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Wood Siding Cost

Wood Siding Cost

National average
$9,750 - $12,000
(installing engineered wood siding on a 1,500 sq.ft. home)
Low: $4,500 - $8,000

(pine or plywood siding)

High: $13,000 - $1,500

(hardwood siding)

Cost to install wood siding varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from siding contractors in your city.

The average cost of installing wood siding is $9,750.

In this guide

Pros and cons
Moisture barrier
Materials
Patterns
Grades
Priming and sealing
Installation
Labor
Wood siding vs other materials
Maintenance
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to install wood siding?

Wood siding protects your home’s exterior from the elements while adding beauty. Many species of wood are used to create siding and there are also a wide array of grades. Normally, a clear sealant or semi-transparent stain is used to further highlight the wood’s grain and brings out its unique beauty. However, a lower grade of wood siding can be used to save money. The less expensive grades are painted or stained with opaque shades to hide any less-than-desirable blemishes.

The cost to install wood siding averages $3 to $10 per square foot for materials and labor. It varies depending on the wood’s grade. To install wood siding on a 1,500 sq.ft. home averages $9,750 for a medium grade wood siding plus labor.

Pros and cons

Prior to deciding to use wood siding on your home, you should carefully weigh the pros and cons of the project:

ProsCons

Readily available

Quick and easy to install

Easy to replace if damaged

Good option for homeowners wanting to go ‘green’

Easy to paint or stain

Can crack or warp if not regularly maintained with stain or paint

Wood can rot

Susceptible to insects


Moisture barrier

Moisture can penetrate even professionally installed wood siding, which means that it is imperative that you have a moisture barrier installed to protect your home’s exterior beneath the wood siding. A moisture barrier must be laid down before the siding. The most common forms of moisture barrier are house wrap, plywood sheathing, or felt paper. House wrap, such as Tyvek or R-Wrap, offers the greatest moisture protection. A roll of Tyvek or R-Wrap that measures 9’ x 150’  averages $165 per roll. Plywood sheathing is another option to create a moisture barrier, but since plywood is made from wood, even though it has been treated to repel water it is still susceptible to water and insects over time. A sheet of plywood sheathing averages $26 for a 4’ x 8’ piece. Classic tar paper is another low-cost option that has proven effective at creating a moisture barrier between the home and the wood siding. A roll of tar paper averages $75 for 250 feet.

Materials

When choosing wood siding, there are many types of wood that you can choose between. Each one offers a different appearance. In addition, all of the various types have their pros and cons.

Wood typeProsCons

Masonite hardboard

($1.50-$3.50/sq.ft.)

Looks like wood

Low maintenance

Does not rot

Does not swell

A combination of resin, wood fiber, and wax

Lacks the charm of real wood

Plywood/ T1-11

($1.50-$3.50/sq.ft.)

Economical

Low maintenance

Does not rot

Can swell

Lacks the charm of real wood

Pine

($1.00-$5.00/sq.ft.)

Inexpensive

Holds a finish well

Pressure-treated pine offers some rot resistance

Often has numerous knots and imperfections

Prone to cupping and splitting

Must be sealed or painted

Rots

Commonly infected by wood-chewing insects

Spruce

($1.00-$5.00/sq.ft.)

Inexpensive

Readily available

Available in longer lengths than pine

May rot

Requires regular sealing

Cypress

($1.00-$5.00/sq.ft.)

A popular siding choice on the East Coast

Stains well

Rot-resistant

Resists insects

Often difficult to obtain

Engineered wood

($2.50-$6/sq.ft.)

Highly rot-resistant

Comes primed and ready for paint

Made from wood fiber and glue

Lacks the charm of real wood

Fir

($2.00-$6.00/sq.ft.)

Easy to cut

Accepts a finish well

Can easily be milled to pattern

Widely available

Requires regular sealing

May rot

Composite

($3.00-$7.00/sq.ft.)

Rot-resistant

Durable

Ready to paint

Made from sawdust, glue, and resin

Lacks the charm of real wood

Teak

($5.00-$8.00/sq.ft.)

A hardwood

Readily available

Less hard than some American hardwoods

Massaranduba

($5.00-$8.00/sq.ft.)
Almost as hard as, but less costly than ipe 1

Light coloration

Often reddish in color

Brazilian Teak (Caramu)

($6.00-$8.00/sq.ft.)

