Cedar Siding Calculator instantly estimates the cost to install cedar wood siding, including all labor, materials, and removal of old siding.
The average cost of quality cedar siding is about $6-8 per square foot installed. On a 2,000 sq.ft. house you can expect to spend $12,500-17,000 to install wood siding.
Cedar wood siding offers a naturally gorgeous look that fits many architectural house styles from Cape Cod to ultra modern. Cedar can also be painted, which greatly expands your design options. Moreover, cedar siding is a highly durable material, that also provides rot and termite resistance.
If you are ready to replace your old house siding, contact your local siding pros for FREE ESTIMATES.
How Much Does Cedar Wood Siding Cost?
Real cedar is a premium siding material, so it costs at least twice as much as budget options, such as vinyl or aluminum.
Homeowners across the US report spending $6-7.5 per square foot on medium grade cedar lap style siding, including materials and installation. This is equivalent to spending $9,000-11,250 for cedar lap siding installed on a 1,500 sq.ft. simple Ranch/Cape style home.
Prices for Low B grade cedar wood materials can be as low as $3-4 per sq.ft. Top grade cedar siding materials can be as much as $8-12 per sq.ft..
Today, in the US, there are primarily two types of cedar wood that are used for siding: Western Red Cedar and Northern White Cedar.
Western Red is the top choice and is more expensive; it costs about $4 – 6.5 per square foot (materials only). Norther White costs $1.5 – 3.5 per square foot. Some homeowners install Spanish Cedar siding, which is available in limited quantities and therefore costs more than local cedar wood. Prices start at $7.5 – 9 per square foot for materials.
Contractors charge $45-65 per hour to install wood siding. Labor rates vary greatly depending on location. If you live in a high-income area you may get price quotes that will be 15-25% higher than the national average. On the other hand, mid to low income areas have the advantage of lower contractor labor rates.
If you would like to paint or stain your cedar siding, the cost ranges from $2 – 4 per square foot, depending on size, complexity, number of stories, type of siding, etc. Most homeowners report spending about $3,100-4,500 to paint 1,500 sq.ft. of cedar lap siding.
You can use our Siding Cost Calculator to estimate how much you will spend on real wood siding for your home.
Here is a summary of how much you can expect to spend on cedar siding.
|Items||Price per sq.ft.||Total Price for 2,000 sq.ft.|
|Cedar Siding Materials||$2.5 – $8||$5,000-16,000|
|Supplies and Accessories||$0.50 – $1.00||$1,000-2,000|
|Installation Labor Cost||$2 – 5 per square foot||$4,000-10,000|
|Paint Siding||$2 – 4||$4,000 – 8,000|
|Old Siding Removal||1,000-2,5000|
|Repair rot or damage||$300 – 1,000|
Wood Siding Cost Per Square Foot
There a number of different types of cedar wood siding, ranging from economical to high-end. Here is how much you will spend on each one. The estimate includes labor and materials.
Classic Lap Siding (Dutch, Shiplap, Channel) – this is the most economical wood siding style, because the installation process is fairly straightforward and fast. Of these, Shiplap siding is particularly easy to install, and DIY savvy homeowners typically like to work with it. $5-8.5 per square foot
Board and Batten – this is another economical siding style that has recently been gaining popularity. It is often installed on modern farmhouse and cabin style homes. Many homeowners also like it use it as an accent combined with lap siding. $4.5-8 per square foot
Clapboard Siding – highly popular among homeowners because it offers an unbeatable combination of aesthetics and a reasonable price. $6-9 per square foot. Clear grade of Red Cedar clapboard is the high-end option, and costs $11-15.5 per square foot
Shingles and Shakes – these are also considered premium siding, priced at $8.5-16 per square foot , depending on the quality of wood. Cedar shakes offer a more rustic, “hand-made” look, and cost about 15% more than shingles.
Tongue and Groove – this sleek looking siding is becoming more widespread, as more homeowners lean toward modern architectural styles. Its often used on additions and in mixed siding style Transitional architecture. $6.5-11 per square foot.
Siding Installation Cost Based on Project Complexity
Depending on the complexity of the project, the installation cost will be different. Here are three possible price ranges for basic, mid-range, and high-end cedar siding projects.
