My wife and I are also building a new home in Northern California. We have decided to use cedar shingles and contractors here don't appear to have a problem with using shingles. There are many houses using shingles in the bay area and other places. Perhaps the weather here is less damaging to the shingles. But if you like the look as we do, then you have to go with it. We are going to use Western Red Cedar shingles. You can also get the shingles in 16"x96" panels. Easier to install but about 3 times the cost. You may have to check labor cost vs material cost. I will be installing the shingles to save money. Visit this site to get more information http://www.cedarbureau.org/ Go with what you want and like, it's your home.