Although we had thought we would have a metal roof for Bunny Vista, Kelley always believed that a cedar shingle roof would look best on the house and would complement the stone, log, bark, and cedar siding. After lots of research, he found an incredible price on yellow cedar shingles; a couple of weeks ago, a truck arrived from British Columbia filled with our shingles. Since then, Robert Wilfong and his crew of roofers have been working steadily, hand-nailing the shingles with stainless steel nails. The roof over the log section is finished, complete with roof caps. The roof over the timber frame is about two thirds done, so we expect the most of the roof to be finished mid-week. The roofers will return once the chimney is done and the porches are on to finish the job.
Here is what I learned about the cedar shingles:
Yellow cedar is actually not cedar–it is cypress. It grows only in the mountains of Alaska, British Columbia and Washington. Because of the short growing season it has very tight growth rings, making ie exceptionally strong, heavy, and dense. Its concentration of natural oils make it resistant to decay, and it weathers naturally to a silver gray. Right now it is, well, yellow, but when it has weathered, the color should be wonderful with the logs, stone, and bark.
The botanical name for yellow cedar is callitropsis nootkatensis. It is also often called Nootka cypress. Its name is derived from Nuu-chah-nulth, one of the indigenous peoples of Vancouver Island, Canada, on whose land the tree was first discovered. The Nootka people often used the wood for totem poles, canoes, and utensils. It is often used for boat building and for siding, shingles, and decking.
I am really excited to see the color of the shingles when they have been on the roof for a while. Kelley expects them to change in six months or so.