How Much for Cedar Shake and Shingle Siding?

Many people chose cedar because of its durability and ability to resist decay and moisture. Cedar can be used in many ways, like in roofing and siding as it adds a beautiful taste to your project. But, how much for cedar shake and shingle siding?

Cedar shake will cost about $6 to $9.50 per square foot. If you have 3000 square feet home, you may have to pay $18,000 to $28,500. Also, cedar shingles are cheaper than shakes and can range from $3 to $11 per square foot; this is if you DIY.

Siding contractors may charge $6.50 to 13.75$ per square foot for materials and installing cedar shingles. You may have to pay $13,000 to 28,000 if your home is 2000 square feet while installing shakes can cost you $8.50 to $14.50 per square foot, which is 17,000 to 29,000 if your home is 2000 square feet.

If you remove the previous cedar, the cost can be $1- $2.50, while painting or staining can be $1 to $4.50 per sq. ft.

However, it is essential to note this cost fluctuates depending on the type of cedar, grade, style of siding, location, and how complex your home is. Painting, staining, or removing the previous siding is also expensive.

This article explains how these factors can determine the cost of cedar shakes and shingles. I will also discuss other concerns about cedar shakes and shingles and how to install both.

What Is Cedar Shake?

How Much Does Cedar Shake and Shingle Siding Cost?
A Cedar Shake

It is a natural wood roofing shingle hand split from cedar wood and has a thicker, more irregular feel with a charming rustic appearance. causing the natural wood grain to last long.

They are rough, changeable, thick, and irregular and look like a mallet cut or an ax from the colonial era.

Cedar shake is expensive compared to other roofing shingles and shakes.

If you want a natural and historical look in your home, it is the right choice as it weathers to a beautiful gray color.

Cedar shakes and shingles are treated with fire retardant to protect them from fire since they are flammable. They have the same uses as shingles.

There are two types of cedar shakes, as discussed below;

  • Taper –sawn is a hybrid of split shakes and shingles, sawn on both sides to give it a UNIFORM LOOK. It has a thick shadow line, and it’s divided into two, namely Alaskan yellow taper-sawn and Red label – taper-sawn
  • The sawn shake is sawn on the front, and the hand split on the other side to give it a rustic look.

Pros of Cedar Shake

  • They are beautiful – Many people prefer cedar for appearance rather than durability. It has a naturally beautiful look before being stained or painted.
  • Flexibility – They can be installed differently, adding a stylish look to your home. It also ages to a beautiful gray color.
  • Durability – Cedar shake is not only durable but also thick. If maintained and installed correctly, they can last up to 60 or 50 years than the asphalt and cedar shingles. However, they are installed with felt paper between them to prevent wind from blowing them off the roof.
  • Climatic conditions – It’s naturally resistant to UV rays, moisture, and insects, making it easy to survive in harsh climatic conditions.
  • Environment-Friendly – Cedar is safe for the environment since it’s renewable and is from natural sources. In case you are conscious of the environment, cedar is eco-friendly.
  • Variety of colors – Unlike in the past when cedar used to have a natural red color, cedar can now be stained and painted in different colors.
  • Cedar shakes can also increase the value of your home with beauty and durability; it will be easy to sell your home at a high price because it is loved at first sight.
  • Insulation – Cedar saves you air-conditioner and heating costs since cedar is a natural insulator. It keeps you warm during winter and cool during summer.

