Historically, wood and house siding has been a popular choice in every country possessing sufficient timber resources. Across the United States, wood roofs graced many fine homes and businesses as well as humble cabins and small stores from the time of the earliest settlements to the heyday of the westward expansion. Today, alternative roofing materials have decreased wood roofing’s market share. Wood roofing history will still show that wood is still a fashionable choice for custom homes and a virtual “given” for many restoration projects.
Wood Shingles and Wood Shakes Are Different
Although wood shingles and wood shakes are often made from the same types of lumber, they are not identical. Wood shingles are typically cut with a saw to uniform sizes, and their surfaces will be flat and smooth. Wood shakes may be cut by hand or with a saw; they are more irregular in shape and size than shingles and are normally thicker. Because wood shakes have a more rustic appearance, they are popular choices for cabin- and cottage-style homes. Wood shingles are often preferred for homes featuring Victorian or Colonial architecture.
The Evolution of Wood Roofing
Wood shakes and shingles were frequently cut by the homeowner or builder at the building site. A mallet and sharp blade would be used to split the wood, which would then be smoothed with a knife, or dressed, so that each piece would lay flat.
During the early 1800s, lumber mills began to use water- and steam-powered saws. Wood roofing products could be mass-produced, and the uniformity of the shingles eliminated the need for dressing them by hand prior to installation. The advantages provided by shingle machines need to a surprising number of patents for new machines; in 1857 alone, for example, almost 20 patents for shingle making machines were issued. Many refinements were also made to existing machines.
However, wood roofing history shows the demand for hand-split shingles did not disappear. For example, New Jersey had a thriving industry throughout most of the 1800s that was dedicated to producing split shingles, often using white cedar logs that had been unearthed in nearby swamps. New Jersey shingles were shipped to many locations throughout the area, including Wilmington, New York City and Philadelphia.
To Learn More About Wood Roofing
Alpha Roofing Industries is an award-winning company serving customers in the greater Austin area as serves most areas in Central Texas. We offer home siding options and a variety of roofing systems, including wood siding and exterior siding. Also, metal roofing, asphalt shingles, and roof repairs. In addition, we install siding and skylights. Our highly qualified crews are dedicated to delivering superior results in a safe, professional manner. If you would like to receive a free estimate, you can submit the online form or call us at (512) 777-1086.
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