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Thread: Cedar Shingling Ideas

  1. #1

    Cedar Shingling Ideas

    It seems these days plastic houses are all the rage, but I got to say, in doing some checking, it seems the cheapest siding has got to be cedar shingles. I wonder if their low price is being pushed becasue of the labor costs to put them on, or just because they are a wood product that eventually must be replaced and maintained? Either way I found that I can purchase B clear shingles resawn and rebutted for 57 dollars a square. We have a shingle mill ourselves but for that price I would rather purchase them then go out and saw down cedar trees, block them up, saw them into shingles, then sort and stack them.

    Now my question is, does anyone know of some artistic ways you can shingle a house? I have got about 28 square to put on and I was thinking about breaking up the long expanses of shingles by doing something creative. My initial thoughts were to do something around the 12 windows and two doors. I really don't want to have to cut EVERY shingle I put up artistically , but maybe some strategic areas would be worth targeting.

    In any case I appreciate any and all ideas.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Travis

    I did a google search and found some stuff including this

    http://www.arcat.com/details/shakerto/prod0543.html

    The PDF views give you some ideas.

    Jay

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,697
    Check with your insurance agent before doing anything. There may be a big penalty for using them because of fire hazard. They will last many years, I have no idea why the cost is coming down, maybe because of low demand. Many years ago I worked as an interpreter at an 1800's restored village and demonstrated splitting shingles with a froe. We explained that splitting made a better shingle because the split was along the walls of the cells. Cutting opens the cells and exposes them to weathering. That is a fact, split shingles will last almost indefinitely.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    New Brunswick Canada
    Posts
    28
    I know here in Canada plastic was all the rage for years but cedar shingles has gained popularity again and a lot of new homes here are being shingled. As far as cost the plastic is a little more expensive but if you figure in the labor cost , I think you will find cedar shinbles to be more expensive , especially if you figure in the upkeep and finishing unless you live in a fishing village as I do. Most people here let them weather to silver. The older guys used to build their sheds out of them and then soak them down in old oil from the boats, they lasted forever but not a great idea for this day and age. lol
    You cant beat the sight of a shingled house unless you are looking at a log home imho.
    Darren
    I was out of luck when luck was doing alright.
    John Hiatt.

  5. #5
    Cedar shingles are fire waiting to happen. I would never cover a house either roof or siding with cedar.

    Cedar roofing was popular in North Texas for years, but if you ever get it on fire from any source, electrical, lightning, or carelessness, the cedar will feed the fire like crazy, regardless of whether the shingles are said to be fireproofed. The local Dallas TV has shown videos of cedar roofed home fires from a few 100K up to multi-millions and they all look the same, a pile of rubble. Some of the new big dollar developments have restricted new homes to no cedar roofs.

    For the safety of your family and home, keep the cedar in the tree, and not around your home.

  6. #6
    I disagree Ken. Perhaps in a warm southern state like Texas, but here in Maine cedar shingles have been around for literally hundreds of years (though in the early days they were actually shakes). Back in the day they used cedar shingles for roofs, but around here you just can't. Its far to wet and cold, and the winds coming off the water would rip them apart in short order. So confining this discussion to walls only, the fire danger can be no worse than tossing plastic on the side of your house. That stuffs burns as well, and can easily melt from heat transferred by radiant heat of a fire. The same can be said for asphalt shingles roofs. I have no adjacent homes so I don't have to worry about fire radiating onto my house and catching it on fire, but with 5000 acres of forest behind my house, forest fires are always a concern. I would be more concerned with embers landing on that big tar pit up there than I would be about the shingles on my walls igniting.

    Overall I will defend cedar shingles to the end of time. In fact I think they get a bum rap. About the only thing bad I can say about them is that they are labor intensive to install. Cedar shingles also give you a better R-factor in your walls, and while not as good as say log siding, it does help when the temp dips down to 30-40 below. They are also easy to fit around windows, doors and other protrusions and really can be artistic. Add to that the lowest cost of ANY siding (here in Maine anyway) and its pretty easy to figure out why I am putting them on my house.

    Interestingly enough we have our own shingle mill, but I just don't have the time to cut down the trees, saw them into blocks, saw the shingles,rebutt and resaw them, then place 25 square up on the house. At 57 dollars a square its much easier to buy them.

    If I was to saw my own, I would only make the bottom few feet of siding out of cedar, and make the upper layers out of White Pine. Cedar shingles last quite awhile and would do better close to the moist ground, but where the wind constantly dries them out, White Pine shingles will last forever.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,697
    What's the difference between 'shingle' and 'shake'?
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  8. #8
    Travis, I can't argue with your experience. I had cedar shingles on my home in Plano. They were a source of continuing maintenance. It seemed that every spring it was an exercise in having shingles replaced. Finally, we had the entire roof removed. It was replaced with plywood sheathing and asphalt shingles.

    BTW, a majority of the cedar shingle fires down here are due to electric problems with some fireplaces thrown in. And yes, the shingles do get dry, dry, dry. From my perspective, I would never again have cedar as part of my building, but that is me.

    Foot note. When we built back in 2001, I used the very best shingles I could find. They are made in Oregon, and are rated for 50 years, highest fire rating, and 110 Mph wind. Now, you can't get performance like that out of cedar shingles.

    You know what your want, so go do it. I hope you will post some pictures of the project.

    Peace.

  9. #9
    Their was a article in jcl a few mouths ago about putting a design in the shingles.

  10. #10
    Hey Ken, I think my post came across sounding far more forceful then it was really meant to. I have been online for many years and its a shame really the written word can have tones that it was not meant to. Anyway no need for the word peace in your post, there was never any hard feelings on my end.

    I do like shingles and always have and have shingled more than my share of homes. Working in a shingle mill is a different story. Its a VERY dangerous job. Most good shingle mill operators have 9 fingers...that is because they learned the hard way. The bad shingle mill operators have to get assistance to pick their nose. It may be interesting to note, that the danger does not come from the making of the shingle itself, but in making the shingle square, or what is known as "rebutting" a shingle. Its a cross between an old swing saw and a table saw. More like one of those cordwood saws that people used to use (and still use) to saw four foot wood into stove length wood. You put the shingle on a table, and then push the table saw down into the spinning saw blade. Its an optical illusion. To the eye the blade is coming up at you, but its really dropping. Either way, when you see the blade, the shingle is cut and so is your finger. The trick is to keep it out of the way before you drop the table, but its easier said then done. The table drops very easily...the slightest downward pressure exposes the saw blade.

    Interestingly enough, our shinglemill is at least a hundred years old, but you can buy new shingle mills today that are identical to it. You can also set up the headrig so that it cuts thing lumber for packing crates and pallets.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

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