Note, these estimates are for labor only, and do not include the cost of materials and accessories.
|Cost per sq.ft.||Walls and Stories||Siding Type||Wall shape||Gable Pitch|
|Basic: $2 – $2.85||6 or less exterior walls, single story + garage||Cedar planks||Rectangular||6/12 or less|
|Mid-range: $3 – $5||8 or less exterior walls, double story + garage||Combination of cedar planks and shakes or shingles||Rectangular||6/12 or less|
|High end: $5 – $7.5||More than 8 exterior walls, multi story home + garage||Cedar shingles or shakes||Complex construction||Over 6/12|
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Home Depot Cedar Siding Costs
Home Depot offers a range of cedar siding choices. Here is a summary of some of their popular products and their costs.
|Natural Tone Eastern White Cedar||16 in. shingles, 25 sq. ft. total||$117|
|Long Natural Kiln Dried Eastern White Cedar||16 in. shingles, 25 sq. ft. total||$90|
|Cape Cod Gray Eastern White Cedar||16 in. shingles, 25 sq. ft. total||$130|
|Cedar Even Butt Shingle Siding Panel||8-1/4 in. x 96 in (8 pack), 37 sq. ft. total||$380|
|Cedar Staggered Butt Shingle Siding Panel||8-1/4 in. x 96 in (8 pack), 37 sq. ft. total||$410|
Lowe’s Cedar Siding Costs
Like Home Depot, Lowe’s also offers cedar siding in several different varieties and prices.
|Red Cedar Grade 3 Untreated Shingles||50 sq. ft.||$36|
|Grey Cedar Untreated Wood Shingles||25 sq. ft.||$125|
|Natural Wood Untreated Shingles||50 sq. ft.||$200|
|Eastern White Cedar Untreated Wood Shingles||12.5 sq. ft.||$15|
Cedar Siding Maintenance Costs
Unlike many other popular siding materials, cedar along with other types of wood siding requires regular maintenance. This is because wood is more susceptible to moisture, rot and insect damage. While cedar is one of the most durable woods, it still requires maintenance, if you want it to last for many years.
For an average size house of about 1,500-1,800 sq.ft. you will spend about $2,000-5,000 on maintenance, depending on the complexity of your house and the scope of work.
Cost To Clean Cedar Siding
Keeping cedar siding properly clean is very important for the material. The cost will depend on who does the cleaning. Cleaning the siding on your own will save you the cost of the labor.
An uninsured jack-of-all trades will not be too expensive, whereas hiring a licensed and insured contractor will cost around 20% more. A property management company will cost 35% more for cleaning.
Overall, cleaning cedar siding costs between $0.40 and $0.75 per square foot. For a multistory house, expect to pay 30% more than that, and 15% more if the house has complicated architecture.
If you want to use only environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, expect to pay 5% more. Also, if the house is heavily soiled or in neglect, you may be charged up to 20% more.
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Factors that impact the total cost of cedar siding
There are many factors that impact the cost of installing cedar siding. Here are the six most important ones to keep in mind before choosing cedar wood for your exterior siding.
1. Wood Finish
The finish you choose for your cedar siding will make a difference to the price. Some cedar siding is only primed, while others are sealed or painted, which will increase the price.
Usually, adding sealant or paint will cost you an additional $0.50 to $1.50 per square foot.
Different types of finishes last different lengths of time. The more opaque the finish, the longer its lifespan. While transparent finish only lasts around two years, opaque finish lasts around seven years and primer and paint can last up to twenty five years.
Also, water-based stains cost more to refinish than other options, because special strippers are required to strip away residual film. Oil-based stains sink deep into the wood, and can be replenished easily by washing off the old stain with oxygen bleach and then reapplying it.
2. Wood Grade
Cedar and other types of woods have ‘grades’ that indicate how many blemishes in the wood, such as knots, are present.
Better grades of cedar can cost up to 50% more than lower grades. For example, the highest grade of cedar is Clear Vertical Grade Heart. This wood is completely free of knots, and is also naturally resistant to rot, decay and insects.
Clear wood is rarer than other types of wood because it comes from the center of trees, making it more costly. Moreover, it is better at receiving stain and finish, and its color remains more consistent as it ages.
Alternatively, this cedar grade is so naturally beautiful that you can just stain the boards with a clear coat for extra protection – no need to add any color stains or paint. This type of siding is ideal for a high-end house remodel.
