Cedar Shingle Siding Cost Guide

The average cost to install cedar shingle siding ranges from $6 to $15 per square foot. You can expect to pay between $10,200 and $24,600 for a licensed contractor to install new cedar shingle siding on a typical house. This includes the cost of having a contractor remove the existing siding.

Example Cost to Install Cedar Shingle Siding Per Sq. Ft.

Since 1580 sq ft. is the exterior square footage of an average American house, the figures listed below are low and high end estimates of the cost to have a fully licensed contractor install new shake siding.

This is not a bid – it is only a rough estimate. You will need a personalized estimate from a siding contractor in your area.

Siding Price Per Sq. Ft.$3.5$7.5
Supplies & Accessories Per Sq Ft.$0.55$1
Total Materials Cost for 1580 Sq Ft.$6399$13430
Hours of Labour90105
Installer Hourly Rate3075
Total Labor Cost$2700$7875
Labor Cost Per Sq. Ft$1.7$5
Delivery Charge$50$125
Builder’s Permit$50$200
Siding Removal$1000$3000
Total Cost$10199$24630
Total Cost Per Sq. Ft.$6$15

Cedar Shingle Siding Home

How Many Exterior Sq. Ft. is a Typical Home?

According to data taken from the United States Census, the average house is a two-story, 25’ by 45’ (2,250 sq. ft. of floor area). Using our siding sq. ft. estimating method, it has 1580 square feet of exterior cladding. This can be calculated by measuring the length and width of the house, using 9’ per story, and calculating the area of each rectangle and triangle of siding space.

Example Material Price Ranges

Here are some prices per square foot from three of the major cedar shingle providers:

  • Spenard Builders Supply (SBS): $3.50 – $6.00
  • SBC Cedar Shingles: $4.00 – $6.75
  • Cedar West: $4.25 – $7.50

Example Installation Price Ranges

Your siding project should be individually priced, since there are so many variables. Here are three general categories in which your estimate may fit:

Cedar Siding Installation Prices, Basic $1.50 – $2.50

  • Single-story home
  • Rectangular shape
  • Includes garage
  • Up to six exterior surfaces
  • Cedar plank siding
  • Gables up to 6/12 pitch

Cedar Siding Installation Prices, Intermediate $2.30 – $4.50

  • Single-story home
  • Complex rectangular shape or rectangular 2-story
  • Includes garage
  • Up to eight walls
  • Combination of cedar plank and shingle/shake siding
  • Gables up to 6/12 pitch

Cedar Siding Installation Prices, Expensive: $3.25 – $6.00

  • Complex multi-story construction
  • Eight or more walls
  • Cedar shakes or shingles
  • Gales steeper than 6/12 roof pitch

Cost to have the old siding removed – $1000 to $3000

Removing and disposing of old siding will vary in price according to the size of the home and the complexity of construction. Understandably, two-story homes will cost more for labor.

Expect to spend between $0.50 and $1.00 per sq. ft. for removal and disposal of old siding. This should be included in the siding contractor’s estimate. Check to be sure.

Factors that Affect the Cost

Now that you have a good idea of the overall cost of having cedar shake siding installed, here are some factors that may affect the overall expense.

Material Grade

Clear to Common Wood Grades

The grade of wood is based on a number of variables, all of which influence the overall value of the wood. Some lumber is full of knots and other blemishes, which make it hard to mill.

Some woods are full of resins and pitch, as well. All of this dulls cutting surfaces and gums-up machinery. The finished planks will be of varying value, too, because they may contain voids and knots that make them unattractive and weak.

Cedar shingle siding is usually made of clear grade wood. This means it is clear of knots and voids, with less likelihood of warping or splitting. If you plan to have a double layer of cedar shingles put on your home for insulation purposes, the first, or bottom layer may be of shingles made from some other grade.

Besides the quality of the wood itself, the length of the final product will affect its value. 18” planks, referred to as Perfection length, will cost less than the 24” Royal length planks. However, it will take more of the shorter planks to complete the job.

