Cedar is light, durable, and has natural oils in it to keep bugs and rot away. This easily makes it one of the best siding options for your house. 

If you’ve been thinking about getting cedar wood shakes for your home, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll cover everything you need to know about cedar shake siding in our guide below. 

beautiful house with cedar shake siding surrounded with trees

What is Cedar Shake Siding? 

Cedar shake siding is a timeless option for your house. This natural-toned siding is most popular near the coast. This is because the wood naturally resists moisture and insects common here.

Cedar shake siding ages from a warm wood color to a beautiful gray. Color isn’t the only great thing about cedar shake siding. Its natural qualities keep it looking great for years. 

Cedar siding comes in both shake and shingle styles. A shingle has two smooth sides has a tapered cut. Cedar shingled homes end up with a coastal refined look. 

Cedar shakes get split by hand and are thicker than cedar shingles. Homes with cedar shakes look more rustic than those with cedar shingles. 

Cedar Shake Cost 

Figuring out how much it costs to install cedar siding is not a one-size-fits-all calculation. The cost depends on the type of cedar you are using and the price to install the siding. 

Square Foot Cost 

Most companies calculate the cost of installing cedar shake siding by square footage. When figuring out how much to order, you can’t rely only on your home’s square footage number. Measure all the areas you need to cover with cedar shakes to get the most accurate price. 

When you order your shingles, make sure to get more than you’ll think you need. Add at least an extra 15 percent to your order to account for any mishaps. 

Cedar Shake Cost by Grade 

Sometimes cedar shake siding costs can vary by grade. You can find cedar shake siding in anything from knotty grade to premium grade. 

Premium grade cedar shake siding has minimal imperfections. There are no knots or growths on this wood. It is the most expensive because of its higher quality. 

Mid-grade wood isn’t quite premium but isn’t a low grade, either. There may be some defects, but nothing too noticeable. If you are on a budget but love the look of cedar shake siding, this is a superb choice. 

Finally, you can find cedar shake siding in knotty grade. Sometimes cedar shakes can come with defects like knots in them. These cedar shingles are the cheapest because of these defects. 

Installing Cedar Shake Siding 

new installation of cedar siding on large house

If you’ve chosen to add cedar shake shingles to your home, you may wonder what the installation process is like. Installing cedar shake siding is a process and is best left to professionals. 


The first step to cedar siding installation is to remove the old siding. Don’t forget to add the cost of the old siding removal to your budget. This step can add extra expenses to your final siding cost. 

Once the old siding is gone, you’ll have to make sure there is no damage to the home. Once you have fixed the siding, you’ll want to start waterproofing the building

Flashing tape is great for areas around windows and house corners. A waterproof underlay layer is perfect for the rest of the house. 

Start at the Bottom

Once you’re done water-proofing, it’s time to start shingling. You want to start at the bottom of your home and work your way up. 

Leave the bottom of the siding one inch below the bottom of the wall. This step keeps rain from getting into your home. 

You usually keep the cedar siding in place with steel nails. At the corners of your house, you’ll have to cut the cedar siding to fit the remaining length of space.

Row Two and Beyond

Once the first row of siding is on, it’s time for the next row. When you move to the second row, you’ll want to keep between four and six inches of the siding exposed. 

Use a chalk line to measure the exposure length around your home. You’ll use this line as a guide for your next row of shingles. 

Continue nailing your siding into the house until you’ve made it back to the starting point. Keep checking your exposure measurements to keep things looking even. 

Try to keep the line of siding as even as possible under the windows and doors. This may take some trial and error before you get the best look. 

Final Touches 

You’ll need to get on a ladder to finish up the siding process. Once you get near your roof, you may need to cut some siding pieces specifically to fit different architectural styles. When you’re done, you may want to add a protective sealant to the final product. 

Cedar Shake Siding Alternatives 

Although cedar shake siding is an attractive option, there are other great siding alternatives on the market. None of these options will give you the same look as cedar, but they are decent alternatives. 

Vinyl is the most common alternative to cedar shake siding. Most vinyl comes in an array of stunning colors so you can find a shade that fits your style. 

Hardie boards are another product you can use instead of cedar shake siding. This product uses a type of cement to create a cedar siding look. It’s like cedar but lacks cedar siding’s natural qualities. 

Finally, stucco can last a long time and is a good choice for harsher climates. Although the material cost is cheaper, it can be more expensive to install than cedar. 

Nothing Beats the Quality and Look of Cedar Shake Siding 

red cedar shingles on a house siding

Cedar shake siding offers homeowners a striking yet long-lasting home. Although it takes work to install cedar shake siding, the results are well worth it. 

If you aren’t comfortable installing new siding yourself, Andes Roofing can help! We’ve been helping customers with all their roofing needs for over eleven years. Contact us for a quote today!