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Cedar Siding Installation Cost Guide

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

Reviewed by Adam Graham remodeling expert. Written by

Cedar siding is one of the most popular types of wood siding in the United States. This beautiful natural wood is versatile, easy to install, and available in multiple variations, grades, and surface textures. Cedar is also naturally insect and rot-resistant, so it lasts longer than other wood siding types.

With all the types and variations of cedar siding available, there is a wide range of costs associated with its installation. The national average cost range to install cedar siding is $9,000 to $15,000, with most people spending around $13,500 installing 1,500 sq.ft. of mid-grade red cedar lap and shingle siding. This project’s low cost is $6,000 for 1,500 sq.ft. of installed knotty-grade red cedar rough finish siding, while the high cost is around $45,000 for 1,500 sq.ft. of clear premium-grade yellow cedar, pre-stained in hand-split shakes and shiplap siding installed.

Cedar Siding Cost

Cedar Siding Installation Prices
National average cost$13,500
Average range$9,000-$15,000

Cedar Siding Cost per Square Foot

Cedar siding comes in many variations, grades, styles, and sizes. For that reason, there is an incredible range of costs associated with this wood siding. Knotty-grade cedar siding with a rough finish costs $2.50 a square foot, while premium clear-grade cedar siding with a smooth finish in hand-split shakes or shiplap siding can cost $30 a square foot. Where the cedar was harvested and your location can also impact the cost. For example, if you choose western red cedar and are located on the East Coast, your costs are more than twice what they would be on the West Coast because of transportation costs. To find the best cedar prices, use cedar that is as local to your area as possible.

Price of 500, 1,000, 1,500, 2,000, and 2,500 Sq.Ft. of Cedar Siding (mobile)

Square FootageAverage Cost Range (Material Only)
500 sq.ft.$1,250 - $15,000
1,000 sq.ft.$2,500 - $30,000
1,500 sq.ft.$3,750 - $45,000
2,000 sq.ft.$5,000 - $60,000
2,500 sq.ft.$6,250 - $75,000

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Cedar Siding Cost per Square

Cedar siding costs from $250 to $3,000 per square. Instead of using a square foot of siding as an advertised measurement, you may hear a contractor mention one square of siding. A square is a professional term used to describe 100 square feet of your exterior or a 10 foot by 10 foot section of siding. To figure out how many squares of siding are needed, you will take your home’s square footage measurements. This means you’ll measure both the length and height of each side. Note that you will subtract any window or door openings from your measurement totals. Once you have the total, you divide the number by 100 to figure out the number of squares that your contractor needs to order for your project.

Cedar Siding Cost per Linear Foot

One type of measurement you may be asked for when evaluating your cedar siding project is linear feet. A linear foot is a simple measurement. It’s the length of siding in feet. If you measure in inches to estimate how many linear feet you’ll need to cover your home, you will simply take the final number in inches and divide it by 12. The following are the average linear feet on the exterior of a typical home and the cost of the materials needed to install cedar siding.

Cost of 600, 1,000, 1,800, 2,400, or 3,000 Linear Feet of Cedar Siding (mobile)

Average Size in Linear FeetCost (Materials Only)
600 Linear Feet$1,200 - $10,000
1,000 Linear Feet$3,500 - $25,000
1,800 Linear Feet$4,000 - $38,000
2,400 Linear Feet$6,000 - $50,000
3,000 Linear Feet$8,000 - $60,000

Average Cost of Cedar Siding per Inch

The width of the siding impacts the final project cost. The standard installed on most homes is usually between six and ten inches wide. The width you choose will be based on what style you want for the exterior of your home. If you prefer a more textured look, you might want a smaller width for your cedar siding project. For cleaner lines, you would select wider pieces of cedar siding. The following are the average costs per square foot based on the width of the siding pieces.

Cost per Sq.Ft. of a 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, or 12-Inch Cedar Siding (mobile)

Siding WidthAverage Costs per Square Foot (Materials Only)
3 Inches$2 - $10.60
4 Inches$3.50 - $15.25
5 Inches$3.75 - $16
6 Inches$4.50 - $18
7 Inches$5 - $18.50
8 Inches$5.25 - $19
9 Inches$5.45 - $19.50
10 Inches$5.50 - $20
12 Inches$5.75 - $22.50

Cedar Siding Prices by Type

Cedar can be found in many areas and comes in a few colors and varieties. The cedar’s color and location influence how it looks and costs. It may also influence the availability, grade, and types of siding available.

