While visitors to Cape Cod see the familiar gray shingles that make up the classic Cape home style, homeowners are seeing red. Prices on cedar shingles are up 20 percent, swept up in a trade war between the U.S. and Canada-- the main exporter of cedar.
Tony Shepley of Shepley Wood Products says Cape Cod has the highest concentration of gray shingles in the country. Shingles make up 10 percent of the cost of a new home, Shepley says in an article published on Bloomberg.
Cedar shingles make the perfect siding for coastal homes. They hold up well against the salt air and are naturally insect-resistant. They don't need painting or staining. Put them up and you get 20 years of maintenance-free use on the southern exposure of a home, 30 years on the east and west sides, and 40 years or more on the north face. Plus, they have a look you see only on the coast. Cedar shingles applied away from the ocean weather a streaky brown rather than white/gray.
With prices so high, Shepley predicts some homeowners will turn to manufactured shingles that mimic the shingle look, but are comprised of composite materials or vinyl.