Re-roofing With Cedar Shingles (Tiles)

An increasingly popular roofing option in the US and Canada, cedar roof shingles (tiles) are beginning to take off here in the UK. A green, sustainable option as well as a durable one, a cedar shingle roof looks amazing and is built to last.

Here we take a look at some of the common questions and concerns people may have about cedar shingles, including details of the installation process and the added benefits a cedar shingle hip roof can bring to your home.

What are the Benefits of Cedar Shingles

Cedar shingles look amazing and also provide a weatherproof roof if installed correctly. The properties of cedar are such that it is naturally waterproof and resistant to weathering.

It’s also a highly impermeable wood, so problems with expansion are minimal.
Cedar is a sustainable, green alternative to synthetic roofing.
It’s naturally a good thermal and acoustic insulator.
It’s expected that a cedar shingle roof will last for thirty years or more.

Cedar Shingle Roof Installation

Installation procedures are similar to those employed for any other shingle roof, except that cedar shingles are utilised instead. Many people are concerned about how to cap a cedar shingle roof – if you don’t want to make your own capping shingles from cedar, you can purchase ready-made cedar shingle ridge tiles.

How to Cedar Shingle a Roof (or Shed)

Whilst re-roofing a home with cedar shingles is best left to the professionals, a competent DIY enthusiast can create a sound, weatherproof cedar shingle roof for a shed.

Cover the roof with roofing paper.
Add a breather (a breathable membrane that assists with ventilation)
Apply the starter course, using 2”, weather-resistant nails. Make sure this is level!
Nail the next course directly on top of the starter course.
When you reach the ridge, install ridge cap tiles across the top.

This is a straightforward job that can be easily accomplished with basic tools.


What About Cedar Shingle Roof Repair?

Cedar shingle doesn’t often require repair – in most cases, fresh shingles can be inserted into the roof if necessary. Probably the biggest reason a cedar shingle might weaken is if the incorrect fixings are used, or nails are driven in too deep.

Nails need to be weather-resistant and hammered in carefully, by hand. Unless used with care, nail guns drive the nails with too much force, increasing the risk of the cedar splintering or cracking.

Like any other type of roofing, cedar shingle needs to be correctly installed for optimal performance. Luckily modern shingles and ridge caps can be bought off the shelf, reducing the amount of on-site joinery that needs to be completed.

Tools to complete the job are also easily obtained and no specialist equipment is needed – if you’ve got a handsaw, shingles, underlay, a vent system for the eaves, battens, tape, nails and a hammer, you’re ready to roof!

Roofing Supplies UK are the UK's #1 supplier of roofing supplies, products and materials online. We have many alternatives to cedar roofing shingles on our roof tiles page.