Wood Shake Roof
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Repairs for shake roof
We are looking for recommendations for a good, honest roofer (licensed contractor) to do some repair work on our shake roof. We think it needs the ridge caps replaced and possibly some additional repairs. We want someone who will explain what they are doing and who will guarantee their work. It may be a small job to some, but it is big to us and we want someone who will treat it that way. We want to maintain our roof so it lasts as long as possible. thanks Judy
I highly recommend Nicholas Roofing 848-4433. They patched our shake roof until we replaced it last year. (And they replaced it, with fiberglass or asphalt shingles--I forget the exact composition.) Francesca
I own a Tudor-style home designed by Henry Gutterson, located in the Berkeley hills (aka perennial fire area). It has a steeply-pitched wood shake roof (like the original), which I plan to replace within the next year. Two very reputable roofing contractors both recommended architectural asphalt shingles (e.g. Certainteed Presidential series) over using Class A built-up/rated wood shakes -- and even over replacing it with slate (both have done nice jobs with slate in my neighborhood).
The easy answer for me would be to go with the wood shakes (I have quotes - they're only marginally more expensive), since they would be true to Gutterson's original design and since the underlayment and fire retardant would build them up to a Class A fire rating. But both contractors seem so hesitant about that (shorter roof lifetime), I'm hesitant, too (although the existing wood shingles are about 25-30 years old). I've looked at a few homes with the Presidential asphalt shingles, and they actually look okay.
I have 3 questions for the wise group reading this: (1) Would it be an architectural travesty if I went with the asphalt tiles? (2) Would the investment in a slate roof be worthwhile? (I've owned the house 17 years and plan to be in it at least 12 more years.) (3) If I decided to add a solar component later, which roof would be best? - Looking for help with my analysis paralysis
You might also consider Eco-shake, which looks similar to wood shakes but is highly fire-resistant and made entirely from recycled materials. What's not to like? I learned about it from my brother, who is maintenance supervisor for a state park up north; they use it extensively for park buildings. Jennifer
Your analysis paralysis questions: (1) Would it be an architectural travesty if I went with the asphalt tiles? No - it wouldn't be a travesty but I agree that the wood shingles will look better (2) Would the investment in a slate roof be worthwhile? Slate is heavier than the other two alternatives, so it would be wise to consult with an engineer before deciding this, as your investment might have to include costs for roof strengthening. There are other considerations such as the neighborhood, curb appeal, etc. but this could be worth doing. (3) If I decided to add a solar component later, which roof would be best? If you're pretty sure you'll be adding a solar array later, it would be best to put in the roof mounts for a modular system now, regardless which roofing material you decide on. (Also) If you're serious about the solar, this impacts your choice: i.e. why pay for a more expensive roof if half of it is invisible?