Cedar Shake Roofing

General Roofing Systems Canada supplies expert cedar shake roofing services in Toronto, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, and points between. 

Cedar shake roofing is a serious investment and many homeowners don’t actually know what they are purchasing. Being that most roofers don’t know either, it isn’t a surprise. However, cedar shake is costly, so you should have a general idea of what you are purchasing first.

Cedar shake or shingle material is varied and is a “sub-category” trade on its own within the roofing trade. Our cedar shake roofers (or shakers, as we call them) have been installing shake for decades – and even they don’t know all that there is to know.

For simplicity, we will illustrate a customer interaction over email reference questions and answers from our offices.

This should assist you with the cost of “shaking”, things to watch for when hiring a shaker, general knowledge, alternate systems, lookalike materials, etc.

As a note of reference: in areas like Kelowna, West Vancouver, Whistler, Squamish, BC etc we get Cedar Shake Roofing inquiries regularly and are quite standard Cedar Shake questions. However, in Alberta – Calgary and Edmonton especially – we field a lot of questions about Pine Shake Roofing (if you don’t know the Pine Shake story in Alberta it is actually an interesting read – but we won’t go into it here).

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: cedar shake quote
Date: Tue, May 03, 2011 4:15 pm
To: edmonton@grscanadainc.com
We are looking at relocating to ________, Alberta and have a house in mind that needs new shakes. I was wondering if it would be possible to get a ballpark estimate on cost to have this done. Seeing that the shakes need replacing, we would like to use this as a bargaining tool when negotiating a price. Therefore, I would like to avoid having someone go to the location and do up an actual estimate. I have attached a picture of the house for reference. The square footage of the house is 1760 however I do not know the pitch of the roof. We would like to go with cedar shakes. The house was built in 1994 and I am wondering why the shakes are in the condition they are. Perhaps they are pine or not installed properly. Its my understanding that cedar shakes should last at least 50 years is this correct?

Thank you for your help.

GRS Response:

With reference to your request for more information about Cedar Shake, Pine Shakes, and Cedar Shake Estimating and Quotes:

A few questions:
1. You say the house needs new shakes, how do you know a new shake roof is required?
2. It is difficult to say from the photo of the house as it isn’t a close-up, but I would venture to guess that it is a Pine Shake Roof. Can you provide close-up photos of the shakes?
To answer your questions:
How much does it cost to roof your home in Cedar Shake or Cedar Shingles?
Cedar shake roofing costs are approximately;
a. Taper Sawn Cedar Shakes No. 1 Regular Grade Shakes cost around 8.00 + per square foot installed.
(Re roofing tear and disposal costs would be extra, other considerations such as roof pitch, access, and roof details are important)
b. Cedar Shingles No.1 Perfections cost around 11.00 + per square foot installed.
(Re roofing tear and disposal costs would be extra, other considerations such as roof pitch, access, and roof details are important).
There are many grades of cedar shakes and shingles so you need to know a bit about the cedar products to make an informed decision prior to re-roofing with cedar shakes.
For example, cedar shakes can be taper resawn cedar shakes, medium resawn cedar shakes, or heavy resawn cedar shakes, or jumbo heavy resawn cedar shakes and regular grade, premium grade, No. 1 grade or No. 2 grade red label or no label cedar shake or shingles, CCA treated cedar shingles, blue label shakes or cedar shingles, etc.
You can visit the Clark Group Website for more information on Cedar Shake and Cedar Shingle http://www.clarkegroup.com/ which includes Black Hawk, Green River, Scott Cedar, and Cedar Plus.

We encourage homeowners to look also to other roofing products that give you the “shake roof look” and the “shake roof texture” but will last much longer than a cedar shake or cedar shingle roof, have excellent warranties on their shake roof look alike products, and cost very similar to “real” cedar shake roofing.

Roofing Alternatives – “Shake-looking” Products

Asphalt Shingles and Fiberglass Shingles for a “Cedar Shake or high end Look” you can look at Roofing Products such as:
Certainteed Landmark TL, Certainteed Presidential TL Ultimate, GAF Elk Grande Prestique, Certainteed Presidential Shake, GAF ELK Grand Sequioa, GAF ELK Grand Canyon, GAF ELK Country Mansion, GAF ELK Camelot, Certainteed Carriage House or Grand Manor, IKo Armourshake, etc.

Lightweight Concrete or Clay Tiles “Cedar Shake or high end Look” you can look at Roofing Products such as:
US Tile Pro Shake (replica of hand split cedar shakes) or the Monier Lifetile CedarLite (replica of hand split cedar shakes).