Cost per Square Foot of Northern White, Western Red, Eastern Red, Alaskan Yellow, and Spanish Cedar Siding (mobile)

Cedar TypeAverage Costs per Square Foot (Material Only)
Northern White Cedar$2.50 - $20
Western Red Cedar$2.50 - $30
Eastern Red Cedar$2.50 - $30
Alaskan Yellow Cedar$5 - $12
Spanish Cedar$6 - $15

Northern White Cedar Siding

Northern white cedar siding costs $2.50 to $20 a square foot on average, depending on the grade and treatment. White cedar is primarily available as a shingle, with some manufacturers also producing hand-split shakes. White cedar is lighter than most other cedars. If untreated, it often has brown grain and knot marks. Treated and premium-grade white cedar may be bleached for a more uniform color, with fewer marks and no visible knots. The size of the shingles and shakes vary, with 5 to 8-inch reveals being common.

Western Red Cedar Siding

Western red cedar siding costs between $2.50 and $30 a square foot, depending on the grade, style, and treatment. When looking for cedar siding, chances are that you are looking at a western red cedar. This is the most common kind of cedar siding and comes in nearly every shape and size imaginable. It comes in multiple grades, from extremely rough and knotty to smooth and clear. All red cedar has a distinct reddish color with a brown grain. Like all cedar, western red is resistant to rot, fungus, and insect activity.

Eastern Red Cedar Siding

Costs for eastern red cedar range from $2.50 to $30 a square foot, depending on the grade, style, and treatment. This is a slightly less common type of cedar siding. You are most likely to find this cedar if you live near the East Coast. Otherwise, the cedar that you are likely to find is western red cedar. Some selections may be more limited with this cedar, but it is available in the same grades, shapes, and sizes. You may find that the material is sold as “red cedar,” with the location of its origin undisclosed. This is because eastern red cedar is more limited, and supplies may be mixed.

Alaskan Yellow Cedar Siding

Yellow cedar has a cost range of $5 to $12 a square foot on average. This material goes by another name in the industry - cypress. Cypress is one of the densest, hardest, and most indestructible sidings. It can last well over 100 years and is frequently reclaimed from old buildings and reused. It is very difficult to work with because of its strength and hardness. It costs more to mill, produce, and install. It has a distinctive yellow color with a brown grain. It is available in several grades, sizes, and styles.

Spanish Cedar Siding

Spanish cedar siding costs between $6 and $15 a square foot. Despite its name, this cedar does not originate in Spain. Instead, it comes from South and Central America. It is most commonly used for cigar humidors and millwork, but it can be found in siding. Spanish cedar is more limited in styles and options compared to other cedars. It is also more expensive and has fewer grades for siding. Most of the higher grades are used for millwork and other interior applications, while most of the siding grades tend to be closer to mid-range.

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Cedar Siding Cost by Style

Like all wood sidings, cedar can be made into many shapes and styles. This makes it suitable for nearly any architecture and can achieve many goals for your home’s appearance. Not every type of cedar is available in every style, and some grades of cedar may not be suited to every style. However, all cedar types can be mixed and matched to achieve unique styles, such as mixing shingles with lap siding to accent architectural features.

Cost per Square Foot of Cedar Siding by Style: Shingles, Clapboard, Bevel, Board and Batten, Tongue and Groove, Shake, Shiplap... (mobile)

StyleAverage Costs per Square Foot (Material Only)
Sheet$2.50 - $3
Dutch Lap$2.50 - $10
Shingle$2.50 - $20
Clapboard$3 - $15
Bevel$3 - $15
Board and Batten$4 - $18
Tongue and Groove$5 - $25
Channel Rustic$5 - $25
Shake$6 - $20
Shiplap$7 - $25
Log$8 - $30

Cedar Sheet Siding

Cedar sheet siding costs between $2.50 and $3 a square foot on average. This is soft cedar-based plywood sold in sheets. It can be rough, smooth, or grooved. It can be used to create small areas of texture and distinction or cover barns and outbuildings. Because this is plywood, it contains glues and other fillers that can change long-term behavior. This is usually a low-grade material, so you may see knots, grains, and irregularities. It looks best when painted to disguise these attributes.

