Specialty and Historic Restoration Products

Historical Applications Accuracy

It is of prime importance to replicate the original building. A challenge comes with finding historically accurate products and meeting current building codes. Years ago, people did not use products such as plastic shakes, vinyl siding, and concrete tiles, Wood was the building material of choice, and wise project leaders are still specifying wood. The CSSB can help with period-correct specification of cedar shakes or shingles, assist with application information, and source the proper finishing products relevant to the era of specific historical projects. The CSSB also has contacts in the building official community and highly recommends you contact them for project approval guidelines, possibly including variances for specific historical projects.

Custom Dimensions Available

CSSB member manufacturers offer specialty products to meet the needs of historic project managers. Dimensions that exceed “stock” sizes can be sourced through the CSSB’s extensive member network. Key historical products that are available:

  • Tapersplit shakes, in various lengths up to 36″ and beyond
  • Straight Split shakes, in various lengths up to 36″ and beyond (Straight Split shakes are also known as Barn shakes)
  • Shingles are available in various thicknesses upon request

Tips for Specifying Historical Projects

One needs to be historically accurate, though some replications are specific to the period and not necessarily to the date of the building. One can often determine the type of application by searching the building (such as the attic) for pieces of material from original construction, asking family and neighbours, or using historical photographs.

  • Avoid Handsplit and Resawn products for historical applications as they are not time-period correct. Handsplit shake machines were not available until approximately 1935. Prior to 1935, shakes were hewn using the traditional mallet and froe
  • Shingle machines have been in existence since about 1835, developed by Shakers in Maine and New Hampshire
  • Consider using Straight Split shakes (barn shakes) and Tapersplit shakes for authenticity. Oversized Straight Split shakes and Tapersplit shakes are acceptable as indicated by the spacing on the nailing strips, old photographs, or project samples
  • Once weathered, Alaskan Yellow Cedar is similar in color to Cypress and Juniper. Also it will weather a silver gray that is approximately the same as White Oak. All of these products are representative of the Colonial Era, depending upon location

Grading Rules: Specialty Cut Products (CSSB-93)