Cedar Siding or Vinyl Siding?

Siding is one of the primary components of a beautiful house. Moreover, it is one of the first things that visitors notice when they enter a home, as they play a significant role in enhancing a home’s curb appeal. This is why homeowners can have a difficult time when selecting the type of siding to use.

There are so many siding options to choose from, but, as a homeowner, would you rather use Cedar Siding or Vinyl Siding? 

Cedar and vinyl siding are popular siding options for many properties because of their unique properties.  For example, cedar provides your home with a natural rustic look and it is resistant to weather elements making it durable. On the downside, it requires a lot of maintenance costs to maintain its appearance and durability.

On the other hand, vinyl is an affordable, simple, and attractive option for residential places. It is easy to maintain and also costs less than cedar siding. Even better, it can be twice affordable than cedar siding, making it an excellent choice for those on a budget.

It is worth noting, vinyl and cedar siding have their pros and cons, you are safer choosing the one that suits your personal preferences and cultural norms. Therefore, engage with this piece as we delve further into their differences, similarities, pros, and cons to help you make the best decision for your project.

What Is Cedar Siding?

Cedar Siding or Vinyl Siding?
A Cedar Siding

This is a type of wood siding used for exterior cladding. It is made from cedar wood and has a variety of styles like:

  • Trim boards – long, narrow boards that are used to add decorative or protective elements to a building’s exterior or interior.
  • Shingles – thin wedge-shaped pieces of cedar that are installed in overlapping rows to create a textured, rustic look.
  • Clapboards – long, thin boards that are installed horizontally to create a smooth, traditional look.
  • Shakes – thicker, irregularly shaped pieces of cedar that are split from the wood and installed in overlapping rows to create a more ragged, natural appearance.

In addition, Cedar is a popular choice for siding because it is naturally resistant to rot, decay, and insect infestations. Also, it’s a durable material that can withstand weather conditions.

Uses Of Cedar Siding

  • Interior Paneling 

Cedar siding can be used as interior paneling for walls and ceilings. Furthermore, it adds a natural and rustic look to the space. Also, it can be stained and painted to match the décor.

  • Exterior Cladding

Cedar siding is popularly used for outer coverings in buildings and homes. This is because it provides protection against elements while adding a natural and warm look.

  • Shingles 

Cedar shingles are a popular roofing material due to their durability and natural resistance to weathering.

  • Outdoor Living Spaces 

Cedar siding is used to create outdoor living spaces like gazebos and decks. Its resistance to rot and insects makes it an ideal choice for outdoor projects.

Pros and Cons of Cedar Siding

Cedar sidings are beneficial in many ways but also have a few shortcomings.

Pros

  • Aesthetically Pleasing

Natural beauty is one of the reasons many homeowners choose cedar siding. Cedar has a visually appealing and natural grain that gives your home a natural looking and rustic exterior. Plus, cedar siding can be stained or painted to achieve the desired look. Additionally, applying a clear coat finish can maintain the natural look of the wood.

Furthermore, cedar siding comes in a variety of styles, such as shingles, shakes bevel, and lap siding, giving you the option to choose the type of look you want on your siding.

  • Longevity and Durability 

Cedar siding has been a popular choice for many years because of its ability to resist moisture, bacteria, rot, and fungus. Even better, with proper maintenance, cedar siding has been known to last up to 60 or 70 years. This makes cedar siding a cost-effective investment for homeowners who want a long-lasting and durable siding option for their homes.

  • Environment Friendly 

Cedar, like other natural woods, is a renewable source. It requires minimal energy for production, unlike vinyl siding. Additionally, it is biodegradable and does not rot when properly maintained, making it a superior environment friendly choice.

  • Good Insulator

Cedar is an excellent insulator that can save you energy costs. Also, it provides more insulation than many other siding options. During the summer, it helps to keep cool air inside, while in the winter, it retains warm air.

Therefore, cedar siding is a great choice for maintaining comfortable temperatures in your home throughout the year. Furthermore, it has weather-resistant properties that can reduce damage to the internal structure.

  • Insect Resistant 

Cedar has tannins that act as natural insecticide and rodent repellent. The bitter taste of the tannins makes the wood unpalatable to insects and rodents, preventing them from feeding on or burrowing into the wood.

