My roof is due for replacement and I'm wondering if I should stick with
cedar shake (what it has now) or go for composition roofing. What are the
pros and cons?
If I'm the only house with composition roofing in the same complex, how
would that affect the resale price of my house and of my neighbor's house?
I would not worry about the neighbors house. But that is me.
Shakes can be bunch more expensive than composition. Do you have an HOA? If
so then you had better check with them before spending any money. My last
home had a HOA and they were extremely anal about certain things.
Best bet is call several licensed contractors and ask for bids based on what
If your home owners assoc. doesn't forbid the composition roof, then go
with it. In my HOA composition roofing was forbidden until a fire broke
out at a house, and 4 neighboring houses caught fire from the sparks
hitting the cedar roofs.
My home owners insurance was going to increase after the fire unless I
got a composition roof. Now, everyone in the HOA has a composition roof,
or metal, or concreate, or tile. No one has a cedar roof.
It used to cost me about $300 per year for someone to climb up on the
roof and replace split/missing shakes. Now I don't have that cost either.
You will probably have to increase your attic venting if you don't go
with cedar, since most cedar roofs are not air tight, until it rains and
the shakes swell up.
Just my thoughts.
Anyone even thinking about cedar should first check with their
insurance agent. Many companies either insure cedar roofs or charge
exhorbitant rates, especially in rural areas.
I really don't get the whole cedar shingle/shake bit at all. It is
ancient technology that was used because there wasn't anything else
available at the time. There are much better systems now that are a
lot cheaper. The only positive about cedar is the look. Even the look
can be achieved in other systems.
I built a completely cedar home in 1973. It had cedar shakes on it. We
put them on for durability and appearance. I put each shake on myself
with two four inch long galvanized nails. 30 years later - I removed
each shake and all of those long nails. It was a lot of work.
We replaced those shakes with fiberglass shingles that "supposedly look
like cedar shingles." In my opinion they are not as pretty.
The insurance company did not charge me extra for having cedar shakes on
my roof. They did not charge me less when I removed them.
See the cedar home at - www.harry.everhart.com
Cedar shakes and shingles are simply another choice you can make in this
great country of America. If you are willing to pay for the look - go
for it. But you can not get the look any other way. And insuring the
roof is not a factor.
I've facts...although I don't recall the <exact> number off hand and I'm
not going to go look it up, the wood roof rider for this house is
roughly 20% of the premium. When I was looking at the re-roof, I
checked on what the reduction would be if converted to Class B or
C--turns out it wasn't short enough time to pay back the differential in
cost of the retrofit from an open-deck roofing system to make it worth
it imo. But, anyway, the annual premium differential now is roughly
$200/an. We're rural so that's part of it as well, of course. What it
would be if we were inside the city fire coverage I can't say ottomh.
My point remains that to generalize that there is <no> premium anywhere,
is simply wrong. Whether you think 20% major or not I can't judge. I
do know that some other rural areas in the vicinity that are even
further removed from fire services are quite a bit more than we're
paying although I don't have exact figures.
I have no idea where you are, but iirc, at one time there was a
tremendous premium in some Houston suburbs where a great number of large
houses were built almost eave-to-eave w/ cedar shake roofs. After a
fire took out the original plus several more in the neighborhood from
both direct spreading to neighboring roofs and even a few from
wind-carried sparks/embers, there was a major revamping of requirements
in several such communities.
It is better to cite examples - rather than to generalize off the top of
your head without any facts at all to back it up :-)
30 years of buying insurance for a cedar shake roof home and not paying
extra premium for it - certainly backs up my claim :-)
Using fabled insurance cost as a reason not to use cedar shakes - is
similar to someone not buying a Porsche because they can't afford it and
blaming it on insurance. Yes - cedar shakes cost much more - because the
materials are hard to mass produce and it takes a lot of labor to
install them. But if you like cedar shakes - go for it - I can think of
tons of worse ways to waste your money.
As someone once said - if you need excuses other than intrinsic values -
to buy or not buy something - you should not buy it. And then everyone
will have homes with white aluminum siding and asphalt roofs with tan
Toyota Corolla's in the garage. :-)
On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 11:29:00 -0400, Harry Everhart
In some areas it is. Around here in North Central Texas, insurance
companies do charge more to insure a house with cedar shingles as
opposed to composition asphalt shingles. Why? Greater danger of fire
and more expensive to replace. Since we sometimes tend to be high and
dry during the summer months and because of the frequent springtime
hail and thunder storms, both of these factors raise the insurance
company's risk exposure when insuring a home with a cedar roof.
Just our experience and it may not apply everywhere.
(Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
Combustible wood roofing is forbidden by law in some portions of the
country. In areas prone to wildland or interface fires there is a very
steep difference in the cost of insurance for a home with a combustible
roof. In many areas of the portion of the country that has a
Mediterranean climate a home must have a roof with a class three or
lower ignition resistance rating to be insured at a normal rate. Even a
non combustible roofing that is unrated will cause the rate on home
insurance to be markedly higher in western wildland urban interface
zones. This is because the testing is conducted on roofing that is
installed as designed and to past it must resist ignition of the
underlying structure as well as the roofing itself. Your one roof is
just too small a sample of the effect of roofing material on the
insurability of a home.
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