Cedar Dutch Lap Siding

Cedar Dutch lap siding averages $2.50 to $10 a square foot. This is a popular style of lap siding. It is installed horizontally with each course overlapping the one below. Dutch lap is different from other horizontal lap sidings because of the concave dip in the face at the top of each course. This creates a shadow when the course above overlaps. This small difference adds depth and dimension to the siding, giving it a more textured appearance.

Cedar Shingle Siding

Cedar shingles range from $2.50 to $20 a square foot, depending on the color, grade, and treatment you choose. Shingles are rectangular pieces of siding meant to be installed overlapping one another. The portion that shows, known as the reveal, can be 5 to 8 inches in height, depending on how much they overlap. Cedar shingles can be rough, untreated, and unfinished with lots of knots and texture, or premium, stained, and matched for a uniform installation. Shingles can be straight-edged, irregular, or have a decorative edge, such as a scallop. They can be used over the entire home or to call out architectural features.

Cedar Clapboard Siding

Cedar clapboard siding costs are $3 to $15 a square foot, depending on the board color, treatment, and size. Clapboard is one of the oldest horizontal lap sidings in the U.S. It is also one of the most instantly recognizable. In a clapboard installation, each plank is shaped like a wedge, with the bottom slightly thicker than the top. When the top course overlaps the one below, it does so evenly from top to bottom on the wall. This gives you a smooth, even, and easy installation. Clapboard can be found in all grades and is most commonly a red cedar.

Cedar Bevel Siding

Cedar bevel siding costs range from $3 to $15 a square foot, depending on the color, treatment, and grade. Bevel siding is very similar to clapboard. The planks are also wedge-shaped with the top thinner than the bottom. The difference is that the bottom edge of each plank is beveled at a 45-degree angle. This creates more dimension and gives the siding a more distinctive appearance. Most bevel cedar siding is made of red cedar, but it can be found in cypress.

Cedar Board and Batten Siding

Cedar board and batten siding costs between $4 and $18 a square foot, depending on the type and grade. Board and batten is the oldest type of wood siding known in America. It was first created when sawmills became readily available. The installation uses wide boards installed vertically from top to bottom on the home. Thin furring strips, known as battens, install over the seams between the boards for a more airtight and watertight installation. Cedar board and batten is available in several grades and comes in red and cypress varieties.

Tongue and Groove Cedar Siding

Cedar tongue and groove siding costs between $5 and $25 a square foot, depending on the grade. In tongue and groove siding, one long edge is milled into a groove, while the other edge is milled into an extending tab or tongue. The siding is installed by inserting the tab of one plank into the groove of the next. It can be installed in any direction - horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. This siding type is more time consuming than lap siding, so it has higher installation costs. It comes in many grades and board widths.

Channel Rustic Cedar Siding

Channel rustic cedar siding ranges from $5 to $25 a square foot, depending on the grade. This style of siding is milled similarly to tongue and groove. One side of the siding is milled down to a thin edge, while the other side has a groove milled into the end. The thin side of one plank fits into the groove of the other. However, a section of the thinner area continues outside of the groove, creating a channel in the siding. Channel rustic siding usually has a rough finish on the face of the planks. It can be installed horizontally, vertically, or on the diagonal.

Cedar Shake Siding

Cedar shake siding costs between $6 and $20 a square foot on average. Shakes and shingles are sometimes confused, or the terms may be used interchangeably. However, these are two different types of siding. While shingles are milled, shakes are hand split. This makes them larger, thicker, and more irregular in size, shape, and edge than shingles. Typically, the shake’s top is thinner than the bottom. In addition, the reveal on a shake is usually larger - about 7 to 8 inches. However, it is common for shakes to have an irregular bottom edge, meaning that the reveal can be different across each row.

Cedar Shiplap Siding

Cedar shiplap siding ranges from $7 to $25 a square foot on average. Shiplap is a type of lap siding, but rather than the planks overlapping on the outside, they overlap underneath. This is done by milling each plank’s top and bottom edges to be thinner than the middle. The difference is that the milling is done from different sides on each plank. So one end is milled from the top and the other from the bottom. The thin ends overlap one another for a tight-fitting installation. The seams are out of sight, making this a smooth and contemporary installation. The planks can be installed horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

Cedar Log Siding

Cedar log siding costs between $8 and $30 a square foot, depending on the size, type, and grain. Log siding is a common way to get the look of a log home without using logs. There are several ways to do this. The most common is the split log. This is an entire log that has been split in half. The halves are mounted flat side down, rounded side out to mimic the look of a log cabin. You can also use quarter logs, which is a much thinner section of log, with only the rounded face showing. It does not give as much dimension but is a less expensive option. Split and quarter logs come with different options for their edges, changing the way they look and how they install.