Has the lovely coloring of Ipe, but less expensive

Hardwood

Has double the lifespan of traditional teak

Warps

Not rot-resistant

Not insect resistant

Barnwood

($6.00-$8.00/sq.ft)
Unique looking

Difficult to obtain

Pieces often do not match

Pieces may be bent

Accoya

($4.00-$9.00/sq.ft.)

Structurally stable

Virtually rot-proof

Toxic-free

Sustainable

Often difficult to obtain

Garapa

($7.50-$9.50/sq.ft.)

Looks like cedar

Outperforms for longevity and durability

Often difficult to obtain

Cedar

($3.00-$10.00/sq.ft.)

The most popular wood siding choice

Stains well

Rot-resistant

Resists insects

Often difficult to obtain

May react to metal nails

Requires regular staining

Redwood

($4.00-$14.00/sq.ft.)

Very popular

Offers moderate rot resistance

Stains well

Not as rot-resistant as other choices

Expensive

Ipe

($8.00-$15.00/sq.ft.)

Dense

Heavy

Hard

Durable

Beautiful

Moisture-resistant

Rot-resistant

Insect-resistant

Expensive

Very hard so difficult to work with


Patterns

Wood siding fits together with a variety of patterns such as clapboard, dolly varden, bevel, tongue-and-groove, shiplap, channel rustic, rustic vee, board and batten, plywood 2, log, shakes 3, shingles 4, and sheets. Each one varies in the way it is installed (either vertical or horizontal).  Intricate patterns cost more than simpler designs.

PatternsInstallationEase of installation
BevelA beveled horizontal siding that installs flatEasy
Board and batten

One piece covers the seam 5 of the butt joint 5 of the two underlying strips of siding

The siding is hung vertically

Easy
ClapboardInstalled horizontally in an overlapping smooth patterned surfaceEasy
Channel rustic

Similar to shiplap, but features a longer tongue to create a groove (channel) which gives a rustic look

Installs horizontally or vertically

Difficult
Dolly vardenA beveled horizontal siding that installs flatEasy
PlywoodCan be installed vertically or horizontallyEasy
LogInstalled horizontally to create a rustic feelDifficult
Rustic vee

Has a tongue and groove pattern

Creates a rustic look. It can be installed vertically, horizontally, or diagonally

Difficult
ShakesInstalled horizontally, one piece at a timeDifficult
SheetsInstalled horizontally, one piece at a timeEasy
ShinglesInstalled horizontally, one piece at a timeDifficult
ShiplapInstalls in a horizontal or vertical beveled fashion to create a smooth surfaceDifficult
Tongue and grooveThe tongue fits into the groove to create a flat horizontal or vertical surfaceDifficult


Grades

The term “grades” describes the appearance of the wood. Many associations have joined together to govern the grades of wood. These associations include the Western Wood Products Association (WWPA), the National Lumber Grades Authority (NLGA) (a Canadian group), and the West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau (WCLIB), and the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA). Grading systems are used for marketing wood and pricing it. A premium grade of wood costs more ($3-$10 per sq.ft.) than mid-grade ($2-$6 per sq.ft.) or low-grade ($1-$3 per sq.ft.) wood grains.

Premium grades of wood are virtually free of all defects. In some instances, they are made from the wood’s heartwood. Premium grades of wood include Clear Heart, Heart, and Clear. If you want to stain your wood siding then you will want to consider purchasing premium grade wood siding to show the wood’s beauty and appearance after staining. These are kiln dried and aged.

Mid-grades are often called “select grades.” They are often called Superior and Prime. These have been aged and kiln dried.

Knotty grades of wood are called the following: Select Tight Knots (STK), Select Knotty, 2&Better, 3&Better. Knotty grades of wood need paint to hide the many knots and defects. Many of these woods are considered green.

Priming and sealing

Priming and sealing your wood siding will ensure a long life. Both paint and stain seal the wood to prevent rotting, cracking, or drying. It is typically recommended that you stain your wood siding every four years and paint every three to seven years. Most painters charge $50 per hour to prime or stain to your home’s exterior. The average cost to paint a 1,500 sq.ft. house exterior averages $2,500-$3,000.