Cons of Cedar Shake

  • Maintenance– Cedar shakes have to be repainted or re-stained after two to three years; when repainting, you may have to remove the previous paint, which is costly. Cedar shakes can quickly rot without paint. Remove branches and leaves on the roof.
  • Cost – Not budget-friendly since they are thick and challenging to install. They are more expensive than shingles.
  • Flammability – Cedar is highly flammable, and wood shake siding or roof can quickly spread the fire. It can be more dangerous in areas where the fire department is unavailable. To avoid this, you can buy shakes that have already been coated with a fire resist.
  • It’s irregular – they don’t have a uniform look since they are hand-made and appear rustic, which may not please some people. However, this can be pleasing to those who love the look.
  • Needs expert installation – it requires an experienced and qualified contractor to do it to avoid material damages and unnecessary repairs.
  • Damages from birds and insects. Birds like woodpeckers may peck the roof or siding, while termites can attack the shake turning it into dust.
  • Rotting – although it naturally resists moisture, exposing the roof to humidity or snow for a long time can make the wood shake weak, resulting in rotting. Wood shakes can turn sloppy when exposed to moisture, especially during the humid season.
  •  Exposing the wood shake to excess sunlight may turn the wood gray, giving a bad appearance, especially if the damage is on one side.

What Is Cedar Shingle?

This is a uniformly milled cedar wood that is used on walls and roofs of a building to shelter them from the weather.


  • They are used for roofing since they are thick and resistant to wind, hail storms, or heavy rain.
  • It is used in sidings for decoration and as an insulator since it helps prevent wind and sunlight from penetrating.

Types of cedar shingles

  • Sawn cedar shingles – they look like shakes and can be used by those who like the rustic look.
  • Sanded cedar shingles- they are smooth on both sides and can be used by homeowners who don’t like the rustic look.


  • Installation – Cedar shingles lay flat when installed. Depending on the size of your roof, cedar shingles can be installed in less than seven days, which is an advantage since the wood will last long with little maintenance, like cleaning.
  • Eco-friendly – Cedar can be a good choice for someone who is environmentally conscious since it’s from natural wood and is renewable. They are not air pollutants as they do not release harmful compounds.
  • Durability – Cedar shingles are long-lasting and resist storms, hurricanes, and wind. They are fire resistant and be used in areas where wildfire is frequent.
  • Appearance – Finding your preferred cedar shingle is easier since they are available in different styles. They are lovely and have a variety of colors and textures.


  • Cedar shingles are flammable and can quickly spread fire. However, this can be avoided by purchasing shingles sprayed with a fire retardant.
  • Cedar shingles must be treated and maintained regularly to keep the wood from rotting.
  • Cedar shingles are expensive compared to other shingles like asphalt. They cost two more times.
  • Cedar shingles are not resistant to excess humidity and may not withstand heavy rain.

Note – Cedar shakes and shingles are almost identical, and many people confuse them as one. The difference between shakes and shingles is shingles are thin and have been tapered, whereas cedar shakes are thick, irregular, and hand-split.

How to Install Cedar Shingle Siding

Installing cedar shingles requires a tremendous physical effort than any other shingle siding. They can be installed with different exposures to line up with windows or doors but mostly lay flat. They should be installed with a house wrap to protect your house from moisture. Here is how to do it

Tools Needed:

  • Pencil
  • Ladder
  • Caulk line and caulking gun
  • 23–gauge pin nailer
  • 2-inch pins and harmer or staple gun
  • Combination square
  • Wood router or hand plane
  • Cap stapler
  • Tape measure
  • Table saw and utility knife
  • Thickness planner
  • Drill

Materials Needed:

  • Roofing nails.
  • Cedar shingles (of your choice)
  • Building wrap, waterproof one
  • Drainage membrane
  • Aluminum flashing rolls
  • Construction adhesive
  • 2×6 cedar boards that are a bit longer than the wall
  • Cap stapler
  • 2-inch stainless steel (shingle nails)

Step One: Evaluate the Cost of Shingles, Decide, and Purchase

Examine the walls that need to be shingled and measure in square feet. Order at least 20% more shingles in case of waste. Identify shingle suppliers and choose one that suits your taste and budget.

Step Two: Prepare the Wall

Apply a durable, water-resistant under-the-wall sheathing; ensure it allows water vapor to pass through. Using plastic caps, cap stapler, and staples, apply building wraps.

Install self-adhesive flashing with roofing nails on doors, windows, and corners. This protects the wall from moisture and air. Do not crumple the wrap and flashing.

Step Three: Install the First Shingles

The sheathing has to be level. Fix the first set of shingles with the lower part longer by 1 inch under the lower part of the wall.

