Skip to main content

«  View All Posts

Roof Replacement | Cedar Shake Roof | Metal Roof

Standing Seam Metal Roof vs. Cedar Shake Roof

January 1st, 2021 | 8 min. read

Standing Seam Metal Roof vs. Cedar Shake Roof

Print/Save as PDF

Are you ready for a new roof? Are you considering a standing seam metal roof or a cedar shake roof instead of the commonly seen asphalt

If so, I understand deciding on the right type of roof for your replacement can be overwhelming. To help take some of that stress off your shoulders, I’m going to compare the two types of roofs. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has been replacing roofs in the Nashville area since 1990. We strive to provide you an experience unique in the roofing industry that focuses on honesty, customer service, and strong workmanship. That’s why when you work with us, you’ll never worry about your roof again. 

So, is a standing seam metal roof or cedar shake roof right for you? Always eager to help you make the best decision for you, I’m going to break down the two types of roof systems and how they compare to each other on important factors. 

What is a standing seam metal roof?

A standing seam metal roof system is a series of metal panels that are locked together at the seams or seamed mechanically. 

standing seam metal roof

The ribs (standing seams) are usually between 12 and 24 inches apart, depending on the length of the metal panel and the aesthetics of the structure. Standing seam panels are fastened under each of these ribs to allow the panels to glide back and forth. 

This allows the roof to expand and contract freely when it goes through thermal expansion. To go more in-depth about standing seam roofs, read this article on what is a standing seam metal roof

What is a cedar shake roof?

A cedar shake roof is a premium roof system made of natural wood (cedar) materials. 

cedar shake roof

While it serves the same functions as an asphalt or metal roof, it’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing roof’s you’ll see. That’s what sets a cedar shake roof apart from the more common roof types.  

There are 3 grades (types) of cedar shake shingles: common, selects, and 100% straight grain. The shingles are made out of cedar trees that come from the Northwest United States or Southwest Canada. 

Be aware, the manufacturers of cedar shakes don’t keep stockpiles of the shingles. They’re made to order, which means they don’t split or saw them until an order is placed. Because of this, it could take 3 to 8 weeks to get the materials for your cedar shake roof. 

Standing seam metal roof vs. cedar shake roof 

Now that you know what a standing seam metal roof and a cedar shake roof is, you’re ready to learn how they differ on key factors. Knowing how they compare on cost, lifespan, and more help you decide which one is right for you. 


Anytime you get a new roof, it’s going to be an investment. This is especially true when you want a new cedar shake roof. 

A cedar shake roof is a premium roof system, so you can expect to pay a premium price. Because it’s a premium price, it’s going to cost more than a standing seam metal roof system. But how much more?

You can expect a cedar shake roof to be almost double the cost of a standing seam metal roof. To learn about the factors that affect the cost of your new roof, read this article on the 9 factors that impact the cost of your new roof.

Which roof is better on cost?

Remember, the difference in the amount you invest in your replacement is going to be pretty sizable. If you're worried about your budget, a standing seam metal roof is probably the one for you. 

But if you have the budget and want a look that’ll really stand out in your neighborhood, a cedar shake roof is a great option. 


The life of your roof is how many years you can expect to get out of it. As long as your roof is properly installed and adequately ventilated, it’ll get as close as possible to the manufacturer’s specified lifespan.

A standing seam metal roof’s lifespan is around 50 years, while a cedar shake roof’s lifespan is 30 years. However, if you live in an area with the right conditions, a cedar shake roof could live up to 50 years. 

To learn more about how much life you’ll actually get out of your roof, read this article on how long your new roof will last

Which roof lives longer?

A standing seam metal roof is a “put it on and forget about it” type of roof as long as it’s properly installed. It’s one of the longest-lasting roofs, so usually it’s going to last longer than a cedar shake roof. 

But remember, a cedar shake roof can live up to 50 years if you live in an area with the right climate and conditions. If you do want a cedar shake roof, make sure to ask your local roofing contractor how the weather in your area will impact the life of it. 


A warranty is in place to protect you and your roof from any future problems. The two warranties you get on a new roof is for the materials and the contractor’s workmanship. 

Be aware, the workmanship warranty will depend on the local roofing contractor you hire. However, the warranty you get on the materials of your standing seam metal roof and cedar shake roof is going to be different.

A standing seam metal roof comes with a 30-year paint warranty on the Kynar 500 painted finish that protects the roof from the elements. On the other hand, a cedar shake roof has no manufacturer material warranty because the cedar shakes are naturally made. 

Because there’s no material warranty on your cedar shake shingles, you can only rely on the workmanship warranty of the roofing contractor you hire. That’s why it’s important to look for a roofing contractor with a lifetime warranty to protect your cedar shake roof investment. 

To learn more about your roof warranty options, read this article on what roof warranties cover.

Which roof comes with better warranty options?

While both roofs will have a warranty on the workmanship, your standing seam metal roof will be the only one with a warranty on the materials. Remember, the 30-year warranty is on the painted finish that’s on the standing seam metal panels. 

On the other hand, the only protection you have on a cedar shake roof is the warranty you get from your local roofing contractor. This makes hiring a great roofing contractor crucial to your roof investment. 

To help you find a great one in your area, read this article on the 4 ways to find a great local roofing contractor

Roof maintenance 

Your car needs its oil changed to keep it maintained and running smoothly, the same goes for both a standing seam metal roof and a cedar shake roof. 

A cedar shake roof needs roof maintenance at least once a year. Roof maintenance catches any problems with your cedar shake roof and prevents future leaks before they can cause damage to your home. 

It's also a chance to clear your roof and gutters of any debris. Because of this, it’s absolutely crucial to keep your cedar shake roof running smoothly throughout its life with roof maintenance. 

On the other hand, a standing seam roof requires virtually no maintenance except at the penetrations (vent pipes, gas pipes, etc.). The boots and collars on these pipes will never outlast any roof system, so it’s important to have checked out every few years. 

Cleaning is the only other general maintenance that’s needed and that’s a personal choice for each customer.

Which roof requires less maintenance?

Every roof needs maintenance throughout its life and some need it more than the others. With that in mind, a cedar shake roof requires more maintenance than a standing seam metal roof. 

To learn more about why roof maintenance is crucial to every roof type, read this article on why regular roof maintenance is important

Ready for your standing seam metal or cedar shake roof replacement?

Now you know how a standing seam metal roof and a cedar shake roof compare to each other on key factors. A standing seam metal roof gives you more life, requires less maintenance, and is less than double the cost of a cedar shake roof. 

Ultimately, it’s up to the look you want and your budget when deciding which one you want for your roof replacement. And now, you’re better prepared to make the best decision for you. 

After reading this are you still struggling to make a decision? Do you just want to reassure yourself that you're choosing the right roof? If this sounds like you, take our free quiz to help. 

The 4 question Roof Type quiz asks you the questions every homeowner needs to ask themselves to ensure they're making the right decision. Make sure you're making the right purchasing decision and take your free Roof Type quiz. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided the residents with high-quality roof replacements since 1990. No matter if you want a standing seam metal roof or a cedar shake roof, you can count on our workmanship to maximize your investment. That’s why we’re proud to offer you a lifetime warranty. 

To help make your decision as easier, take this quiz on Which Roof Type is Right for You

roofing material quiz

Table Of Contents

Related Articles