Select Shake “Final Touch” on Restoring 1916 Home

Renovating 25 King Philip Road is a labor of love for Catherine McNeil and Mylan Jaixen. They’ve lived in the Sudbury, Massachusetts, home for more than five decades. Recently they gained approval from the Sudbury Town Historic Districts Commission to add a cedar shake alternative — DaVinci’s Select Shake tiles — in the Aged Cedar color to their roof.

“We were relieved when the Commission agreed to allow the DaVinci products on our home,” says Catherine McNeil. “The Commission has very exacting standards.  So, when they gave us the thumbs up for the Select Shake product and also the color we liked, we were very pleased.”

Although their roof is a cedar shake alternative, these homeowners say neighbors can't tell because DaVinci Select Shake captures the look of authentic shake.

There are four historic districts currently in Sudbury – The Town Center, The Wayside Inn District, the King Philip District and the George Pitts Tavern District. In each, the Commission seeks to preserve and protect locations of historic or architectural significance. McNeil and Jaixen’s home is in the King Philip District. Thanks to their authentic interior and exterior restoration work over the past 25 years, their home is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Roof’s History

When constructed, the home’s roof had real cedar shakes. Over the years, asphalt shingles, usually in gray or black, replaced the shakes. Most recently, gray asphalt shingles were installed about 20 years ago.

“We had done so much authentic work to the exterior of the home in the past several years that we decided the asphalt shingles had to go,” says McNeil. “They detracted from the Arts and Crafts style of the house.

“We explored alternative period roofing. This includes metal, real wood shakes, and even slate. Cedar shakes were always our first choice. However, we know that these days shakes are made from new growth trees. That makes us skeptical of their durability and fire prevention capability.”

As the couple researched options, they kept looking for a cedar shake alternative. Once they found an article from their trusted source, home improvement expert Bob Vila, on DaVinci Roofscapes, they delved in deeper.

“We did further research and confirmed the high ratings of the DaVinci products for quality and aesthetics,” says McNeil. “Next we got DaVinci shake sample boards. The quality and appearance were indeed superior to samples we explored from other companies. This firmed up our decision of Select Shake shingles.”

The cedar shake alternative these homeowners selected was approved for their historic Arts and Crafts home in part because of DaVinci's authentic shake appearance.

Why Synthetic Select Shake?

Select Shake offers the most authentic-looking composite shake made for customized installations.  The traditional cedar shake multi-width tiles are molded from natural wood profiles. They have performance features that far exceed real cedar shakes. For example, they resist fading, rotting, cracking and pests.

With a simulated keyway, 5/8-inch thick Select Shake tiles provide the realistic appearance of 4-, 6-, 8- and 10-inch width shakes placed over the roof. The long-established multi-width appearance is the preferred choice for homeowners who love the look of cedar but hate dealing with real cedar maintenance hassles.

Available in 8 color blends, Select Shake mimics real cedar but with far more impressive features. Class A fire and Class 4 impact rated, the composite tiles also resist high winds, insects, algae and fungus growth, and splitting. All DaVinci tiles are authentic in appearance and high performance.

Shaking Up an Old House

With an old photo in hand of shake roofing on the 1916 home, McNeil and Jaixen moved forward with the project. They interviewed and hired a roofer, Maurice Richard with Richard Roofing.

Experienced with installing DaVinci products, the roofing crew impressed the homeowners.

“Maurice and his team made a number of great suggestions,” says Jaixen. “They added copper drip edges, valleys and standing seam roofs over the two bump out windows on the sides of the house. By the time the roof was complete, it became evident that Maurice and his team respected one another. They were totally invested in the success of our project.”

When the look of real shake matters, DaVinci composite roofing has the authentic appearance that makes it a popular cedar shake alternative.That’s  A Wrap

Historical perfectionists, neighbors and tourists now routinely stop when passing by 25 King Philip Road. They gaze at the Arts and Crafts style home with the cedar shake alternative roof that sets it apart.

“From the street, I’m sure many people have no idea the shake roof is fake,” says homeowner Mylan Jaixen. “It’s THAT realistic. And, the Aged Cedar color is so authentic … it’s simply ideal for this project.

“Right from the start we were convinced that installing a DaVinci shake roof would be the capstone project of our many years of restoration work on our home. We were so right. We’ve introduced a whole new dimension of what a roof can look like to our community!”

More Historical Details

See a variety of historical project profiles online that include DaVinci products. You can also visit these stories for tips on using DaVinci products in your historical renovation: