My company specializes in cedar roofing and siding here on Cape Cod, where cedar has long proven its durability even in severe coastal weather conditions. Correctly installed, a premium cedar roof can easily last 25 years — and typically much longer. In this article, I’ll talk about the specific cedar products and installation procedures we use to ensure a long service life.

Although the terms “shingle” and “shake” are often used interchangeably, they are in fact two distinct products. Shingles are always sawn on both faces and are thinner, usually with a 7/16-inch butt. Shakes have 5/8- to 3/4-inch-thick butts and are split — rather than sawn — from the log, resulting in a rough, uneven face. (Taper-sawn shakes are...

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