Wooden roofs are common in both classic and contemporary homes and can make your exterior look differently beautiful. Besides being a natural and renewable material, wood brings a unique charm to wherever it is used inside or outside a building.
Other common uses of timber in a house include structuring, furniture, flooring, and decorative.
Timber is one of the best materials for roofing for many reasons. It can easily last decades with a little maintenance; it can be resistant to weather and impact; it is easy to install, maintain and repair; it is energy efficient; and it is a sustainable roofing choice.
If you’re planning to build your roof using wood, it would help to know about the best types of wood for roofing. Remember, the key is to choose timber that is both durable and beautiful. Here you go.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Wood for Roofing
Depending on your particular requirements and goals, you might need to consider a number of factors when choosing the right wood for your roofing project.
Cost: The cost of wooden roofing is an important factor to consider. Different wood species have different prices, with hardwoods generally being more expensive than softwoods depending on availability and demand. Do your research to find out timber that fits your budget.
Appearance: The appearance of the roofing timber matters because it will be visible to everyone, and you want your roof to look attractive. In terms of appearance, you can choose from a range of wood types with a variety of color and design options. Choose the wood that can improve the overall look of your building.
Weather: Since your wooden roof will be exposed to the environment, including sunlight and moisture, you also need to consider the climate conditions in your area year-round when buying timber for roofing. Some woods are more durable and resistant to the weather and moisture than others.
Maintenance: You also need to consider the maintenance requirements of the wood you’re installing on your roof. Softwoods might need more frequent maintenance because of their lower durability than hardwoods, but they are easier to maintain.
Durability: The durability and lifespan of wood are other factors to consider when choosing wood for roofing. The more durable the wood, the longer it can last without needing a lot of maintenance or frequent repairs. Hardwoods are generally more durable and last longer than softwoods.
Top 8 Wood for Roofing
When looking to buy wood for your next roofing project, here are some of the best options you can consider. Many softwoods and some hardwoods are ideal for roof installation in terms of durability and cost.
Cedar is one of the best choices for wooden roofs due to its natural durability and resistance to decay and pests. Cedar roofs are available in many customized options, all of which provide a charming rustic look and will match your style perfectly. As a durable wood, it will easily last 30-40 years with proper care. Moreover, a cedar roof offers good insulation, keeping your home temperature maintained.
White oak is a hardwood known for its strength and good durability. It is a light-coloured wood that fits perfectly in both historic and contemporary settings. It is a durable wood with natural resistance to decay. However, the limited availability and high cost of white oak may not be an ideal thing for many. It’s also a dense and heavy wood, which can strain structures.
Redwood is definitely one of the best choices for roofing in terms of appearance. It has a gorgeous dark brown-reddish color with a unique grain pattern. Moreover, the wood has natural decay resistance, which makes it ideal for roofing in weather-sensitive regions or places with heavy rainfall or snowfall. It’s durable and requires considerably low maintenance. However, it can be slightly more expensive than other options.
Similar to white cedar, red cedar is also a wonderful choice for roofing because of its natural durability and resistance to decay, which makes it suitable for roof construction in places with bad or unpredictable climate conditions, coastal areas for example. The reddish-brown beauty of red cedar is particularly attractive for roofing.
Pine (Eastern White Pine)
Eastern white pine is a softwood which is commonly used as a cost-effective, durable and lightweight option for roofing. It is most common in residential roofs with low strain or loads. However, pine is less durable than cedar or many hardwoods, but it’s one of the most cost-effective roofing wood types.
Spruce, another softwood option for roofing, is lightweight and easy to work with. Same as pine, it is moderately durable and inexpensive, which makes it a perfect choice for roofing in low-budget projects. With proper care and regular treatment, spruce roofing can offer decent durability and last 10 or more years.
Cypress is a softwood but is often compared with hardwoods due to its high durability and natural resistance. Due to these characteristics, it is considered an ideal wood for roofing. Cypress is resistant to insects and moisture and is, therefore, perfect for places with humid conditions or insect problems. Its unique appearance makes it a treat to the eyes and its durability ensures longevity of your roof.
Fir is another popular softwood that is commonly used for roofing. It is less popular than pine, cedar and other roofing woods, but is regularly used in low-end projects due to its easy availability and low price. Fir is relatively lightweight and easy to work with. It offers decent durability and can last some years with proper care. The appearance of the wood varies based on the type – Douglas fir, Balsam fir, Fraser fir, Grand fir, etc.
As you can see, there are many types of wood that are suitable for roofing in different conditions and based on different requirements. Do compare the many types of wood for roofing based on their individual properties, advantages and disadvantages to find the right wood for your roofing needs.
What Else Should You Know?
When selecting a wooden roof, there are various things to consider and keep in mind. Installing a wooden roof is not an easy task and may require a high level of expertise and professional experience, so you must not try to do it yourself unless you have some experience in roof installation. Another thing to consider is the deck used as the roof’s foundation. It must be made with high-quality & durable materials and should be able to enhance the strength and lifespan of your wooden roof.
Before buying or installing a wooden roof, make sure to review the local building codes to see that the wood type and installation method you choose are compliant with regulatory norms. Some wood varieties or installation techniques may be restricted in some regions. It’s also essential to consider the possible impact of climate and weather conditions on the wooden roof. Things like heavy rainfall, high humidity levels, and unpredictable temperatures can impact the lifespan and stability of your wood roofing.
Lastly, to maintain the long-term quality of your wooden roof, regular maintenance is crucial. This involves routine cleaning of the roof to eliminate dirt, debris and leaves, periodic inspections to identify and deal with damage or decay, and timely repair of damaged portions.
What Is the Best Wood for Roofing?
To conclude, the best type of wood for roofing will depend on your particular requirements and priorities. Are you looking for wood that is more durable even if not the most beautiful? Or do you prefer aesthetic appeal over durability and cost? Do you have a fixed or flexible budget? If you do some research, you might even find a wood type that is both durable and attractive and fits your budget.
Looking for the best place to buy timber online at the right price? Visit White Knight Consulting LTD to buy world-class wood timber, hardwoods and softwoods at the best wholesale price. Worldwide shipping. 40+ wood species. We are an FSC-certified sustainable timber supplier & exporter company based in the UK.