Tech Talk

Here we share our Colorado knowledge

Cedar Wood Shake Roofs vs Synthetic Shake Shingles

Davinci Shake composite tile
Davinci Shake

The Cedar Shake roof… it is the classic Colorado look. Beautiful and natural, just like Colorado itself. Millions of cedar shake shingles were installed in Colorado over the decades. As time wore on, the natural wood shingles wore out.

Colorado is DRY,  very dry and not good for natural exposed wood. Thirty years ago, the cedar wood shingles were being cut from old-growth timber. Thick and wide, these premium cedar shingles could handle heavy storms and searing dry heat. But this came at a steep cost to our environment. Eventually, the old-growth trees became too rare and expensive, so they started to cut newer thinner trees. The shakes got thinner and skinnier too. Not a good shake for Colorado.

During this same time, the alarm about deforestation and destroying old-growth trees made the public say, “No thanks!”.

The “New” Shake Roof

So here we are today. People still love the look of the classic magnificent cedar shake but do not want to cut down a 1000 year old Washington Red Cedar to get it. So manufacturers of artificial “cedar shake” have been developing and improving synthetic shake roof options now for decades. This technology has come a long way. It looks great now!

There are several manufacturers that use varying methods and materials. You may have heard of some of these.

Composite Shingles by Davinci Roofscapes

Davinci Roofscapes
Davinci Roofscapes Denver CO

Composite shingles are made from a combination of plastic and natural material. These are super durable and have the thickness and architectural aesthetic people want. You will see this material used on many larger homes in Colorado.

Stone Coated Steel by Decra

Metal shake roof
DECRA Shake roof in Black

This option was actually developed around World War II as a solution to inhibit rust on armored vehicles and machines. It involves shaping a metal sheet to copy the shape of shake or slate. The metal is then coated with a crushed stone and adhesive mixture to give it a stone-like appearance.  Super durable and a great look as well.

Comparing Prices for Roofing Options

If you would like to do some research on pricing various roofing options, a great website to check out is called  Here you will find a bunch of different calculators and information on roofing materials, installations and more.


Author: Greg Jones

Greg Jones is the Managing Partner of New Roof Plus. Greg has over 20 years of roofing and home exterior restoration experience. Greg is a Colorado native and has raised his family here in the Denver Metro Area. Greg is certified by many manufacturers and organizations. The reviews you will read about Greg Jones show his commitment to customer service.

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