How To Patch Cedar Shingles

By Robert Robillard on Uncategorized

Weaving Cedar Shingles

The picture above shows cedar shingles properly woven into an existing wall of older shingles. The photo below shows how not to do it.

In the picture below the shingles were installed into an old window opening and not woven properly.



This results in two,  large vertical seam lines that allowed water to get into the building.

I have to laugh at myself.  This post was an after thought.
It did not occur to me to document this job until I spotted the improper shingle weave job [above] and thought…. hmmmm this is a good comparison picture!

I did not get my camera rolling until after I had started filling in the old window which is too bad because this boarded up, old window was quite a sight.

This job is at a local community theater and I was asked to remove an old rotted window that had been boarded up for years and patch it in with shingles to match the exterior.

After removing the interior trim, sash and jamb I prepared the opening for wall sheathing.

Nailer Strips For New Sheathing

To do this I nailed two vertical nailer strips on either side of the opening to allow a nailer for my wall sheathing boards.  The nailers are set back 7/8″ to allow my sheathing to fill in the opening and sit flush with
the old wall sheathing.

I used 1×8 rough spruce boards as sheathing because they are real close in thickness to the 7/8″ old boards.
Matches dimensions and thicknesses is important and can haunt you later if not done.

Below I have the window boarded up, next I carefully remove the shingles on the left and right sides of the opening. This is weaving and I use a pry bar and a shingle nail pulling tool to do this.
Click here to see a picture of this tool.
By “breaking back” the shingles I am ensuring that I will have overlapping shingle coverage and avoiding the vertical seam look shown in the picture above.

House Wrap

Tyvek vapor barrier is installed to cover the sheathing seams and tucked as much as possible under the surrounding shingles. This old building does not have a vapor barrier and is poorly insulated.


In double course applications, the exposed Cedar shingle or shake should be face-nailed with two hot-dipped galvanized or stainless steel casing nails, driven 2″ above the butt line, and 3/4″ from each edge.
Cedar shingles wider than 10″ require 2 additional nails and these two nails are driven approximately 1″ apart near the center of the shingle.
Try to offset the side joints in any one course at least 1 1/2″ over joints in adjacent courses. This is to provide a good, overlapping weather coverage.

Use a Wood Ledger For Help

To get my shingles in a straight line, I used a scrap wooden straight edge, and nailed it lightly to the wall with the edge at the butt line of the left and right older shingles. In new constructions it’s always good to check for level every 3 or 4 shingle courses.

Concealed Nails For Top Courses

One of the tricks to weaving shingles is concealed nailing at the top course and below the older shingle.  Face nailing shingles is a dead giveaway that an area was patched or repaired and should be done only when there is no other options. [i.e, the very top course and some corner applications. In these situations use stainless steel nails.]

In the photo below I have reached the top course of my repair and am preparing to hide the nails. I slide my shingle under the top course until approximate 1″ is left the bottom.






I use stainless steel nails in this photo and install two nails at a slight angle.




I then use my nail set to drive the nails in flush. I take care not to set as I want these nail head flush and to move and bend slightly as the shingle is pushed upwards.

A scrap block is used to protect the shingle as I hammer the last 1″ into place.

The shingle is now in place and the fasteners hidden.

Complete. I will insulate from the inside.

~ concord carpenter

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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