Furthermore, cedar siding can last for many years without the need for chemical treatments or other forms of pest control, making it a low-maintenance and environmentally friendly choice for homeowners and builders.

Cons 

  • Flammable 

Unfortunately, cedar is not flame – retardant or fire resistant. As a result, homeowners often treat their cedar shakes and shingles with a flame retardant for safety. However, this treatment can make them less environmentally friendly.

Even worse, in some cities, the use of cedar shakes houses is banned due to the fire hazard they pose.

  • Maintenance 

Cedar siding requires regular maintenance unlike other siding. For instance, it needs to be pressure washed annually to remove any dirt or mildew that can damage the wood over time. Also, you may need to re-paint and re-stain your cedar siding regularly to prevent it from rotting and warping.

Some homeowners let their cedar siding to age naturally, but this causes it to lose its natural color and turn to silver-gray.

  • Bad Reaction with Iron

When installing cedar, avoid using iron nails, as they can cause the planks to rot overtime. Eventually, the planks may start to drop off your house because they have rotted around iron.

  • Prone To Rot and Insects

Despite cedar having resistance to decaying, that does not mean its bug proof, though. Over the years, the wood loses much of its tannins. And, while it is rot-resistance, it is not rot proof.

Anytime dirt, debris, and moisture are left to pile up on the siding, it increases the growth of mildew and mold. This gradually weakens the wood and leads to rot. Cedar is also vulnerable to woodpeckers.

  • Cost

While other types of siding may cost around $3 per square foot for installation, cedar can cost twice that, starting at around $5 per square foot. Therefore, if you are trying to reduce the expenses of building a new home, cedar may not be your best choice.

What Is Vinyl Siding?

Cedar Siding or Vinyl Sidimg
A Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is a type of plastic exterior cladding, for a home, used for weatherproofing and aesthetics. It is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin. Furthermore, it’s commonly used on homes and other buildings since it’s durable, low-maintenance, and cost effective.

Even better, it comes in a variety of colors, texture, styles, and can be made to mimic the appearance of stone, wood, or other materials.

 Uses Of Vinyl Siding 

It is primarily used as an exterior cladding material for residential and commercial buildings.

But just like any other type of siding, vinyl has its benefits and shortcomings. Below are some of them:

Pros 

  • Water resistance

Vinyl is waterproof since it is made from plastic, which means it can be placed closer to the ground than other products without having to worry about paint loss or swelling. In contrast, fiber cement or wood siding requires more care to prevent running water or standing water.

  • Range Of Color Options

Vinyl siding offers a wider range of textures and colors than many other materials, making it easy to find an option that suits your personal style

  • No Painting Needed

Vinyl siding comes with the color baked in , making it resistant to stripping, scratching and fading, unlike other types of siding that require additional layers of paint or stain. The color of vinyl siding is homogeneous which means it cannot be removed or abraded

  • Low Maintenance

Vinyl siding has a slick surface that makes it easy for cobwebs, debris, and dust to slide off when sprayed with a garden hose. In addition, it does not require any repainting.  Since it does not have any peeling paint, you will never have to scrape, patch, prime, and paint your house’s exterior surface.

  • Easy installation

Installing vinyl siding is very simple that homeowners can install themselves.  Proper installation can reduce the chances of the siding cracking or expanding overtime, which could lead to more expensive maintenance issues.

On the contrary, improper installation can void construction warranties, so it’s important to ensure it is installed correctly. If you find the installation process challenging, it’s best to hire a professional to do the job. However, vinyl siding is generally easy to install, so the simpler the installation process, the more affordable it is likely to be.

  • Vinyl Siding Is Affordable

Vinyl is an affordable option for homeowners on a budget, despite being highly durable as a weatherboard material. Compared to brick or wood siding, vinyl offers a cost-effective solution without compromising on quality.

  • Energy efficiency 

Vinyl can save you money on bills since it is an excellent insulator for your home.

  • Water resistance

Vinyl is made from plastic, which makes it waterproof. This means you can install it closer to the ground than other products without worrying about swelling or paint loss. Unlike wood or fiber cement, which require more maintenance to avoid damage from running or standing water, vinyl is a low-maintenance.

