Synthetic vs. Natural Cedar Shakes: Which is Best for Your Home?

Wood shingles and shakes are a trending roof pick across the country right now. It’s hard to resist the authentic, woodsy design and high-quality craftsmanship that come with a wood roof replacement in Arkansas. Plus, wood roofs are good for the environment. They’re fully recyclable at the end of their lifespan, giving them an edge over other roofing products.

That said, the raw nature of natural cedar shakes gives them a higher price tag than many homeowners are willing to pay for this rustic aesthetic. Luckily, changes in roofing technology have introduced synthetic alternatives that are an appealing option for many homeowners. 

If you like the look of cedar shakes but aren’t sure whether the natural or synthetic version is best for your home, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of each option, or feel free to contact us directly at Shamrock Roofing and Construction. We’re here to help you analyze your choices so you’ll feel completely comfortable with your roofing selection. 

Let’s Talk Lifespan

One of the first things your roofing contractor in Arkansas should discuss with you when weighing the pros and cons of natural vs. synthetic cedar roofing is the average lifespan of both products. Synthetic shakes tend to last a little longer than natural cedar. That’s because synthetic styles typically come with the highest impact rating (Class 4), which means they’re highly resistant to natural elements like wind, hail, and fire that tend to weather and break down natural shakes. 

You’ll notice that natural shakes tend to discolor over time, giving off a “worn” appearance that many homeowners dislike. Synthetic options tend to preserve their glow a little longer. That said, either option will last you at least 30 years with proper care and maintenance, so don’t let this deter you if you prefer the look of natural wood.

What Is the Price Difference?

Natural cedar requires a rigorous lumbering process and extra labor to hand-cut the shakes. Synthetic options require expensive equipment to cut the material into precise and uniform pieces. Both these facts mean that either system is considered a premier (or luxury) line. Expect a significant price tag regardless of which option you choose.

That said, synthetic alternatives will probably cost a little less than a natural cedar roof replacement in Arkansas. A variety of factors impact the cost, including the time of year you install it, labor availability, and your chosen contractor. On average, a synthetic material will cost around $15.00 per square foot, while a natural cedar roof ranges anywhere between $25.00 and $30.00 per square foot. 

Is Warranty a Consideration? 

Warranty features should also be considered when reflecting on your roofing options. Roof installations typically come with a workmanship warranty and a materials warranty. The craftsmanship warranty will generally be the same for either option and will fluctuate based on your chosen roofing contractor in Arkansas. However, a materials warranty is almost non-existent for natural shakes, while synthetic options come with a materials warranty of several years (again, dependent on the manufacturer and your chosen contractor). In this regard, synthetic shakes are superior.  

Still Have Questions? Call Shamrock Roofing!

Selecting the right roofing style can be intimidating and worrisome if you don’t know the market or the products best suited to your climate, neighborhood, and lifestyle. That’s where calling Shamrock Roofing and Construction can really pay off. Whether you need help further analyzing the pros and cons of a particular roofing style or you have other roofing concerns, we’re the area experts. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!