Wood shingles are not the most common roof material, but they're definitely out there. If you want a roof that has some rustic, traditional charm, then you might be considering wood shingles. Note that these are different from wood shakes, which are slabs of natural wood. Wood shingles are made with layered materials, similar to asphalt shingles, but the outer layer is real wood. Here are some pros and cons of wood shingles to consider before you use them on your roof.
Pro: Wood shingles are made with natural materials.
These days, there is an emphasis on using natural materials, whenever possible, when building homes. Wood shingles are not made of 100% natural materials as most contain some plastics or petroleum products in the lower layers. However, they do contain a high proportion of natural materials, which makes them a more sustainable choice than many other roof materials.
Con: Wood shingles are not impervious to termites or carpenter ants.
The wood on the outside of wood shingles is natural, minimally treated wood. Many wood-eating insects, like carpenter ants and termites, find this wood appealing. If these pests are issues in your area, then wood shingles may not be the best option. Or, you may need to have the shingles treated with pesticides to keep these critters away.
Pro: Wood shingles are relatively easy to install.
Installing wood shingles is pretty much the same as installing asphalt shingles. Once the roof deck is prepared with underlayment and drip edge, the installer can begin laying down shingles. They'll work their way up the roof towards the peak, nailing down each layer of wood shingles as they go. Because installation is fairly straightforward, you should have an easy time finding a roofing company that will install wood shingles.
Con: Wood shingles can be pricey.
They are a bit of a specialized product and not as easy to make as some other roof types. There are several materials that need to be sourced to make them. As such, you will often pay more for a wood shingle roof than for one made from asphalt shingles. You'll want to get a quote or two before deciding whether this roof material is right for you.
With these pros and cons in mind, you should have an easier time deciding whether wood shingles are right for your home. Talk to a roofing company if you have any other questions.