Cedar siding is a beautiful, durable material that is sure to stand out. To help you learn more about this remarkable product, a team of cedar siding experts based in Vancouver created the following guide to the pros and cons of cedar siding.
Table of Contents
- What is cedar siding?
- Pros of cedar siding
- Cons of cedar siding
- What is the cost of cedar siding?
- How to install cedar siding
What is cedar siding?
Cedar is a beautiful natural wood that is widely regarded as one of Earth’s most valuable and beautiful natural resources. Praised by architects, builders, homeowners, and artists alike, this beautiful material is a lovely addition to any home or business building. Offering a remarkably pleasant scent and appearance, cedar lends itself well to a number of interior and exterior construction projects.
Cedar is most commonly produced in the shape of beveled boards, though the wood can also be cut into shakes, shingles, and other styles. The wood’s natural golden hue and straight grain go well with many different architectural designs, and appeal to a wide range of home and business owners. Wearing well in weather, cedar is also very likely to last a long time.
Pros of cedar siding
1. Environmentally Friendly Production and Materials
Of the three major siding materials in the United States—vinyl, fiber cement, and cedar—cedar has the lowest rates of energy consumption and greenhouse gas production. Synthetic materials tend to consume a large amount of energy in their production processes, but cedar, a non-fabricated material, does not require this.
Lumber, which is minimally processed, constitutes over 40% of building materials, but make up only 4% of the construction market’s production energy. Cedar also has the advantage of being a renewable resource, with new trees growing all the time
2. Organic Preservatives
Cedar has the remarkable ability to produce its own preservatives and protective compound called cedar oil. Deterring rot and pests, cedar oil is entirely organic and safe for regular human contact. It also gives the wood its remarkable and well-known aroma.
Cedar has remarkable structural integrity and is well suited to nearly any role in the construction of a home—including exterior paneling. The wood easily stands up to a wide variety of outside forces, including weather and impact.
4. Beautiful Appearance and Scent
Artists and builders alike have praised cedar’s appearance and aroma for centuries. The wood’s straight grain and sharp, earthy, piney smell have been celebrated in many art forms. No matter your style, there is a type of cedar siding that will support your aesthetic.
5. Exceptionally Workable
Cedar’s structure is a perfect balance of strength and weight. It is a durable, high-impact material, but can also bend and shape to fit nearly any construction need. The wood is typically produced in long, beveled boards that fit neatly together, forming a near-seamless surface on the outside of your home. Low in resin and pitch, cedar bonds well to a range of adhesives, paints, and stains, making it easy to customize.
Cons of cedar siding
1. More Involved Maintenance
Cedar siding maintenance is typically quite straightforward, though it is not the most low-maintenance option available. It does require more elbow grease and upkeep than its synthetic counterparts, requiring a full set of treatment every five to ten years. The exact timeframe of the upkeep requirements depends heavily on local weather. If having an extremely low-maintenance home exterior is one of your top priorities, you may want to seriously consider vinyl or James Hardie siding as a low-maintenance alternative.
What is the cost of cedar siding?
Cedar siding itself tends to cost somewhere in the range of $11.00 per square foot, though the price fluctuates some as the supply and demand of the market ebbs and flows. If you are installing the siding yourself, this will be one of your main costs besides construction tools and materials. Cedar siding can be difficult to install, however, and it is recommended that you seek out professional installation services.
No matter what your budget is like, a new cedar home exterior is within your reach. If your budget will allow for a greater initial investment in high-quality materials, it tends to be worth the upfront cost. Exterior cedar siding can last for an incredibly long time when properly installed and cared for, and they will last even longer if the materials are well-made to begin with.
Here is a list of some of the economic factors that you will want to consider when choosing your cedar siding:
- Does the wood require post-installation work, such as painting or staining?
- Does the manufacturer provide a warranty?
- How will local weather patterns affect the wood that you have chosen?
- What is the return on investment that you are likely to gain from the purchase and installation of this new cedar siding?
If you are having your new cedar siding professionally installed, the cost of labor will also fluctuate. One of the largest determiners in installation costs is the experience of the contractor. Cedar is somewhat difficult to install, so labor costs tend to be a bit higher, but enormously worthwhile. As labor costs add up, it can be very tempting to attempt DIY siding installation. Without proper tools and training, however, it is unlikely that you will be able to successfully install the siding. If not installed properly, cedar siding is likely to fail within a few years, requiring costly replacement.
How to install cedar siding
It is recommended that you seek out professional installation for your new cedar siding. Many home and business owners are daunted by the task of finding a quality exterior contractor. Most people have little experience hiring construction professionals, and it can be difficult to know what questions you should be asking and what answers you should be looking for.
- To help you begin this important process, here is a list of questions to ask prospective contractors:
- How many years have you been working as a siding contractor?
- Is your contractor’s license both current and valid in this region?
- What services are included in your base quote?
- Is siding and exterior your main area of work? If not, what is?
- When will you be able to begin working on this project?
- What is the estimated time to completion for this project?
After you have asked your prospective contractor all of these questions, you can decide whether or not you are happy with their answers. Will they get the project done in a timely manner? Do they have enough experience? Does it seem like they may have hidden fees?
If you are happy with this person’s answers, you can move on to the next step, which is drawing up a formal and legally binding contract. Make sure that the document covers all the points that you and your contractor discussed, including a thorough list of all products and services to be provided.
If you are set on installing the material yourself, you will want to do your research. To start you off on this educational mission, watch this video on Cedar siding preparation and installation: