How Much Does Wood Shake Roof Replacement Cost?

The national average cost to replace a wood shake roof ranges between $7,030 – $14,900, with the biggest factor being the roof square footage.

Calculating The Price of Replacing a Shake Roof

A wood shake roof done by a professional roof replacement service will cost you between $16,000 and $27,000 for a 3,000 square foot roof.

Factors like roof angle, square footage, and design complexity will all be factored into your final price.

Roughly, you can expect that cost to work out to $6-$9 per square foot.

Shake roofs are great because they’re eco-friendly, they’re durable, and they’re a proven roofing material that’s been around for centuries. Even better, if you use rot-resistant wood like cedar for your roof, you can expect it to last for nearly 30 years with proper maintenance.

The Installation Cost for Replacing Old Roofs: Broken Down

You should expect to pay every pro you hire around $60/hour for the duration of the job. So, if you hire a three-person crew to work eight hours a day for four days, you need to budget around $6,000 in wages (that’s $60×3 people x8 hours x4 days).

Now, assuming you’re replacing your old roof with cedar shakes, you can expect to pay $12,400 for the shakes themselves (that’s $400 per square x31 squares).

Finally, remember that any underlayment, hardware, caulk, and equipment used will be added to the final cost afterward.

So in total the initial break down looks like this $12,400 shakes + $6,000 in labor + $2,000 misc = $20,400 total roof replacement cost. We understand that that’s a substantial amount of money, so here are several of our favorite ways to find the right contractor for you.

What Makes the Gap So Large?

A couple of factors can increase or decrease the price of your shake roof replacement. Factors like the material you choose and seasonal pricing will drive the cost up or down depending on the options and time of year you decide to build.

Choosing the Right Material

You have several options when you’re choosing the material to use. You can go for an all-natural approach with cedar or other woods, or you can opt for a wood substitute.
shake roof shingles
You can find an explanation and pricing estimate for each material below.

Cedar shakes

as far as wooden shakes go, cedar will generally be a little more expensive than other wood options, but the benefits outweigh the costs. Cedar is great because it’s an excellent insulator, and it’s naturally resistant to rot and insects.

You can typically buy cedar shakes for $100/bundle or $400/square.

Generic Wooden Shakes

There are many different kinds of shakes you can buy, and each variety has its pros and cons. However, regular wooden shakes will rot faster without proper treatment and will need replacing much faster than their cedar counterparts.

Still, standard wooding shingles are a viable solution. Just plan on replacing them sooner rather than later.

You can typically buy generic wooden shakes for $120/bundle or $350/square.

Wood Substitute Shakes

Finally, we have to cheapest and most resilient option yet! Human-made composite shingles are great because they’re easy to install and they require little maintenance. The only drawback? They’re not wood.

Still, composite shakes can be reasonably convincing, so they’re worth considering if you want that cottage feel without breaking the bank.

You can typically buy composite shakes for $110/bundle or $325/square.

How the Seasons Affect Your Price

A bundle of shakes will cover 33 square feet of roof, and a square will cover 100 square feet. You can see that difference in coverage reflected in the price estimate we have listed above.

However, wood is a natural product, so there’s a good chance that the availability of shakes will change depending on the season you build in. Also, be aware that as the seasons change, you may only be able to buy smaller bundles at a higher cost, which drives your expenses up even more.

We advise replacing your common roof material with shakes mid-summer for the lowest prices.

Consider the Lifetime Cost of a Wood Shake Roof Replacement

You need to be aware of the cost of treating and preserving the wood that goes onto your roof. Treating your roof isn’t too expensive. You’ll be paying close to $200 to $600 an application, depending on the sealant you use and your roof’s size.

Still, your roof will need treatment and sealing every 2-5 years, depending on the chemicals you use. So, over the lifetime of your shake roof, you can safely add $3,000 to $4,000 onto the lifetime cost of those shakes.

In the large scheme of things, this cost isn’t very large… especially when you consider that the cost gets stretched out over nearly 30 years.

Next, the cost of preserving your wood shake roof can also increase if you hire a professional to do it. While this is the solution we recommend to everyone to guarantee healthy shingles, we realize that it’s not for everyone.

Finally, you must remove debris and repair damage to roofs with wooden shakes regularly. Always remove debris and inspect your roof before the start of your location’s rainy season.

The worst thing for wood shakes is to be constantly damp. So, clear off your roof to allow your roof to dry between storms. Cleaning your roof is also a great time to check for cracks, missing shingles, and other damage.

Damage like this is easy to repair, but it is an additional cost to be aware of.

It’s also important to note that most composite material shakes won’t require this kind of vigilance. So, while you miss out slightly on aesthetics, you gain longevity and ease of care.

Are You Ready to Replace Your Shake Roof?

Honestly, shake roofs don’t cost much more than asphalt, and they look better (in our humble opinion) – plus, they last just as long. So, what are you waiting for? Start reroofing your dream home now!

Get a free quote now to start your wood shake roof replacement in just three easy steps.