Remove Cedar Shake roof or leave it?

3 Replies

We are flipping a house that was built in 1920. It has the original Cedar Shake shingles with architectural shingles over top. Should we eat the $2,000 and remove all the shakes and add plywood or leave it as is and go with new shingles over the shakes? We are pretty close to being over budget and every thousand counts right now...

Hey @Troy Knight  

I know how you feel. I recently had to do this on an old house I was working on. It had an old metal roof over shingles.  You should check local building codes regarding this issue. Here is a quote from the 2012 IRC

R907.3 Recovering versus replacement.
New roof coverings shall not be installed without first removing all existing layers of roof coverings where any of the following conditions exist:

1. Where the existing roof or roof covering is water-soaked or has deteriorated to the point that the existing roof or roof covering is not adequate as a base for additional roofing. 2. Where the existing roof covering is wood shake, slate, clay, cement or asbestos-cement tile. 3. Where the existing roof has two or more applications of any type of roof covering.

If it were me, I'd probably remove the old roofing. It will allow proper inspection and repair of the existing roof and proper installation of the new roofing. 

Good luck with your rehab!

Hey Troy!  On my second flip I ran into this same issue.  We ended taking it completely off and replacing it with architectural shingles.  It stinks to have to do this.  I agree with Patrick - check your local standards - as a real estate agent in the Portland area if my buyer had a home inspection on a house with multiple layers over a shake roof I know it would have been called out by an inspector as unacceptable.  Best of luck!

I guess I already knew the answer to my question, I was just hoping I could save the money. Thankfully the exterior lead based paint quote came back $2,000 under so I can apply that towards the roof! 

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