Vinyl Cedar Shake Siding vs. Wood Clapboard: Savings now or later

Low budget and high maintenance or pricey and low maintenance: Choosing vinyl cedar shake siding (aka vinyl shake siding) or wood clapboard is a decision to pay now or pay later.

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What You'll Pay Today

According to Consumer Reports, clapboard is $0.67-$3.46 per square foot compared to vinyl shake shingles from $3-$10 per square foot just for materials. These costs do not include the labor, lining or other materials. Requirements for those materials may be different depending on where you live. According to Hal Clair, owner of HLC Services in Orange County, California, some cities require that moisture barriers be installed under vinyl siding. Keep local building codes in mind when you are pricing projects. The siding materials are only one aspect.

Tomorrow's Costs

After you have your siding installed, then it is up to you to maintain it. If you went with the lower-priced wood clapboard when it was time to get it installed, then you could find yourself spending some money each year on your siding choice. Painting your clapboard and replacing planks that were subject to moisture damage or became a termite's breakfast are your most likely expenditures. On the other hand, if you spent more for the vinyl cedar shake siding, then your investment was pretty much made on the day it was installed.

Vinyl cedar shake siding, like all vinyl siding, is made with the color saturated through the entire thickness of the siding. If it gets scratched, the color underneath the top color is the same color. No painting necessary! Vinyl siding rarely needs to be replaced, making it an environmentally friendly product. Even when it is installed, there's no waste because it can all be recycled. On top of all that, it is relatively flame-resistant compared to authentic wood.

Pay now or pay later, the choice is yours.

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