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Old 05-30-2012, 05:45 PM   #1
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Cedar shingles on a gazebo


I'll be tearing off the existing asphalt shingles (that I installed 20+ years ago) and trying my hand at cedar shingles. I've seen you can shingle over sheathing and I've seen the use of battens. Since cedar is a wood and breathability should be a plus, it would seem the battens are the better option. Any thoughts?

I found this online and it looks pretty comprehensive. I'm wondering if I should interweave the shingles (slope about 3:12) into the felt like so:

or if that would be overkill for the gazebo. It's about 8' in diameter and open on all sides. When it rains, unless it falls straight down, you can get wet. The other option would be this:

For this type of application, would it matter which method was used?

I don't mind it taking a little more time if it means doing a first class job. It's more important to me to be proud of my work than to brag how fast I did it.

As you shingle toward the peak, I'm thinking I'd do one section at a time and make the cuts at the ridge with a circular saw after they are installed. Or do they need to be cut before being installed?

From what I've read it looks like I'll be field making the ridge pieces as well as the cap. This is what I found on laying the ridge pieces:

As for the cap, I was thinking of fashioning something in my woodshop and using some sort of adhesive to secure it to the peak.

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Old 05-31-2012, 07:59 AM   #2
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Cedar shingles on a gazebo


There is a distinct difference between cedar Shakes and cedar Shingles. Shakes are more rough and rustic looking, and little size consistency between pieces, and the Shingles are smooth and clean and lay nice and flat. So depending on which look you want, you would follow the instructions you posted for that application.

We take shakes off fully sheathed roofs all the time, it doesn't seem to have an effect on the shakes. These are shakes though, not shingles. The unevenness of the shakes leaves room for air.

Most times we'll cut the shakes/shingles after installing them.

If you don't like the pre-made hip/ridge caps you can certainly make your own.

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Old 05-31-2012, 02:24 PM   #3
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Cedar shingles on a gazebo


I didn't catch the shingle vs shake thing. I guess the lettering was too big to notice.

We just had our house re-shingled and the owner of the company was here yesterday and looked at the gazebo and the cedar shingles stacked on the floor of the gazebo. He suggested we remove the sheathing completely. (One section has to be removed because a branch from the tree right next to it poked a hole in it when the branch fell off the tree. Did I mention I was at the other end of a pole saw when it happened? BTW, I did tie the branch to an upper limb but my girlfriend at the other end of the rope was lighter than the limb. She said she felt like Mary Poppins.)

Anyway... So maybe I'll just install the battens. Could I do that and omit roofing felt altogether? It looks like the shingle application has felt as an eave protection. Without the felt you would see the battens and shingles from underneath. I could do the battens in cedar. It would look cool but how well would it keep water from leaking through?

And I just took a few of the shingles out of a bundle. When I picked them up at the lumber yard they all looked like shingles. Now I see, turning them over, they are split on the top side and sawn on the bottom side. I thought shakes were split and that was that. Would that affect my plans to omit the felt?
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:49 PM   #4
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Cedar shingles on a gazebo


Be mindful of the weight you are adding with cedar shakes---or shingles. It shouldn't be an issue but make sure your gazebo structure can take the weight and that of the sheathing system you decide on.
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:39 AM   #5
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Cedar shingles on a gazebo


I don't think weight should be a problem. When that tree trunk impaled the roof, my girlfriend started easing up on the rope and the trunk started acting like a pry bar. This thing was about 4" in diameter and about 12' long. I thought the roof was going to pop off. All it did was tear a larger hole in the plywood.

I have this thing about over building. It's a curse when doing demo but in this case it was a blessing.
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:08 AM   #6
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Cedar shingles on a gazebo


cedar shingles need to breath therefore there is no underlayment and you want spaced slats. cedar shingles will only absorbed so much water then repel it. shakes have a #30 felt thats is interwoven so the felt is the water proofing and the shakes protect the felt. you could put cedar shingles over solid sheathing but it would cut down the life of them, by how much ? i dont know. i wouldnt worry about it.
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:25 AM   #7
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Cedar shingles on a gazebo


We just finished putting down the sheathing on the outer section yesterday.


This is a before pic:

I don't have any pictures of the underside. It was so ugly I was never compelled to take any.

I was thinking about the whole shakes laid directly on felt vs battens when it dawned on me the first method would mean nails popping through the sheathing and ruining the ceiling. So we have to lay down battens, secured to the joists, then I'll have something to nail the shakes to without destroying the appearance of the finished ceiling.

So I'm thinking...
  1. felt paper directly on the sheathing,
  2. battens over that,
  3. shakes nailed to the battens, with 7-1/2" exposure
  4. use the cedar shake application above
  5. flashing at the cupola


I'll be working on the cupola next. I'm still undecided on how the vertical part of it should look. I'd like to keep it kind of open but I don't want to invite birds to perch there and drop "poop bombs" on anyone below. So I have to figure out some middle road there.

Last edited by JulieMor; 06-16-2012 at 06:29 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:58 AM   #8
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Cedar shingles on a gazebo


7 1/2" exposure, thats not the regular cedar shingles, they were 5" exposure, shakes were 10". sounds like royals, a lot bigger than the regular cedar shingles but smooth on both sides. but yea the batten idea will work, looks good from underneath. in fact it looks like it will really be something when done.
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:27 PM   #9
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Cedar shingles on a gazebo


Thanks for the compliment hotrod.

The exposure dimension was taken from this:


The shakes are 18" and the slope is 4/12, so I figured I'd use the 7-1/2" exposure dimension. But these shakes are not smooth on both sides. One side is pretty raw, like they just cleaved it and that was that. When I showed the shakes to family and friends I've joked that anyone from the Shire would feel right at home under this roof.

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