All About Shake and Shingle Siding

HardieShingle siding installed on a home in Fairway, KS by Smart Exteriors

Texture is the buzzword when it comes to impeccable-looking siding. Many home exteriors (even newly installed ones) end up looking flat due to a lack of contrasting textures. And while every home’s siding style will be different (and all homeowner’s tastes vary), some of the best texture-adding materials come in the form of shakes and shingle siding.

As a professional Kansas City siding contractor, we’ve seen how homeowners can utilize these siding styles to curate an appealing home exterior.

So, let’s dive deeper into the world of shake and shingle siding.

The Differences Between Shakes and Shingles

Shakes and shingles are very similar siding replacement options, but they are not the same thing. While both are small, thin pieces of siding material (traditionally cedar, with many more material options available today) that are layered over one another, they have their own distinctive looks.

Siding shingles provide a great deal of texture but in a simple way. They are cut and shaped to have a smooth finish and edge, allowing them to come in a variety of shapes and styles:

  • Straight edge
  • Staggered edge
  • Scalloped (rounded)
  • Patterned

Shake siding is a more rugged material. They have a raw, uneven edge and tend to have more varying texture to their surface. They look more hand-hewn and are typically thicker than shingles, giving a more rustic appearance.

Beneficial Ways to Utilize Shingle and Shake Siding

Shakes and shingles can provide an exterior with an unmatched level of texture, which adds to the overall aesthetic. Here are some of the best ways to utilize that texture.

Accent Siding

Whether it’s the clean lines of shingles or the rugged edge of the shake, these siding options are amazing styles to pair with other siding materials for versatility. And this is probably the most common design choice for homes. If you love the traditional look of plank siding, adding shakes to your gables can give you that traditional home feel with a pop of texture.

Varying Shingle Styles

Mixing and matching different shingle styles is yet another way to add impeccable design to your home. You can combine straight edge shingles with scalloped edge shingles to break up the look. Just make sure you have a well-developed exterior plan when combining shingle styles.

Whole-Home Coverage

Shakes and shingles don’t just work as an accent. They can provide a beautiful siding foundation for the whole home. When you choose shingle siding all over, color will play a major role in the feel of your home. For a charming look, choose a lighter color like a weathered gray. For a moodier, more storybook feel, choose a darker color like black or deep brown.

A Rustic Touch

Shakes especially have a very rugged, rustic appearance to them. If you want your home to have a more natural, rugged look, then shakes are a great way to enhance your home.

Specific Design Style Enhancement

Shakes add a great deal of character, and often that character fits well with certain home styles. Utilizing both the right color palette and the texture of shakes can enhance the distinctive architectural style of your home. Shingles go especially well on styles like:

  • Cape Cod
  • Coastal
  • Rustic
  • Cottage
  • More

If your home falls into these categories (or you’re looking to move in one of these directions), consider the best placement for your shingles.

The Advantages of James Hardie Shingles and Shakes

In today’s siding market, cedar shingles and shakes are not your only options. Many companies have created this same look through a variety of materials, including the fiber cement of James Hardie.

Traditional wood shingles are beautiful, but they come with their share of downsides and maintenance. James Hardie’s HardieShingle siding eliminates these pitfalls and requires very little maintenance to achieve the same look.

Cedar Shingles/Shakes

  • Combustible
  • Rotting/warping over time
  • High levels of maintenance
  • Splitting from expansion/contraction

HardieShingle Siding

  • Incombustible
  • Moisture resistant (no rotting/warping)
  • Low maintenance
  • No splitting

Add Vibrancy to Your Exterior with James Hardie Siding

Take your siding to the next level with the beauty and warmth of shingles or shakes. With a product like Hardie Board, you can achieve this value-adding look on your home without the worry and high levels of maintenance—especially when properly installed by a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor, like our team at Smart Exteriors.

We are ready to do an on-site visit and evaluation to help you visualize your options. Contact our team to see how we can help you achieve your dream exterior through James Hardie siding.