How Big Are Wood Shingles?

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If you’ve noticed that the shingles on your roof are worn and faded, you might be considering investing in a new roof. Roofing companies have a variety of materials they use by way of shingles. Slate, clay, asphalt, and wood are just some of the options you can choose from. When it comes to the actual size of the roofing pieces, they will vary by material. If you’ve settled on wood shingles, you might be wondering how big wood shingles are.

Wood shingles have three lengths available in the United States. These lengths are sixteen inches, eighteen inches, and twenty-four inches. The width of wood shingles is random, but no more than thirteen inches. The average thickness of a wood shingle is between .4 and .5 inches. The longer the length, the thicker the shingle.

Now that you know the sizes of wood shingles, you might have other questions about this roofing material. What wood is best for this roofing material? How long will wood shingles last? How much can you expect to pay? To see what we’ve found out, read ahead in this post.

A diagonal detail of brown wood roof shingles, How Big Are Wood Shingles?

A Little More About Shingle Sizes

Dormer in roof of house with cedar shingles

As we pointed out earlier in this post, wood shingles come in three lengths in the United States. This length is the vertical measurement, and how long the shingle is will directly impact how thick it is. 

Wood shingles that are sixteen inches long have an average thickness of .4 inches. The eighteen-inch shingles will average .45 inches thick. Lastly, the twenty-four-inch shingles are an average of .5 inches thick.

The width of wooden shingles varies greatly. You can choose to have your shingles mismatched and seemingly random widths, depending upon the look that you’d like. Or you can get wood shingles that all have matching widths. The maximum width of a wooden shingle in the United States is thirteen inches. However, many areas have building codes that restrict this width to no more than eight inches. Prior to installing any roof, always check with local building codes.

Because of the available dimensions, wood shingles are rectangular in shape.

What Wood Is Best For Shingles?

Various forms of roof made of cedar shake

Wood shingles are commonly sourced from several different species of tree, including the western red cedar, northern white cedar, redwood, and cypress. But which material is the best?

Red cedar is rated as the best type of wood shingle available. This wood is known to be much more water repellant than its counterparts, meaning that it will last longer. Red cedar is also less likely to be host to invasive pests that like to make their homes in wood.

Keep in mind that all types of wood shingles will have different grades. The best-graded shingles within any wood type are shingles that are cut a little thicker and considered 100% clear. This means that there are no knotholes. Top-grade wood shingles are sourced from the heartwood of the tree and are edge grain cuts.

For even more guidance on this topic, check out this post: What Is The Best Wood For Roof Shingles?

How Long Do Wood Shingles Last?

The life you’ll get out of a wood shingle roof will depend on several variables. Typically, you can expect up to thirty years out of this type of roof. But several factors will be at play here.

The quality of the shingles will matter here. For the longest life possible, you’ll want to pick a shingle that is top-grade. We discussed what to look for in a top-grade shingle earlier in this post. Selecting red cedar will ensure a longer roof life, also. This wood is insect repellent and does not rot as quickly as other wood shingles.

The wood shingle roof will require annual maintenance. Whether or not this is performed will certainly affect how long this roof will last. Every year, you’ll want to perform a thorough inspection of your roof. Look for rot, invasive pests, and weather damage. Replace any shingles that are damaged. Not doing so could result in the problem spreading to other shingles.

Aside from inspecting and replacing any bad shingles, properly cleaning wood shingles is a must if you want the roof to last. A good wash with approved chemical cleaners from a power sprayer will do the trick. 

Click here to see this roof cleaner on Amazon.

How Much Do Wood Shingles Cost?

The amount you can expect to pay for wood shingles factors in more than the type of wood shingles you select. While the type of wood and the grade of shingle play significant roles in determining cost, the region you’re in is also important. Also, the price of wood fluctuates more than other housing materials, which will affect your overall material price.

On average, you can expect to pay an estimated $400.00 for red cedar shingles to cover 100 square feet of roof. 

How Do You Estimate Roofing Costs?

Material and labor are the two factors that will determine the estimated cost of most any job a contractor will perform at your home. Determining the material cost for roofing is easy; the amount you’ll need is based on the square footage of the roof itself. The labor costs, however, are a little more complicated. Below we list the steps that most roofing contractors take before they give you an estimate.

Determine square footage

This step gives a roofer a pretty good idea about how much material will be needed. The average home’s roof has a square footage of about half that of the house itself. So if your house is 2,000 square feet, then your roof will be around 1,000 square feet.

Calculate pitch

Construction crew topping off a house by working their way up to the highest peek its roof

The pitch of your roof is the degree of steepness your roof has. This is calculated by determining the number of inches your roof rises vertically per the number of inches it extends horizontally. The steeper the pitch, the more costly it is to reroof the house.

Steeper roofs will mean that a roofer will need to bring in special equipment that is otherwise not needed for roofing. Additional safety precautions need to be taken as well. 

Evaluate overall difficulty

Some roofs are pretty straightforward and easy to install new roofing material on. Others have multiple chimneys, skylights, and other protrusions to work around. The more your roofer has to work around, the more the cost of your roof will be.

Beautiful roof windows and skylights

Will the current roof need to be removed?

Sometimes, roofers will simply place your new roof on top of the existing one. There are times when this isn’t possible. Depending upon the chosen material, you may not be able to simply place a new roof on without tearing the old one off.

There’s also a limit on how many layers of roof you can have on a home. More than 3 poses a structural threat, as the added weight could cause the supports to weaken. This could eventually make portions of your home collapse.

If your roofer has to tear off the existing roof, this will add to the cost.

Determine material

As we discussed earlier, the total cost of the roof will have to factor in the type of roofing material. The grade and quality of this material will also affect the cost.

In Closing

Wood shingles have three different lengths, and the widths will vary. The thickness of the wood shingles also varies but is influenced by the length. Wood shingled roofs can last up to thirty years. For a roof of this material to last this long, annual inspections and maintenance are critical.

Determining the cost of your new roof takes many steps. The material selected is only part of the equation. Labor is the most expensive element, and how much labor is required depends on the size, slope, and difficulty of the roof. 

If you found this post on wooden shingles to be helpful, you may enjoy reading the following:

How To Remove Moss From Wood Shingles? [3 Steps]

What Color Siding Goes With Weathered Wood Shingles?

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