Wood & Cedar Siding Price Guide
Wood and cedar siding remain a popular choice for homes in many settings from suburban neighborhoods to country homesteads to cabins in the woods. It is found on very rustic dwellings as well as nicely-appointed upscale homes.
This wood and cedar siding price guide includes general information, strengths and weaknesses of wood, and price examples. You’ll know what you’re getting for your money so you can evaluate wood and cedar siding for your home.
Leading Brands of Wood & Cedar
There are some national distributors of wood siding, though most companies tend to be local. Start with names like Buffalo Lumber, Lumber Liquidators, Build Direct and TruWood. Your siding contractor will be able to recommend the best brands of wood siding in your area, or you can look for them at your local building supply stores.
Various Types & Textures of Wood & Cedar Siding
Starting with materials, the most common are cedar, redwood, fir, spruce and pine. Redwood and cedar both have natural weather-resistant and insect-resistant qualities, though they are often sealed as well. Pine, spruce and fir must be painted or sealed to make them durable.
The styles include both horizontal siding and vertical siding. Horizontal siding can be lapped or installed tongue and groove to present a more finished look. From most dealers, your choices include tongue and groove (T&G), bevel, Dutch lap, cove, shiplap and channel rustic. The most popular dimensions for both horizontal and vertical siding are 1×6, 1×8, 1×10 and 1×12.
The wood might also be graded according to the absence or presence of knots in the wood. You’ll see phrases such as “clear” which means free of knots, “select tight knot” (STK) which means it contains some small knots that give the wood character, “grade B” which means just a few larger knots. Of course, knotty pine is full of knots, a feature that gives it the desired appearance.
Estimate Wood & Cedar Siding Prices
Wood siding is competitively priced with other options such as high-end vinyl siding, aluminum siding, fiber cement siding and some stone veneers or brick veneers. The quality of the wood affects prices. For pine, fir, spruce and “B” grade cedar, expect to pay $2.75-$3.75 per square foot ($275-$350 per square if sold in 100 sq. ft. bundles). For top-grade cedar and redwood siding, your price will be $4-$6.50 per square foot or $400-$650 per square.
These are material costs. Wood siding installation cost ranges from about $200 to $400 per square depending on the complexity of the job.
Wood and cedar siding comes in raw wood, primed, sealed or painted finishes. When the distributor has prefinished the wood in any way, expect to pay $.25 to $.75 per square foot extra.
Is wood or cedar siding right for you? Take into account the style and architecture of your home. Then consider how much time or money you’re willing to invest in maintenance. Finally, if the cost of the siding and ongoing maintenance fits your budget, then wood and cedar siding is a legitimate option for your home.
Possible Unseen Expenses During Installation
Your new wood siding might be the last siding your home ever needs. That’s why it is essential to make repairs and improvements to your home’s underlying structure before the siding is installed. Many homes need at least one or two from this list of projects and costs.
Replacing rotted wood
When old siding and gutters have been removed, it is common to find wet and rotted fascia and the wood framing around doors and windows. How widespread it is will determine the cost to repair it.
- Fascia replacement cost: $6.00-$9.00 per linear foot for wood; $14.00-$20.00 for aluminum or composite
- Wood framing replacement cost: $375-$650 per window or door.
Replacing sheathing and framing
When a house settles, framing can twist, bulge or break. If the old siding has failed, the sheathing might be rotted, warped or cupped too. These structural repairs maintain the integrity of the home and prevent damage to your new siding and its good looks.
- Cost to repair framing and sheathing: $3.75-$6.65 per square foot.
Installing gable vents
Attics in many homes were not properly vented when built decades ago. Now is the time to fix the issue, so a buildup of heat and moisture in the attic won’t damage your roof or cause mold and rot in the framing. This is an easy repair, and there are attractive gable covers that blend beautifully with wood siding.
- Cost to install a gable vent in wood siding: $75-$150 each.
Wrapping the house with weather-resistant barrier (WRB)
This is commonly called house wrap or Tyvek after a popular brand. When your old siding is removed, you might find the house doesn’t have WRB, it’s in poor condition or your contractor recommends new house wrap regardless. The weather-resistant barrier will pay for itself in just a few years by reducing air leaks that cause higher heating and cooling costs and by protecting your home from moisture damage.
- Cost to install WRB or house wrap: About $1.25 per square foot.
Pros and Cons of Wood & Cedar
The main reason most people choose cedar or some other type of wood siding is its natural beauty. There is a reason both vinyl siding and aluminum siding mimic wood siding – wood siding is very attractive, warm and inviting. It smells great too, and gives any home a very comfortable, welcoming aura. Cedar has a heavy wood grain pattern while other wood species have unique looks of their own.
Most wood species take stain and sealant quite well. When the staining, sealing or painting is done correctly, the finish is quite maintenance free. Hosing off dirt or using a mild soap and sponge is all that is required to keep it looking good, until it needs to be painted or stained again.
Cedar and redwood naturally repel insects and any wood that is properly sealed or painted will keep them out. However, if the seal begins to fail, insects can invade fairly quickly. Most wood siding, when it is properly maintained, will last 30 years minimum and might last 100 years or more.
Some woods are more readily available closer to where they grow. For example, Western Redwood is easier and less expensive to obtain in the West. Fir is very common and affordable in the East.
The main reason homeowners stay away from wood and cedar siding is the relatively high maintenance required over the years. Depending on your climate, you should plan to reseal or repaint your wood siding every 2-5 years. The other major concern about wood siding is that it burns quite readily compared with vinyl siding, aluminum, fiber cement, brick or stone.
Cedar Siding Cleaning & Estimated Costs
Wood and cedar siding cleaning cost is $.40-$.75 (40-75 cents) per square foot of siding. The wide range is due to these factors:
- Multi-story homes cost more to clean than single-story dwellings (+35)
- Cleaning cost is higher for homes with complex exteriors (+15%)
- Heavily soiled siding raises the cleaning costs (+10%-25%)
- Ecofriendly cleaners might cost more than standard products (+5%)
A major factor in how much you’ll pay to have wood or cedar siding cleaned is who does the work. Your options from lowest to highest with how much the cost goes up are: unlicensed handyman/licensed and insured handyman (+10%-20%)/cleaning franchise (+20%)/company hired by a property management firm (+30%).
While it might be tempting to go with the low-cost estimate, there is a risk in hiring anyone that isn’t licensed and insured. Wood siding can be damaged if excessive water pressure is used. If this happens, you might not be able to recover the cost of repair or replacement from the person.
Given your options, you can control cedar or wood siding cleaning cost and be sure you get professional work done. First, do the hiring yourself. Secondly, request estimates from several licensed and insured contractors, and let them know they’re competing for the work.
Before the work is done, inspect your siding to make sure there are no cracks that water could penetrate. Replace missing or loose caulk around windows and doors.
Pressure washing is an acceptable method of cleaning cedar and other types of wood siding when care is taken not to use excessive pressure. First, a mild, low-foaming cleaning solution is sprayed onto the siding and allowed to loosen dirt for at least 10 minutes. Any tough dirt such as mold or algae might require light scrubbing with a soft-bristled brush. Then, the cleaner can be rinsed with the pressure sprayer on a suitable pressure setting.