Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cedar Shingle Siding

In Portland, one component of the ADU regulation is that the siding, roof pitch, and eave style, must match that of the main house. In my case, the main house has an 'imitation-cedar-shingle' asbestos siding with a 10 3/4" reveal (the height between each course of shingles).

While the City did not want me to put asbestos siding on my house, they did still require that the reveal on the ADU match the main house. Since the main house siding was "imitation cedar shingles", we chose to use real cedar shingles on the ADU. The picture here shows the new cedar shingles with a 10 3/4" reveal to match the reveal on the main house. 

Here's a video of the shingle pallets arriving from a local lumber manufacturer. The shingles are Western Red Cedar shingles from Washington state.

This next video shows the Vortex rain screen and the cedar shingle sealing process.

The Vortex which will cover our Siga wrap, and will allow rain to drain down the side of the house in case the rain gets behind the siding.

We purchased "green" shingles, meaning that they were milled recently. I bought these shingles because they were 1/3rd the cost of kiln-dried and pre-primed lumber. Because the wood is freshly cut however, there is a greater chance that when the shingles sit in direct sunlight for too long, they will start to bow and or turn grey quickly. In order to abate this process, we added a wood sealant called Penofin.

This is a video of the first shingle going into place and an explanation of the double course of shingles that we're using.

By the end of the day, we finished installing a small patch of siding on the west side of the ADU. We started shingling on the west side, the side with the least foot traffic, to perfect the process before we wrap the rest of the ADU.

It is fairly common to paint cedar shingles but I have no intention of doing that. I am thrilled with how the first section of siding looks. I also look forward to years of color and texture variance that will unfold and emerge over time due to UV exposure, rain, and age.


  1. double coursed with 10.75" reveal requires face nailing 2" from the butt.

    You'll probably be fine, but thought you should know.

  2. Thanks for the tip. I wasn't planning to add nails at the bottom but I'll give it some thought.

    What about just nailing the ones that start to bow?

  3. Based on what I know, cupping and curling have more to do with how straight the grain is and how green the shingles are. The Penofin, plus using #1 shingles should prevent that.

    Per the cedar bureau, the extra nailing adds more protection to shingles being blown off in a high wind situation. I think I know your neighborhood, and you should have a lot of protection from other buildings around you. If it really gets to be a problem, you can go back and nail them after re-weaving some replacements.

    I found your site because you're putting up the same shingles, at the same reveal and with the same stain that I'm putting on my house right now. Looking good.

  4. Siding is looking good. I really like cedar siding because of its feature.Cedar siding has PVC features so it last for long time. we can say it is composite siding which give looks of the wood and durability of the vinyl.
    vinyl siding

  5. The variation of the colors of your siding tiles makes the house naturally beautiful, but applying primer before the paints would make them stronger. Regular maintenance can also keep them from being worn by any weather.

    Drew Hohmann

  6. I'm really glad to know that you've used real shingles for your ADU. Through this, you'll be assured that your mini house can endure harsh weather conditions. Moreover, you increased the curb appeal of the ADU with these shingles. Its been two years now. I wonder if you painted the shingles this time.

    Dina @

  7. One of the best roofing materials to use is cedar shingles. These shingles have so many benefits that you can gain from them that it is a wonder that more people do not choose them for their homes.

    Iko shingles

  8. It really helps that there's a lot of information about installing cedar shingles. Right now I'm trying to install my own cedar shingles on my siding. It seemed pretty simple at first, but I don't quite understand how to get started on the siding. It's great that you've posted a video on how to get started.

  9. I appreciate everything you have added to my knowledge base.Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.Thanks.


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