Installation

The most common way to install wood siding is horizontally. This tends to be the easiest method and it effectively sheds rain. Depending on the type of siding, the horizontal siding can be smooth or patterned. Horizontal installation averages $1-$5 per sq.ft., depending on the type of siding used.

Vertical siding is often not considered as effective at shedding rain because the rain can run down into the cracks between the siding. It is fairly easy to install and averages $1-$2 per sq.ft., depending on the type of siding used.

Diagonal installation is the most difficult and averages $2.50-$6 per sq.ft., depending on the type of siding. It tends to take time to fashion all of the pieces together and requires more cuts. The diagonal layout also may not shed rain as effectively.

Labor

A carpenter usually charges $40 to $50 per hour to install siding. A house that averages 1,500 sq.ft. usually takes a crew from four to six days to install the siding, depending on the pattern and wood type used. The cost of installation and labor runs from $160-$200.  Installing difficult patterns can take more time. In addition, molding, trim, flashing, corners, vent blocks, and electrical blocks all take additional time to install. If electrical blocks must be installed then you will need to hire an electrician. Most electricians charge from $65-$85 per hour.

Wood siding vs other materials

Wood siding and vinyl siding create a very uniform appearance when installed. However, there are always variations in the wood siding that many people believe adds to its charm. Vinyl siding and fiber cement 6 require very little upkeep once installed, unlike wood which must be sealed or painted.

Siding typeProsCons

Wood siding​​

Not affected by extremes in temperature

Lasts 20 to 40 years

Has good ROI

Susceptible to rot

Wood eating insects might pose a danger

Can suffer moisture problems

Difficult to install

Hard to insulate

High-maintenance

Vinyl 

Easy to install

Low-maintenance

Lasts 40 years

Can be installed with foam insulation

No painting required

Bug-resistant

Rot-resistant

Available in many colors

Cracks when exceptionally cold

Can melt in extremely hot weather


Maintenance

Wood can warp or crack, so a board of wood siding may require repair or replacement on occasion. Wood must be painted or sealed regularly (every four to seven years) to maintain its appearance and prevent rot. Normally, you must stain the wood every four years and paint every five to seven years. Most painters charge $50 per hour to prime or stain to your home’s exterior. The average cost to paint a 1,500 square foot house exterior averages $2,500-$3,000.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Old siding removal

If you have your house sided then you might be faced with having the old siding removed. A carpenter typically charges $40-$50 per hour to remove old siding.

Wall repairs

To repair a section of wall of wood siding averages $100-$150 per section, plus labor. Most carpenters charge $40-$50 per hour to remove and replace the siding.

Stain or painting

You can apply stain or paint at the time of installation. However, every four to seven years the wood siding must either be stained or painted. Most painters charge $50 per hour to prime or stain to your home’s exterior.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Prior to hiring any contractor, you should always take the time to get at least three to five estimates to determine an acceptable amount to pay for the project.
  • Buying locally is environmentally friendly and supports local businesses. Purchasing your wood siding from a local distributor is usually cheaper.
  • This can be a DIY project. You should take the time to seal or prime each board before putting it on your house. Paint or seal the cut ends of the wood to prevent water damage. Remember to lay a moisture barrier beneath the wood siding. Use actual siding nails while hanging wood siding.
  • If you decide to purchase the wood siding yourself then always take the time to discuss wood grain with the siding salesperson. Usually, the best wood siding has a visible vertical grain. Less expensive types of wood siding have a flat or smooth grain.
  • Always take the time to check your local building codes before installing wood siding. You may be required to obtain a building permit when installing wood siding to your home.
  • If you decide to use hardwood siding on your home then you should always let the hardwood siding sit for at least seven days before installing it so that the boards can acclimatize to the outdoor temperature and humidity levels. This will prevent the boards from bending or warping. Never store the siding directly on the ground or on a concrete surface where it can absorb water and warp.
  • Square foot vs. Board Foot vs. Linear Foot is a formula that comes in handy for not only contractors but also DIYers. Contractors usually price the job based on the square foot. If you plan to undertake the project yourself then you will be buying the siding so you will need to understand the formula to determine the price of the wood.
  • Wood siding is sold by the linear foot, so you will have to determine exactly how many square feet of siding you will require to side your home to know how much the siding will cost.
  • The wonderful thing about wood siding is that it is highly sustainable. If it is hauled to a landfill then it readily breaks down. Also, the best grades of wood siding are obtained from old-growth timber. This means that old growth trees are harvested using formulas that help make room for new growth and prevent forest fires. When buying wood siding, always make sure that the wood is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Certification means that the wood was harvested from sustainable forests.

