Shake Roof vs Shingle Roof

With the variety of different roofing materials that you can find in the market, you can adapt your home to almost every environment and weather condition that it is subjected to. Most individuals who are not well-versed with roofing materials might think that shakes and shingles are two similar materials, but even if both of these materials are made with the same material, they will have different thickness and sizes that are best suited for different climates. 

shake roof vs shingle roof

If you’re going to ask a roofing specialist on what’s the difference between shakes and shingles, they’ll tell you that shakes are generally thicker than shingles. Shingles are being cut using precise equipment which makes them thinner and more fine. Shakes are still one of the better choices when it comes to insulation and retaining heat. 

But before we get weigh in on which one is better for your roof and architectural design, we have to first weigh-in on the unique characteristics of each of the materials and the different conditions that could affect both materials. 

Which one is better

When it comes to roofing materials, there’s really no one be-all-end-all roofing material. There are some roofing materials that have a better overall durability and longevity than others, but these roofing materials also tend to fair well on different kinds of climates. As such, adaptability should be considered when choosing the right material for the job. 

The weight of the roofing material needs to be kept in mind.  Since shakes are thicker and generally has more mass, they tend to be heavier than shingles. This is especially good for areas like coastal towns and areas susceptible to high winds. You just have to make sure that your roof has a god amount of supporting beams and structures that can help support the added weight of shake roofs. 

Factors to Consider


Homeowners are aware that the climate is a key component in choosing the right roofing material for your roof. Certain roofing materials fair better on colder climates, one such material are cedar shakes. 


One of the key features of roofing materials is the amount of insulation that it provides. Thicker roofing materials, such as shakes, tend to provide more insulation as it can absorb more heat in the process. Shakes fair well in harsh weather conditions in colder climates since it can retain heat faster. Shingles are better for warmer climates since it has a moderate amount of insulation which can help save energy costs that might go to air conditioning. 

Impact Resistance

Shakes and shingles have different impact resistances. Since shakes are thicker, it can withstand more amounts of kinetic energy and weight. As such, shakes are a better choice for homes that are in the bath of hailstorms. Roofing specialists are homeowners are briefed that it is best to tread lightly on your roof to avoid damages caused by weight. 


If you’re looking to extend the lifespan of your roof, doing regular maintenance can mitigate any chances of leaks and damages from happening. There are certain roofing materials that are easier to maintain, but material that have a thicker area, such as shakes, tend to be more challenging to maintain. If ever there are some missing shakes and shingles, you’ll also have to find an appropriate replacement. 

What Should You Choose?

What you should choose for your roof will depend on the climate and several other conditions on where your house is situated in. If you’re going to be using shakes on a home that’s situated in a warm and humid climate, you’re trapping the moisture inside your home which could lead to the formation of mold and mildews. If you’re going to be using shingles on a colder climate, you’re not getting much insulation and the cold might easily penetrate the interiors of your roof. As such, it’s best to weigh in on the pros and cons of each product. No man is an island and if you want to seek professional help, you can always commission the services of your licensed roofing contractor. 

At the end of the day, both shingle roofs and shake roofs have their own unique characteristics. If you’re living in a colder area that snows often, then roof shakes is preferred for this type of weather since the thickness can provide a good amount of insulation and is generally more durable towards harsher climates. Roof shingles are more refined and is well-rounded that shakes. Since shingles are thinner than shakes, roofing specialists have to be careful when treading on your roof as most are susceptible to weight and impacts. For warmer climates, roof shingles are a good choice. In most cases, roof shingles have a moderate lifespan and will give a considerable amount of insulation. 

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