Observe every shingle before fixing it and place the carved part against your wall. (This has to continue till you are done installing) Place two nails, 1 inch in every shingle from the edge and about three inches on the sheathing edge’s lower side on the first set.

Place a 6-inch level beside the 1st and 4th shingle. Confirm every shingle is fixed beside the one before.

Using a utility knife and a combination square, reduce the shingle to a correct size that may fit at the building’s corners. Fix the second set of shingles above the first but on the first course only.

Extend joints at a minimum of 1 or ½ inches. Do this for the rest of the building. 

Step Four: Weave the Corners

Finish the exterior corners by placing the shingles on the wall till the last shingle overlaps on the corner by one inch or more. Put the next shingle on the adjacent wall against the side of the first shingle, join it with its bottom, and install it.

Using a pencil, follow the outline of the extending shingle into the next one and use a sharp hand plane to reduce the shingle to this line.

Confirm that the shingle lays comfortably close to the edge sticking out on the wall it is joined. Put the previous shingle in place with your hand until it levels, spray a bit of construction adhesive on the link between the two shingles, and cover it with 23–gauge pins to place the shingles as one till the adhesive hardens but is not seen clearly.

Remove any excess adhesive with a hand plane when the glue dries, and do the same process for each set of shingles as you move up the wall.

Step Five – Keep on Applying Shingles

Depending on your desired style, decide the number of shingles you will expose on every set. Let four or six inches be exposed per set. Mark a line on corners where the second row will be placed.

Then, use a chalk line to draw between the marks to do the same on the remaining walls. This will help you when placing the next set.

Start from one corner, fix every Shingle with two nails about 6-1/2-in from the lower side following the mark, and carefully set the lower part of the shingle with the line. Ensure shingles on the same row are fixed together tightly to avoid creating spaces when the shingles dry.

Repeat the same around the structure and then redo with another row. Keep confirming if the sets are even.

Step Six: Fix Around Doors and Windows

Focus on lining up the rear from the edge of shingle sets with the upper part of the doors and windows. Using a tape measure, observe the distance from your present shingle rear and upper edges of any doors and windows in the house.

Note down the results and calculate different digits of rows to match the intervals. Note the results. Select the number of rows with a shingle exposure that almost matches the one on the first row.

Step Seven: Finalize

Use a ladder as you reach the top. Cut shingles in shapes that fit under the roof. If you are working with gable walls, cut the exterior shingles on the same side as the lower side of your roof.

Fix the angle shingles using a pin nailer (23 gauge) with a portable air compressor and construction adhesive. (Invisibly)

Cut shingles in lovely shapes and move to the upper side (optional).

Here’s How to Install Cedar Shingle Siding:

How to Install Cedar Shakes Siding

Before installing your cedar shakes siding, calculate the amount of material needed. When installing cedar shakes, three layers of shingles should cover the wall for triple coverage. So, the visible part should be less than 1/3 of the shingle.

Also, since cedar shingles swell sometimes, you can leave a quarter-inch space between your shingles. If you are not an experienced DIYer, it’s best if you let a professional do the task.

Here are the needed tools and materials

  • Staple gun and caulking gun
  • Scrap wood
  • Utility knife
  • Caulk
  • Ladder
  • Building wrap
  • Paintbrush
  • 11×4 and 11×2 boards
  • T –bevel
  • Flashing and self-stick flashing tape
  • Story pole
  • Wood shingle
  • Tin snips
  • Staples or galvanized nails
  • Level
  • Screws (13 inches)
  • Table saw
  • Cedar wood trim, primer, and paint
  • Drill
  • Flat pry bar
  • Chalk line
  • Block plane and measuring tape
  • Surform

Step One: Prepare the Wall and Apply Trim

A building wrap should be applied on the sheathings to act as water- resistance below the shingles. A flashing tape (self-adhesive) should be applied carefully around the doors, windows, and corners to prevent moisture and air.

