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Applying cedar siding

How Much Does Cedar Siding Cost? (2024 Guide)

Typical cost range: $5–$11 per square foot

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Author Image Written by Brenda Woods Updated 02/05/2024

If you are considering cedar siding for your home’s exterior, you can expect to pay between $5 and $11 per square foot, though premium options can cost as much as $30 per square foot. Cedar siding is one of the most expensive siding options, but many homeowners find its natural beauty and durability worth the higher price.

Cost data in this article was sourced from Angi, Fixr, and Siding Authority.

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On average, you can expect to pay $2–$4 per square foot for siding repairs.

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Vinyl siding installation costs range from $2.15–$5.25 per square foot.

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Typically, exterior painting costs anywhere from $1–$4 per square foot.

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Major Cedar Siding Cost Factors

Cedar siding installation costs can range from $6,000–$8,000 on the low end to $15,000–$45,000 or more on the higher end, while the average cost is about $13,000. Variables such as cedar type, coverage area, lap style, and wood grade are important to consider.

  • Cedar type: Homeowners can choose from different types of cedar for their new siding.
  • Coverage area: Coverage area indicates how many square feet of siding you need to cover the exterior of your home.
  • Lap style: Lap style refers to the way individual pieces of siding overlap when installed.
  • Wood grade: Wood grade reflects the overall quality and appearance of the wood.

Real wood siding costs more than aluminum or vinyl siding and requires more maintenance than engineered wood or fiber cement siding. Cedar wood siding provides excellent curb appeal and will last for many years if it’s well-maintained.

Coverage Area

The breadth of the area you’re covering is the most significant cost factor for any type of siding. Larger homes require more materials and hours of labor for siding installation, which means a higher cost. 

The average home in the United States requires about 1,500 square feet of siding. If a homeowner pays $5–$11 per square foot, cedar siding installation will cost $7,500–$16,500. The range can be much broader, depending on the type of cedar, wood grade, and lap style you choose.

Cost by Coverage Area

Coverage AreaCost RangeAverage Cost

500 sq. ft.

$1,250–$15,000

$2,500–$5,500

1,000 sq. ft.

$2,500–$30,000

$5,000–$11,000

1,500 sq. ft.

$3,750–$45,000

$7,500–$16,500

2,000 sq. ft.

$5,000–$60,000

$10,000–$22,000

2,500 sq. ft.

$6,350–$75,000

$12,500–$27,500

Wood Grade

Cedar siding comes in various grades, and each has different characteristics that will change its appearance and cost. 

Premium or clear-grade cedar siding is the most expensive option and has the fewest knots and blemishes. Its smoother texture and consistent color make it a popular choice for upscale homes. Knotty-grade cedar siding is less expensive. It embraces the wood’s natural imperfections, and its swirls add texture and character. 

Mid-grade cedar siding strikes a balance between sleek sophistication and rustic charm with tight knots and minor color variations.

Cost by Wood Grade

Wood GradeCost Range (per sq. ft.)

Knotty

$2.50–$5

Mid-grade

$5–$15

Premium

$10–$30

Cedar Type

Cedar siding prices vary depending on the type of cedar. The three most coveted varieties are Western red cedar, Northern white cedar, and Spanish cedar.

Where you live will probably dictate the most cost-effective choice of cedar. Eastern red cedar is more readily available on the East Coast, for instance, while Western red cedar will be cheaper on the West Coast. Spanish cedar is imported from Central and South America, while Alaska yellow cedar, also known as Nootka cypress, comes from the coastal regions of Alaska and British Columbia.

Cost by Cedar Type

Cedar TypeCost Range (per sq. ft.)

Northern white cedar

$2.50–$20

Western red cedar

$2.50–$30

Eastern red cedar

$2.50–$30

Alaska yellow cedar

$5–$12

Spanish cedar

$6–$15

Lap Style

The lap style of your siding helps determine the material, time, and expertise required to install it. Classic lap styles, such as board and batten or tongue-and-groove siding, are easier to install than other types and, therefore, cheaper. Cedar shingle siding and cedar shake siding are more difficult to install than other varieties and are more expensive.

You may also see a price difference between vertically installed siding and horizontally installed siding. Vertical cedar siding costs about $3–$4 more per square foot than horizontal cedar siding.

Cost by Lap Style

Lap StyleCost Range

Bevel

$3–$15

Board and batten

$4–$18

Channel rustic

$5–$25

Clapboard

$3–$15

Dutch lap

$2.50–$10

Log

$8–30

Cedar shakes

$6–$20

Sheet

$2.50–$3

Cedar shingles

$2.50–$20

Shiplap

$7–$25

Tongue and groove

$5–$25

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DIY vs. Professional Cedar Siding

Homeowners may be able to save money with a DIY approach to cedar siding installation, which saves on labor costs. This is not a home improvement project for beginners. Installing cedar siding can be a tedious and time-consuming task that requires a high level of skill. Most homeowners hire a siding contractor to install their new cedar siding.

