cedar shingles

Shingled Out: The Pros and Cons of Cedar Shingles

While all roofing materials have their benefits, none are quite as beautiful as cedar shingles. Cedar shingles possess a unique and rustic charm that will undoubtedly help your home to stand out among the others. 

That said, cedar shingles have their flaws. For this reason, they’re not the ideal option for everyone. 

Wondering whether they’re right for you? Then read on. To help you decide, we’re going to review their pros and their cons below. 

The Pros of Cedar Shingles

The pros of cedar shingles are many. The most prominent of these pros will be reviewed below. 

Aesthetically Beautiful

While aesthetic preferences are, by and large, subjective, it wouldn’t be a stretch to call cedar shingles beautiful. Carrying a traditional and rustic charm, they add a unique and eye-catching appearance to any home upon which they’re installed. As such, they can turn even the simplest of homes into marvelous spectacles. 

Because they can be stained and painted, cedar shingles can assume a variety of different aesthetics. If you’re looking for a traditional aesthetic, you can just leave them untreated. If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious, a stain will accommodate you. 

One thing’s for certain: by installing cedar shingles on your home, you will help it to stand out among the others. After all, cedar shingles aren’t anywhere near as common as asphalt shingles. 


In addition to being aesthetically beautiful, cedar shingles are also highly durable. On average, they thrive for around 50 years. For comparison’s sake, asphalt shingles only last for around 25 years. 

Note, however, that they are vulnerable to the elements. Rain, snow, and sun can cause cedar shingles to deteriorate, leading to their premature death. 

For this reason, if you want to get the most out of your cedar shingles, you’ll have to maintain them properly. Failure to perform proper maintenance on your shingles can cause them to warp, crack, and buckle before their time. 


One of the big problems with asphalt shingles is that they’re highly susceptible to wind. In the event that a big storm blows through, asphalt shingles could very easily be torn off of your roof.

This is not the case with cedar shingles. They are much heavier and much more solid than asphalt shingles, almost 100% ensuring that they’ll stick to your roof through rough storms. 

Energy Efficient

Looking to save as much energy as possible? Hoping to cut down on the cost of your energy bills? If so, these are the ideal roofing option for you. 

Simply put, cedar is an exceedingly insulative material. Thick and dense, it essentially stops heat and cold in their tracks. As such, it allows furnaces and air conditioners to work as efficiently as possible. 

In comparison, asphalt provide only around half the insulation provided by cedar shingles. Because of this, they do very little to take the strain off of their corresponding home’s HVAC system. 

Environmentally Friendly

Another pro is that they’re environmentally friendly. Because they’re made out of natural wood, they have no ill effect on the environment. 100% biodegradable, they will eventually deteriorate into the soil, leaving no trace of their existence. 

There is no other roofing material that’s as environmentally friendly as cedar shingles. For comparison, asphalt shingles aren’t biodegradable at all. As such, they put tons of strain on landfills. 

The Cons of Cedar Shingles

While the pros are many, they don’t come without their cons. The primary cons of are as follows:


To put it simply they are expensive. This is one of the reasons that you don’t see them much. Most homeowners can’t reasonably afford to buy or maintain them. 

The average cost? Between $600 and $900 per square (a square is a 100 square foot area). For comparison, asphalt shingles cost between $350 and $450 per square. 

To truly illustrate this difference in cost, let’s suppose we’re dealing with a 1,000 square foot roof; This would require 10 squares of roofing. To cover such a roof with this material, you would have to pay between $6,000 and $9,000. To cover such a roof with asphalt shingles, you would only have to pay between $3,500 and $4,500. 

As you can see, the difference is substantial. Plus, it doesn’t even take into account the long-term maintenance costs. So, when all is said and done, they will end up costing you around twice the price of what asphalt would have cost you. 


As was noted above, cedar shingles require a great deal of maintenance in order to thrive. This maintenance is not only time-consuming to carry out but fairly expensive as well. Before you install cedar shingles, you must take this added expense into consideration. 

Like all roofing materials, these too need to be cleaned. Not only must you rid them of miscellaneous debris, but you must also scrub them down with soap and water. Failure to do so could result in premature water damage and algae growth. 

In addition to cleaning your cedar shingles, you must also stain them. Applying a stain not only helps to improve the aesthetic of your shingles but it can also help to stave off water damage, prolonging their lifespan. 

You should clean your shingles every half-year or so. Staining, on the other hand, should occur every 3 to 5 years. 

Ready to Install Cedar Shingles?

What do you say? Are cedar shingles right for your home? If so, and if you’re looking for a roofing company in central Indiana, M&J Exteriors is the company to call. 

Our team of seasoned roofers have installed these shingles on a bevy of homes throughout central Indiana. Experienced, insured, and certified, we look forward to providing your home with a fresh look. 

Contact us today to schedule a free estimate! 

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