Place an exterior trim around the windows and doors, and choose the proper wood stain and material for your shingle siding.

Step Two: Lay Out Courses and Install the Corner Trim

Mark the space of the shingle exposures above the story pole. (It has to be the same height as the wall). Put a spot on the wall where every shingle will start from, ensuring the edges don’t match unskillfully with the windows on the doors.

Fix the inner corner trim strips, and make them less visible and spacious to allow caulking later.

Pick a thin board that is a bit long and outline the gap between the shingles. Start from one window and split a chalk line on the building.

Through the line, using the help of the line made by the rear edge as a window sill. Hold up the swing stick to allow the lower side to match the lower edge of the starter row.

Step Three: Install the Exterior Corner, Continue With the Starter Course, and Trim the Shingles

One piece of the first starter course should be installed at the outside corner, overlapping by an inch. Use a level to support it as you staple or nail it and then fix one piece on every side from the first one, ensuring they are adjoined with the other shingle.

Using a utility knife, cut extra shingles from the first piece. Use a Surform plane to shorten the shingle margin. Do this every time you are building a corner.

Step Four: Erect the Jig and Fix the Second Layer

Build a jig to keep the courses uniform. A straight 1×4 is the guide, and a 1×2 is the hangers. Make sure it’s even, and fix it with a three-inch screw.

The starter course has two rows, one that covers the top by an inch and another ½ inch longer. The second layer’s joint should have a space of 1-1/2 inches from one of the lower layers.

If possible, cut the rear pieces in each layer. Use staples and galvanized nails mainly, and use stainless-steel nails if the head appears.

Step Five: Resume Through the Corners, Spread Inside the Corners, and Mark the Next Course

Construct the outside corners. The rear course should be 1-4 inches on the starter course. Hammer nails, one inch on the exposure to cover them. Finish with ten courses per corner.

Follow the same step you used on the outside corner to fix the inside. (Don’t shorten edges) After building the inner and outside corners, mark the rear of the next course using a chalk line.

Install shingles at the bottom of the wall, so the joints leave one inch. Redo this process till the entire space is covered.

Step Six: Work Around the Windows and Doors

Keep on fixing shingles around doors and windows. To fit corners, trim the shingles. The shingle on top of windows and doors needs extra work since they are not above other shingles.

Reduce and fix pieces of the same size under the layer of shingles to get the same look. Add another layer of shingles to fit a spigot, switch off the water and disconnect the hose spigot.

To prevent moisture, use a drill to cut a ¼ inch between the shingle and the pipe. Caulk the gap and return the spigot.

Step Seven: Fix the Roof Flashing and Finish Along the Gable With Caulking

Put a piece of wood above the roof and use a T-bevel to decide the right angle for cutting through a gable. Fix the trimmed pieces where necessary, place the flashing throughout the roof, and fix one or two inches of shingle on the flashing.

Place five shingles on the work table and part a caulk line past them to get pieces of shingles to follow the roof line. (Use a T-level)Seal all the trim joints with your caulk when all the shingles are fixed. Prime the siding if you will be painting it.

Here’s How to Install Cedar Shakes Siding:

Factors Affecting the Cost of Cedar Siding


If your house has more than twelve corners, expect to pay a little more because the windows and doors have to be flashed and shingles trimmed to fit. A rectangular home can be easy and cheap; the more complex your home is, the more the expenses.


Cedar has grades that determine quality and appearance.

  • Premium grades – They are more expensive than other grades and are from mature and old cedar. They lack the knots.
  • Middle grades – they have little imperfections.
  • Knotty grades – they are preferred for a rustic look. They have knots on the boards. They are twice cheaper as the premium grade.

Type of cedar

Spanish Cedar – it is water-resistant and best for areas with high humidity; it is hard to get and costs around 5.50 per sq. ft. or more.

Western Red Cedar – it is popular and easy to get and costs $3- $4.50 per sq. ft.

Northern White Cedar – is easily found in the northeast and is budget-friendly at about $1.50 per sq. ft.

  • Location and style of siding.

