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Cedar Shake Residential Roofing - SMART Roofing Inc

Cedar Shake Residential Roofing - Natural Wood & Brava Synthetic Roofs

SMART Roofing, Inc. has installed hundreds of wood shake and shingle roofs in its history. These roofs are beautiful and can enhance the appearance of almost any home or building. Wood roofs come in a variety of styles, sizes, cuts, etc.

Natural Wood Cedar Shake Roofs

Natural Wood shakes and wood shingles are manufactured from western red cedar, cypress, pine and redwood trees. Shakes are split from logs and reshaped by manufacturers for commercial use. They are thicker at the butt end than shingles; generally one or both surfaces are split to obtain a textured effect. A split and resawn shake has a split face and sawn back. A taper sawn shake has a natural taper and is sawn on both sides. Wood shingles are sawn on both sides and have an even taper and uniform thickness. When applied to shingles, the industry terms "Perfection" and "Royal" mean 18 inch and 24 inch lengths, respectively.

Cedar shakes and cedar shingles are also available pressure treated with fire retardants and chemical preservatives for increased fire resistance and to prevent premature rot and decay in some climates.

Brava Synthetic Cedar Shake Roofs

There are many synthetic roofing products in the market, but here at Smart Roofing Inc. we use only the best. Based on our 25 years of experience and seeing a multitude of options, Brava synthetic cedar shake and DaVinci synthetic shake are the best all around. From the shape to the color to the quality, these composite roofing material last much longer than natural cedar shake, look great throughout their lifespan without changing color, and are much more durable to all elements. These are exactly the reasons why this homeowner in Northbrook decided to have his roof done with Brava. Selecting the right roof is always a concern when having to replace your existing roof. With synthetic materials the main issue is the look of the finished roof.

Many people worry that composite roofing materials will end up looking like plastic and will be very easy to spot as synthetic. That is where Brava steals the spotlight and displays its realism so nicely in this home we did in Northbrook. With variable widths of cedar pieces, variable thickness, wood grain texture, and a beautiful selection of colors, Brava's synthetic shake looks like the real deal. The color choices, and even the option for custom colors, ensure that your roof will look like a real aged cedar shake roof. With a natural Class A and optional class C fire rating, 50 year limited warranty, and a Class 4 impact rating, this synthetic cedar shake roof will last much longer than a regular cedar shake roof and withstand all the elements Northbrook can offer. The only thing that can compliment a great Brava roof, is great copper sheet metal work and copper gutters. With at least a 50 year life expectancy of this synthetic shake, copper will easily last just as long, and the color will age to match the Brava shake even better.

Please feel free to call us at 847.797.0404 or email to
Please feel free to call us or email:  847.797.0404

The Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau is a non-profit organization that promotes the use of Certi-label™ cedar roofing and sidewall products.

Featured Roofing Projects & Articles by Smart Roofing, Inc.

Brava Shake Roof Installation in Inverness

Natural cedar shake is out, and composite roofs are in. At least that is what we at Smart Roofing have seen over the last few years. More and more homeowners are choosing Brava composite shake roofs when doing a cedar roof replacement over natural cedar shake, because Brava roofs offer a better life expectancy and a variety of looks. 

The latest addition to our portfolio of composite roofs installed in the Inverness, Barrington, and Palatine areas is Brava shake in the Lake Forest color. Mimicking aged cedar, this color compliments the home very well and adds a bit of sophistication. The color choice is one of main benefits of composite cedar, because the color you choose is the color you get for the entire lifespan of the roof. While natural cedar starts off with a golden hue, that quickly fades and keeps changing with time. Brava shakes are manufactured with specific colors that do not fade or change. The composite shake roof you have installed on day one will look the same on day 100 and on day 10,000. 

Another benefit of composite roofs is the long lifespan, while being environmentally friendly. Since Brava roofs are manufactured from recycled polymers that are fully sustainable, they offer great weather protection and durability. Polymers are not affected by changes in temperatures or moisture content, allowing composite roofs to last longer than most roofing options, especially in a climate as diverse as the Chicagoland area. A roof in Barrington might be covered with snow, while a roof in Winnetka might be getting soaked with a few inches or rain, and Brava shake roofs are able to withstand both without getting damaged and looking great. This synthetic shake Brava roof in Inverness will last a lifetime, while protecting the home of this happy client. 