Cons 

  • Moisture Problems

Vinyl siding is usually installed over a styrene insulation board, which can trap water vapor in the wall cavity. It is important to caulk your vinyl siding properly to prevent water from entering the wall cavity through crevices and cracks.  Moisture can cause damage to the wood foundation of your home, leading to issues like mildew, rot, termite infestation, and mold.

  • Lowers Your Home’s Value

Covering old, peeling wood with vinyl siding can be a cost-effective choice. However, some buyers perceive vinyl siding as inferior to real wood or other materials, which may reduce the resale value of your home.

  • Maintenance Issue

Despite its ability to withstand harsh conditions, vinyl flooring still requires maintenance and can start aging in 10 or 15 years. Improper installation or excessive pressure can cause the vinyl to crack or bend, and if it is tightly packaged during shipping, it may warp, expand, or bulge over time. If a plank becomes cracked or torn, it cannot be repaired and must be replaced to prevent excess moisture from damaging your home.

  • Color Fading 

They are two factors that affect the color of vinyl siding:

Exposure to sunlight: if you live in an area with intense sun rays and high temperatures, your siding’s color may start to fade within the first 10 years.

Color: choosing a darker color for your siding may result in earlier fading than a lighter one.

When vinyl color fades, many homeowners tend to paint but that only results in the paint peeling and chipping overtime. The best solution is to replace your siding.

  • Heat resistance

Vinyl is a type of plastic that can warp or melt when exposed to heat. To prevent damage from your vinyl siding, avoid placing your barbeque close to the wall. Additionally, be mindful of any nearby reflective surfaces, such as a neighbor’s window, as they can also cause damage to your siding.

  • Less Eco-Friendly

Vinyl siding is plastic made from polyvinyl (PVC).  The process of manufacturing it releases greenhouse gases and carcinogens such as dioxin, and it requires hefty amounts of electricity to produce. Moreover, most recycling plants do not accept PVC products because they are both expensive and challenging to recycle.

Which Is Better Cedar Or Vinyl Siding? 

Whether cedar siding is better than vinyl depends on different factors and considerations.

Cedar and vinyl siding have their advantages and disadvantages. Cedar siding offers a natural and beautiful look that can increase the value of a home. However, it requires regular maintenance, such as staining or painting, to prevent weather damage and decay. It is usually more expensive than vinyl, but it also has a longer lifespan and can last for longer years with proper maintenance.

Contrarily, vinyl is a synthetic material that is low-maintenance and comes in a range of colors and styles. While it may not have the same natural beauty as cedar, it can be a practical and cost-effective choice for some homeowners. However, it can be prone to cracking, fading, and warping over time.

Ultimately, the choice between which siding is better comes down to budget, personal preference, and the specific needs of your home. Cedar siding can be a better choice for those who value the natural look and are willing to invest in regular maintenance, while vinyl siding may be the better choice for those who prioritize low maintenance and affordability.

Should I Replace Cedar Siding With Vinyl?

First things first, replacing the siding on a property can significantly increase its value, provided that the best material is selected. According to a certain report, replacing siding during a house resale can yield a return on investment of 76%.

The value added by cedar and vinyl siding can depend on your location.  In some regions, cedar may be more valuable, vinyl may be a better choice in others. Also, it is important to consider the cost of installation and maintenance of vinyl, as weather conditions can affect its durability.

However, replacing your cedar siding with vinyl can be a smart choice for different reasons. For instance, cedar requires regular maintenance such as staining and painting every few years to protect it from weather elements, while vinyl only requires occasional cleaning.

Secondly, while vinyl siding may be less expensive than cedar siding, it is important to consider the full cost of installation, as well as any necessary repairs, or modifications to your home’s exterior. Additionally, you should consider the potential impact on your home’s resale value before making a decision.

Ultimately, the decision to replace cedar siding with vinyl siding depends on your priorities and goals. Also, it is important to consider the location and weather conditions. If they are favorable to the vinyl siding, then it may be a better option for you.

