3D Roof: Tearoff and Re-shingle

We need to replace a residential roof with 3D curves in the next 12 months. The house was constructed in 1923, and is described as a dutch cottage. The house is a flat-toped A-Frame, with curved dormers, like that of a perky breast. The lot has moderate shade. I live about 40 miles from the house, but will try to post a photo in the next week or so.

To date, cedar shingles have been used. The curved areas require that wood shingles be steamed or soaked to prevent breakage. The current cedar roof is 25-30 years old. I believe the shingles were special ordered from Canada, but could be mistaken.

We have contacted a local roofer, but have no way to really know if he and his crew are up for this journey. He has commented that we may want to consider other materials (e.g. metal), as the quality of cedar has declined, and the job requires so much craft, that a re-shingle every 15 years is not particularly desirable.

Does the quality of cedar shingles vary? If so, who sells the shingles that will last the longest?

Can we extend the life of cedar via use of coatings?

Do you know of any companies/consultants that specialize in such roofs?

Do metal roofs require significant modifications to the structure?

Advance thanks,


the quality of cedar has not changed, but there are poor quality cedar shingles out there. pay close attention to the grade. go to this web site to get more info cedarbureau.org/ also see if there is a lcoal company that is certified by the cedar shake and shingle bureau.

You need to be speaking with a different contractor. The guy you called doesnt want the job. There are contractors who specialize in perky breasts dormer roofs.:smiley: A house that old … you shouldnt change the appearance so you will want to stay with a cedar or maybe a slate. ???

You can absolutely stave off the rotting of your cedar roof with regular maintenance. You would have to clean and oil it…look for TWP 200 series on the net.

you could also find a chevron dealer and buy “shingle oil”

Are you saying you dont know how to preserve a wood shake roof?

shingle oil provides a quality protectant at a fair price

Thank you for the replies. It helped focus the internet searching - cedarbureau.org seems like a fine start.

As for using metal, I spoke with the local roofer, and it was not his idea, but rather one of my family members. Both the roofer and I are in agreement that, aesthetically speaking, cedar shingles are the way to go. He issues a 15-year warranty.

From: The Journal of Light Construction ©1992, By: Brian Buchanan

Grade No. I (Blue Label) shingles and shakes in the past were cut from 100 percent clear, vertical-grain heartwood. However, grading standards have been relaxed over the years allowing more flat-grain and defects. These shakes and shingles are particularly susceptible to cupping, curling, and splitting. Improper nailing, nailing too high or too far in from the edge, only worsens the problem."
</end quote>

Isn’t Grade No. 1 (Blue Label) the highest grade? This seems to contradict the Certigrade label that claims the following… “The premium grade of shingles for roofs and sidewalls. These top-grade shingles are 100% heartwood, 100% clear and 100% edge grain. Available in 16” or 18" or 24" lengths."

It’s a moot point if the CSSB licensed mills produce the highest quality shingles readily available. Can anyone confirm this, or offer comments based on your experience?

The oil-based treatments seen to promise an additional ~5 years of roof life. Are these “apply as necessary”. And what is considered to be a realistic upper limit of a cedar roof?

Are steamers available?

Will post a photo(s) early next week.



Here is another option. Lifepine.com

you could use copper panels on the curved dormers,will last a lifetime,
the skilled installer to steam and fit shingles to a curve will be hard to find.
you should expect 25-30 years for a three ply cedar roof.