While not as popular today, many homes build/renovated in the 50s, 60s, and 70s were sided with cedar.
Why was cedar a popular siding option?
Prior to the late 70s, vinyl siding was not a popular choice. Its production saw inconsistent quality, and there were very few color options available.
Cedar, on the other hand, was naturally made, could be painted/stained any color imaginable, and had a visual appeal and customized look. No two cedar homes looked exactly the same because of the grains in the wood.
Why did the use of cedar decline?
In the late 70s, advances to vinyl siding resulted in the streamlining of the production process, increase in production speed, increase in impact resistance, and tremendous increase in the number of colors available. This made vinyl siding an easy, affordable, low-maintenance option for many homes. The 80s saw a huge increase in the number of homes using vinyl siding, and a decrease in the number using cedar siding.
What are the pros to cedar siding?
There is no denying that cedar siding has a very distinct look, and can be visually appealing. It is also biodegradable, and can be painted or stained in a variety of colors and finishes.
What are the cons?
The biggest are that cedar siding is expensive to install, and expensive to maintain.
Cedar siding takes a tremendous amount of upkeep. It must be painted or stained an average of every 3-5 years to prevent damage. Additionally, this work must be done carefully. If cedar is sealed, it is not able to breath, which results in warping and damage. Cedar is also prone to rot, mold, and mildew—and can attract termites, carpenter ants, woodpeckers, and other pests.
Cedar is also prone to discoloration. It reacts poorly to iron, and so if iron screws, nails, or fasteners are used (or iron rests upon the siding), it will leave stains. Water can also stain pieces of the wood so that, over time, the siding will not match.
Additionally, it can be very hard to replace individual pieces, and it is flammable.
What to consider.
If you have cedar siding, you must take the time to maintain it. If you are thinking about a new install, you will want to remember to add in the cost of regular painting/staining to the price tag.
If you love the look of cedar, but hate the maintenance, you do have other options.
Did you know that there are now cedar reproductions that are made of vinyl, but look like cedar? This allows for the best of both worlds—low/no maintenance, with a hand-made cedar look. This vinyl siding won’t crack, warp, rot, or split, and never needs to be painted. The shake and scallop styles also allow you to customize your home, and comes in almost 30 color options.
If you would like to install vinyl siding, either traditional or cedar reproductions, estimates are always free for residential customers. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 585-400-7663.