Standard Weight Concrete or Clay Tiles “Cedar Shake or high end Look” you can look at Roofing Products such as; (you will need engineering approval for roof weight load and structural considerations)

Monier Life Tile Madera (hand split shake tile replica), Monier Life Tile Shake Tile (cedar shake roofing look), Monier Life Tile Split Slate (Slate roofing replica), Eagle Ponderosa (Cedar Shake Roof Appearance).

Light Wieght Composite Shake Looking Tiles, Rubber Shake Tiles, Metal Shingles, Granulated Steel Shingles:
Davinci Roofscaped makes a shake looking composite tile “Davinci Shakes”, RoofRoc synthetic shakes make shakes that look like straight split thick old wood roofing shakes, Enviroshake is a recycled rubber shake looking product, Edco Arrowline Shakes are Metal Shingle cedar shake look alikes, Allmet lightwieght steel tiles, and Metro Roof “Metro Shake” Granule Coated Steel Shingles are available.

How long will a cedar shake or shingle roof last?

That is a difficult question, as there are many different types of shakes and shingles (as noted above), and quality variances are extreme. You really can’t ever be sure of what you are getting with true cedar shake roofing. Typically, the lifespan is approximately 20 to 40 years, and some last much longer. Cedar variances, installation, underlayment, grade, thickness, etc. all play a part. As always, the quality of the material and roof installation itself are key.

I hope that helps some! Thanks for your shake roofing inquiry.

< End Correspondence >

I hope the customer inquiry above helps you with the basics of shake roofing and alternatives to shake roofing. For more information on Cedar Shake Roofing or to come out and view one of our shake roof work sites let us know. We will be installing cedar shake this year in Whistler, West Vancouver, Vancouver, The Southern Gulf Islands, Edmonton, Calgary, and other areas of Western Canada.

Until next time,

The Team at GRS

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)

24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free.


British Columbia | Alberta | Saskatchewan | Manitoba | Ontario


Product Review: Malarkey Shingles

Malarkey Shingles are one of the top rated shingles on the market and tend to be a favorite for our roof installers for projects requiring replacements/ re-roofing. The malarkey shingle line up is considered to be one of the “best bought” as they are the most predictable shingles available for the 2011 roofing season.

Roof Conversions – Shake Roof Replacement

Shake roof replacement / re roofing decisions can be more complicated than shingle to shingle re roof decisions. For shake to shingle conversions of either Cedar shakes or Pine Shakes, the Malarkey Legacy shingle is one of the many options available. Although they are not as thick and they do not have the same shingle texture and profile that other shake to shingle replacement options offer, Such as Shingles from companies like Certainteed, IKO, and GAF.  The Malarkey Legacy shingle is an excellent SBS laminate shingle that demonstrates well in its category of shingle.

Malarkey Shingles

Malarkey Roofing Main Web Site: www.malarkeyroofing.com

Malarkey XL Review

The Malarkey Northwest XL Shingle is a respectable Asphalt Laminate Shingle. It is a 3M Scotchgard Algae Resistant Shingle. LOW SLOPE ROOFING – The Northwest specifications state that it can be installed onto slopes as low as 2:12 if you follow Malarkey underlay specifications for low slope roofing (pending upon your local building codes). The Malarkey Northwest is also a heavy shingle – a 4  bundle shingle that has a high tensile strength. Also, the Malarkey Northwest has the “Zone” technology that really assists with the application as the nailing zone is much larger than other conventional shingles. All in all, GRS installers recommend the Northwest Malarkey shingle when a strong, asphalt, laminate shingle is wanted.


Malarkey Legacy Review

Our overall review of the Malarkey SBS Rubber-Modified Asphalt Laminate Shingle states that it is often preferred by our installers. The SBS Modified Shingle component is an excellent selling feature of this shingle, not to mention the Zone nailing technology and the performance of the Malarkey Legacy.

The Malarkey Legacy shingle also has the 3M Scotchgard Algae Resistance and Malarkey allows Low Slope Roof installation to 2:12 as long as the Malarkey Shingle Installation Specification is followed.

Malarkey Highlander Review

The Highlander series are a asphalt laminate shingle which are considered by Malarkey as their “economical shingle”.  The cost savings of this shingle are the primary reason to not choose the Malarkey Legacy. It is important to note that the Malarkey Legacy is not an expensive shingle – but the Highlander shingle from Malarkey is most definitely a great cost effective choice if cost is the determining factor. The Malarkey Highlander would compete with shingles such as the IKO Cambridge laminate and the BP Harmony laminate shingle.

