Early craftsmen in the Northwest and Eastern seaboards of the United States hand split cedar shakes to protect their dwellings from harsh environments. Today, shakes are used to achieve a natural look and can be used for whole house applications and as an accent on gables and other sections of the façade.
Vinyl and other polymeric shakes have gained popularity and can be used in combination with other cladding materials on a variety of architectural styles. Combinations of materials – such as shake siding and stone – seem to be especially popular because of the rustic nature of both products.
Vinyl and other polymeric shakes offer the authentic appearance of rugged, hand-cut cedar without the maintenance hassles associated with wood. Vinyl and other polymeric shake profiles are typically manufactured as a single or double course with reveals of six to ten inches and are offered in straight edge or staggered courses.