Asphalt shingles and cedar shakes are two of the most popular roofing choices among homeowners. Many of our customers ask which is the better choice for their homes.

Most roofing companies in Minneapolis will give you the quick answer: that they are both great choices and choosing between the two comes down to personal preference. But we decided to dive into the details of each material, giving you as much information about them as possible. This way, when it comes time to make your decision, you will have all the information you need to choose whether asphalt shingles or cedar shakes are right for your home.

Rather than writing a simple pros and cons list of each material, we decided to group the benefits and shortcomings into several categories:


For most people, this is likely one of the most important aspects in choosing a material, so we’ll discuss this first.

Asphalt shingles are significantly less expensive than cedar shakes. Asphalt shingles can run between $2.50 and $5.00 per square foot, while cedar wood shingles/shakes can run anywhere from $6.00 to $9.00 for the same amount of coverage.

If you are cost-conscious, asphalt is probably the best choice for you. But when looking to improve the value of your home, cedar shakes may be more appropriate for your home.


The second thing that people like about asphalt shingles is they are relatively low maintenance. They are prone to algae, but in most cases, this won’t harm the roof. It will leave your shingles with stains, so occasional cleanings will help keep your roof looking new.

Cedar shakes are considered a fairly high-maintenance material. Wood shakes need to be kept dry to prevent the growth of moss, which can grow under the shakes and knock them off. So it is important to keep your gutters clean and any debris off the roof as much as possible. Some products can be used to treat wood shakes that can help prevent graying of the roof and keep it looking new.

Weather and Flame Resistance

This category is a mixed bag for both materials. As you might imagine, wood roofs are going to be a bit more susceptible to fires, while asphalt roofs are not. On the other hand, the durability of cedar shakes in harsh weather is much better than asphalt shingles. Cedar shakes can withstand very high winds without coming loose. They are also more durable and will not become damaged easily should tree branches and other debris fall onto them.

If you live in an area prone to severe storms, cedar shakes are a great investment for your home.

Overall Lifespan

This is hard to gauge, as both materials can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years. It all depends on the quality of the materials, the severity of the weather, and how well the roof was installed.

The Choice is Yours

To get the most out of your roof, it’s important to start with an experienced company that can get the job done right. So, contact Schmidt Roofing today to get your free roofing estimate.

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