Cedar is the most popular kind of wood used for exterior siding.
Redwood, logs, and engineered wood are all used for this purpose. But because this is a guide to purchasing cedar siding, we will discuss how it stacks up against other materials like Fiber cement and vinyl.
You’ll be able to see the variety of features and learn about the many qualities of cedar.
You’ll also find out what kind of care cedar siding needs, which is an often-overlooked but critically important part of home ownership.
The best cedar siding brands will also be discussed. Use the information in our cedar siding price guide to get a rough estimate for supplies and Labor.
Cedar siding, in addition to being aesthetically pleasing, is very long-lasting. It may be rather expensive and time-consuming to maintain.
Most cedar purchasers care only about the wood’s aesthetic qualities, not its price or upkeep. Cedar siding is a good option if you don’t have to worry about budget constraints.
You won’t believe it, but cedar comes in more than one hue.
The color of the natural wood may range from yellow to white to brown to red. Cedar shingles and siding may survive for generations if they are properly treated and cared for.
Cedar shingles that have been properly cured will not shrink. This implies that, unlike other woods, it won’t cause gaps in your siding after installation.
Cedar, on the other hand, lacks the resin and pitch found in other types of wood, making it more amenable to being stained or painted.
This makes it simple to apply a stain or sealer to the wood. It is naturally satin-finished and has a delicate texture.
The Natural Beauty
Cedar is among the most aesthetically pleasing siding materials available. The warm tones and fragrant aroma provide for a look that vinyl or Hardie Plank just can’t replicate.
Cedar siding creates a bold style statement, and it complements homes with unusual or antique designs well. With the help of a qualified siding contractor, you may even have unique siding textures.
Cedar Cladding Designs
Stain is the most popular request for cedar since it looks great after being applied. The beauty of white cedar, in particular, only increases with time.
Untreated cedars will mature to a silvery Gray Color over time. Power cleaning on a regular basis and applying new stain or sealer can help keep the rich, original coloration intact.
Cedar’s classic good looks and luxurious grain and texture are difficult to match with any other siding material.
In most cases, siding alone won’t do anything to keep your home warm.
Nonetheless, cedar siding offers superior insulation. Outside noise is muffled as a bonus. While it does help cut down on electricity costs, the upkeep can cancel out any savings.
Safe for the Environment
Bamboo is the only other tree species that can keep up with cedar’s rapid growth. The United States cultivates cedar trees for use in the construction sector.
Unlike vinyl siding, its production requires very little energy. It may be broken down in the environment, but it won’t decay if given the right care.
That’s why it’s such a smart move for a well-kept home.
Protected from Insects
Neither resins nor pitch are present in cedar, although the wood does contain tannin.
Insects and rodents find this repulsive. Because of this, it is often seen in closets and trunks to keep clothes from becoming stale. Cedar shingles can deter pests, including termites, carpenter ants, and mice.
Washing Cedar Cladding
Cedar siding requires more maintenance than other types of siding since it cannot be simply painted or power washed every few years.
The wood should be power-washed once a year to remove dirt and spider webs. The effects of dirt and mildew on wood are unknown.
Staining the wood may need to be done annually, depending on the climate.
You may let it age naturally, but then it becomes dangerous to have around the house, and its once stunning hue fades to a satiny gray. To prevent the wood from decaying or warping, you will need to restrain or repaint it often.
Risk of Fire
There is no way to make wood flameproof. Cedar shingles and shakes are often treated with a flame retardant by homeowners.
Unfortunately, after such treatment, they are no longer suitable for disposal in a landfill. Some municipalities and homeowners’ associations prohibit cedar shakes on homes due to fire safety concerns; check local laws.
Vulnerable to decay and insects.
Because insects dislike cedar, it is pest-free. But that doesn’t mean it’s completely safe from insects. The wood’s tannin content decreases significantly with time. It is resistant to decay, but not completely resistant.
Mold and mildew may form on the siding and in the cracks if dirt, debris, and moisture are allowed to accumulate there. The wood’s strength will deteriorate with time. Preventing this requires regular siding maintenance, namely cleaning and sealing.
Incompatible with iron
Cedar is almost indestructible; however, it may be damaged by iron. Avoid using iron nails on cedar since they can speed up the decay of the wood.
Since the boards have rotted out around the iron, they will soon begin to fall off your home.
Cedar siding is pricey and not recommended if you’re on a tight budget. The installation price of other kinds of siding is about $3 per square foot.
The price of cedar is around $2 more per square foot. If you’re attempting to keep your new house construction costs low, you shouldn’t go for this siding, which is more than twice as expensive as alternatives.
Many Alternatives to Cedar Siding
There are several siding options available that are meant to resemble cedar.
For instance, vinyl siding may be made to resemble cedar shakes and shingles. This is a low-cost and long-lasting alternative, but it lacks the natural beauty of cedar. In most cases, man-made goods are more affordable, but they aren’t biodegradable.
Siding is often manufactured from redwood or pine. Redwood is stunning and is often chosen over cedar for construction. Painting pine is required.
The white wood will “take” paint quite well, but the yellow pine has hard streaks in it where the grains are extremely tight and full of pitch.
The wood’s distinctive yellow streaks are also its undoing, since they do not “take” paint. Even with sealer and numerous layers of paint, the pitch eventually reaches the surface.
Both pine and cedar trees develop rapidly.
Cedar will not cup or distort when exposed to moisture, but pine will. For this reason, it is crucial that the builder allow the wood to acclimate to the local humidity levels while it cures after shipping. The boards that are most suitable for siding will be revealed.
Insulated Siding Panels
Siding composed of Fiber cement, often known as Hardie Plank, is manufactured from sustainable resources. Siding made with a combination of Portland cement, clay, sand, and wood fibres is very sturdy and long-lasting.
