to expect based on roof complexity alone.

4. Square Footage

A home with natural, cedar shake shingles.

The larger the roof, the more time, labor, and materials it will need, which means a bigger roof = more money.

However, you don’t have to be completely blindsided by this cost. There are ways to calculate the square footage of your home to give you a rough idea of how much you will pay. You’re going to need these three numbers:

  • The length of your home
  • The width of your home
  • And a number ranging between 1.04 and 1.06 (the steeper your roof appears, the higher the number you use)

Using these variables, your calculation is going to look like this:

If your home is 40 feet long and 25 feet wide, this is the equation you’d use: 40×25=1000

Then, take your answer and multiply it by your steepness variable. I am choosing 1.12

1,000 x 1.12= 1,112 square ft. 

Ta-da! A roof for the home with these dimensions would be approximately 1,112 square feet. This number won’t be perfect, but it can give you an idea. 

Installing A New Cedar Shake Roof

A Cedar Shake roof can be pricey, and the final cost will vary based on the time installation takes, the size of your home, roof complexity, and the contractor you choose. 

Keep in mind the prices above are not guaranteed, especially with annual raises in the cost of materials. If you want to keep the price as close as possible to the ranges above, it’s time to start searching for a contract and sign a contract to lock in the current price. 

Learn more about getting started with your roof replacement with “3 Things to Compare When Looking at Multiple Roof Estimates” and “What to Expect At Your Roof Estimation Appointment.” 

Are you looking for an estimate in the greater Milwaukee area? You’ve come to the right place. Rescue My Roof has dedicated a decade in the roofing industry to helping homeowners achieve their perfect roof.
You can contact us to receive a free inspection and estimate!