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What is the Average Cost for Cedar Shingles?

Cedar shingle siding is a type of siding that many people and builders prefer for its natural beauty. Cedar shingles also require little to no maintenance. They do not need staining or sealing once installed, and weathering only makes cedar look better with age rather than worse. The look of cedar is warm and inviting and gives the home or building a more natural element to its facade. Continue reading to see all the costs and benefits of shingle cedar roofing.

The Costs 

  • Average Minimum Cost: $8,500
  • Average Maximum Cost: $10,500

Averages are based on 1,200 square feet of cedar shingle siding. Costs vary due to yearly lumber prices and region. Certain types of wood, such as redwood, may be harder to obtain in different areas of the U.S. than others, causing it to be higher in price. Cedar shingle siding can cost approximately 25% more than other types of siding such as vinyl. It is also time-consuming to install, which can drive up prices.

Cedar Shingle Siding

It is recommended in regions with high humidity that the shingles be treated with preservatives or with fire retardant. This can help to extend the life of the shingle and sometimes brings with it a better warranty from the manufacturer.

Cedar is environmentally friendly in the sense that it is made from renewable resources. Also, cedar is one of the most sustainable types of siding. It produces the lowest levels of air and water pollution and the lowest in solid waste and greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, western red cedar lumber is usually taken from the most sustainable forests in the U.S. Most types of wood siding can last over 30 years with regular staining.


Cedar shingles are sawn directly from cedar trees and can be custom made to fit almost any length and thickness. There are different grades that are suitable for different parts of the home including the roof, wall or garage. The Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau uses a standardized program called "Certi-Label" to identify the different types of grades. Certain building codes require minimum standards for wood shingle, which is where the Certi-Label scale comes in handy.

Both terms shingle and shake are used when signifying cedar shingle; however, there is a difference. Shingles are sawn on both faces and are thinner compared to shakes, which are split from the log and take on an uneven face. Cedar shingle is most commonly made from red cedar and Alaskan yellow cedar. Both have natural oils that help it to remain resistant to decay and both turn to softer, attractive colors after weathering, making them a good choice for homeowners who do not want to paint their siding.

Advantages of Cedar Shingle Siding

Cedar shingle works well as an insulator and can help lower both heating and cooling costs. It is low density and therefore becomes a natural thermal insulator. They are very durable if laid out correctly. Properly installed cedar shingles can last 25 years or more and can stand up to even the harshest coastal weather conditions. Wood shingle is rated for wind pressure of up to 175 mph, which works well for homes built in hurricane or storm zones.

Cedar is naturally resistant to insects, decay and rot. It is the perfect type of wood for staining or finishing due to its lack of any resin or pitch. Left alone and unfinished, cedar often weathers to a beautiful silver gray. This is perfect for those who wish to have siding that requires little or no maintenance. Natural cedar has a nice, well-textured grain that grows in many natural and beautiful colors and shades of amber and browns. It is also a great choice for soundproofing because of its natural acoustic properties.

Disadvantages of Cedar Shingle Siding

Certain types of cedar siding do need to be painted or stained regularly to keep the natural appearance. This process could be necessary every three to six years, depending on weather conditions. If not installed correctly, the elements could degrade cedar siding and cause it to warp, crack or fade. It may be necessary to apply a mildew retardant or fungicide every few years in hot and humid regions, and oil finishes in drier climates. Lastly, some insurance companies consider wood siding to be an increased insurance risk and may charge higher premiums.

Types of Cedar Shingle Siding

  • Bevel Siding: This type of cedar shingle siding is very common. Bevel siding is created by sawing the lumber in a particularly angle to create two pieces thicker on one edge than the other. The effect results in one face being textured while the other is smooth. It is then installed horizontally. 
  • Tongue and Groove Shingle Siding: With this method, the joints between each piece are flush, which combine to create different shadowed effects and is quite beautiful and elegant in appearance.
  • Board & Batten Shingle Siding: This method uses wide boards spaced with battens and in various combinations, which produces different effects, depending on the application. Usually rough and unseasoned boards are used for board and batten siding.
  • Lap Siding: This is used to give the building a more rustic appearance. Lap siding is installed either vertically, diagonally or horizontally. Each board overlaps the board beside it, creating a type of channel that allows for shadow dimension and weather protection. Usually unseasoned, knotty grades of cedar are used for this type of siding.

Although cedar siding may be more expensive than other types of siding, due to its long lasting durability and aesthetically pleasing qualities, it is a good choice for many builders who need a low-maintenance type of wood siding.

Last updated on May 18, 2016

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