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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Cottage Style: How Shake Shingles Weather Over Time (PHOTOS)

We've achieved a big renovation milestone this year — the summer cottage is now completely reshingled, from top to bottom. Replacing the old vinyl siding with cedar shakes was an eye-popping improvement, but an expensive undertaking. 

We tackled the project in phases — cottage front (the original 1932 building), garden shed, cottage roof, rear (1990s addition). The upside of phasing is being able to pay for it as you go. The downside is, the cedar shakes change color as they weather, so with them coming on at different stages, we're going to have a multi-color house for a few years. I thought I'd share some photos for those considering a similar project:

This is how the rear addition looked before the cedar shakes. Still cute, but missing that cottage style.

Here's the shed we had built three years ago. The shakes here are still weathering. The grayest areas are where the most moisture permeates the cedar. Eventually the whole shed will be that darkest gray. We're estimating another two years, given what we've seen with the front of the cottage, which was shingled first — about six years ago.

Here's what the front of the cottage looked like when the shingles were new. If you're using white cedar, as we are, they start out this golden tan, then weather to light gray, then dark gray, until eventually the whole cottage is uniformly gray. 

This is a shot after the roof was shingled. The roof was old and starting to sag. When we priced it out, asphalt was of course the most inexpensive option. We briefly considered a long-wearing metal roof. But we're a sucker for vintage cottage charm, so we went for the cedar shakes.

And here's how the cottage front looks today. The shakes have made a world of difference, and we're okay living with a multicolored house until they all turn gray. We're happy that we went with white cedar, which weathers gray, rather than red cedar, which weathers a dark brown. This summer, we'll be choosing a paint color for the trim and I'm leaning toward a blue/gray that I saw on a house in Orient town. The Benjamin Moore paint picker tells me it's Niagra Falls.

What do you think?