As you go down in grades, the amount and size of knots, as well as other blemishes increases. At the same time, durability decreases. If you select a cedar wood with a lot of knots, you can paint it or stain it with a very dark stain, to hide the imperfections.
Select Tight Knot (STK) wood has some knots scattered throughout to add character, and is the second-most costly after clear wood.
No. 1 Common has more knots throughout, and No. 2 Common has the most knots and is the cheapest.
Knots are usually seen as undesirable because they impact the way the wood receives stains. Knotted wood can also stain through paint, which can give the wood an unappealing look.
3. Costs to Install Cedar Siding
The labor costs of installing cedar siding makes a big difference on the price. The cheapest labor choice, of course, is to install the cedar siding yourself. However, if done incorrectly, repairs can be much more costly down the road.
Hiring a handyman is the next cheapest option. Not all handymen have experience installing cedar siding, and any mistakes in the installation process can be costly down the road.
The most expensive labor choice is hiring a siding pro that specializes in installing wood siding. However, hiring an expert will insure that your siding is properly installed and will last a long time.
As a rule of thumb, be sure to get three to four price quotes from local contractors and thoroughly compare prices and packages before choosing the right contractor.
4. House Footprint
If your house has a simple rectangular or square shape with just four corners, you will save a lot of money on installation. This will be a quick and easy job.
However, if your house has many corners, cut outs, and other ornate architectural details, labor costs will be at least double compared to a straight forward install. Also, if your house has more than one storie, your installation price will increase by at least 25-35%
5. Exterior House Design
The design of the exterior will change the price of cedar siding. For instance, multi-story buildings will be more complicated than single-story buildings because ladders and scaffolding may be required, and different angles and corners will be more difficult to install and cost more.
The steepness or pitch of the roof can also change the price. Particularly steep roofs that are steeper than 3/12 or 4/12 may cost more.
Also, the design of the siding can make a difference. Plank siding takes between 40 and 50 hours to install, whereas shingles or shakes can take over 60 hours and will therefore cost more to install.
6. Your location
If you live in the western part of the US, where cedar grows and is available in abundance, you can save hundreds of dollars on the cost of materials.
However, if you reside in other states, and especially in the North, you will pay as much as 30-40% more for cedar siding. Also, don’t be surprised to find out that cedar wood prices also fluctuate from year to year depending on supply availability.
Moreover, siding pros charge different rates for their labor depending on where you live. Expensive areas, such as cities and towns along the East and West Coast will have the highest labor rates, while Southern and Mid-Western States, where incomes and real estate prices are much lower, will also have cheaper contractor rates.
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Types Of Cedar Wood Used For Siding
There are several different types of cedar wood used for exterior siding. Cedar is part of the pine tree family, and is more durable than its other pine cousins. Cedar siding comes from three types of cedar: red, white, and yellow.
Red Cedar comes from Western United States, and is the preferred material for cedar siding. It’s tannin naturally repels insects, and the material is durable, flexible, and easy to work with. It is relatively porous, and accepts fireproofing and other protections.
Yellow Cedar has the same insect-repelling tannin, and it also contains oil, making it water-repellant. The oils present in yellow cedar make it difficult to stain (because the staining process requires adding oils). Over time, yellow cedar turns a greyish color that many find aesthetically pleasing.
White Cedar grows on the east coast of the United States, and has a particularly cedar-ish smell. White cedar is insect and moisture repellant, but unlike yellow cedar it can also accept stains or paints. Like yellow cedar, over time white cedar will turn an appealing greyish color.
How Long Does Cedar Siding Last?
Cedar is a very durable building material, and with the right maintenance cedar siding can last from 20 to 50+ years. Many manufacturers offer warranties of twenty five years or longer.
Also, choosing the right finish can increase the longevity of the siding. Avoiding contact with the ground will also increase the lifespan of cedar siding.
Is Cedar Siding Sustainable?
Cedar siding is a sustainable building material. Cedar does not require the level of production that other siding materials such as vinyl require, reducing the energy used.
Also, cedar siding is either sourced from sustainable cedar farms or from salvaged wood.
Cedar siding’s insulating capabilities will help temperature-control your house, reducing heating and cooling costs. This also reduces the carbon footprint made from managing the temperature of your home.
How To Maintain Cedar Siding
Cedar siding requires regular maintenance. Here is a summary of all the important maintenance steps that must be taken to keep the cedar siding strong and healthy.