It is shaped to seem like wood shakes or planks and is convincing enough to be used in the restoration of historic buildings.
Pre-colored or uncoloured Fiber-cement boards may be supplied.
The item has a wood-like appearance but lacks the charm of cedar that has been exposed to the elements. However, the cost per square foot is between $4 and $8, while cedar is between $5 and $10. Moreover, Fiber-cement boards may withstand fire without the need for any chemical treatments.
Additionally, they are low-maintenance, requiring just an occasional power cleaning and coat of paint.
Vinyl siding dominates the U.S. siding market. It’s the cheapest option and the simplest to set up. It retains its vivid hues and almost never needs cleaning. However, it may grow brittle and break when hit by hail or subjected to the stresses of outdoor use over time.
Although it looks decent and is easy to maintain, it lacks the beauty of other siding materials.
Vinyl requires almost no maintenance and may even outlive wood. It may be repainted if the Color fades; however, a priming coat is required.
Vinyl siding has an advantage over cedar planks due to the fact that damaged panels may be changed independently.
Metal Cladding using Aluminium Shingles
Once it’s installed, aluminium siding looks quite similar to vinyl. Aluminium comes in many gauges, similar to vinyl. Metal with a thicker gauge is more robust and less prone to denting. The thick-gauge aluminium siding is nonetheless quite light, simplifying the installation process.
Also, you won’t need any special equipment or take any extra measures while cutting it to size.
Due to aluminium’s high recycling rate, very little of this cladding is ever dumped in landfills. It’s paintable, and custom Color orders are welcome.
The R-value of your house may be increased by installing an insulation underlayment on top of this material, even though it has no inherent insulating properties. It can’t be damaged by dampness or insects. Denting is an expensive problem with aluminium siding, particularly the thinner gauges.
Caring for Cedar Siding
Cedar siding takes much more upkeep than conventional pine since it is made of real wood. The frequency of maintenance will vary depending on the local climate. To clean thoroughly every three to four years, use a power washer.
If you live in a dusty area or a damp area where Mold and moss thrive, you will need to routinely wash your cedar siding. When using a power washer to remove grime and spider webs, it is best to use a detergent that does not include phosphates. Mild oxygen bleach solutions may be used to get rid of mildew and Mold.
Having your cedar siding become silvery gray over time is an attractive option.
Unfortunately, this often means that the wood is exposed to the weather, which may lead to warping and twisting over time. More frequent cleaning and staining may be required on the side of your home that faces the sun or winds. Otherwise, staining and painting every three to five years should be sufficient.
Extraction of blood
Cedar’s inherent tannins are to blame for this kind of discoloration. Iron or water that comes into contact with the wood might also cause this. These spots are usually easily removed by spraying them with water. A moderate cleaning solution might be useful in other situations as well.
Stains from iron buttons and zippers
Wrought iron fixtures set against cedar are a popular design choice. For instance, a gate with robust iron hinges creates an attractive appearance. Cedar, however, gets the short end of the stick when combined with iron.
Marks of Iron on Cedar
Cedar should only be joined using galvanized, stainless steel, or aluminum hardware. In the event that rust stains do form, a professional cleaner will be required for removal.
The wood should be sealed by applying a stain or paint to prevent future wear and tear.
When the paint sealant or stain on your cedar siding begins to flake off in fine, white dust, you know it’s time to repaint or refinish. It has to be scrubbed down, the peeling spots sanded, and the paint or stain reapplied.
- Blistering, peeling, or flaking skin
- Stains and paints adhere easily to cedar.
After the wood has been sealed, if you see any of these problems, you should get in touch with your builder. This indicates that the wood is damp and is not accepting the sealer. Your contractor will need to scrape, patch, and repaint the damaged area after locating the leak’s origin.
Natural cedar siding is unparalleled in its aesthetic appeal. That style, however, is costly and time-consuming to keep up.
Consider fiber-cement or vinyl siding as an alternative if the high upfront cost and ongoing maintenance costs are putting you off. They’re more low-maintenance and long-lasting.
Grades for Cedar Cladding
Cedar planks are rated in a variety of ways throughout the United States and Canada. Among other things, the number of knots and the quality of the face and edge milling were used to determine the ranks.
Stain or paint is often applied differently to knots than to the surrounding wood.
Knots may cause holes in your siding because the plug might shrink and eventually fall out. In addition, knots make the wood harder, making it more difficult to cut or fasten.
White Heart Cypress
Only the finest clear-heart cedar will do. There are no knots or other visible signs of development on it.
A strong pine
Top Notch Although growth traits like rings or small knots are not readily apparent in Clear Cedar’s exquisite grain pattern, they are still there.
Clear Heart Cedar
Wood from grades B through D has a less distinct look. The costs are down as well. Although this lowers the price, it’s important to note that not all siding manufacturers provide these grades.
This kind of wood siding is quite inexpensive. The saw texture of the wood is preserved during milling. This kind of cut is often reserved for the side or rear elevations of a house.
Knotty cedar, which may be purchased with either raw or treated edges, has a similarly weathered appearance. The face may be either sawed or smooth, depending on your preference.
According to the description, the knots in these boards are “sound and tight.” The fact that the piece of wood that was originally inserted into the knot’s centre has not fallen out as the wood has dried indicates that the plug will stay in place while being installed.
Grade A Knotty Cedar
This wood is perfect if you’re going for a classic, old-fashioned vibe. The “rustic” aesthetic comes from the fact that this grade has the most defects. It’s a low-quality wood that’s streaky and hollow and has open knots.
Because it cannot survive the elements or provide protection from moisture, this wood is better suited for cosmetic purposes within the house.