SMART Roofing, Inc. is a full-service roofing contractor serving Inverness and its surrounding suburbs. Select SMART Roofing, Inc. as your Inverness Roofing Contractor with plenty of experience with composite cedar shake roofs. From roof assessments and repairs to installations of virtually every type of new residential roof and commercial roof, our commitment to excellence, stellar customer service and exceptional results are the “SMART” roofing difference. Contact the expert Brava roofing contractor at SMART Roofing, Inc. at (847) 797-0404 to learn more about Brava roofing products, visit, or email us for your residential or commercial roofing needs.

Inverness Brava

Cedar Shake Roof Replacement in Glencoe

Natural cedar roofs are some of the most durable roofs possible, at least in the first several years of their lifespan. That quickly changes as the cedar starts to age, wear out, and slowly disintegrate. While cedar roof replacements are very popular, there is noticeable trend of homeowner who replace their old cedar shake roofs with composite products to increase the roof's life expectancy and appearance.

The main culprit behind the slow move away from natural cedar shake is the change in the Chicagoland climate, particularly the north shore area. Cedar shake roofs in the Glencoe, Northfield, Wilmette, and Winnetka area are aging faster than before due to the increased swings in temperature between summer and winter, and the increased moisture. Both of these affect the natural abilities of cedar to seal, since cedar roofs are natural and go through cycles of absorbing water and drying out. When cedar shake roofs stay wet for longer periods of time, they begin to wear out faster and in many cases grow moss, which damages the shake even more. This is not the case with composite shake alternatives, such as Brava Shake or DaVinci Shake. Composite materials never absorb water and are much more impervious to the temperature changes. Natural cedar shake also gets thinner with age as running water slowly wears away at the natural wood. Composite alternatives also do not run into this issue, allowing them to last much longer than natural cedar. 

Despite these shortcomings, cedar roof replacements in Glencoe, Winnetka, and Northfield are on the rise, and some homeowners are still replacing old cedar with new natural cedar shake. While there are issues with cedar roofs, there are also a myriad of benefits. New natural cedar shake roofs are beautiful for one. New cedar is also very good at providing an insulating barrier due to the natural oils that are present in the cedar itself. Since natural wood can swell when wet, cedar roofs provide additional waterproofing during rains, closing any possible gaps in the roof, whether the cedar is old or new. 

We at Smart Roofing always believe in helping homeowners choose the right material for their roof. In many cases, a natural cedar shake roof will perform well for the expected life span of 20-30 years, and homeowners are more than happy knowing they have a natural product on their roof that will last for decades. That was the decision this homeowner made when performed this cedar shake roof replacement in Glencoe. The appearance of new cedar, combined with new copper valleys fabricated in our own sheet metal shop, plus the benefits of natural cedar, and the expected life span convinced this homeowner to choose natural over composite. The end result is a gorgeous roof that will last for a long time without any worries, providing a sophisticated aesthetic and exceptional waterproofing. 

 We also recommend that all homeowners, not just ones in the North Shore area, have their cedar roofs inspected often if they are over 20 years old. This proactive approach can prevent unnecessary headaches if the cedar roof is aging. We have performed numerous cedar shake roof replacements in Northfield, Winnetka, and Glencoe in the last few years, as many of the homes were built 20-30 years ago, and the cedar shake roofs in Winnetka, Glencoe, and Northfield are nearing the end of their lifespan. Whether homeowners decide to proceed with replacement of natural cedar shake in the North Shore area and choose composite shake or natural shake, we make sure they get the best roof they can. 

SMART Roofing, Inc. is a full-service roofing contractor serving Glencoe, Winnetka, Northfield and its surrounding suburbs. Select SMART Roofing, Inc. as your Glencoe Roofing Contractor with plenty of experience with cedar shake roofs. From roof assessments and repairs to installations of virtually every type of new residential roof and commercial roof, our commitment to excellence, stellar customer service, and exceptional results are the “SMART” roofing difference. Contact the roofing experts at SMART Roofing, Inc. at (847) 797-0404, to learn more, or email us for your residential or commercial roofing needs.

Northshore Cedar Roof ReplacementWinnetka Cedar Roof ReplacementNorthfield Cedar Roof ReplacementGlencoe Cedar Roof Replacement

Lisle Brava Composite Cedar Shake Roof Install

Another cedar shake roof replaced and a stunning Brava Shake roof installed in Lisle. With a wonderful appearance in a multitude of colors, great life expectancy, and competitive price point, Brava composite shake is becoming much more popular as a cedar shake roof replacement option.

This roof replacement in Lisle was another one of our projects that displayed how natural a synthetic roof product can look. Brava composite shake always steals the spotlight with the right color, variable widths of pieces, and a texture that is not much different than cedar shake. On top of being a very attractive roof from the appearance and cost standpoint, this Brava shake roof replacement also carries a great 50-year limited warranty.

