Wood shingles

 One can meet it on the walls or the roofs in many areas of the sphere, from Canada to Patagonie for Americas.

A durable cover of most aesthetic than it is.

The beautiful color gray silver plated of the patina of the shingles of White Cedar
   The ordinary habitat of the natives of the mountainous areas of Guatemala: a simple part with the walls of adobe covered with wood. To note the particular installation with double thickness of shingles and the long gauge. These roofs to be frequently changed did not contribute with the heating to wood to the deforestation of the slopes, the valid trees being located any more but at the tops.
Which wood?
Any wood resistant to the bad weather thus being able to be used in outside and which can be output into fine plates

oak, larch, robinier false acacia, chesnut, pine, Western Red Cedar (a thuja of the West of Canada more known and used), Eastern White Cedar (of the East coast of Canada)

In which form?
Burst shingles (shakes in America): the wire of wood is preserved, they channel water well what improves their lifespan
Burst and resciés shingles (handsplit and resawn):burst then resciés in skew to give two elements of thicker form to an end and very fine with the other, with a burst face (to be put above) and the other planes



 Shingles of White Cedar at the time of their installation

Shingles of chestnut on a dome

Shakes of Red Cedar on a zome

Installation of the shingles

 Best is to carry out a double litelage, a first line the liteaux one in the direction of the slope, one second horizontal (30 X 30 or 30 X 40 mm) to point the shingles. A blade of air thus is created ventilated what allows a better drying (better longevity). The spacing of these liteaux will be length of the gauge.

The nails will be out of galvanized steel, stainless or copper (not of copper with Red Cedar). For my part I use the galvanized steel nails with small head from 50 to 70 mm length, they are finer than those with broad head, they hang well in wood, they do not burst the shingles (risk with the chestnut) and there is much more with the kilo. One fixes by 2 nails at the medium of the shingle at 10-15 mm of the edge without crushing wood and one leaves a space of 5-10 mm between shingles. The following line in overlapping will cover these nails with 5-10 cm.

The shingles are posed with triple covering with a gauge (left exposed) of 4/10e approximately length of the shingles (or less if the slope is weak).

For example the shakes in Red Cedar are in 60 cm length, the advised gauge is 25 cm and the slope of the roof must be 33% at least (25% for the shingles). With a slope a little weaker, one will cover more. Or one will put a felt band bituminized on each line of shingles for a good sealing (photo of left above).

  The longevity of the shingles

It depends on the gasoline of wood, the climatic conditions, the slope (of the historic buildings shingles of chestnut relate since centuries, but to vertical sections of wall). Red Cedar should last at least 40 years. My only experiment: to have to change a roof at the end of 18 years. But it was of White Cedar sawn and very thin. What it arrived? A mould developed with moisture impregnating surface and it ended up still thinning the thickness until the wind can tear off the shingles, nails passing through wood.

If not it can be formed of the foam at the wet places and the shade like the valleys (to scrape it so too important) or of the lichen under too close trees (but it does not seem dangerous and it is pretty).



Some photographs of zomes covered with shingles (adapted well to this type of architecture)

Sawn shingles of chestnut 

  Own-produced shingles of chestnut

 Shakes of Red Cedar patinated

To manufacture its shingles

If you are in an area where the chestnut pushes, to choose quite right rejections or trees with the first rather high branches, at least 25 cm in diameter, to make sections equal length (40 to 60 cm), to split them if the diameter is important. Like tool: a coulter which is strong and broad blade on which fixes a handle (is also used it to make stakes). To place the blade on the vertical section by fixing the thickness of the wished shingle, to strike a good blow above with a species of wood bludgeon to make penetrate the blade, make lever with the handle to make burst wood.

Of course there are failures and the output is not stronger especially at the beginning but this work can be done gradually in its free moments. To also think that one needs one of them crowned heap for a roof.

Truths false shingles

  If one loogs for the economy and to obtain the aspect of the shingle without a perfect sealing or longevity, one can cover simple batten sawn with the desired length which will cover and hide a bituminized felt sealing. If it is not dry enough the batten will curve like a reversed tile but risk to split on the level of the points; it would be better to bore before hole. To increase longevity, one can plane the outside or pass a lasure. And if the slope is important, it will resist time more than 10 years.


Shingles of batten on the country cottage of summer of Bob

Shelter of furnace for potteries

 To read

Thierry Houdart: Toits de bois en Europe- Ed. Maïade La Nouaille, 19160 Lamazière-Basse


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