Cedar Siding Prices by Wood Grade

All types of wood siding are graded on appearance, grain, and color clarity. Each type can be grouped by certain characteristics, but there can sometimes be subtypes within each grade. Overall there are three basic grades - knotty, mid, and premium.

Cost per Square Foot of Knotty, Mid-grade, and Premium Cedar Siding (mobile)

GradeAverage Cost Range per Square Foot(Materials Only)
Knotty$2.50 - $5
Mid-Grade$5 - $15
Premium$10 - $30

Knotty-Grade Cedar

Knotty-grade cedar is the least expensive ranging from $2.50 to $5 a square foot. Knotty-grade cedar has more character than the other types. There are prominent and frequent knots, a lot of visible grain, and more sapwood than heartwood. The colors can be more varied, and the boards may be more textured or have a rougher face. Knotty-grade works best on rustic homes if you plan on staining or leaving it unfinished. However, if you want to use it for more traditional homes, prime and paint it to disguise its appearance.

Mid-Grade Cedar

Mid-grade cedar costs between $5 and $15 a square foot. This is the grade that many people choose, particularly if they plan on painting it. Siding in the mid-grade has some character and may be a mix of heartwood and sapwood. It has fewer knots and a smoother texture than the knotty-grade. There are more milled boards than the knotty-grade, which can be limited in what they have. Within the mid-grade, you can find different ranges, including smoother or more rustic, with the clearer-colored boards costing more than those that are more varied.

Premium-Grade Cedar

Premium-grade cedar is the nicest grade, costing between $10 to $30 a square foot on average. This siding has a clear color with few to no knots. This siding has many classifications based on how clear the color is. White cedar shingles that have been bleached are higher grade than unbleached ones. Color and grain can be rated individually in the premium grade, so it is not uncommon to find some sidings that have several rankings within the premium-grade. If you want to leave your siding stained or unfinished, this is the grade to use.

Average Cost of Cedar Siding by Brand

Each manufacturer has unique pricing for its cedar siding products. Homeowners choose a manufacturer based on style options available and overall product quality. They also consider price and warranty coverage for the siding. The following are the top providers of cedar siding and the average price per square foot for materials.

Cost per Sq.Ft. of SBC Cedar, Buffalo Lumber, or Maibec Cedar Siding (mobile)

ManufacturerCost per Square Foot (Materials Only)
SBC Cedar$5 - $9
Buffalo Lumber$6 - $15
Maibec$8 - $11

SBC Cedar Siding

SBC cedar shingles average $5 to $9 per square foot. SBC produces both cedar siding products and roof shingles using eco-responsible forestry practices. The company specializes in white cedar and has a catalog of natural white cedar siding options and factory-finished white cedar customizations. Customers can purchase shingles that come ready to stain or in one of the available colors. For those who want to showcase the woodgrain of the cedar, a semi-transparent stain is offered. The selected finish determines the warranty available from SBC but ranges from 10 to 25 years on the finish. The wood is protected for 30 years for all finish types.

Buffalo Lumber Cedar Siding

Buffalo Lumber cedar siding products average between $6 and $15 per square foot. Buffalo Lumber provides straight from the mill delivery of cedar siding products. The grade of the wood plays a large factor in the final price. The company offers customization to help each homeowner reach their long-term style goals, including whether they want knots or not. Clear cedar siding costs double the price of knot styles from the company. Buffalo Lumber will pre-finish the cedar siding to increase the longevity of the product. Depending on the finish, warranties range from 5 to 25 years with protection against wood rot.

Maibec Cedar Siding

Maibec cedar siding costs $8 to $11 per square foot. Maibec has produced wood shingle products for more than forty years and offers plenty of customization options for homeowners. Maibec customers can choose to have their home outfitted with cedar siding pieces or have a shingle style. Maibec has a large catalog of cedar siding color selections, including grays, blues, yellows, and beiges, along with the traditional natural tones. Finishes can be brushed or textured. The product you select from Maibec determines the length of warranty coverage. However, most products are covered for five years against staining and up to 50 years against rot.

