Table of Contents

    Cedar Roof Alternative Considerations

    When considering roofing materials for your home, it's important to weigh various factors, such as cost, durability, maintenance, lifespan, appearance, and environmental impact. In this guide, we'll provide a detailed comparison of natural cedar and synthetic cedar roofing, highlight key elements, and explore alternative roofing options in a user-friendly list format.


    • Any natural (cedar, slate) or hard (concrete, tile) roofing product will be more expensive than a manufactured product (synthetic, asphalt)
    • Labor costs to install natural and hard products will increase significantly if hand nailing and time to install and setup are greatly increased


    • Cedar shakes can last a long time (40 years) if properly maintained
    • Metal roofs, tile, and concrete roofs can last longer (50+ years)
    • Slate roofs last the longest (100 years)
    • Asphalt shingles do not last as long as natural products or hard roofing systems (20-30 years)
    • Design asphalt shingles can last 25-50 years

    Maintenance Considerations

    • Natural cedar roofs requires the most maintenance of any roofing system
    • Almost all other roofing systems will require significantly less maintenance


    • Natural (slate, cedar) and hard (concrete, tile, metal, etc.) have significant repair costs due to availability, expertise, and intricacies of repairing
    • Asphalt and designer shingles have significantly better ability to repair versus other roofing systems

    Natural Cedar vs. Synthetic Cedar

    Davinci Bell Shake Field Mountain Bellaforte

    Curb Appeal

    • Cedar roofs have the most unique look of any shingle on the market in our opinion.  Nothing can replace the look of true cedar
    • Synthetic cedar does offer a lot more control over the colors, design (sizes, patterns, etc.) than cedar.  These shingles also look great and can mimic the look of slate as well.

    Cost Comparison

    • Initial costs are comparable as the shingles must be installed by hand and take a similar amount of time and expertise
    • Synthetic cedar roofing offers customers the most savings with the lack of maintenance costs needed over the lifespan of the roofing system

    Durability Assessment

    • Synthetic cedar shakes are more durable than cedar shingles as they do not curl, cup, and crack over time
    • Although natural cedar may be more susceptible to noticeable aging patterns, synthetic cedar does not have the likelihood of manufacturer defects which can plague some brands of synthetic cedar
    • If cedar is properly maintained, it lasts as long as synthetic cedar

    Maintenance Considerations

    • Synthetic cedar requires little to no maintenance, thanks to its durable synthetic composition, but regular debris removal is recommended.
    • Natural cedar should have significant maintenance performed every 5-7 years to protect the product and ensure it lasts a long time

    Lifespan Comparison

    • Cedar shakes, with proper maintenance, can last for 30+ years, providing a long-lasting roofing solution.
    • Synthetic materials may last longer than natural cedar due to the lack of maintenance needed and can last up to 50 years

    Top Synthetic Cedar Manufacturers

    • Davinci
      • Material Variety: Davinci offers a range of synthetic cedar roofing materials, providing options for various architectural styles and preferences.
      • Customization: The manufacturer allows for customization in terms of colors, sizes, and textures, allowing homeowners to achieve a personalized aesthetic.
      • Durability: Davinci synthetic cedar products are known for their durability, with resistance to weather elements, impact, and color fading over time.
    • Ecostar
      • Recycled Content: Ecostar prides itself on using recycled materials in the production of its synthetic cedar roofing, contributing to sustainability.
      • Authentic Appearance: Ecostar replicates the authentic look of natural cedar, offering homeowners the classic aesthetic without the associated maintenance challenges.
    • CeDUR
      • CeDUR makes the most realistic looking synthetic cedar shakes in a variety of patterns

    Designer Asphalt Shingles

    Designer asphalt shingles can off your home an upgraded look at a fraction of the price of natural Cedar roofing.  Some popular designer shingle options can be found below:

    CertainTeed Presidential Shake

    • Appearance and Aesthetics: CertainTeed Presidential Shake replicates the timeless charm of cedar roofing, offering a classic and inviting look for your home. The product is designed to emulate the texture and color variations of natural cedar shakes.
    • Durability: With CertainTeed Presidential Shake, durability is a key feature. These synthetic shakes are built to withstand various weather conditions, providing long-lasting protection for your home for up to 50 years.
    • Cost: These shingles are approximately half the cost of natural cedar roofing systems due to the lowest cost of materials, and the easy of installation.
    CertainTeed Presidential Shake

    Owens Corning Woodridge

    • Appearance and Aesthetics: Owens Corning Woodridge offers a natural and rustic appearance, resembling the look of cedar shakes. The product is designed to add warmth and character to your home's exterior.
    • Durability: Engineered for durability, Owens Corning Woodridge is built to withstand the elements, providing reliable protection against harsh weather conditions.
    • Cost: Owens Corning Woodridge presents a cost-effective alternative to natural cedar roofing, allowing homeowners to achieve the desired aesthetic without the higher price tag.

    GAF Camelot II

    • Appearance and Aesthetics: GAF Camelot II offers more of a slate look, but is one of GAF's more popular designer shingle types.
    • Durability: This shingle can last up to 50 years.
    • Cost: This roof will be similar in cost to CertainTeed's and Owens Corning's options.

    Other Natural/Hard System Options


    • Appearance and Aesthetics: Standing seam metal roofing is a great roofing option.  These metal roofs can very much accent a home with a cedar roof, or entirely replace it.
    • Durability: Metal roofs last a long time (up to 50 years)
    • Cost: Metal roofs are slightly less expensive than cedar roofs.
    Metal Roof

    Slate Roof

    • Appearance and Aesthetics: Slate roofs look and age beautifully.
    • Durability: Slate roofs are the longest lasting roofing system and can last up to 100 years.
    • Cost: Slate roofs are the most expensive type of roofing to install due to the weight and intricacies of installing.
    Slate Roof

    Tile Roof

    • Appearance and Aesthetics: Tile roofs have a very distinctive look and can be beautiful on the right applications.
    • Durability: Tile roofs can last up to 100 years.
    • Cost: Tile roofs are one of the most expensive roofing systems to install.
    Tile Roof