If your home doesn’t have beautiful brick or stone exterior, you’ve probably thought about replacing or adding siding at some moment. There are a variety of alternatives, both artificial and natural. One of the most popular options is cedar. However, there are a few factors to be considered prior to making a decision to invest in this material.
General Pros and Cons of Cedar Wood Siding
Being a natural product made of wood cedar comes with a variety of attractive attributes, but also disadvantages. Below are a few of the main considerations when choosing cedar siding.
Cedar looks beautiful when stained. Certain varieties, like white cedar, are becoming more visually appealing as time passes. It is cut in a variety of designs including traditional or beveled shingles, or shakes. It has a timeless appearance that other forms of siding are trying to mimic. The aesthetic appeal is complemented by its superior thermal and sound insulation.
It is totally biodegradable which makes it a great alternative for homes that are green. It is able to be easily stained and painted to get the style you prefer. It’s ideal for nearly any style of architecture. Contrary to other options that are available, cedar siding is simple to put up, which makes it a fantastic DIY project. If properly maintained it can last up to 75 years. It can also be stained prior to installation for more protection against weather.
Like other kinds of siding made from wood cedar is flammable until it is treated. Cedar requires periodically scheduled maintenance, which can be achieved by repainting or re-staining it every up to three years. Although it has higher resistance however, cedar is still susceptible to woodpeckers, rot or insect damage than other alternatives. It reacts with iron, so it is crucial to stay clear of using nails made of iron for installation. Additionally, the price may be prohibitive if working on a tight budget.
Comparing Cedar with other Siding Options
The final decision about the use of the cedar-based siding can be a decision that is personal however, it is crucial to know how it performs against other synthetic alternatives. Man-made siding is typically less expensive but aren’t as bio-degradable and can have other disadvantages.
Other Wood Types
Certain chemical compounds that are present in the fibers makes cedar stronger against termites as well as other insects than other woods. One advantage over other types made of timber is the fact that it is among the trees that grow at the fastest rate which makes it the most renewable material, following bamboo. It is not prone to warping or expand when exposed to humidity, but it can be susceptible to mildew and discoloration.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding made up of cement, sand and cellulose fibers, which are then pressed to produce the look of wood planks, or shakes. They’re usually pre-colored but they are also painted following installation. Although the grain of the wood is more consistent than real wood, the look is so similar that it is permitted for use in historical restoration projects.
However the fiber cement can only be capable of replicating painted woods. It is not able to replicate natural weathered or stained wood siding. This is especially the case when as compared to white cedar that develops a beautiful silvery patina when left untreated.
Cost comparisons show that cedar is an expense that is much more expensive both in terms of material and maintenance. Fiber cement costs around $3 to 4 per sq ft and cedar is priced between $5 and $7. It also requires very little maintenance, which can save thousands of dollars over price of cedar. Contrary to cedar the fiber cement is as fireproof and doesn’t require an additional treatment.
It is perhaps the most commonly used option for artificial siding Vinyl comes with its own disadvantages. For instance, although initially, vinyl appears to be more affordable, the final cost of installation is like cedar. Vinyl is also susceptible to cracking or buckling as time passes, and eventually needing replacement. It is also unable to replicate wood in a satisfactory way, which makes it look less appealing as other materials, and more homogenized in a neighbourhood.
In warmer environments, vinyl can last longer than cedar siding, and needs only periodic scrubbing to keep it in good condition. It’s not easy to paint, but you can purchase it in various shades. Another benefit is that each panel can be changed without the requirement of removing the panels that are adjacent to it.
Like vinyl in appearance Aluminum siding is efficient than cedar. Panels typically range between $1.50 and $2.50 and come in a wide range of shades. In contrast to cedar or other natural siding alternatives aluminum isn’t susceptible to insect or moisture damage. It is securely fastened which makes it a suitable choice for locations that have high winds. The major drawbacks of aluminum is that it breaks easily and has poor insulation against heat loss and water.
Redbeacon gives an overview of the pros and cons of a variety of siding alternatives.