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Cost to Install Cedar Siding

Cedar has a range of costs to install, with $1 to $5 a square foot being the most common. This depends partly on the grain but mostly on the siding’s type, how difficult or time consuming it is to install, and your home’s condition. Installing furring strips for a rainscreen increases the installation costs over installing the cedar on the substrate.

Installing sheet siding or lap siding over an even substrate costs between $1 and $2 a square foot, while more complicated siding installations can cost $3 or $4, and log siding or shake siding can cost $4 to $5 a square foot.

Cedar should be installed over housewrap on a home in good repair. Furring strips can move the siding away from the home to create a rainscreen or install over materials like brick or cinder block.

For a 1,500 sq.ft. installation of cedar siding, the labor is between $1,500 and $7,500 out of the $13,500 total.

Install Cedar Shake Siding

Cedar shake siding is a more time-consuming installation than lap sidings and costs between $4 and $5 a square foot to install on average. Shakes are hand split and uneven in size and thickness. They often must be sorted and dry fit to create the most even installation. This adds to the time and labor, which is why this installation costs more.

For a 1,500 sq.ft. installation, the labor for installing cedar shake siding is between $6,000 and $7,500 on average.

Charming Newly Renovated Home Exterior, Natural Wood Siding

Cost to Replace Cedar Siding

When replacing cedar siding, expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 extra to remove the old siding before installing the new siding. Provided that the substrate is in good repair, costs from this point are similar to a new installation. If the substrate needs repair, this increases costs by another $1 a square foot for all areas that need to be repaired.

For a 1,500 sq.ft. installation, the average cost range to replace cedar siding is between $14,500 and $15,500 for most installations. Installing something more elaborate or using premium-grade siding could increase costs while using a simple siding or a knotty-grade wood could lower costs.

Replace Cedar Shake Siding

Cedar shake siding may eventually need replacement, especially in homes where it was installed more than twenty years earlier. Each year, inspect the siding to determine if the cedar shake siding needs updating. Home inspection companies may be able to evaluate exterior issues, including problems with your siding. The average cost of a home inspection is $400.

Signs that indicate the need for replacement include frayed edges, split pieces, fuzzy texture from mold growth, and discolored pieces. Cedar shake siding is prone to rot if it’s not repainted every three to five years. You can expect to pay around $8,000 to $10,000 to remove and install 1,500 square feet of cedar shake siding on a home.

Cost to Install Cedar Siding Over Existing Siding

If you have siding on your home and do not want to remove it, consider installing new siding over the old. This is possible in some instances but not all. A professional should be contacted to evaluate your home’s exterior and provide an opinion on whether the existing siding needs removal before updating. A professional will never recommend trying to cover up rotted or warped siding with new cedar siding since you’ll likely have underlying issues.

Notably, cedar siding cannot be installed over vinyl. The vinyl siding is too soft and flexible to hold the cedar, and it also tends to come off the side easily. If you add the cedar’s weight to existing vinyl, it will likely pull it off.

Cost per Sq.Ft. to Install Cedar Over Wood, Concrete Block, or Brick Siding (mobile)

Existing SidingCost per Square Foot (Installed)
Wood$4 - $11
Concrete Block$5 - $12.50
Brick$5.50 - $14.50

Cedar Siding Over Wood

The average cost to install cedar siding over wood would be $4 to $11 per square foot. Cedar can also be installed directly over old wood siding, provided that the siding is in good repair. If it is rotting, softening, or not firmly attached, it should be removed first. Otherwise, if the siding is flat, the cedar can be installed directly onto it. If it is not, furring strips might be needed to create a more level substrate.

Cedar Siding over Concrete Block

Anticipate paying anywhere from $5 to $12.50 per square foot to place cedar siding over the concrete block on your home. Contractors will usually install cedar siding over concrete blocks after evaluating the condition of the existing siding. Since concrete blocks will likely have imperfections, it’s not likely that the contractor can install the cedar siding directly to the walls with nails or screws. Furring strips are used to level out the area before installation. It provides insulation between the concrete and the cedar siding.