Cedar Siding Vs Vinyl Siding

Cedar siding is popular among homeowners due to its beauty and toughness. On the other hand, vinyl is also attractive, simple, and an affordable exterior option for your home. Below are some of their features.

  • Aesthetic Appearance

Vinyl and cedar improves the aesthetic appearance of any property, since each of them is attractive and available in different styles. But, they have their differences that can help you select the one you prefer.

Despite vinyl being versatile, cedar siding has various designs that make it more versatile than vinyl siding. For instance, cedar comes in different board sizes which allows it to be installed in different patterns such as shiplap styles. Additionally, cedar shingles can be placed in irregular patterns and still look great.

On the flip side, vinyl planks come in few variations thus limiting the installation options. However, vinyl can be textured to resemble wood grains giving them a variety of styles in appearance. Cedar lacks many color options thus limiting installation styles.

In addition, they both require coating, and maintaining cedar’s perfect condition requires frequent re-sealing.

In conclusion, cedar siding has a more natural and understated appearance due to its installation method, which conceals the fasteners and creates a seamless look. On the other hand, vinyl siding should be installed in an overlapping manner, which can be more noticeable and less subtle compared to cedar.

  • Durability

In general, cedar is more durable than vinyl,  especially in areas experiencing harsh weather changes, like hail and wind gusts which tear, crack or break vinyl siding. However, cedar requires regular maintenance than vinyl to retain its appearance.

Unfortunately, although cedar siding can be stronger than vinyl, at the end of the day it is natural wood.  It can attract rodents, woodpeckers, and insects which damage the wood if not properly taken care of.  Additionally, cedar can experience color fading and rotting without proper maintenance.

On the downside, vinyl and cedar siding are highly flammable meaning they can quickly spread fire. For this reason, invest in fire protection measures or opt for other options like fiber cement. In addition, choose the type of siding you want based on the climatic conditions of your home and the level of maintenance you are prepared for.

Cost 

Firstly, it is important to note that the price of cedar and vinyl siding can vary depending on your location. However, cedar siding is generally considered to be more expensive than vinyl siding. This is due to several factors, such as the higher initial purchase cost and the more challenging installation process, which requires an expert.

Also, cedar requires regular maintenance like re-staining and re-painting to retain its appearance. On the other hand, vinyl is more affordable, requires less maintenance than cedar siding and easier to install.

Overall the cost, durability and appearance of cedar and vinyl siding depends on the location, personal style, and the style of house you are building.

How to Maintain Cedar Siding

Cedar siding is a beautiful and durable material but it needs regular maintenance to increase its lifespan. The following are some of the maintenance tips:

  • Keep Your Siding Away From Moisture

Cedar is vulnerable to moisture, which can cause decay over time. To increase its durability and lifespan, it is important to limit its exposure to humidity and moisture. Additionally, it is recommended to inspect the cedar siding at least once a week to ensure that water is not collecting on its surface.

  • Protect Your Siding from Termites

Termites can cause significant damage to wood, including cedar siding. Regularly Check your cedar siding for termite infestations and ensure it is not in direct contact with soil. To repel insects, apply cedar oil products to your siding.  Fortunately, these products are non-toxic and safe for pets and children.

  • Cleaning Your Siding Regularly

Cedar can accumulate dirt and dust, which can cause it to age. Regular cleaning and maintenance can enhance its appearance and increase its lifespan.  However, it is important to avoid power washing your cedar siding, as it can damage the wood.

Instead, it is recommended to use a garden hose or a water solution with a soft brush and soap when cleaning your cedar.

  • Regular Staining and Painting

Regularly painting and staining your cedar siding can help keep it looking attractive and preserve its natural beauty. Staining also prevents the color from fading over time. To ensure the best results, be sure to use high-quality stains.

On the other hand, use an oil-based paint to coat your cedar, as it has a high pigment content that makes it more durable than water-based paints. Before staining or painting your siding, make sure to clean it thoroughly and allow it enough time to dry. This will prevent moisture from becoming trapped inside the wood.

  • Inspect the Siding Regularly For Cracks

It is crucial to inspect the cedar siding for cracks more often to prevent them from worsening and leading to higher repair costs. You can either Use a silicone caulk to fill in the cracks or hire a professional to repair them before they worsens.