Power Washing: every 2-4 Years
Cedar siding should be power washed every few years. Dusty climates will require washing with a non-phosphate detergent with the power washer, and moist climates will require a mild solution of oxygen bleach to remove mold and moss growth.
Staining or Painting: every 3-5 Years
Cedar siding must be repainted or restrained as needed, which is usually every three to five years. Leaving the wood unprotected can cause all sorts of damage to the wood, so it is very important to restrain or paint it.
The side of the house that faces the sun will often require re-staining or repainting more frequently than the rest of the house.
Extractive Bleeding: As Needed
The natural acidity of cedar’s tannin may lead to staining, or contact with water or wood. A wash with a hose should rinse away most of this type of stain, or a mild cleaning solution if necessary.
Iron Stain Removal: As Needed
Iron is harmful to cedar and can cause damage. All metals in contact with cedar must either be stainless steel, aluminum, or other galvinized metals. If cedar is in contact with iron or non-galvanized metals, a rust stain will appear on the wood, which has to be removed with a commercial cleaner and then the cedar must be stained or painted.
Chalking: As Needed
When the paint or stain wears out, it can leave behind a chalky white dust on the surface of the siding. The chalking will need to be removed and any flaky areas will need to be sanded before the cedar can be repainted or re-stained.
Peeling, Flaking, and Blistering: As Needed
If you see any peeling, flaking, or blistering on your cedar siding after it is stained or painted, get in touch with your contractor. This reaction occurs when the wood has moisture and rejects the sealant. The contractor will need to find the source of the moisture leak, and then repair it and repaint the area.
Cedar vs Other Types of Wood Siding
Redwood and pine are other common types of wood used for siding. Redwood is generally considered to surpass cedar aesthetically because of its rich color. Pine, like cedar, must be painted.
While white pine can be painted easily, yellow pine is left with streaks where the grains are particularly tight. Pine can warp when moist, unlike cedar.
Cedar vs Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding, such as James Hardie is a man-made siding material that is designed to mimic real woods like cedar. While the appearance does not always have the same aesthetic appeal as cedar siding, fiber cement is rot and fire-resistant and offers much lower maintenance than cedar.
Overall, fiber cement and cedar wood siding are comparable in price, both for low, mid and high-end products. Most homeowners debating between these two siding materials should focus on how much maintenance they are willing to do as well as aesthetics they prefer.
Cedar vs Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding is affordable, low maintenance, and easy to install, and is extremely popular across the country. Vinyl siding is a great choice if you are looking for low maintenance and to save as much money as possible, as it can cost up to 50-60% less than cedar wood siding.
On the other hand, it cannot compare to the aesthetic appeal of real cedar wood, even when you consider high-end vinyl siding, such as Novik.
Pros and Cons of Cedar Siding
There are a number of huge advantages that compel homeowner to go for real cedar wood siding, despite an abundance of other options.
Here are top benefits to consider:
Cedar siding is often chosen because of its rustic, charming curb appeal. Its also highly versatile – there are many designs and styles that you can achieve using different types of cedar wood siding.
Other types of siding such as vinyl are often judged based on how close they look to real cedar, while of course real cedar overshadows them in appearance. Cedar also has a pleasant, woodsy aroma, which many find very appealing for their homes.
Cedar is also a durable building material and can last for decades when well-maintained. Wood absorbs sound well, and is well insulated, helping keep your house warm in the winter.
Another advantage of cedar is its environmental sustainability. Cedar is generally harvested from cedar farms in the USA and is recycled instead of ending up in landfills, unlike other siding types.
In general, cedar siding has a very high resale value, especially compared to materials such as vinyl, aluminum or engineered wood.
Without the right maintenance, cedar can be susceptible to all sorts of issues. For one, if not maintained with the proper sealant, it may become infested with insects, particularly if it is in contact with the ground. Generally, when touching the ground, cedar will absorb moisture and attract insects.
In order to ensure a long lifespan for cedar, it must be painted or treated, which will require reapplication every few years.
Cedar is also a flammable material. While it can be fireproofed, even when treated it can still advance the flames, unlike some alternative siding options like vinyl or aluminum.
Depending on your location, cedar siding may be quite pricey if you need to ship it across the country. Red cedar siding is found in the Western United States and white and yellow cedar is found on the East Coast. Choosing to ship these woods to regions other than their native ones will be costly.
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