Most people consider cost to be the main differentiation between vinyl cedar shake siding and real cedar siding. It’s generally accepted that vinyl siding is less expensive, but nothing can replace the look of real cedar. In other words, if anyone could afford it, they would choose real cedar siding over vinyl.
But it’s important to take a closer look at each option to make the best decision for you, your home and your budget.
Cedar Shake Siding
Cedar shake siding is one of the oldest, most durable and beautiful siding options for your home. Nothing can match the rustic charm of a home with cedar siding. And, even as the cedar becomes weathered over time, it still keeps an enviable appearance, perhaps even more so than when it’s new. It’s why vinyl manufacturers have tried for so long to imitate it.
Cedar also insulates better than vinyl, although the difference can be at least partially made up by using insulated vinyl siding. Cedar also dampens sound which helps keep your home quieter.
Durability is another very appealing aspect of cedar siding. Cedar naturally repels insects, which means it avoids some of the natural deterioration that other woods suffer. With the right care, cedar can easily last 75 years.
But that “proper care” can be a drawback because it means coating all the cedar shakes with water repellant and stain or paint at least every five to ten years to help cedar maximize its lifespan.
Vinyl Cedar Shake Siding
While not having the natural appeal of cedar, newer vinyl cedar styling is getting closer and closer to the look of real cedar. Vinyl also installs faster for less cost. Durability is better with vinyl and I will last longer than cedar. The down side is that vinyl’s looks do not improve with age. Over time, vinyl will appear duller and less appealing.
One of the biggest differences between cedar and vinyl is in the amount and cost of required maintenance. Vinyl is virtually maintenance-free. In the event of damage, vinyl can be repaired quickly and easily by replacing the damaged section with a new piece.
In the end, the choice of whether to use real cedar or vinyl is entirely up to you, your tastes and preferences.