Cedar Siding Over Brick

Contractors charge from $5.50 to $14.50 per square foot to put cedar siding over pre-existing brickwork. Cedar can easily be installed over brick blocks. A professional will evaluate the clapboard before determining if the project can proceed. The clapboard must be flat and in good shape for the cedar to be nailed directly. If it isn’t in good shape, furring strips are needed to nail the siding securely to the substrate. Keep in mind that many contractors may recommend removing the brick instead of placing the cedar directly over the material. Brick is uneven and can cause some issues like bowing and rippling. Sheathing may be recommended to make the area smooth before installation. Sheathing with labor and materials will cost $2 to $3 per square foot.

How Much Cedar Siding Do I Need?

Although a professional will measure for siding before installation, you may want to research cedar siding prices before you talk to contractors. The best way to get pricing information is to determine how much cedar siding you’ll need for your home. To measure your home, you’ll need a long measuring tape. Start by measuring from one side of your home to the other. Record the calculation. Use a ladder to measure from the bottom of your home to the top. Write down that calculation. Multiply the height and width to calculate the square footage for that side of the home. Repeat the steps for each side of your home. Then, add all the measurements together to find out how much siding you’ll need in square feet.

Keep in mind that siding isn’t always sold in square footage. Many companies sell it by the square with one square of siding equivalent to 100 square feet. For example, if you needed 900 square feet of siding for your home, you would need nine squares.

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Cedar Siding Colors

Cedar siding color options depend on what type of wood you choose for the exterior of your home. Both red and white cedar are used to create siding for homes. Red cedar has a very vibrant and saturated appearance. Red cedar is most often seen on homes in forest or lakeside areas. White cedar appeals to those looking for a home with an almost silver-gray exterior color. This choice is more frequently used in coastal homes.

Painting your cedar siding is possible in many cases. However, not all cedar siding will accept paint. For instance, cedar shake shingles should never be painted. Cedar shake goes through natural weathering changes, and paint will lift off the material. Other types of cedar siding can be painted, but homeowners should ask a painter to use an exterior acrylic-latex paint. For best results, siding must be primed before painted using a stain-blocking primer.

Cedar siding color options are neutral with shades of gray, beige, and cream. Some homeowners use paint to enhance the natural color of the wood and choose whites, reds, and browns.

Keep in mind that once you stain or paint cedar siding, it’s very difficult to reverse the process and apply a semi-transparent coat later. Stain protects cedar for approximately four years, while solid paint could last up to eight years.

Cedar Siding Pros and Cons

The main reason that homeowners turn to cedar is the attractive look of the wood siding. Cedar offers plenty of curb appeal and adds value to your home. Cedar promises countless customization options. For starters, you could have the wood applied to the home in panels or as shakes. The wood could be left natural and not treated at all. Conversely, a homeowner could paint or stain the exterior with an oil or paint in a preferred shade to achieve the style they desire.

Another advantage of cedar is the material is considered eco-friendly. Cedar is completely biodegradable and a renewable resource. The material is one of the few wood building materials that boring insects won’t invade.

The main disadvantage of cedar siding is the material requires a lot of maintenance. The siding must be painted or stained every three to five years to remain aesthetically pleasing. Not maintaining the siding will decrease the fire resistance of the wood material. Even with treatment, cedar siding is more prone to mold and rot than vinyl siding.

Cedar Siding Repair Cost

Cedar is fairly durable and resists most rot. It can crack, particularly in the lower grades, if it was not kiln-dried for stability first. While it resists rot, rot can develop over time if moisture becomes trapped. Inspect your cedar annually for signs of softening or cracked or split siding.

Repairs to areas that are 10 square feet or less in size cost between $100 and $150 on average. More widespread problems are usually fixed at an hourly rate, with most siding installers charging between $50 and $70 for wood siding repair.

If your cedar needs repair, the most common repair method is removing and replacing the affected siding.

Cedar Siding Maintenance Cost

Cedar siding ranges in maintenance, depending on several factors. Cedar is naturally rot-resistant, insect-resistant, and fungus-resistant. It tends to last longer than other types of wood siding without a lot of maintenance or repair.

If you leave your cedar untreated or stained, your maintenance involves inspecting it yearly, pressure washing to clean, and restaining every few years.

