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Synthetic Cedar Shake Roofing: Is It the Right Type of Roof for You?

August 16th, 2021 | 5 min. read

Synthetic Cedar Shake Roofing: Is It the Right Type of Roof for You?

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A cedar shake roof is one of the most beautiful roofs on the market today. Unfortunately, it comes with certain cons that some homeowners don’t think are worth the investment. 

However, there's a newer roofing material on the market that looks like cedar shakes but doesn’t come with the same cons. This material is synthetic cedar shake roofing. 

At Bill Ragan Roofing, helping you make the right purchasing decision is our main goal. That’s why we’ll be breaking down synthetic cedar shake roofing to help you decide if it’s right for you. 

By the end of this article, you'll know what a synthetic cedar shake roof is and 4 factors about it to help you make a decision. 

What is synthetic cedar shake roofing?

Synthetic (also known as composite) cedar shake roofing is made of recycled materials and designed to look exactly like a cedar shake roof. The synthetic shingles have realistic grain patterns and deep grooves that look just like real cedar shake shingles.


They also have multiple color options and styles to give your roof the look you want. You’re probably thinking, “Do they actually look like real cedar shake shingles?”

real cedar shake compared to synthetic cedar shake

Honestly, you might be able to tell the difference between synthetic cedar and natural cedar if you work in the roofing industry. However, I guarantee you or anyone walking by won’t be able to tell the difference from the ground.

4 factors to help you decide if synthetic cedar shake roofing is right for you

Now you know what cedar shake roofing is, but there are some things you need to know. Whether you’re comparing it to a real cedar shake roof or another roof type, these 4 factors help you decide if it’s the right roof for you. 

1. Synthetic cedar shake roofing won’t show signs of wear and tear

Normal cedar shake shingles eventually rot, crack, and curl as they age. You don’t have to worry about that with a synthetic cedar shake roof. 

curled cedar shake shingle

As long as they’re installed properly, you shouldn’t have an aesthetic problem with synthetic cedar shake shingles. You also don’t have to worry about the shingles losing their color.  

As time goes on, real cedar shake shingles change from a fresh cedar color to a worn (or aged) color. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but synthetic cedar shake roofing will retain the color you choose as the years go by.  

2. The material warranty you get on a synthetic cedar shake roof

When getting a new roof, you’ll have two warranties to protect your synthetic cedar shake roof investment if there’s ever a problem. You’ll have one on the workmanship from the roofing contractor who installed your new roof. 

The other warranty will be from the manufacturer of your synthetic cedar shake shingles and the rest of the roofing materials. For example, Davinci Roofscapes (the leading synthetic brand) synthetic cedar shake shingles come with a limited lifetime material warranty. 

Davinci isn’t the only synthetic roofing company, so the material warranty will ultimately depend on the manufacturer your roofing contractor uses. Make sure to ask your roofing contractor about both warranties and get them writing to put in a safe spot just in case there’s ever a problem. 

3. The lifespan of synthetic cedar shake roofing 

Before investing in a big purchase, you should learn the return you’ll get out of it. Because a synthetic cedar shake roof is such a big purchase, it’s no different.

That’s where the lifespan of your roof comes in. The lifespan (return on investment) of your synthetic cedar shake roof is how many years you get out of it.  

With that in mind, you can expect to get around 40-50 years out of a synthetic cedar shake roof as long as it’s installed correctly. They come with a high impact rating (resistance to impact from hail, winds, etc.) to make them this durable. 

For example, DaVinci synthetic cedar shake shingles have a Class 4 impact rating (the highest rating possible). Because of their durability, synthetic shingles are one of the longest-lasting roofing materials on the market. 

4. The cost of synthetic cedar shake roofing compared to a real cedar shake roof

Both a synthetic cedar shake roof and natural cedar shake roof are huge investments. The truth is, most homeowners won’t be able to afford these roof systems. 

With that in mind, synthetic cedar shake shingles will always be less than natural cedar shake shingles. However, it’s hard to say if the labor of tearing off your old roof and installing your new synthetic one will be cheaper than real cedar shake.

Because of this, it’s impossible to give you an exact price on a synthetic roof. Even though I can’t be exact, I can give you a price range to help you understand the budget you’ll need.

A new synthetic cedar shake roof costs around $14.00-$18.00 per square foot, while a real cedar shake will cost around $25.00-$30.00 per square foot. No matter what, both roof systems are a sizable investment and will cost more than the most expensive asphalt shingle roof.

Is a synthetic cedar shake roof right for you?

After reading this article, you should have a good idea if a synthetic cedar shake roof is right for you. If you don’t think it’s the right type of roof for you, take this Roof Type quiz to find a roof that better fits your needs. 

On the other hand, if you’re interested in a synthetic cedar shake roof it’s time to find a great roofer. To do this, you need to know the right questions to ask when meeting with potential roofing contractors. 

That’s why we made a checklist of 16 questions every homeowner needs to ask a roofing contractor and the right answers you should get back. With your checklist, you’ll be able to make the right hiring decision and avoid being taken advantage of before investing your hard-earned money. 

Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners in the Nashville area get a beautiful new roof that fits their budget. When getting a roof from us, you can count on our high-quality workmanship that comes with a lifetime warranty to back it up. 

If you need roof repairs, a roof replacement, or anything else in the Nashville area, don’t hesitate to contact us today. 

Whether you’re local to us or not, get your Checklist of 16 Questions to Ask a Roofing Contractor to find a great one in your area.

checklist of questions to ask a roofing contractor

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