Understanding The Differences In Shake And Shingle Roofing

Shake and shingle roofing are two popular types of roofing materials that have some key differences in terms of appearance, installation, durability, and maintenance. Here's a comparison between shake and shingle roofing.

Material and Appearance

Shakes are typically hand-split from logs and have a rough and rustic appearance. They have a thicker profile with a more natural and textured look due to their irregular shapes and varying thicknesses.

Shingles are machine-cut from wood or other materials, resulting in a more uniform shape and thickness. They have a neater and more refined appearance, providing a cleaner and more consistent look to the roof.


Shakes are often installed individually and nailed to the roof sheathing. They are a more labor-intensive installation due to their varying sizes and shapes, making the process slower and potentially more expensive.

Shingles are installed in overlapping rows, allowing for faster and more efficient installation. They come in standardized sizes, which simplifies the installation process and can reduce labor costs.

Durability and Longevity

Shakes are generally thicker and more durable than shingles. They have better resistance to impact and wind damage. However, shakes can be more susceptible to splitting, warping, and rotting over time, especially if not properly maintained.

Shingles are thinner and may be more vulnerable to wind uplift and impact damage. However, modern shingles are often treated or made from materials that provide enhanced durability and protection against rot, insects, and UV rays. They typically have a longer lifespan compared to shakes.


Shakes require regular maintenance to prolong their lifespan. This includes periodic inspections, cleaning, and treatment with preservatives or sealants to prevent decay and protect against moisture. Maintenance requirements can be more demanding for shake roofs.

Shingles generally require less maintenance compared to shakes. Regular inspections, removing debris, and occasional cleaning are typically sufficient. Some types of shingles may require resealing or reapplication of protective coatings over time.


Shakes tend to be more expensive than shingles due to their thicker profile, labor-intensive installation, and higher material costs.

Shingles are generally more cost-effective, offering a wider range of options at various price points. They are often the more affordable choice for roofing materials.

It's important to note that local building codes, climate, and personal preferences can also influence the choice between shake and shingle roofing. Consulting with a roofing professional can help determine the best option based on your specific needs, budget, and the conditions in your area.

For more information on residential roofing, contact a company near you.