If you want to paint your cedar, you have more maintenance. Cedar has a tendency to stain paint. This is known as cedar bleed, where the sap bleeds through the paint. It needs to have a primer applied that blocks this bleed first, then it can be painted. Every few years, you need to scrape the old paint and apply new primer and paint. This has an average cost of $5,170.

Close-up of Hand Wearing Protective Work Gloves with Brush Paintbrush Applying Stain to Cedar Wood Shingles Exterior Siding

Horizontal vs Vertical Cedar Siding Cost

Another homeowner style choice will be between horizontal and vertical cedar siding. Horizontal is the popular choice and likely what you’ll see when driving around your neighborhood. Horizontal is ideal for those who want a classic look that is budget-friendly. For one, horizontal siding costs less than vertical cedar siding because of the widespread availability of the style. Moreover, horizontal siding is easier to install, which reduces the price.

Vertical siding requires a layer of furring strips, which makes the installed price higher. Horizontal cedar siding has an average cost of $4 to $6 per square foot installed.

Vertical siding costs from $7 to $10 per square foot installed. The benefit of vertical siding is that it has a very distinct and eye-catching look. Many feel horizontal siding has a more modern and fun look than the traditional horizontal cedar styles. Vertical siding is surprisingly very durable compared to horizontal siding. Horizontal cedar planks are prone to water damage such as rot and mold because rain drips down the edges. Rain glides right off vertical cedar planks.

Comparison of Horizontal and Vertical Cedar Siding Cost per Square Foot (mobile)

TypeCost per Sq.Ft. (Installed)
Horizontal$4 - $6
Vertical$7 - $10

Cedar vs Vinyl Siding Cost

Vinyl siding was created in the 1950s to be a lower-maintenance alternative to wood. While cedar that is painted needs to be scraped, primed, and repainted every 5 to 7 years, vinyl never needs to be painted because the color goes right through.

Vinyl is a manmade product made of polyvinyl chloride, which is a plastic. It lasts for about 20 years but cannot be recycled or easily disposed of, so it is not considered a green material. When responsibly harvested, cedar can be considered sustainable and does not end up in landfills because it is easily reused or decomposed.

Cedar is available in many more styles than vinyl siding, but it also costs more. Vinyl costs between $1.30 and $10 for material, while cedar costs between $2.50 and $30. Many cedar installations last longer than vinyl but may need more maintenance, making vinyl the more affordable long-term option.

Cedar Shake vs Cedar Shingle

Many people use the terms shake and shingle interchangeably, but these are two very different products. Shingles are usually machine-milled. They have clean edges and are uniform in size and shape.

Shakes are hand-split or cut. They are larger, thicker, and appear more rustic. They can also vary in size and thickness, so they can take more effort and expertise to install than shingles or other types of siding.

Cedar shingles cost between $2.50 and $20 a square foot, while shakes cost between $6 and $20 a square foot. Shakes usually also cost $1 to $2 more a square foot to install than shingles.

Fiber Cement Siding vs Cedar

If you like the look of cedar but want something lower maintenance, consider fiber cement siding. Fiber cement is made to look like cedar siding, with many styles available, including lap siding, shingles, and shakes. It is made of wood pulp, sand, silica, and Portland cement. This makes fiber cement more durable and harder than cedar. The color on fiber cement lasts roughly 10 years before needing to be repainted, while the material itself lasts 50 years or more. Cedar lasts roughly 30 years on average and needs to be painted about twice as often.

Cedar is a more sustainable material than fiber cement, which cannot be recycled at the end of its lifespan. Fiber cement costs between $4 and $10 a square foot, making it more expensive than some types of basic cedar but less expensive than premium cedar siding types.

Compare prices from cedar siding installation near you

Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Stain Cedar Siding

On average, the cost to stain cedar is between $2.50 and $3.50 a square foot, including labor and materials. Many people choose to stain their cedar rather than painting, which lets the natural color and grain show through, while protecting it from the elements. Staining is less expensive than painting because it does not require a primer.

Old Siding Removal

If you have old siding on your home, it is recommended to remove it in most cases before installing new siding. The cost of this is usually $1,000 to $2,000, depending on the siding type, how hard it is to remove, and the costs of disposal for that siding type.

Treatment and Weatherproofing

While staining usually adds color to your siding, if you want to leave your cedar its original color and protect it, treat and waterproof it. This treatment repels water and UV rays from the sun, but it does not change its appearance. The cost is the same as staining, at around $2.50 to $3.50 a square foot, including labor and materials.

