All the Details on Our New Composite Shake Roof!

October 8, 2020

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The roofing featured in this post was heavily discounted by Brava Roof Tile

The first time we pulled up to what would eventually become our house, one of the things we noticed initially was the roof. It’s very tall. With so much visual space demanded by our roof when you drive up, we knew it needed to be a design element–spectacular even.

This past spring when we discovered mold on large portions of our exterior, forcing an unexpected and all-encompassing remodel of the outside of our home. We knew that we wanted to address the roof, but really leaned on Shae McGee and her amazing team at Studio McGee to know exactly how we would do that. But you want to know the most incredible thing? All three designers we talked to recommended Brava composite cedar shake roof tiles. All of them.

One thing we knew was the look of the single-toned asphalt shingles weren’t doing us any favors, and they weren’t holding up all the great either. Small portions here and there were showing signs of damage even after only a few years and some shingles were missing. We knew we wanted to not just improve the look but also set our home up for the long run – no wondering how many shingles I’m going to have to replace after each hail or wind storm.

Brava Roof Tile is composite roofing made from recycled materials, repurposed in a new and useful way. Think about a composite deck — it’s essentially the same type of material, but made for the roof. But even among composite, not all brands are equal and Brava has our whole-hearted endorsement.

All of Brava’s options are class-4 impact rated — that’s the highest there is. And contrary to other solid materials like slate or concrete, Brava’s roof tiles are lightweight and don’t require any additional structural support like some materials do. It’s an incredibly strong roof that can be installed almost anywhere…although not necessarily by anyone.

This is a special roof and does require some experience. Most distributors can recommend installers, but if you’re looking for someone yourself they should, at the very least, be familiar with cedar shake roofing. But composite is becoming more common. Our contractor was able to refer us to local roofers who installed the roof. They charged based on the size of the roof, not by the hour. Brava heavily discounted the product, but the installation itself (for our roof size) was $30,382 — really happy we won’t have to replace it in our lifetime!

We went with the Brava Cedar Shake roof tiles in “Weathered.” Such a beautiful color and was the perfect pairing with the rest of our planned updates. And all of their patterns are cast from real cedar shingles, giving an amazingly realistic look that will last for decades. Some other facts about the Brava Roof Tiles:

  • Environmentally friendly composite roofing material
  • Comes in 5″, 7″ and 12″ widths for ease of installation and natural look (we combined all three widths for our home)
  • Varied thickness and stunning “split texture” of natural wood
  • 50 year limited warranty –  much longer life expectancy than cedar roofs and siding
  • Available in custom color combinations
  • Class 4 impact rating – the highest in the industry
  • Available in Class A and Class C fire rating
  • No breakage, no special tools and numerous accessory pieces available

There is so much character in this roof product. It’s charming, varied, and looks so natural. And against the stone and dark siding, it’s perfect.


And of course, along with some of the structural adjustments along the front of our home, our roofline is now something that grabs attention with a “Wow!” instead of a “Hmm.”


Also, Idaho in the fall. All the heart eyes. Let’s see some more pictures from above the trees, which are the prettiest gold right now.

As the weather turns, it feels like we’re also turning a corner on this renovation. Painting has wrapped up, copper gutters are going on (can’t wait to show you!) and the exterior gas lanterns are getting installed today!!! There’s only a handful of projects left before we wrap this up, but it’s so nice to know that every project we do is safely covered by Brava’s beautifully durable roofing tile.

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What do you think?

  1. Michelle H says:

    Hi! We are using your design to show our architect. Windows and roof are where we want to spend our money. I’m re-thinking traditional cedar shake shingles now for this composite. Does your $30k price tag include materials + installation or just purely labor? That seems incredibly high if it’s just labor. I appreciate your candid breakdowns. We are excited to start our design!!

  2. Ashlee says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for sharing so much about this material. Will you be sharing a similar post, cost breakdown and reason why you picked the lp smartside? We are residing next spring and would love to know your thoughts.

  3. Julia says:

    the drone pictures REALLY help give me perspective on how the house is situated. The roof is beautiful — as is the whole house!

  4. Jan says:

    So pretty! {heart eyes} This gives a real sense of your property. I would love to see an even further out picture of the space to see the shape of your property.

  5. Julie Rossman says:

    I love learning about the roofing – it’s stunning!

  6. Deb says:

    Very beautiful! Great choice. Did the designers have any insight as to what to expect with sun and time exposure?

  7. JoNae says:

    Absolutely pinning this for future reference when we build are home. It’s so beautiful when so many homes’ roofs are, blah and really take away from the home itself.

  8. Christina says:

    This is incredible and so so so beautiful! Not trying to wish away fall here, but I cannot wait to see your dark gorgeous house nestled in the snow. Please do some drone footage when you get a good snowfall?!!?!! xo

  9. Katy says:

    That picture on your balcony of the roof and the stone chimney looks like somewhere in Disneyworld. So sweet, so storybook charming. Beautiful!

  10. Teri says:

    Wondering about the weight of this gorgeous (does anybody ever say that about a roof?) roof? Did you have to make special accommodation?

  11. Emily says:

    This roof is stunning! I am so impressed with the realistic look of the tiles, if you hadn’t said it was composite I wouldn’t have known. I’m a little sticker shocked from the price to install, but it did take them a lot of time to do it. Was the timeline typical with this type of roofing material? The new roofline that McGee and Co drew up really shows off the roofing material in a beautiful way. My fingers are all crossed hoping that you will be able to wrap up your projects in time. This Thanksgiving and Christmas should at least feel more magical with your home closer to finished! Remember when you had just moved in and it wasn’t feeling like HOME yet? I bet it feels more like it now!

    • Julia says:

      It’s definitely feeling more like home! The install and roof were definitely the biggest ticket item on our exterior. It’s a special roof that requires a little more effort to install so it makes sense.

  12. meredith says:

    I cannot get over how beautiful the exterior is!

  13. Patricia says:

    It looks so dimensional. Looks great and will last. Can’t get better than that.

  14. Brenda says:

    I never thought a roof could be such a design element! Stunning!

  15. Esther says:

    It’s looking amazing!!

  16. Mel says:

    Your entire exterior is my DREAM but alas I live in a suburban house that it would all look silly on. BUT it’s still inspired me to make the most of what we have. I went dark dark on our brick and we’re getting a new roof soon. I would LOVE this cedar but it wouldn’t work for us. But damn, does it look good on your house. So so much beauty you’re sharing for our eyes this week.

  17. Carrie says:

    This is absolutely beautiful, however, I do have a question about the color fastness of the product. As the owner of a once red metal roof that is now an orangey-pink, is there any sort of warranty on the colorfastness of the product? A roof is quite possibly the hardest working element of a home, being directly exposed to all the elements, including very powerful sunilght. Metal roofs are very popular for their durability, which is great, except that it turns out the need to be repainted every 5 years or so if you want to retain the original color. :( I’m once bitten, twice shy I suppose on a product with a 50-year warranty. Would love to hear what you learned in your research. Thanks!

  18. Shannon says:

    I can’t wait to see the copper gutters, and the deets on them! I’ve been wanting copper for a long time but I think it’s too expensive ????

  19. Katie says:

    Wow, what a transformation! Just gorgeous especially with the fall colors coming in with the trees! Quick note – you misspelled Shea’s name…

  20. Christina says:

    That roof is PERFECT for your home/colors, etc. It is stunning.

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