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Types of Cedar

Experience the Beauty of Different Types of Cedar: When you choose the elegance of a cedar roof for your home, you are afforded a superb selection that showcases the various types of cedar. Each has its own distinct qualities and each is destined to reveal the beauty of your home while offering the utmost in protection.

Undeniable quality. It’s the one thing homeowners love and appreciate about cedar. It’s also why we at the Shake Guys treat the wood with such special care and have set stringent quality control guidelines.

Although cedar shakes and shingles are available in various grades, the Shake Guys use only premium grade cedar because it ensures a longer-lasting, problem-free roof. Premium grade cedar is 100 percent clear heartwood for better decay resistance and 100 percent vertical grain (or edge grain) for better performance and stability. Our thick, narrow shakes and shingles won’t warp or split. We choose not to use cedar grades that contain mostly sapwood or have a flat grain because they lessen the quality and performance of the cedar – that means you won’t receive the best quality cedar roof for your investment.

  • We have an in-house quality control program which verifies that our cedar is top-grade and our craftsmanship is nothing but superior.
  • We employ in-house inspectors that continuously examines both products and process to guarantee you receive the best.
  • We use independent inspection firms that constantly check our cedar products to ensure that they are of the highest quality. Many roofing companies do not use inspection companies because they know that their off-grade product will not pass the strict quality requirements. We welcome inspectors to accompany our own quality control team to make certain we are producing the highest quality product possible.
  • We are long-standing members of the National Roofing Contractors Association, one of the
  • construction industry’s most respected trade associations and the leading authority in the roofing industry for information, education, technology and advocacy.
  • We are one of only a few roofers in the U.S. who work directly with our suppliers, hand-picking top quality western red cedar that comes directly from the best mills.

Heartwood is the inner part of a tree trunk. As a tree ages, the heartwood is no longer needed to transport water or store energy reserves because these functions are handled by the sapwood, or the outer portion of the tree. But the heartwood maintains a great cell composition and has accumulated chemical compounds like phenols, resins and terpenes that, along with its low moisture content, make it more resistant to decay, insect infestation and shrinkage than sapwood. That’s why 100% heartwood is a more premium grade of cedar for roofs. The extreme durability of western red cedar wood is unmatched.

Vertical grain cedar, also called edge grain, comes from the edge of the tree, which is the straightest part of the tree trunk and the most durable. This is particularly important in roofing materials and exterior siding that need to remain durable in extreme weather conditions.

With vertical grain, the growth rings of the tree run vertical, so there is no warping, rotting, or shrinkage. There is also more strength in the wood. Compare this performance to flat grain or slash grain, with growth rings that run parallel and tend to shrink, cup, curl, twist, or warp.

As the highest quality grain of the tree, vertical grain is far more superior to other grains, which translates into a roofing material with high performance, durability and longevity.

The Pastoral Look of Cedar Shakes

Shakes are split from logs and their blocks are carefully shaped by skilled artisans into blanks with uniform thickness. Certain techniques can be used to achieve distinguished looks. Wood craftsmen can create a textured effect by splitting one or both sides of the block.

Hand Split & Resawn Red Cedar Shake

This high quality shake features a rustic split face and sawn back. Popular on traditional homes, ranch homes, vacation homes, or non-residential structures, its design blends with natural, rustic surroundings. The Shake Guys offer straight split/barn shake and taper split products for historic accuracy.

Tapersawn Shake

A tapersawn red cedar shake is sawn on both faces, but is thicker than a shingle. The added thickness enables it to be applied as a shake (2-ply with paper/felt interlay), resulting in lower application costs. Many architects like the more defined shadow line of the heavier butt of tapersawn cedar shakes.

The Refined Style of Cedar Shingles

A shingle is meticulously cut from a cedar block and sawn on both sides. In a specially designed carriage, the cutting blade tilts and slides the block closer to it, forming a tapered cut in perfect thickness with each pass. A circular trim saw smooths irregular edges. The end product is an even, tapered shingle, similar to a tapersawn shake but thinner, sawn on all six sides with uniform thickness, usually 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch thick. The words “fivex,” “perfection” and “royal” are used to describe the 16-inch, 18-inch and 24-inch length of wood shingles, respectively.

The Shake Guys offer shingles made from western red cedar, yellow cedar and redwood. Although four grades are available based on grain angle, flaws and proportion of heartwood and sapwood, only Number 1 grade shingles are 100% clear heartwood and 100% vertical grain.

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