Material Type & Style

Two variables affect the appearance and cost of cedar shingles are color and profile. The butt-end of each shake has a great influence on the shadow line visible after the siding job is completed. The color itself can be natural or stained.

Edges of Cedar Shingles

Cedar Shingles and Shakes

The edges of cedar shakes are usually cut straight across. Shakes are a little thicker than shingles, but both are wedge-shaped. The straight-cut bottom, or butt-end, creates long horizontal shadow lines that are often preferred with cedar shakes.

Some homeowners prefer the staggered patterns that purposely keep the bottom of the shakes from lining up, creating a more complex shadow line. The staggered pattern also uses shakes and shingles of varying widths.

The butt-side may also be cut in some other design than a straight edge. You can pay extra to have the bottom edge shaped like:

  • Pointed
  • Diagonal
  • Arrow
  • Fish scale
  • Round
  • Octagonal

Color of Cedar Shingles

Red and White Cedar Color

Cedar itself is a very beautiful, almost creamy wood. It can be a light color if it comes from a white cedar tree, or a dark color if it comes from a red cedar tree. Your siding contractor can preserve the rich, natural colors of your cedar shingles with sealer, which will need to be reapplied every few years.

You can also have the wood stained, either at the factory or onsite. Either way will increase the cost a little bit. Finally, cedar siding can be pre-primed and pre-painted, or painted after installation.
Every 1000 square feet of siding will require between 60 and 70 hours for installation. Using the 1580 square foot average mentioned earlier, you can expect your siding job to take between 90 and 105 hours.

This estimation will be affected by job site conditions and the complexity of your home. If your house is located in an area that is difficult to reach, or if the seasonal workload is full, it may cost more to have cedar shakes installed.

In general, if you will approach siding contractors in the fall or winter, you will get better prices. This is their slow season, and they may be looking for work for their crews. Also, be aware that this is the most expensive siding to have installed as far as labor goes. And, while shorter boards may cost less, you will need more of them to complete the job.

Exterior Complexity

The average home in the U.S. has between six and twelve corners. Estimates for siding installation are based on this. A more complex house footprint, though, with have over 12 corners.

Contractors will figure in all of the openings for doors and windows, too. While these areas won’t require siding, they will require more time to properly install the siding.

Complex configurations that vary from the classic rectangle will increase the cost. Multiple levels will too, if they break from the rectangular configuration. You need to make sure to get several estimates and compare them so that you know everything is covered.

Where You Live

Your location may affect the cost of cedar shingle siding. If you live in an area far from redwood cedar mills, it may cost more to have the materials transported. Also, lumber has to be acclimated to your area, which takes a while and may require storage. The ambient humidity must match the moisture levels of your cedar shakes and shingles or they will split and bow.

Your home’s immediate location is also a factor in the cost of installation. If crews will not have ready access to your property due to traffic or other structures it can drive the cost off. In addition, if you are in a remote spot, workers will have either traveling expenses or lodging expenses.

Finding the Right Cedar Shingle Installer

Most siding contractors will want to do an onsite inspection before providing an estimate. In fact, you probably should be skeptical of any estimate that does not include an on-site inspection, unless your home is a tract home. Most estimates are free while others ask for a deposit of an hourly rate that will be put toward your purchase if you contract with them.

You need estimates from 3 or 4 siding companies. Do your research on the company to make sure they have a good reputation and are local. Let the estimator know that you are comparing prices and that he has some competition.

Each siding contractor will have different expenses of his own, so his or her estimates will vary to a certain degree. Look at each estimate and make sure that they include all of the accessories mentioned above as well as removal and disposal of the old siding. Some of them include a charge for insurance and bonding.

If one estimate is considerably lower than the others check and make sure everything is included. An estimate that doesn’t have the $1000 to $3000 removal disposal fee can be much lower than its competition, but you will still have to pay that amount.

When you set your budget for new siding, be ready to add between 7% and 15% more to be safe. This will help to keep your project afloat even if it turns out to be more complex than originally thought.

Shop around for siding. Visit each of the supply houses in your area and negotiate better prices. You may get as much as 20% off of your materials.

