24 Oct 2013 Cedar shingles | why we love them
We love cedar shingles. Why? The aesthetic of cedar shingles is timeless and transcends many architectural genres. From ultra traditional Victorian homes to modern cubes, cedar shingle cladding provides a beautiful texture and an organic feel not achieved with other cladding materials such as vinyl.
The other reason we love cedar shingles? They provide superior weather proofing and can last for a very long time. It’s not uncommon to find perfectly dry sheathing under 50 year old shingles.
As with any wood cladding material, proper installation is a must. Cedar’s natural weathering properties allow it to last for many years while exposed to the elements. Installation plays a key role in ensuring the longest life span.
On this renovation project we were tasked with matching a dormer and wall with cedar shingles – matching the look on the rest of the home. The first order of business after removing the old cladding and trim was to install a house wrap and rain screen.
For house wrap we used VaproShield. The black mesh seen here is the rain screen material called Ventgrid. Ventgrid provides a 1/2 inch air space between the house wrap and the shingles. This means that when water does make it through the shingles, it will quickly drain off and dry as air moves through the open space. Having a rain screen dramatically reduces the chances for rot and mold. And dry shingles will last a long long time.
The photo below shows the existing shingles on the left and the new shingles on the right. One of the toughest parts about a project like this is matching the rows of shingles all the way around the house. Here the guys did a great job of matching the inside corner.
Rough sawn lumber was primed and painted for the corner boards, fascia and soffit. The green tint on the new shingles is from treating them Lifetime natural wood preservative. Soon the hues will change from reds and greens to the classic weather worn gray cedar is so well known for.