Your location may be far from where the cedar shakes are produced. Furthermore, you must pay transportation costs, not forgetting that the shakes can break if you live in a high-humidity area.

Also, every color and style has a different price.

What Is Better, Cedar Shingles or Vinyl Siding?

Are you finding it hard to choose between cedar shingles and vinyl shake siding? Well, they both perform the same job. Vinyl can be the best option to avoid maintenance costs, whereas if you are going for an aesthetic look, cedar is the right choice.

We will explore more on these two through their differences to help you make the right choice.

Differences Between Vinyl and Cedar Wood Shingle Siding

  • Environment friendliness

Cedar is eco-friendly since it’s a natural resource and can be renewable. Manufacturers stick to measures that protect the forest and can be decomposed. While vinyl products are made from polyvinyl chloride, which is unsafe for the environment, it releases VOCs when used, disposed or produced.

  • Durability

Unlike the previous vinyl sidings, the current vinyl is weather resistant and does not wear or rot. The vinyl color goes through the polymer composite during production, saving you from repainting after several years.

However, vinyl can fade if exposed to excess sunlight.

Although cedar is also durable, cedar is wood, and wood can attract woodpeckers and get damaged by moisture even after proper maintenance.

  • Cost

Buying and installing vinyl siding can cost you about $6.50 per square foot, while cedar shingles can cost $6.00 to $10.00 per square foot.

However, vinyl prices fluctuate depending on installation, grade, shape & size of your home, and the texture you desire, while cedar fluctuates due to maintenance, installation, quality of wood, color change, and the size of your home.

  • Appearance

When it comes to appearance, cedar always wins. Many people opt for cedar because of the aesthetic look; moreover, cedar always has the option of painting and staining, which gives a distinctive look to your home, although you will have to paint and stain after 3 to 5 years.

Vinyl siding is created and produced almost like wood, and you may find it hard to differentiate them by their look.

  • Maintenance

Vinyl has minimal maintenance. You have to clean it to remove dust using a garden hose, detergent, soft brush, and warm water to remove dirt, mildew, and mold.

Use a pressure washer for stubborn areas. Cedar shingles remain new and attractive with regular maintenance if you follow the correct procedure.

Whether to use vinyl or cedar siding depends on your taste and preference.

Should You Paint or Stain Cedar Shake and Shingle Siding?

Painting cedar siding can enhance the beauty of your house since the paint has a variety of colors to choose. Some would choose painting if they bought or lived in a previously painted home. However, painting requires repainting after 3 to 5 years because the paint will peel after some time.

If you love the authentic color of cedar, staining is the better option for you since it improves the color of cedar, keeping it natural. Although stain lasts longer than paint, it also peels after some time and requires maintenance.

So is it better to paint or stain? By now, you might have guessed the answer…. Painting or staining cedar depends entirely on weather conditions or the type of look you want. Cedar siding can also be left without painting or staining because it has a naturally beautiful color.

How to Paint/Stain Cedar Siding

  • Step 1 – Clean the Cedar Siding

Power washing helps you to know the amount of dirt and loose chip on your siding. Mix the house siding cleaner with water as instructed on the label, and pour the solution on the pressure washer.

Power wash carefully from top to bottom and leave the siding to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

  • Step 2 – Sanding

Power washing cleans and removes stains and paint, but not completely. Sanding will help to remove the remaining residue. Use 220–grit sandpaper to sand carefully till the natural grain of the siding is visible. Use a clean rug to clean the sand.

  • Step 3 – Priming

Prime the cedar siding using an oil-based primer since cedar has tannins (sap that seeps through the paint). The primer helps in trapping the tannins from seeping through the paint. Let the primer dry before applying the second coat. Let the second coat dry as instructed.

  • Step 4 – Painting/Staining.

You are now ready to stain or paint your siding.

  • Painting

Decide on the type of paint to use. Acrylic-based is the best paint to use. Cedar is penetrable, requires more paint, and can be evened adequately by hand-brushing. Let it dry every time you add a coat till you are satisfied with the look.