DIY Cedar Siding

If you have extensive experience with DIY projects, particularly woodworking or construction, you may be able to install cedar siding on your own. This project involves measuring and cutting the natural wood siding, nailing the pieces to your exterior walls, and ensuring proper overlap and alignment. You may also need to do some caulking, sealing, and staining.

We recommend reviewing a few tutorials or step-by-step guides before undertaking this project. Some manufacturers share installation instructions for their products online, which is helpful if you have a specific style and brand in mind.

As you consider the feasibility of DIY cedar siding installation, account for the following costs:

  • Equipment: Do you already own the equipment needed for this project, or will you need to buy a saw and nail gun?
  • Materials: Research price ranges for the type of siding that interests you, then compare that to quotes from professional installers, who may have access to bulk discounts.
  • Time: This project will require several days of work, even for a professional. Is the time commitment worth the money you will save on labor costs?
  • Transport: Decide whether you will pick up the materials or have them delivered. Will you need to rent a vehicle? How much will delivery cost?

You should also consider the risks of DIYing this job. Installation issues could lead to wasted materials, water damage, and other problems down the road.

Professional Cedar Siding

If you hire a professional contractor, you can expect the installation to account for roughly 25% to 50% of the total project cost. Labor rates often range from $1–$5 per square foot, depending on the lap style, or $30–$65 per hour. Installation often takes 45–50 hours per 1,000 square feet. All of that amounts to about two weeks of work and $1,500–$7,500 in labor costs for the average 1,500-square-foot house.

Professional installation offers several benefits that may justify this extra cost:

  • Accurate measurements and less waste
  • High-quality installation backed by a warranty
  • Knowledge of local building codes and permits
  • Ability to bundle projects for time and cost savings

Professionals often have access to better tools, more material options, and bulk discounts to help you achieve your vision quickly and affordably.


How To Save on Cedar Siding

The best way to save on cedar siding is to shop around. Compare prices from multiple suppliers, or wait for a seasonal sale. If you decide to hire a professional, gather quotes from at least three different contractors to find the best deal. Here’s how else to save:

  • Ask contractors for their cost-saving recommendations
  • Buy materials in bulk or bundle projects
  • Negotiate with contractors for a better price
  • Opt for a lower wood grade or a cheaper style
  • Plan your project for the fall or winter offseason
  • Purchase sustainably sourced siding from a local distributor
  • Remove old siding and prep the area yourself

Additional Cedar Siding Cost Factors

Labor rates and the cost of cedar siding are not the only variables that will dictate the total cost of the project. Here are a few other factors:

Accessories

If you are installing cedar siding, you probably want trim to match. Be sure to factor in the cost of any coordinating materials or accessories. For instance:

AccessoryEstimated Cost

Cedar trim

$1.20–$2.50 per sq. ft.

Cedar fascia

$3–$6 per linear foot

Cedar soffit

$22–$28 per linear foot

Cedar gutters

$4,000–$5,200 installed

Prep Work

You may need to pay for a few extra services depending on the condition of your home’s exterior. If you are installing cedar over existing wood siding, you may need to plan for some wood siding repair. If you are performing a complete replacement, you will need to arrange for the old siding to be removed. Cleaning, priming, and sealing may also be necessary.

Labor

The size and layout of your home can impact labor costs, and factors such as irregular shapes, unique architectural features, and a large number of windows and doors will make installation more difficult. Remember, too, that labor rates vary by location.

Staining or Painting

Staining or painting your cedar siding provides an extra layer of protection and a personal touch. Staining is a slightly cheaper option at $2–$5 per square foot, while painting costs $3–6 per square foot.

Permits and Fees

Some siding projects require a builder’s permit, which can range from $50–$200. Ask your contractor about any permits or other fees that apply to your project, or call your local building department before beginning your DIY installation.


How To Hire a Pro

Ask friends and family for recommendations, then reach out to a few local companies to request free quotes. Once you have multiple quotes from several professionals in hand, consider the following factors:

  • Contract terms and payment options
  • Licensing, insurance, and credentials
  • Online ratings and reviews
  • Pricing and transparency
  • Project scope and timeline
  • Professionalism and communication
  • References and portfolio

Our Conclusion

Cedar siding is durable and visually appealing, but it requires regular maintenance and can be difficult for the average homeowner to install. We recommend letting a professional handle the installation unless you have skills in the fields of advanced woodworking or construction.

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FAQ About Cedar Siding

Is cedar siding a good investment?

Cedar siding can be a good investment depending on your goals and budget. Its curb appeal and durability are a convincing sell to some homeowners, but it’s too expensive and high-maintenance for others.

Can I install new cedar siding over old siding?

You can install new cedar siding over old siding if the existing siding can bear its weight. New cedar can be installed over brick, wood, or concrete blocks but not over vinyl siding.

Is cedar siding expensive?

Cedar siding is one of the most expensive types of siding, with prices reaching as high as $30 per square foot. The average price is $5–$11 per square foot.

How many years does cedar siding last?

Cedar siding lasts between 20 and 40 years when properly maintained.

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