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Compare Cedar vs Composite Siding Costs

About Cedar Siding

Cedar siding is the most popular type of wood siding. It is found all over the United States, from southern California to northern Maine.

Cedar siding is beautiful and durable. It is resistant to the harmful effects of sun, wind, storms and pests. Left unpainted, cedar’s vibrant golden color will fade into a grayish color. However, some homeowners appreciate the look of natural cedar as it takes on a more muted tone.

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How Much Does Cedar Siding Cost?

Cedar is more expensive than most other types of siding, including composite. Not only is the material more expensive than synthetics, but cedar is more difficult to install. On average, cedar siding costs about $5 to $10 per square foot installed, or $500 to $1,000 for each 100-square-foot sheet.

Calculating the number of square feet you need to cover the house is a complicated process, but you can use this guide to get a rough idea. Let’s say you have 1,500 square feet to cover - that works out to a total project cost of $7,500 to $15,000. With 2,500 square feet to cover, you’re looking at $12,500 to $25,000.

Don’t confuse the square footage of your home with the square footage that is needed for siding - the figures are different. Also, keep in mind that your contractor will have to buy at least some extra material. Siding is typically sold in 100-square-foot sheets, so if you need 2,450 square feet to cover the house, you’ll have to round up to 2,500. Extra material also accounts for cutting errors, which happen.

Cedar Siding Pros

  • Natural - Many homeowners prefer the look of natural wood. In many cases, it will increase the resale value of your home.
  • Eco-friendly - Because cedar is natural, not a man-made product that is heavily manufactured, it is better for the environment.
Composite Siding

Cedar Siding Cons

  • Price - Budget significantly more for cedar than you would for a composite material. In some cases, it costs double.
  • Maintenance - Cedar siding requires periodic power washing, sealing, staining and/or painting. Experts recommend staining every five to 10 years or repainting every 10 to 15 years to keep the siding in good condition.
  • Attracts pests - Wood siding can be damaged or destroyed by insects like termites and ants.

About Composite Siding

Composite siding is a man-made material constructed from various combinations of fibers, binders and fillers. The materials are heated and compressed into boards that resemble solid wood or other types of materials.

The two most popular types of composite siding are wood composite and cement composite. Each is named after the primary material or fiber that is used to produce the siding. Both are durable and long-lasting. They resist rotting and will look great for decades to come. They are also fairly easy to maintain.

How Much Does Composite Siding Cost?

Composite costs about $4 to $6.50 per square foot installed, which is more expensive than 100 percent artificial materials such as vinyl but cheaper than cedar or other solid wood products.

If your house needs 1,500 square feet of siding, that works out to $6,000 to $9,750. With 2,500 square feet to cover, the total project cost would be $10,000 to $16,250.

Composite Siding Pros

  • Price - Composite offers a similar look to natural wood but costs significantly less.
  • Durability - Wood composite is less susceptible to termite damage and rot than cedar. Cement composite is virtually indestructible, resisting damage from termites, fire and water.
  • Maintenance - Composite is manufactured and treated in the factory, so it is better able to withstand the elements. The material rarely, if ever, requires painting.

Composite Siding Cons

  • Not real wood - For some homeowners, nothing stacks up to the style and quality of read wood, even if the composite looks nearly identical.
  • Manufacturing flaws - In some cases, homeowners have reported instances of wood composite siding buckling or cracking at the edges. Wood composite also has a high moisture content, which can lead to warping, mold or mildew.

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