While replacing this old cedar shake roof in Lisle, we also recommended replacing the skylights and replacing the gutters. With new Velux solar powered skylights and blinds, the homeowner can open the skylights with the press of a button. No need for any electrical connections, just a solar panel on the outside of the skylight, installed by our crews. The solar powered blinds ensure that even on the sunniest day, the blinds can be closed to allow some shade. New aluminum gutters and downspouts help drain the large amount of water this roof collects during rain storms. A new RainDrop leaf guard system will make sure that the gutters do not get clogged and allow all the water to drain as needed. While replacing this roof in Lisle, we also decided to replace the existing chimney saddle with new copper, and install new copper flashings in a low slope area in the rear of the home.

With a completely new roof, new skylights, gutters, and copper flashings, this roof will last for decades to come.

SMART Roofing, Inc. is a full-service roofing contractor serving Lisle and its surrounding suburbs. Select SMART Roofing, Inc. as your Lisle Roofing Contractor with plenty of experience with synthetic cedar shake roofs. From roof assessments and repairs to installations of virtually every type of new residential roof and commercial roof, our commitment to excellence, stellar customer service and exceptional results are the “SMART” roofing difference. Contact the roofing experts at SMART Roofing, Inc. at (847) 797-0404 to learn more about Brava roofing products, visit,  or email us for your residential or commercial roofing needs.

For more information on Velux skylights visit For more information on RainDrop leaf guard systems, visit

Lisle Synthetic Shake RoofBrava Shake LisleLisle Brava RoofBrava Composite Shake

Replacing an Old Cedar Shake Roof in Kildeer

What a difference 3 days can make when replacing your aged cedar shake roof. That is exactly what happened when we recently replaced this old cedar shake roof in Kildeer, IL with new designer GAF Camelot II shingles. With a bigger exposure than cedar shake, the Camelot II shingle provides a refined look that is not too far from the appearance of natural slate or cedar shake. Open copper valleys and new copper flashings made this roof shine bright in comparison to the dull and deteriorated shake that was installed before.

Cedar shake may look nice when it is initially installed, but that appearance quickly degrades into shades of gray and brown. As time passes those colors fade even more, and the cedar shake begins to disintegrate. The new Camelot II shingle roof in Kildeer will not change colors until almost the end of its life, and even then it is never as dramatic as the color change in cedar shake. This is another reason why many homeowners are opting to replace their aged cedar shake roofs with new shingle roofs. While offering almost double the life expectancy, much lower costs, and a sophisticated look, it is a no brainer. Many homeowners are also choosing to upgrade a standard shingle to the designer choice, which upgrades the look of their home even more. That is what this homeowner decided to do when we installed a new shingle roof in Kildeer. The results speak for themselves.

What do you think?

SMART Roofing, Inc. is a full-service roofing contractor serving Kildeer and its surrounding suburbs. Select SMART Roofing, Inc. as your Kildeer Cedar Shake and Shingle Roofing Contractor with plenty of experience with wood shake and asphalt shingle roofs. From roof assessments and repairs to installations of virtually every type of new residential roof and commercial roof, our commitment to excellence, stellar customer service, and exceptional results are the “SMART” roofing difference. Contact the roofing experts at SMART Roofing, Inc. at (847) 797-0404, to learn more shingle roofs, visit, or email us for your residential or commercial roofing needs.

Kildeer Cedar ShakeKildeer ShingleKildeer Shingle RoofKildeer Camelot II Shingle

Cedar Shake Roofs in the Chicagoland Climate

Cedar shakes are some of the more durable and visually appealing roof coverings. At least that was the case before architectural shingles and synthetic cedar shakes were introduced, with an expected lifespan the same, or in many cases longer than cedar shake. The main reason behind this is the Chicagoland climate, and the various weather extremes and high humidity.

As with any wood when it gets wet, it needs ample time and air quality to dry out, otherwise it can start rotting. While cedar is very resistant to moisture, cedar shake roofing still tends to stay wet longer than preferred, which leads to premature failure of cedar shake roofs. We have seen this happen time and time again. Even with proper installation, which includes using the correct stainless steel fasteners to prevent rust issues, proper felt and cedar breather underlayments to promote the drying process, and correct spacing for the cedar shakes themselves, many cedar roofs will only last about 20-30 years. With no manufacturer warranty due to being a natural product, this falls short of the recent roof life expectancy standard. The amount of rain, snow, and humidity are the main culprits. Since many of our Chicago summer days can stay above 80% humidity, when combined with a few rainy days, cedar shakes can stay wet for weeks on end. While the top of the cedar shake may appear dry, the core and underside of the cedar shake is often wet. Take into account the cloud coverage, and some days where we get no sunlight at all, and you have everything to need to make you cedar shake roof rot.

