How Much Does It Cost to Install Cedar Shake Siding?

National Average Range:
$23,544 - $42,837

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Updated: April 16, 2024

Reviewed by Carol J Alexander remodeling expert. Written by

To provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date cost figures, we gather information from a variety of pricing databases, licensed contractors, and industry experts.

The average cost to install cedar shake siding is from $23,544 to $42,837, with most homeowners spending $32,694 to side a 2,000-square-foot area. On the low end, you could side a 1,000-square-foot area with cedar shakes for $14,860. On the high end, it costs $53,501 to apply fire-resistant cedar shingles with a fancy edge on a 3,000-square-foot area.

When choosing siding for your home's exterior, you want something that blends in with the immediate surroundings, enhances the home's design, protects well, and improves curb appeal. For many homeowners, cedar shakes fit all the criteria. They're beautiful, durable, and insect-resistant.

In this cost guide, we discuss factors like the type of cedar, its quality, and the home size that influence these cost ranges so you can budget accordingly.

Cost to install cedar shake siding

National average cost


Average range

$23,544 to $42,837





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Cost factors of cedar shake siding installation

The cost of cedar shake siding depends on more than quantity. The species of cedar, the material's grade, and other options all influence the cost of materials. Add to that labor and job complexity, and you have something more true to help with your budget planning.

Below, we look at each factor individually so you can choose the best options for your siding project.

Size of home

The larger your home, the more material you'll need to cover it, increasing the cost. However, using your home's square footage is not an accurate way to estimate how much house siding you need.

Cost to install cedar siding based on home size

Exterior square footage

Average cost range

1,000 square feet

$14,860 to $17,834

1,500 square feet

$22,290 to $26,750

2,000 square feet

$29,720 to $35,667

2,500 square feet

$37,151 to $44,584

3,000 square feet

$44,581 to $53,501

Cedar type

Several types of cedar grow in North America and make suitable siding material. You may have read that eastern red and Spanish cedar are viable siding options. However, eastern red cedar doesn't produce the clear, straight wood grain you want in a siding material. Even though it has a Janka hardness rating of 900, its many knots and imperfections make it unsuitable for siding. Spanish cedar is also quite hard but rated as only moderately durable. Because it's been exploited in many areas, it is now considered vulnerable and is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

 No matter which type you choose, the cedar siding prices vary depending on its thickness, grade, and location. Here is a breakdown of the best species for cedar shakes.

Choosing the right species of cedar for your shake siding

Cedar species

Janka hardness

Region where found


Western red cedar


Pacific NW

Relatively soft, dents and scratches easily

Northern white cedar


SE Canada, NE U.S.

Relatively soft but durable

Alaskan yellow cedar


NW coast of North America

Hard, straight-grained, holds paint well

Siding quality and cut

Like all lumber, cedar is graded to indicate its appearance and quality. Sawyers grade cedar wood by looking at the grain, the presence of knots, and the color. The three grades typically given to lumber are knotty, mid-grade, and premium grade (or clear). The higher the grade, the more expensive the wood.

Cedar shakes can be cut straight across, scalloped, or fancy. The style of the cut will affect the cost of the product. Some cedar shakes come pre-treated with a fire-resistant coating. These add-ons will affect the cost.

Existing siding

The labor for siding removal costs from $46 to $84 per hour.

If your home has old siding that must be removed and discarded before installing new cedar siding, the process adds to the overall cost. In addition to installation charges, you'll incur demolition and disposal costs. Disposal costs vary depending on your location and the type of material. If your existing siding is wood, you can donate or sell it to be repurposed, unlike vinyl siding, which must be taken to a recycling center.

Complexity of the installation

In addition to material costs, the complexity of your house's design and shape will influence the installation cost. Architectural elements like dormers, chimneys, and gables require more intricate cuts and add to the labor time. Also, multiple stories require contractors to wear personal protective equipment like safety harnesses and use ladders or scaffolding, which increases labor costs.

Pros and cons of cedar shake siding

  • + Naturally beautiful, it promotes curb appeal
  • + Increases home value
  • + Durable, long-lasting
  • + Eco-friendly
  • + Resistant to insect damage and rot
  • + Provides insulating properties
  • + Properly cured cedar doesn't shrink
  • - Expensive
  • - Susceptible to fire
  • - Must be treated at least every two years
  • - Requires regular maintenance

Other styles of cedar siding

Cedar siding comes in several styles besides shakes. From clapboard to shingles, the styles vary and affect the cost of your installation. For instance, sheet siding takes a minimal amount of time compared to shingles or shakes. Therefore, cedar shake siding costs more in labor than sheets. These styles may appeal to you if you want cedar but can't afford shakes.

  • Sheet siding 
  • Clapboard
  • Cedar shingle siding
  • Board and batten
  • Tongue and groove
  • Shiplap

Cedar siding brands

Twin Creeks Log Home Supply

Twin Creeks supplies bundles of tapersawn and hand-split shakes in various sizes, grades, and thicknesses. Founded in 1993, the company supplies customers with quality log home products and materials. Twin Creeks is located in Tennessee.


The Waldun Group manufactures split, re-sawn, and tapersawn shakes in several grades and sizes. In business since 1974, Waldun is located in British Columbia, Canada, and is a member of the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau.

Cedar Roofing Supply

Located in the Pacific Northwest, Cedar Roofing Supply offers an extensive selection of cedar shakes and shingles for siding and roofing needs. The company sources its products directly from British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. They come in various thicknesses and sizes.