Cedar Gutters

Wood gutters are used to match the aesthetic of a home with cedar siding. Cedar is the most common type of wood used because it has a high moisture resistance level and can be painted. Cedar gutters are often painted to match the exterior of the home, while the interior of the gutters is treated with an oil stain to protect the material. Cedar gutters cost from $4,000 to $5,200 for materials and installation.

Cedar Soffit

Cedar is a common choice for the soffit of a building’s exterior. Contractors install a cedar soffit because it’s moisture resistant and won’t attract wood-boring insects. Once installed, the cedar soffit prolongs the longevity of the siding by diverting moisture. You’ll spend an average of $22 to $28 per linear foot to install a cedar soffit.

Cedar Fascia

Cedar along with redwood are the only two wood types normally used for fascia board. These are the varieties of wood that are most resistant to mold and rot. Unlike other types of wood, cedar fascia board requires priming first. Fascia board helps divert water away from your cedar siding to extend the life of your exterior. Cedar fascia board costs $3 to $6 per linear foot to install.

Cedar Trim

Cedar is not commonly used for trim work but will be considered if cedar siding has been installed. It is a very light but durable wood choice for exterior trim and can be stained or painted to match the siding. Cedar trim can be used around the doors and windows to create a textured look. You’ll pay an average of $1.20 to $2.50 per linear foot for cedar trim.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Cedar type. Cedar siding costs vary depending on where you live and the cedar type. If you live in an area where the cedar is abundant, it will be less expensive than if you live in an area where it needs to be shipped in. For example, if you choose Western red cedar and live on the East Coast, your costs can be much higher than they would be on the West Coast.
  • ROI. Wood siding does not have a very high ROI when compared to lower-maintenance materials. However, if your current siding is in poor condition, replacing it with new wood siding helps your home maintain its value.
  • Professional references. It is always best to have your siding professionally installed. Always ask for references, license numbers, and insurance coverage. You should interview at least 3 to 5 people and get their repair and refund policies to make the best choice.
  • Locally sourced. Whenever possible, purchase your siding from local sources. This is more environmentally friendly and supports local businesses. If you purchase from a local distributor, it is also likely to be cheaper.
  • Eco-friendly. Wood siding is very sustainable because it breaks down so easily. Old-growth trees produce the best lumber quality, and their cutting makes room for new growth and the prevention of forest fires. Make sure that your wood is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council to ensure it was harvested sustainably.
  • Lifespan. Cedar siding must be maintained to reach the maximum lifespan of 20 to 30 years. This means the homeowner must stain or paint the siding every three to five years. Power washing is done annually. Without maintenance, cedar planks will likely need replacement after ten years.
  • Wind resistance. Cedar shakes and shingles have high wind resistance. Cedar shingles have wind resistance in storms with wind speeds up to 173 miles per hour. Cedar shakes can withstand wind speeds up to 245 miles per hour.
  • Permits, requirements. Although exterior cosmetic changes like painting don’t normally require a permit, changing the siding on the home may require a permit in your municipality. An inspection may be required to confirm that the exterior has been properly sealed and protected against the elements.


  • How long does cedar siding last?

This depends on the grade, how it was treated, and how it was maintained. It can last at least 30 years on average, and when well-maintained, it could last many more years.

  • Is cedar siding high maintenance?

This depends largely on what it is you want to do with it. If you paint it, then yes, it can be very high maintenance. If you stain it or leave it natural, it requires less maintenance.

  • What are the disadvantages of cedar wood?

Cedar cracks and splits easily. It also bleeds through paint and requires a primer, making painting and maintenance expensive and difficult to perform.

  • Does cedar siding attract bugs?

No, cedar is naturally insect, fungus, and rot-resistant.

  • When should cedar siding be replaced?

If you notice widespread dry rot or softening of the boards, it is time to replace it. Otherwise, you can replace it if you desire something lower in maintenance.

  • Is cedar siding more expensive than vinyl?

On average, yes, it is more expensive than vinyl. However, there is some overlap between the two, where they are comparable in price. It depends on the type and style of each that you are considering.

  • Does cedar siding rot?

Cedar is rot-resistant, meaning that it does not rot as easily or quickly as other softwoods. It can rot, however, when exposed to enough moisture over a long period of time.