Asphalt Shingles vs. Cedar Shakes

Choosing a new or replacement roof can be confusing and stressful. We’d like to simplify the process by discussing two popular roofing materials and giving you some insights into which type might be the best option for you.

Asphalt shingles and cedar shakes are among North America’s most popular roofing materials. They are known for being both relatively durable and affordable. However, they have differing strengths and weaknesses.

Asphalt Shingles vs. Cedar Shakes

Asphalt shingles and cedar shakes offer different benefits in terms of aesthetics, performance/durability, and price.


Asphalt shingles come in a wide variety of colors and styles. They have a clean appearance, though they can look a bit generic. When planning an asphalt shingle roof, it is important to ensure that the look of the roof matches the style of your home and helps to differentiate it from the average home in the area.

Cedar shakes have a unique character all their own. They are timeless and convey a natural and rustic appeal. Combined with the right architectural design, cedar shakes look organic and help make your home feel warm and inviting.


When it comes to performance, asphalt shingles and cedar shakes are both capable of providing good protection for your home. However, they do vary when it comes to longevity and durability. Asphalt shingles, while having a lower upfront cost, only perform well for 20-25 years. On the bright side, they don’t require any special maintenance. A yearly inspection should be sufficient to ensure you get the best out of your asphalt roof.

Cedar shakes have a much stronger track record when it comes to longevity. With proper maintenance, cedar shake roofs typically last 30-50 years and are more impact and wind-resistant than asphalt shingles. However, they do have a higher upfront cost and require more maintenance. While cedar shakes are resistant to insects, rot, and UV damage, they can have problems related to mold and mildew. As a result, cedar shake roofs require regular inspection and treatment.


As mentioned above, asphalt shingles are the low-price leaders in the roofing industry. No other roofing material can beat them when it comes to the lowest upfront cost. Shingles are also simple to install and can save you money on labor costs.

Cedar shakes require a larger upfront investment. They are more expensive than shingles in terms of materials and labor. However, shakes are a premium product that can add significant value to your home.


When choosing between asphalt shingles and cedar shakes, it is important to recognize the difference between cost and value. Asphalt shingles undoubtedly offer the best price. But which material provides the best value? That is a more complex question.

Compared to shingles, cedar shakes last longer, perform better, and add to your home’s curb appeal. In our mind, shakes provide better value for your money over the long term.

CMR can be your roofing resource

At CMR, we are a team of experienced roofing experts. We would love to share our knowledge with you and help plan the perfect roof for your home. Contact us today to get started.