Malarkey ECOASIS Shingle Reviews – ECOASIS Premium AB Shingle (SBS Modified Shingle) and Malarkey ECOASIS Shingle (Asphalt Shingle):
Due to having never installed the Malarkey Solar Reflective shingle offerings named ECOASIS and ECOASIS Premium, due to the market being primarily based in the US, we are unable to provide an accurate and honest review. However,  GRS has great confidence in Malarkey shingles so we are very confident the ECOASIS shingle series is excellent.
Malarkey 3 Tab Shingle Reviews
In regards to reviewing the Malarkey 3 Tab Shingle offerings, there are not many comments to be mentioned as all the 3 tab products are of excellent quality with no conflicting qualities. We have not had many experiences with the Dura-Seal Malarkey (Fiberglass mat with Asphalt Shingle), yet we can say for certain that the Hurricane SBS Modified 3 Tab and the Malarkey Alaskan SBS Modified 3 Tab shingles are excellent choices.


Until next time,

The Team at GRS

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)
24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free.


Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Canmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Vancouver, Whistler, Cranbrook, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto and all points between. British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario.

Shake Roof Replacement

Creating a Finished Product that Shows Some Pride in Workmanship and Curb Appeal!

General Roofing Systems Canada replaces shake roofs throughout Canada. Our roofing services are available in Toronto, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler and points between.

The photo to above shows a re roof in progress this week of a pine shake roof to asphalt shingle roof in the Riverview area of Calgary, Alberta.

The shingles are an IKO Cambridge Heatherwood Laminate Shingle with High Profile Ridge Capping.

The photo of the pine shake re roof shows a beauty cap flashing detail added at the connection between the new shingle and the wall connection of the home (where a gap occurs when removing shakes from the roof).

A coloured metal flashing to match the exterior scheme of the house (shingle colour, fascia etc) is placed at the wall connection and other areas of the home as galvanized shake metal flashing is now exposed when the pine shakes are removed from the roof – the silver / galvanized metal flashing is more exposed or easier to see from ground level because the profile or height of the pine shake roofing was higher than the new replacement Cambridge asphalt shingles are.

What occurs often in the re roofing trade is that when your roofing contractor replaces your pine shakes or cedar shakes roofing with asphalt shingles; the galvanized flashing now really shows – and shows poorly as it is more exposed than ever before.

When your home was originally built and the pine or cedar shakes were installed, the profile of the shake to wall flashing worked, and in most cases is hard to see – the home builder simply had the siders bring the siding down or the stucco to the profile of the shake roof. But when replacing your shake roofing with asphalt shingles, the step flashing and wall flashing from the original shake roofing now shows.

Your roofing contractor can paint the step and wall flashing to better match the new asphalt shingle roofing profile, but this just means more regular home maintainence painting flashing on the exterior of your home.

General Roofing Systems installs a coloured beauty flashing, or coloured flashing over top of our newly installed step flashing – which may be required.Make sure your roofing contractor (when re roofing from shake roofing to asphalt shingle roofing) reinstates proper step flashing – the flashing from the shake roofing will very likely be bigger than the flashing for asphalt shingle roofing. If your roofing contractor does not replace the flashing or take proper measures as required and install asphalt shingle step flashing, your new roof will likely leak (of course issues arrise if stucco is holding the flashing, but there are ways to resolve the issue).

After the roof shakes are removed from your roof, and the new step flashing is installed with the new asphalt shingles, if the profile (or gap) between the shingles and the stucco or siding is a large – noticeable gap, we often put a beauty flashing on top to make your new roof look like a clean finished product (the coloured flashing covers the gap along the wall). It has great curb appeal and shows some pride in workmanship. The picture above shows the finished product.

Re roofing a shake roof to an asphalt shingle roof has its own challenges and tricks of the trade we’ve learned over the years – hopefully this will assist you when re roofing your home!

Other links of interest:

For more information on Choosing a Roofing Contractor to Re Roof your Shake Roof follow this link:


For more information on Re Roofing and what to look for in the installation process follow this link and click on links to right of page that describe the re roofing process:



And remember, we have expert roofers 24 hours 7 days a week to answer any roofing questions you may have!


General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)
24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free.


Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Winnipeg, Toronto and points between. British Columbia. Alberta. Saskatchewan. Manitoba. Ontario.