  • Keep Pests Away From Your Siding

To keep pests such as birds or insects away from your cedar siding, start by sealing edges with paint or caulk. You can also apply a bird deterrent or install an electric fence around your property. If these methods do not work, consider contacting a pest control professional for assistance.

  • Replace or Nail Down Any Loose Boards

Ensure you replace or nail down any loose boards to prevent moisture from penetrating the siding and causing damage.

  • Clean Out Your Gutters 

If a gutter is clogged, it will overflow and the cedar below will be soaked with water, potentially causing damage.

How to Maintain Vinyl Siding

Generally vinyl siding can last at least 10 to 12 years. But with proper maintenance, vinyl siding can last for decades thus saving you money in the long run.

Let’s look at some of the vinyl siding maintenance tips.

  • Clean Your Siding Regularly

To extend the life of your siding and keep it looking new, it is recommended to clean your siding at least once a year. The best part is, cleaning vinyl is easy with a mild soap and soft bristled brush. Rinse with a garden hose.

Also, if you prefer to use a pressure washer, be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully. However, be cautious when using a pressure washer as a high pressure washer can crack the vinyl siding.

  • Inspect Regularly 

After severe storms or every fall and spring, inspect your siding carefully for any breaks, cracks, rot or any damage to the vinyl siding . If you notice any damage, Contact a professional to make repairs promptly. Ignoring damage can lead to more costly repairs in the future.

  • Avoid Painting Your Siding

Many manufacturers void the warranty if vinyl siding is painted. Vinyl sidings are purchased when already painted. But still, even well painted vinyl can still warp or get damaged. If you decide to paint your vinyl siding make sure you contact a professional painter. Also, you can replace your siding if you want to freshen your home exterior with a new color.

  • Keep the Grill Away

Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your siding to avoid warping and melting.  Also, place it on a brick surface to prevent damage to your shrubs or grass, worse, your siding and the risk of a fire that could damage your house.

  • Take care of holes and cracks

While it may be difficult to prevent cracks and breaks in your home’s siding, it is crucial to inspect it and repair any damage. Cracks and breaks can come from a variety of sources, but leaving them unaddressed can lead to moisture build up in the walls and reduce temperature control in your home. This can make your siding vulnerable to mold growth.

  • Spot Mold And Mildew

To prevent mold from worsening, it’s important to clean it promptly. You can Use vinyl cleaning solutions or a mixture of one gallon of water and a cup of vinegar. However, if there are dry or rotten holes, it’s time to replace your siding.

  • Avoid harsh chemicals

Vinyl siding can be damaged by harsh chemicals such as liquid grease remover, furniture cleaning agents, and undiluted bleach. It is important to avoid using abrasive scrubbers like steel wool, which can reduce water-repelling qualities, fade colors, or damage the surface.

However, it is best to consult with an expert to know the appropriate solution to use.

  • Safeguard Your Exterior From Discoloration

The sun’s UV rays can cause the vinyl siding to fade overtime, although the fading is always uniform.  Lighter-colored siding may be less prone to fading. If you are applying stain or sealant to your exterior, be sure to keep it away from your vinyl siding. In addition, avoid using herbicides and insecticides near your siding, as they can cause stains.

How to Maintain Cedar Siding:

Conclusion 

In conclusion, siding serves more than just a decorative and protective function for your home. It also plays a crucial role in determining its overall appearance. Today, there are several types of siding available, each with varying levels of durability, appearance, and cost.

However, their varying properties make it difficult for homeowners to know the best one for their project. It is important to know what makes them better than the other before making your decision. In this article, I pitched on the topic…

Cedar Siding or Vinyl Siding 

As depicted in the article, both options have their pros and cons. The decision typically depends on your personal preferences, location, budget, and maintenance requirements.

Cedar siding might be the best choice for you if you are looking for a natural, rustic look and are willing to invest in regular maintenance. However, if you prioritize cost effectiveness, low maintenance, and durability vinyl siding is a better option.

Lastly, regardless of which option you choose, it is important to work with a reputable and experienced contractor who can guide you through the selection and installation process.

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