Shake siding or a wood alternative? Compare cladding costs

Many architectural styles lend themselves to a wood exterior, and many look even better with wood shakes. The good news about wood shakes is that they are usually stained rather than painted, which reduces peeling and the need for frequent repainting. However, if you want the look of cedar shakes with even less maintenance, consider vinyl or fiber-cement shake siding. Not only will these options reduce the need for maintenance, but the initial siding cost is also lower.

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Shake siding cost

If you have decided on the wood shake look for your exterior home siding, here are the relative ballpark costs per square foot for each material:

  1. Vinyl: $1.50 to $3.75, material only; $2.40 to $4.75, installed
  2. Fiber cement: $2.00 to $5.65, material only; $3.00 to $7.00, installed
  3. Cedar shake: $4.25 to $6.00, material only; $5.00 to $7.00, installed

Cedar shakes are by far the most expensive and require more maintenance. Vinyl is typically the most economical option, with fiber cement in the middle. The cost ranges account for material quality, geographical location, and seasonal contractor wage rates. If you have a complex installation, you can expect to pay from 5 to 10 percent more for installation.

Of the three materials, vinyl is the one that is most easily installed by the average homeowner. Once you have selected your material, shop the home improvement stores and manufacturers' websites for the best deal. If you use a contractor for installation, get at least three quotes from installers who are recommended, licensed and insured. Locate a local contractor by completing the simple form on this page.


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