Of the many roofing materials available today, wood is a long standing classic that many people love. Many historic Minnesota homes still boast wood roofing, and their charm can’t be matched. However, although wood roofing looks beautiful, it has its fair share of drawbacks. 

my530g7 Wood Shingles

Basics Wood roofing comes in the form of either shingles or shakes. The difference between the two is that shingles are crisper looking because they’re factory cut, while shakes look more rustic, thanks to being hand cut on one side. They’re also biodegradable, and come from a renewable resource, and look beautiful on historic homes. With the right care, they can last about 30 years.

However, they’re also prone to discoloration, are harder to install than other options and take more maintenance than most other materials. They need regular fungicide and preservative application to keep them from warping, drying out and being infest with things like fungus and mildew.

Cost Installing a wood roof is between three to six times more expensive than asphalt. Shingles tend to cost between $400 and $700 per square, while shakes cost between $600 and $900.

However, if you love the look of wood, but don’t want to deal with the inconvenience, there are other options available. Steel roofing, for example, can mimic the look of tiles or shakes. It doesn’t need the amount of maintenance that wood roofing does and it lasts far longer. Steel roofing is also far more durable and can withstand hurricane force winds.

Alternatives with the same look are metal roofing, since it can be shaped and painted to mimic the look. This particular option takes less maintenance to keep in good shape, plus it lasts longer.

Finally, steel roofing is also eco-friendly, in that it’s often made out of recycled steel and can be melted down and used for something else when it comes time to replace the roof, which won't be for a very long time.  For most homeowners who install a steel roof, it's the last one they will ever need.