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Roofing Buyer's Guide (page 7 of 10)

Learn how to tell if it's time to replace your roof, and get information on the latest roofing materials and approximate costs.

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bent shingle roof

Steam-bent shingles are reminiscent of the thatched roofs of England. Photo courtesy Cedar Shingle & Shake Bureau and C&H Bureau.

Wood shingles and shakes (continued)
Wood shingles and shakes aren't recommended for do-it-yourself installation unless the DIYer has considerable experience. Shakes and shingles usually are applied over a series of horizontally installed 1x4 or 1x6 furring boards called space sheathing. Gaps between the boards allow air circulation vital to preserving the lifespan of wood roofing materials. Apply wood shingles and shakes only to roofs with a pitch of 4-in-12 or greater.

Some locations allow shakes to be installed over solid plywood sheathing to help resist seismic activity; other locations don't allow wood roofing at all due to fire hazards, or may require wood roofing materials to be treated with a special fire-retardant chemical. Be sure to check with your local building authority when planning to use wood roofing.

You'll pay $400 to $900 per square for shake and shingle roofing, installed. Most manufacturers offer warranties of 20 to 25 years, but properly installed wood roofing may last twice that long.