Before you begin siding your home with cedar shingles or shakes make sure the neighborhood warrants it. Cedar shakes are a high-end finish to put on the exterior of your home, and if you live in a less than exclusive area, this may be a waste of money.

Cedar Shakes vs. Cedar Shingles

Cedar Shakes vs. Cedar Shingles

The words “shake” and “shingle” are often used interchangeably by roofers, siding contractors, and homeowners. However, they are different products. Shingles are much thinner than shakes. Part of the confusion in terminology is due to the fact that in the last few decades, manufacturing has become automated enough to produce many brands of cedar shakes.

Cedar shingles were traditionally sawn off of a block of cedar, while shakes were split off by hand. This gave the shakes a hand-hewn appearance while shingles were more uniform in size and shape. In modern lumber mills, cedar shakes are sawn from lumber and grooved by a machine to give them a hand-hewn look. They are still thicker than shingles, and have irregular features that keep them from laying flat when they are installed. This means that, without proper care taken by the installer, wind and rain can get through to the underlayment.

By contrast, it is possible to be more precise when milling cedar shingles. They will lay flat without gaps. Both shingles and shakes are rustic in appearance when they are installed, but installation is time-consuming and expensive. Whether you install your own cedar siding or hire a professional, it will be an investment of time.

Types of Cedar Shingle Siding

Cedar trees are members of the pine tree family. There are several species of cedar that grow naturally in the U.S., and it can be treated as a sustainable crop. While pine trees are considered to be a soft wood, cedar is quite durable. Cedar shakes and shingles will be milled from white, red, or yellow cedar.

Preferred for use in siding, western red cedar is flexible and easy to work with. It has natural insect repellant in it natural tannin, and the planks, shingles, and shakes are very durable. It is this insect repellant ability that makes cedar a popular lining material for closets and chests. The red cedar is porous enough to accept stain or fireproofing treatments and in some areas is less expensive than other types of cedar.

Red Cedar Siding

Yellow cedar has a natural oil in it that makes it repel water. It also has the natural tannin that repels insects. This is a heavier wood than red cedar because of the oils in it. However, since the natural oils are present in yellow cedar, it is very hard to stain. Even paint will show the oil underneath over time, much as yellow pine does.

Yellow Cedar Shingles

The good news here is that the yellow cedar is so beautiful and weathers to a silvery-gray color that it usually doesn’t need stain or paint. Contractors also say that yellow cedar grips fasteners better than red cedar.

Another popular species of cedar for shakes and shingles is the white cedar. It grows naturally in the eastern U.S. and can be harvested from sustainable forests. White cedar smells more like cedar than the other two types, and is a nice, blonde shade.

White Cedar

It is a long-lasting wood that is also moisture resistant and will repel insects. White cedar can be painted and stained, much as red cedar is. It will also weather to a natural, soft gray color.

Environmental Impact of Cedar Siding

The use of wood in construction has been questioned in the past, with claims that too many natural resources are used in the construction industry. However, studies have shown that wooden structures actually require less energy and produce less pollution than other methods of construction. Greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, and solid waste are all reduced with wooden construction, as opposed to steel and concrete.

Cedar is also a great insulator. Once it is properly installed, it will help reduce the amount of energy necessary to control the climate in the house. This reduces the house’s environmental impact. Cedar is also a renewable resource and can be harvested from sustainable forests.

While some cedar shingles are harvested from lumber in sustainable forests, the majority of them are made from salvaged wood. Once loggers leave an area, there are logs left that the lumber mill didn’t want or couldn’t use. These can be retrieved and milled into shingles and shakes.

While cedar shingles and shakes are one of the most expensive types of siding, they are the best choice for some architectural designs. This traditional siding is considered a high-end finish whether used as siding or as a roof. It is an environmentally responsible choice that provides charm and protection to your house for 100 years.

Here are some other green siding options.

Alternatives to Cedar

There are composite materials such as fiber cement and vinyl that are designed to mimic cedar shingles and cedar shake siding. High-quality composite shingles will be durable and require less maintenance, but don’t necessarily look as beautiful as the authentic wood.

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Over to You

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