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Cedar Roof Installation

Installing your cedar roof


Ensuring the beauty, quality and top performance of your cedar shake or shingle roof requires the best materials, superior fasteners and expert installation.


The Shake Guys follow precise installation protocols that guarantee the longevity of your cedar roof. We also offer various cedar roofing accessories to maximize its durability.

Important Installation Factors


Although the installation process differs between cedar shakes and cedar shingles, four key factors essential to the installation of a perfect cedar roof pertains to both



  • Spacing – Proper spacing of shakes and shingles protects against sun and water damage. We follow the 3/8” minimum, 5/8” maximum spacing guidelines determined by the grain angle, width and moisture content of the shake or shingle at time of installation. In addition, we offset the spacing by no less than 1-1/2” to prevent a water channel from forming between joints. Over time, a channel or valley creates small holes through the cedar, damaging the roofing felt paper which protects against the sun’s UV rays and causes water to penetrate into the roof’s decking and eventually the interior of your home.


  • Ventilation – Proper air flow between your roof and attic is essential in preventing condensation from forming on the underside or soffit of the cedar shingles or shakes. Adequate ventilation is also essential in cold climates to prevent water from accumulating at the bottom of the roof and freezing, creating ice dams that could cause severe damage to your roof and the interior of your home. In addition to proper soffit and attic ventilation, suitable ridge ventilation is necessary in climates that experience wind-driven snow. We recommend screening ventilation that prevents snow infiltration. The Shake Guys will present you with the best possible venting applications for your home depending on its roof size and your environment.


  • Fastening System – The proper fastening system and nailing pattern is critical to maintaining the performance of your cedar roofing. Overdriving or underdriving any fastener will affect the integrity of the roofing system. We use corrosion-resistant, strong-holding ring shank roofing nails installed about ¾” from the edge of the shake or shingle and approximately 1-½” above the exposure line so the nails do not split the cedar and are not visible in the joints or keyways between each shake or shingle. This method ensures a perfect installation and prevents any water leakage.


  • Finishing Details – These are essential to the look and functionality of your cedar roofing system. Hip and ridge details include made-to-order cedar ridge caps that are carefully installed on your roof with alternative overlaps and concealed fasteners. Metal valley flashing details assist the cedar shingles or shakes in keeping the roof dry and structurally sound. We apply flashing to all intersecting angles to prevent water leaks, ensuring proper placement of fasteners.

Preserving the Cedar


The Shake Guys employ different installation methods to attach cedar shakes or shingles onto a roof.


  • Spaced Sheathing – This installation is used in regions that experience high humidity and is also the common method used in most other climates. With spaced sheathing, the cedar roofing is attached to boards positioned horizontally across the rafters. The boards are spaced in equal distance to the exposed surface of the shake or shingle. This allows attic ventilation to dry the back of the cedar shakes or shingles. For split and tapersawn shakes, a two- or three-ply application is used with roofing felt interlaid to protect against windblown rain and snow. For all types of cedar shingles, a three-ply application is used without interlaid felt to create a tight seal that prevents water rot.


  • Solid Deck Sheathing – This application is used in climates that experience high humidity, high winds, or wind-driven snow. Three methods fall under this cedar roofing installation: rain screen, horizontal nailing strips and direct application. Each of these methods is installed over solid sheathing created by placing plywood over the rafters. We use plywood sheathing instead of oriented strand board (OSB) because it holds nails better, distributes water more efficiently and dries quicker.

Cedar Roof Accessories


Cedar roof accessories complement your cedar roof system and ensure long-lasting functionality and top performance. Depending on your style of home and your climate, we may recommend certain roofing accessories to ensure that you get the most out of your cedar roof investment.


Cedar Breather – Available in mat or mesh form, a cedar breather is designed to provide essential air circulation under the cedar shakes or shingles.


Zinc or Copper Strips – Placed at the ridge cap or vent, these roof flashing strips are ideal for preventing algae, mildew, moss, or mold growth on your cedar roof.


Felt Interlay System – This multi-purpose roofing accessory increases the insulating value of your roof, aids in shedding water from the roof and prevents debris or wind-driven rain or snow from entering the attic cavity.


Ridge Vent – Designed for steep slope roofs, a ridge vent provides proper ventilation to the area.


Ice and Water Shield – This protection is installed in areas along the roof, such as valleys, ridges and flashing areas, that have the potential for ice and water buildup that could lead to roof leaks.


Copper Sheeting – Emphasizing the strengths of your home with copper sheet metal will certainly set the standard of elegance in your neighborhood. Copper can take a very functional tool of the house like a gutter, and turn it into an appealing complement to the rest of the facade. Draw attention to dormers, bay windows or another distinct feature of your house by creating a customized copper look. The possibilities are endless when it comes to what the Shake Guys can do with copper. In addition to standard copper, the Shake Guys can customize your house with painted and coated steel, lacquered copper, aged brown copper, green patina copper, and lead coated copper. If you can think it, the Shake Guys can produce it. The beauty, durability, and longevity of the custom copper work on your house will show your neighbors how much you care to contribute to the grandeur of your neighborhood.



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