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What Every Homeowner Should Know About Cedar Siding

Cedar siding is an attractive option for homeowners who want to give their homes a unique look. Learn why cedar siding is so popular and how to maintain it.

Cedar siding is an incredibly sought-after choice in the home building business and has been for decades because of its many quality traits. Cedar is highly valued for its durability and longevity and its level of resistance to the effects of climate conditions. 

It is incredibly versatile, easy to implement, and finishes very well. Cedar sidings can easily be painted or stained, and the grain can continue to be distinguished and admired. Doing so also allows for both modern and rustic aesthetics to be attained.


Cedarwood has a long history in the usage of siding, decking, and housing. It’s a durable hardwood resistant to swelling in wet environments, cracking with age, insect attacks, and decay outbreaks. 

Also, cedarwood resists moisture absorption, preventing rot, so it tends to survive much longer, requiring less maintenance, and doesn’t warp or split as easily. Depending on the environment and maintenance upkeep, a cedar siding can endure for 20-30 years or much longer.


Cedarwood is untainted by pitch and resin, which signifies it favors stains, oils and finishes remarkably well. Your siding color selections are relatively unlimited.

The same goes for the design choices. For instance, you may go for the old-fashioned style of layered bevel, or you might enhance your property’s appearance with some great modern tongue & groove siding, or you can get innovative with your board & batten style. Or select knotty for an added rustic appeal to attain that look and feel using a synthetic or cement product!

Environment Friendly

Distressed about the environmental impact your siding product will create? With natural cedar, you can perk up in understanding you’re using some of the best environmentally friendly building materials available. 

It generates very little greenhouse gas, solid waste, water, and air pollution. Also, cedar lumber is harvested from one of the most sustainably regulated forests on the planet. So you won’t have to worry about wood siding affecting the environment.

Quality Investment

Being made from actual wood, that does seem like a great deal of money. Cedar siding costs less upfront than composite building materials, but cedar is also a natural thermal insulator due to its low density. If you want a real wood siding that not only looks fabulous but also keeps your heating and air conditioning expenses down, the choice is clear.

How To Choose The Right Cedar Siding

You might just be drowned by various selections you need to make when working with cedar in the local market for new siding. An ideal way to commence your shopping expedition is to acquaint yourself with the specifications and qualities associated with cedar so you can make an educated decision and pick the right siding for your home.

Cedar Species

Either white and red cedar is accepted for siding supplies, but there are distinctions between both species.

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Red cedar siding is typically more resilient and is available in various styles, so you have more design choices for your home’s exterior. 

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White cedar siding only comes in one type, so its design availability is limited. When you want an easy appearance for your home’s external wall, white cedar withstands to an eye-catching silver-gray tone. White cedar is frequently used in coastal regions due to its light shade and weathered appearance.

The white and red cedar siding are easily stainable in various colors if you favor saturated color schemes. You can also get new white cedar siding bleached, so it is instantly the silvery shade that generally forms over several years of weathering in the sun.

Cedar Siding Grade

Red and white cedar siding is offered in distinct grades, which affects the entire appeal of your home’s exterior. 

Appearance Grade

Clear grade, also known as grade “A,” is the highest grade cedar with a fine-grained, smooth aesthetic that displays very few knots and other blemishes. The two most famous examples are the Clear Cedar, and Clear Vertical Grain (CVG) is at the top of the grade list in terms of appearance grade. 

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Select Tight Knot (STK) grade is another grade given to a wood that meets the “Tight Knot” grade guideline. They are typically seen as a “B” grade since, as the term suggests, this grade has knots and delivers a more rustic look.

Structural Grade

Appearances aren’t the only thing that gets graded. The structure of cedarwood is also essential. Some cedars also go through extensive processes such as kiln drying to guarantee the wood you invest in is not only straight and free of splits.

Cedar graded #1 comes closer to the tree’s center than #2 and has smaller and fewer knots. The knots that grade #1 contains are “superior knots,” implying that they are less likely to deform and fall out to become holes. Grade #2 cedar will have numerous knots of all sizes as well as other imperfections.

Cedar Siding Finish

Cedar siding usually has two finishing possibilities: a solid or semi-transparent finish. 

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Solid Or Semi-Transparent

A solid finish shields the siding from the elements, but it stains the cedar to modify its natural color. Consequently, it can mandate two coats to attain a fine finish. Although it changes the cedar’s color, a solid finish does enable the siding’s natural texture to unveil through.

semi-transparent finish is administered in a single coat and protects the siding from the elements. Because the finish is semi-transparent, it helps the natural shade and texture of the cedar to reveal through. 