Alternatives to cedar shake siding

After learning the pros and cons of cedar siding, you may want to choose an alternative for your siding project. Unlike vinyl PVC, products like engineered wood or aluminum siding are also eco-friendly. Here are a few to consider.

Fiber cement siding

Fiber cement siding, or Hardie siding, is a semi-rigid material made of water, cellulose fiber, sand, and Portland cement. It is cast to resemble natural wood and is available in a shingle/shake profile. Fiber cement withstands any climate, is flame-retardant, and resists impact and insects. It comes in numerous colors to complement any home and is a low-maintenance alternative to natural wood.

Steel panel siding

Metal siding is made from durable steel, aluminum, or Galvalume metal. Most brands use a fade-resistant Kynar paint coating that doesn't chalk or fade. Steel siding is durable and resists water, fire, and insects.

Stone veneer siding

Manufactured stone veneer is a mix of aggregates, cement, iron oxides, and pigment molded to create an authentic stone appearance. Stone veneer adds elegance and character and is as durable as it is beautiful. It comes in various styles and colors and resists fire, insects, and water.

Brick veneer siding

Brick veneer, resembling a thin slice of brick, is a manufactured stone applied to walls using grout. Like the other cedar alternatives, brick veneer is also resistant to fire, insects, and water.

Vinyl siding

If you're considering cedar for an all-natural, biodegradable siding, vinyl is not for you. But if you want something you never have to paint or refinish, choose vinyl. Here is a comparison of siding options to show how wood stacks up against the rest.

DIY vs. professional cedar shake siding installation

Installing cedar shakes requires more carpentry skills than the average DIYer. It may look easy on YouTube videos, but if you've never done it, it's a job best left to the siding pros.

First, you need quite a few tools. You also need the knowledge to tackle intricate areas like around windows, doors, dormers, and eaves. Professionals not only know the basics but also have the experience to approach atypical situations without much hassle.

How to care for cedar shake siding

How well your cedar ages and its level of care depends on its finish, your climate, and how close the siding is to vegetation and water. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed to avoid shade and moisture, which encourage mildew growth. Apply fresh stain regularly to protect the wood from the elements.

Dirt and mold can accumulate on the surface of your cedar shakes. But regular inspections and cleaning will prevent anything from causing permanent damage.

At least once a year, inspect the shakes for cracks or splits that penetrate the entire depth of the shake. Also, check for loose or sagging shakes. The appearance of rot indicates a poor installation. Call a professional siding installer with cedar experience if you see any of these things.

Use the garden hose sprayer to remove any loose dirt. Gently scrub gently with a soft bristle brush and mild soapy water. Then rinse again.

To remove mold or mildew, use a soft bristle brush to apply a commercial fungicide or a 4-to-1 mixture of water and bleach. Then rinse thoroughly. Always test any product in an inconspicuous area and allow it to dry before proceeding. Do not use a pressure washer on your cedar siding.

The product you use determines how frequently you need to refinish your shakes. An oil-based finish needs to be reapplied more frequently than an acrylic finish. Consult with your cedar siding manufacturer for guidance on which product to use and any applications that may void your warranty.

Paying for your cedar shake siding installation

No matter how you slice it, cedar shake siding is expensive. Many homeowners don’t have the cash for this level of project and look for ways to finance it. Here are a few ways to make paying for it more manageable.

  • Apply for a home improvement loan. Once you have an estimate from a siding contractor, you can apply for a loan against your home's equity. Many homeowners choose this option for one large project, like new siding.
  • Withdraw funds from your HELOC. Financial experts agree that every homeowner should have a home equity line of credit in place for emergencies like this. If you've never set up a HELOC, ask a lender how to do it now.
  • Contractor financing. After securing an estimate from a siding contractor, ask if they offer financing. This option is an alternative for homeowners needing more equity to qualify for a home improvement loan or HELOC.

Saving money on cedar shake siding

Sometimes, even the best estimate is too high. If you still need to shave a few dollars off your wood siding costs, here are a few ways to do that.

  • Choose a different grade of material. If you're not in your forever home, choose a lower-grade cedar to save money.
  • Choose a different style of material. You may have your heart set on cedar shakes, but your budget only allows for planks. Consider going with cedar planks to lower the cost. Also, opt for knotty or mid-grade over clear grade.
  • Use cedar as an accent. You can include the charm of cedar without covering the entire house. Accenting a sidewall with cedar shakes rather than the whole facade, for instance.
  • DIY the demo. Remove the existing siding yourself to save on the demolition labor cost.

Other considerations

  • Insurance. If you live in a wildfire-prone area, check the terms of your insurance policy before installing cedar shakes. Since wood shake siding only takes minutes to catch fire, your insurance company may not cover fire damage if you have cedar siding. In this case, it’s best to go with a more fire-resistant material.
  • Location. Installation costs vary by region of the country. If you live in an urban area like Los Angeles or Baltimore, you'll pay more labor costs than homeowners in farming country. If you choose a type of cedar that is not indigenous to your area, you'll pay more for materials due to high shipping costs.
  • Permitting and building codes. When you hire a siding contractor, they'll typically include the cost of permits and inspections in the project's total cost. But, if you're DIYing the job, contact your local building official to learn the permitting process.

Get back to nature

Nothing improves the appearance of a home like natural materials, and nothing hurts your curb appeal more than a DIY installation gone wrong. Because you want your home to look its best, let us help you find a professional siding contractor to install your siding for you.

Hire a local pro to install your cedar siding