This takes us to the next point, the cost of cedar shake roofing as compared to longer lasting, or less expensive alternatives. The biggest competitor with cedar shake roofs are good old asphalt shingles, but with a new profile. While the old 3-tab shingles did not expect to look as nice or last as long as cedar shake roofs, new architectural shingles definitely will do both. With a thicker shingle, an expected lifespan of 30 years, and a manufacturer warranty, shingles are a great option. No matter the amount of rain, snow, sun, or humidity, asphalt shingles will never rot or decay due to being wet. Asphalt does not absorb moisture, and the fiberglass mat that compromises new architectural shingles adds an extra layer of durability. With an additional layer, these architectural shingles have more definition to match the depth of cedar shake, and many homeowners are finding that they are great substitutes for their old cedar shake roofs that need to be replaced. With a cost that is much lower, a new shingle roof is a very good alternative when looking at a cedar shake roof replacement.

The other option when replacing an aging cedar roof, and one that is gaining a lot of popularity, are synthetic cedar shakes. From very popular manufacturers such as Brava and DaVinci, these products are top of the line. With a variety of color choices, you can be sure that your new synthetic roof will look just like the real cedar shake, at different points of the aging color cycle. Textures that match real cedar shake, and variable synthetic cedar shake sizes also ensure that your new roof will look exactly like cedar shake, while lasting much much longer. When people hear synthetic, they assume these products are cheap plastic that will fall apart due to the heat or cold. That could not be further from the truth. Synthetic cedar shakes are most often made from composite roofing materials that will last upwards of 50 years, and the manufacturers of these products provide a 50-year warranty to back up their claim. Since composite materials do not absorb water or moisture, there is no worry of these roofing shakes rotting. Having the colors blended into the composite material also guarantees that your new synthetic roof will look just as good in the first year, as it will on year 50. With a price point very similar to many real cedar shakes, synthetic cedar shake roofs are taking over, and rightfully so.

As with any house changing decision, we encourage all homeowners to do their own research, and find what works best for them and their home. If you would like us to inspect your roof, provide an estimate, or have any questions regarding cedar shake roofs, shingle roofs, or synthetic roofs, feel free to contact the roofing experts at Smart Roofing Inc. at (847) 797-0404 or email us at


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SMART Roofing serves the following Chicago Area: Algonquin, Alsip, Antioch, Arlington Heights, Aurora, Barrington, Barrington Hills, Bartlett, Batavia, Bedford Park, Bensenville, Berkeley, Berwyn, Blue Island, Bridgeview, Broadview, Brookfield, Buffalo Grove, Burbank, Burr Ridge, Calumet City, Calumet Park, Carpentersville, Chicago, Chicago Heights, Cicero, Country Club Hills, Countryside, Crestwood, Crete, Deer Park, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Dundee, Elgin, Elk Grove Village, Elmwood Park, Evanston, Evergreen Park, Flossmoor, Forest Park, Franklin Park, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Glencoe, Glendale Heights, Glenview, Glenwood, Gurnee, Hampshire, Hanover Park, Harvey, Harwood Heights, Hazel Crest, Hickory Hills, Highland Park, Hinsdale, Hoffman Estates, Homewood, Huntley, Indian Head Park, Inverness, Itasca, Justice, Kenilworth, La Grange, Lake Forest, Lake in the Hills, Lake Villa, Lake Zurich, Lansing, Lemont, Libertyville, Lincolnwood, Lisle, Long Grove, Lyons, Maine Township, Markham, Matteson, Melrose Park, Midlothian, Montgomery, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Naperville, Niles, North Lake, Northbrook, Oak Brook, Oak Forest, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, Olympia Fields, Orland Hills, Orland Park, Oswego, Palatine, Palos Hills, Palos Park, Palos Township, Park Forest, Park Ridge, River Forest, Riverside, Rolling Meadows, Roselle, Rosemont, Schaumburg, Schiller Park, South Barrington, Streamwood, Sugar Grove, Summit, Tinley Park, Vernon Hills, Westchester, Western Springs, Wheaton, Wheeling, Willow Springs, Wilmette, Winnetka, Wood Dale, Woodridge, Worth, Yorkville, and more.