How Much Does a Cedar Shake Roof Cost in 2024?

The average cost to install a cedar shake roof is $20,250, but the cost typically varies between $7.50 and $14.50 per square foot.

close up of cedar shakes on roof

What you spend on a cedar shake roof will depend on the size and complexity of your roof and the location of your home. On average, homeowners can expect to pay $20,250 or between $7.50 and $14.50 per square foot for a cedar shake roof.

Cedar shakes are hand-split or sawed pieces of wood. Since each shake is unique, cedar shake roofs are a good option for homeowners searching for a more rustic or natural look for their home.

This real wood roofing option is highly durable, can withstand heavy storms, and has a lifespan of up to 50 years. Looking to increase the energy efficiency of your home? A cedar shake roof provides double the insulation of asphalt shingle roofs. 

In this article:

Average Cedar Shake Roof Costs

National Average Cost$20,250
Typical Price Range$15,335 – $25,165
Extreme Low End Cost$12,485
Extreme High End Cost$36,735

The typical price range for a new cedar shake roof is between $15,335 and $25,165. The national average for a cedar shake roof is $20,250.

Factors that can impact the price of your new roof include size, complexity, and accessibility. Other things that can raise the cost are:

  • Removal of the existing roof
  • Cost of additional roofing materials (underlayment, protective coating, etc)
  • Location of your home

Cedar Shake Roof Cost Estimator by Roof Size

The most significant factor affecting the price of cedar shake roof installation is the size of your roof. Companies typically charge between $7.50 and $14.50 per square foot for a cedar shake roof.

The average roof in the United States is around 1,500 square feet. We used the following examples of small, medium, and large roofs to calculate the cost of installing a cedar shake roof by roof size. We multiplied the roof sizes by an average cost of $11 per square foot.

Roof Size Average overall cost 
1,000 square feet$11,000
1,500 square feet$16,500
3,500 square feet$38,500

You can estimate the size of your roof using this formula:

  • Home square footage x 1.5 = Roof square footage

Roofing companies may charge you by the “square” instead of the square footage of your roof. A roofing square is equivalent to 100 square feet. To figure out how many squares it will take to install your new roof, divide the square footage of your roof by 100.

Other Factors That Affect Cost

Other than size, several factors can affect the cost of a new wood shake roof. Each home has its own needs and challenges related to the following factors.

Cedar Shake Grades

The grade of cedar shake you use for your project will affect the quality and cost of your new roof. There are three different grades:

  • Common grade: Cheapest; quickest to warp; require the most maintenance
  • Select grade: Middle ground between quality and affordability 
  • Straight grain grade: Most expensive; hand-selected for quality; most durable and least likely to warp


The complexity of your roof is nearly as significant as its size in terms of cost. Whether there are peaks and valleys or features such as chimneys and skylights, the more complicated your roof is, the more attention and materials it will need. The more your roof has going on, the more you can expect to pay to have cedar shakes installed. 


Another factor that can affect the cost of your roof is how difficult it is to reach. While most homes may not have this issue, homes surrounded by trees or neighborhoods with a snug fit between the houses will be challenging to access. These roofs may be more difficult and time-consuming to install, resulting in a higher labor cost.

Removal of Existing Roof

If you’re removing and replacing your entire roof rather than replacing a few shingles, it will cost significantly more. You may want to consider removing your existing roof if it’s in bad shape or if you’re looking to change shingle types. Removing your current roof will add to the replacement cost, depending on complexity and size.

Additional Roofing Materials 

If you have other parts of a roofing system installed, those materials will add to the cost of your new cedar shake roof. Usually, these other components include ventilation, underlayment, and decking.

After installing your new roof, proper maintenance can ensure the longevity of your cedar shake roof. While this roof option is durable on its own, ongoing maintenance will help to avoid issues such as rot, mildew, and leaks that can lead to a roof replacement years too soon.

Roof Cleaning

Cleaning your roof regularly is essential to its longevity and the curb appeal of your home. Just like replacing a roof, the cost will vary depending on the size of your roof and its accessibility. Usually, roof cleaning costs homeowners between 65 and 15 cents per square foot.

Roof Coating

Another way to preserve your cedar shake roof is to apply a protective roof coating. Roof coatings protect your roof from things like fungus growth and water damage. This service will cost you between $0.60 and $4.83 per square foot to keep leaks and structural damage at bay.

Roof Repair

If your cedar shake roof is missing a few shingles, leaking, or has damage from ice dams, repairing your roof rather than replacing it may be an option. Thankfully, the cost to repair a roof is much less than the installation cost. Roof repair costs homeowners $990 on average. If your roof is sagging or daylight shines through it, replacing your roof may be necessary.

Cost of a Cedar Shake Roof by Location

The location of your home can impact the price of a new cedar shake roof significantly. Depending on the season, areas with heavy snowfall, hail storms, tornadoes, or hurricanes may have higher costs due to demand. You may have to invest more in roof maintenance and repair in areas with severe weather.

In places such as California, where wildfires are a threat, you may want to add a fire retardant treatment to your cedar shake roof to protect your home.

FAQ About Cedar Shake Roofs

Can you install cedar shake roofing DIY? 

Don’t! While the price tag for professional cedar shake roof installation is hefty, it’s not worth cutting corners or risking bodily harm for savings. Roof replacement is a complex and dangerous process best left to the pros.

What is the difference between cedar shakes and cedar shingles?

Cedar shakes are hand split from lumber logs, while cedar shingles are machine cut from a wood block. Wood shakes are also thicker than shingles and are uneven, while wood shingles are smooth. Cedar shingles are also slightly less expensive than shakes and cost homeowners between $6.20 and $11.50 per square foot.

Should you seal a cedar shake roof?

You should never seal your cedar shake roof. Sealing a cedar shake roof is not recommended because the wood needs to breathe to stay dry. Instead of sealing your roof, you can apply a water-resistant coating to increase its longevity. 

What is the best time of year to replace my roof?

Autumn is considered the best time of year to replace a roof. With more comfortable temperatures and mild weather, crews can quickly finish the job. However, this tends to be a busy time for roofers due to homeowners wanting to replace their roofs before winter. 

Scheduling your roof replacement may be more tedious in autumn, so it’s best to plan ahead. Remember that an experienced contractor will provide a quality roof installation regardless of the season.

Find a Roofing Contractor Near You

If your old roof is looking a little rough and developing leaks, or if you want a new style for your home, consider installing a cedar shake roof. This natural wood roofing style looks rustic but is also highly durable. On average, hiring a pro to install your cedar shake roof costs $20,250.

Because of the intricacy and danger associated with roof installation, it’s best to leave this service to the pros. Replacing your roof is a significant investment, but you’ll save in the long run if you regularly maintain your new roof. RoofGnome connects you to the best local roofing companies for quotes specific to your home.

Main Image Credit: Boatbuilder / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Beck Carter

Beck is a creative writer from Central Texas. She graduated with an MFA in poetry from Texas State University. Beck enjoys martial arts, kayaking, and walking her wiener dog, Cookie.