Due to the two-coat treatment, you generally don’t need to re-finish solid-finish siding as frequently as siding with semi-transparent finis. You can complement your finish to the grade of cedar siding that you’ve chosen. Generally, the clear-grade siding looks finest with a semi-transparent finish, while a solid finish is a better option for knotty-grade cedar.

Water Or Oil-Based

Water-based stains are not providers for mildew, mold, and algae, reducing their growth capability. If they are correctly applied, water-based stains will endure much longer with the help of technological advances on UV resistance and a more significant potential to preserve their color. 

Cleaning up is straightforward with a water-based stain, and you won’t need any potent solvents. These stains are non-flammable and odorless. They dry up in 1 to 2 hours after application.

Oil-based stains deliver an even finish and won’t produce lap marks. Since the dry time is longer, it’s easier to blend through to yield a more even finish. They are a lot easier to put on because they stick to the wood a lot easier, which is why oil-based stains will withstand peeling better than water-based stains

When the oil-based stain deteriorates, you’ll discover that it simply fades away instead of peeling off like the water-based stain. For this reason, experts recommend oil-based paint over water-based stain.

Cedar Siding Design & Style

You must understand that large panels are vulnerable to cupping while the smaller dimensioned panels call for more labor to install, increasing expense. Specific patterns like bevel can be less costly than Tongue and Groove or Ship-Lap due to their precise cut.

Cedar Lap Siding

Also recognized as bevel sidingclapboard sidinglap siding is a retro design popular today because of its appearance and durability

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Cedar lap siding is made by sawing a cedar panel lengthways in a slim pie shape. It forms a narrow edge on one side of the length of the panel and a wide edge on the other side. The cedar panel is then overlapped, starting with the first panel placed at the bottom of the wall. 

This form of overlapping is where the phrase “lap siding” came about. The lap siding style also gets rid of water effectively since no edges will absorb and retain moisture.

Cedar Board And Batten Siding

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Cedar board and batten siding have been most commonly utilized in building barns and other farm buildings. It is mounted vertically and composed of wide planks spaced uniformly, with a batten nailed over it. The batten is a narrow segment of wood.

Setting the cedar board and batten up this way permits more expansion and shrinking of the planks. One favored use of board and batten siding is to use different widths of battens and boards to develop various designs.

Cedar Channel Siding

Cedar channel siding is versatile and can be mounted horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. This siding style is trendy since many cabins are board with planks cut with the channel style.

The long edge of a plank is sawed down to be substantially narrower than the remainder of the panel. On the other end, a minor groove is cut on the bottom of the board. Forms an overlap that reveals the board’s shape without generating an offset on which water can form. The halfway overlapping and diagonal edge creates an appealing shadow contour.

Cedar Tongue And Groove Siding

Cedar channel siding, cedar tongue, and groove siding are often mounted horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. They are available in rough or smooth trim and are manufactured with either clear wood or knotty patterns.

Singular slabs are sawed with a groove on one edge and a matching tongue on the other edge. The cedar tongue and groove slabs intertwine to establish a smooth surface area. This kind of style is utilized not only in sidings but also for wooden floorings.

Cedar Shake Siding

Cedar shakes appear similar to shingles. However, they are much thicker and more resilient. The wooden blocks, bolts, from where they are chopped are hand-sawn sometimes. 

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The cedar shakes are uneven in thickness, which is part of the appeal. They are affixed to the sheathing, beginning at the bottom of the wall. Every layer overlaps the former one. 

It is essential to evaluate building regulations in your location before you install cedar shakes. Some building codes forbid these materials, pointing out the fire hazard.

Cedar Shingle Siding

Due to their smoothness and uniformity, Cedar shingles are preferred for siding installations.

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They are relatively easy to set up and desired for oddly shaped walls. They can be painted or stained and are frequently painted in historical or luminous colors when used on Victorian-style homes.

Cedar shingles are created from any wood utilized for other types of siding. They will require treatment to make them fire-retardant. Similar to the shake siding, evaluate local building codes. Regions that see recurrent fires may not permit the use of cedar shingles.

How To Maintain Cedar Siding

Homeowners must examine cedar siding routinely for three factors: insects, moisture, and cracks.

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Termites induce severe damage to cedar siding, so it’s crucial to identify problems early on before it’s too late. Moisture needs to be minimized as much as feasible on the cedar siding, holding it away from the ground and making sure rain gutters are cleared to direct water off the siding. Filling in cracks immediately after discovering them with sealants or paint will prevent moisture from penetrating the wood.

It is also a good idea to check on the fasteners on these sidings since, over the years, they can be weathered out. If the nails are rusted out, it could taint the appearance of the sidings. It is recommended to replace them with aluminum or stainless steel nails since those are corrosion-resistant.