FAQ

  • What is the best wood siding?

The best wood siding is fashioned from premium grades of wood which are virtually free of all defects.

  • What is wood siding called?

Wood siding is often called clapboard, bevel siding, or weatherboard.

  • Is wood siding expensive?

Wood siding varies greatly in cost depending on the type of wood and the grade used, but it does not cost more than other siding types.

  • How much does it cost to side a 1,500 sq.ft. house?

The average cost to side a house is $3-$10 per sq.ft. for materials and labor, depending on the type of wood siding used. The cost to side a 1,500 sq. foot house can average $8,000-$12,000 depending on the type of siding.

  • How much does it cost to install wood siding?

The cost to install wood siding averages $3-$10 per sq.ft.

  • How do you install shiplap siding outside?

Shiplap siding is installed using ribbed galvanized siding nails. Two or three nails are used per board. With shiplap, each board is hung independently from the next if you are using true rabbit edge shiplap, or you can use tongue and groove shiplap which fits one board into the other for easier installation.

  • What nails should I use for wood siding?

Use nails that are rust-resistant. They should be either hot dipped galvanized, stainless steel, or high-tensile aluminum. The nails should have spiral shanks or rings.  

  • Can you put wood siding over wood siding?

Yes, you can put new wood siding over existing wood siding. Ideally, you should remove the old wood siding before installing new wood siding. Once the old wood siding is removed, a moisture barrier should be laid and then the new siding can be installed.

  • How much does it cost to install cedar siding?

Cedar siding averages $3-$10 per sq.ft.

  • How much does it cost to install smart siding?

Smart siding averages $1.85-$3.75 per sq.ft.

  • What's the cheapest siding for a house?

Masonite hardboard or plywood 2 (T1-11) averages $1.50-$3.50 per sq.ft.

  • How do I estimate the cost of siding?

Most contractors use square footage to determine the price of materials and labor. You must determine the square footage of your house to figure out the cost of materials and labor.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Ipe 1 Ipe: A dense hard wood most commonly used for decking and flooring. Its color varies from reddish brown to blackish brown
glossary term picture Plywood 2 Plywood: An engineered construction material manufactured from thin slices of wood glued together in alternating grain patterns for strength
glossary term picture Shake 3 Shakes: A rugged flat piece of wooden construction material with at least one grain-split face, generally made of either redwood or cedar, laid in a series of overlapping rows and used to cover the outside of roofs and walls to protect against weather damage and leaks
glossary term picture Shingle 4 Shingles: A smooth, uniform, flat piece of construction material, available in a wide variety of materials and laid in a series of overlapping rows, used to cover the outside of roofs or walls to protect against weather damage and leaks.
5 Joint: (Also known as Seam) A fold, line, or groove where two pieces of material join together
glossary term picture Fiber Cement 6 Fiber cement: A building material made with cellulose fiber, concrete, and recycled materials such as glass

Cost to install wood siding varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Close-up of house corner with wood siding

credits

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Acton, MA
+41%
Athens, GA
-9%
Baton Rouge, LA
+19%
Bel Air, MD
-8%
Boise, ID
-11%
Brookline, MA
+51%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Caldwell, ID
-35%
Charleston, SC
-1%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chattanooga, TN
+1%
Chesapeake, VA
-6%
Chesterfield, VA
+1%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Chula Vista, CA
+8%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Corpus Christi, TX
+4%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Denver, CO
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Dickson, TN
-23%
Elkhorn, WI
-8%
Frankfort, KY
-25%
Fremont, CA
+35%
Gilbert, AZ
-2%
Glen Ellyn, IL
+42%
Greensboro, NC
-9%
Grinnell, IA
+5%
Harrisburg, PA
+2%
Henderson, KY
-10%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Jonesville, MI
-32%
Katy, TX
+63%
Leander, TX
+4%
Lemont, IL
+40%
Lincoln, NE
-13%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Marietta, GA
+10%
Mcdonough, GA
-11%
Medford, OR
-21%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Miami, FL
+1%
Middletown, NY
-4%
Midland, TX
-15%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Nashville, TN
+21%
Labor cost in your zip code
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