  • Staining

Use a staining brush to apply thin layers of stain on your siding, and follow the natural grain of your siding while staining. Let it dry before adding another coat.

(The siding should be stained before installation.) 

How Often Do You Have to Paint Cedar Shake Siding?

The most straightforward answer to this can be when the paint peels off…. Paint can last about 5-7 years on cedar siding, depending on the type of paint used and if it was applied correctly. It can even last 10 years, depending on the weather conditions and maintenance.

Let’s look at some factors that determine the durability of paint on cedar shakes.

  • The Previous Paint Job – was the previous painting done correctly? For instance, if you did not use high-quality paint, rushed the job, or used cheap products, it will not be a surprise if the siding needs to be painted sooner. Consider hiring a professional painter who uses the right products and takes time to do the job.
  • Current Cedar Siding’s Condition – although paint hides different blemishes, old or damaged siding needs to be painted after a short period. For example, you may need to replace or repair your cedar siding, if cracked or rotting, before repainting.
  • The Weather – homes with severe weather may need to be painted frequently. The cedar siding might turn gray in areas with excess sunlight, forcing you to repaint. You may also need to repaint frequently if you live where snow and ice pile up; the moisture causes the wood to rot even when painted.

Can You Power Wash Cedar Shake Siding?

Cedar siding can be cleaned in many ways, including power washing. This is one of the quickest, If not the easiest, ways to clean your siding, removing mold, mildew, stain, and dirt from your wood. Power washing helps to maintain the beauty of the cedar shake.

Use a proper power washer and have enough water to prevent the power washer from overheating. The spray nozzle and hose can help you check the pressure needed to clean the siding. However, it’s not advisable to powerwash your cedar siding if it has been damaged or cracked.

NB: Unlike other types of siding, cedar siding does not require power washing regularly. You can use a vacuum cleaner or a smooth brush to clean it. Power washing should be done with a professional to avoid ruining the wood; if you DIY, do it carefully.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of power washing it.

  • Power washing changes the look and appearance of the house; it maintains the original color.
  • It helps remove debris, loose paint, and insects attached to the wood, including dead bugs.
  • Power washing makes the house look new, increasing its value. It also protects the wood from mildew and mold.

Before power washing, these are some things to look out for;

  • Choose a power washer that can be set to low pressure to avoid harming your shake siding.
  • Choose the type of power washing detergent safe for cedar siding. The detergent helps to remove oil stains before power washing. Use Simple Green since it removes algae, mold, and mildew.
  • Spray some water on the siding, apply detergent and leave it for a while before washing it. Scrub slowly using a soft brush, cleaning every part of the siding.
  • Set the power washer at a lower speed and stand at least two feet from the siding. Spray slowly to remove the detergent and dirt. Watch out for damaged or weak spots and avoid power washing them.
  • Light fixtures and gutters may not withstand a power washer; avoid spraying them directly.
  • Use a garden hose to spray in case you don’t want to walk around carrying the heavy power washer; it also saves electricity and gas and reduces noise. You can place the garden hose on the water inlet of the pressure washer and connect the hose to your home’s water supply after connecting the pressure washer to your water supply with a garden hose.
  • If there are any damages after power washing, you can call a professional to check and fix them.

Final Thoughts

Who doesn’t want a beautiful home? Cedar is one of the most popular sidings because its benefits justify the cost.

While there are many alternatives to cedar sidings, cedar gives a home the aesthetic beauty and durability desired. However, …

How Much Does Cedar Shake and Shingle Siding Cost?

Buying and DIYing your cedar siding can be cheaper than hiring a professional; it can cost $6 to $9.50 for materials or $6.50 to $13.75 when hiring a professional.

However, installing siding is not a DIY job if you are not experienced; any mistakes while installing reduce its durability. Installing cedar sidings the wrong way leaves the wood vulnerable to harsh weather, mold, and rotting, not to mention injuring yourself while working.

Thanks for reading! I hope I have answered your questions about cedar shake and shingle siding.

Leave a Comment