Cleaning Cedar Siding

Without treatment, cedar siding wears out with time without too cracking or warping. However, it still needs treatment. Stained cedar siding calls for a lot more upkeep than other types of wood, yet likewise lasts much longer.

A detailed cleaning at least twice a year will substantially prolong the life of cedar. Vulnerable to dirt and dust build-up, external cedar siding requires a good pressure washing at its lowest setting.

Fundamental things needed for cleaning up cedar siding are bleach, other clean agents, clear coat, paint, and sealant. As it ages, cedar sheds a few of its natural oils. Therefore maintenance is essential.

Using a soft brush, start with soap water to scrub the house siding and clean it down; after that, use a bleach solution on any mold and mildew or mold areas. Vinegar is likewise a reliable, eco-friendly choice. Rinse right immediately after cleaning to prevent any soap deposits.

Here is a simple way to refinish wood siding.

Protecting Cedar Siding

Cedar siding needs resealing or painting a minimum of once a year to ensure it lasts a long time. A protective coating additionally protects against wear and tear as well as discolorations. It’s not a good idea to leave cedar siding in its natural state. Rustic cedar may look appealing but is also susceptible to deterioration.

Water-based stains accumulate layers that require to be cleared off entirely when it comes time to re-finish. Oil-based paints permeate the wood so well that when it comes time to clean up and maintain, you rinse them with oxygen bleach and do it once more with Oxalic Acid to preparation for finish. 

Keep in mind that water-based stain can go over oil-based paint when it comes time to re-painting, but not the other way around. Experts recommend re-painting or re-staining cedar siding routinely every six months. However, it also depends on the quality of the stain applied to the siding.

Alternatives To Cedar Siding

Types Of Wood Sidings

Natural real wood siding is an endless favored option throughout North America. If you decide to go with wood that originates from a distance, is not accommodated to your area, or is not regularly harvested, you could significantly delay your project and increase the estimated expenses.

Real Wood Siding

Most commonly, you can see pine, spruce, fir, and redwood being used as other types of real wood sidings other than cedar. 

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Pine, spruce, and fir are the most economical options as they cost the least. The reason may be due to those types of wood being prone to damage and hosting insects. 

Redwood, on the other hand, costs a bit more than pine spruce and fir. Since it is richer in color and naturally resistant to insects, just like cedar, they are typically only available in the West, so it would be challenging to acquire them in other regions.

Engineered Wood Siding

Engineered wood siding is an excellent compromise between using real wood or synthetic material. It appears similar to a solid wood plank but costs less than cedar sidings and is more durable than pine sidings. 

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There are various types of engineered wood sidings to choose from, such as clapboards made from wood flakes and resin primed in a factory. Engineered wood sidings can be mounted directly over the wood framework, eliminating the requirement for exterior sheathing.

Aluminum Siding

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Aluminum siding has continued to be trendy with homeowners on the coast for its stainless-steel rust resistance. Its low cost and low maintenance make it a convenient alternative for homes around the nation. Aluminum, nonetheless, is vulnerable to dings and dents. And gradually, it can lose its original radiance, but nothing that a new layer of paint can’t fix.

Fiber Cement Siding

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Fiber cement siding is regarded as one of the best construction materials. This composite material is manufactured from cement and cellulose fibers pressed and shaped into different siding products, such as clapboards, panels, battens, planks, and exterior trim. 

Dimensionally stable and solid, fiber cement adheres to paint remarkably well, which means it is durable enough for any paint job. Fiber cement is sometimes regarded as Hardie board, a massive supplier of fiber cement materials. Some fiber cement siding can be purchased with a factory-applied primer or primer and finish, as well as 15-year warranties against fading, cracking, striping, or chipping.

Stone Veneer Siding

Stone veneer is crafted from Portland cement, other natural components. The blend is baked in special molds that replicate the aesthetics of natural stone. Stone veneer can then be cemented directly to concrete and placed on wood-frame walls, but the frame wall’s external sheath should first be covered with a moisture barricade. 

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The stone veneer siding can be a nifty upgrade for gloomy concrete foundation walls. It’s also commonly placed on the lower half of main level walls or on other structures like garage posts to prevent backsplash from the rain that could damage wooden materials.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding has an appeal that’s easy to admire due to its durable, strong, budget-friendly, and ease of installation. Nowadays, you can opt for various siding styles and colors, including materials that resemble wood-grain lap siding, hardwood shingles, and even stone. And, because the color belongs to the material, scratches and dings will not unveil.

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You could also have vinyl siding be placed on freshly constructed walls and over most existing siding styles. Insulated vinyl siding also comes with solid rigid foam insulation backing that stuffs the gaps behind the siding’s stepped characteristic if you ever want extra insulation.

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