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How to Pick Siding That Matches Your Cedar Roof

Updated: Apr 13


A cedar roof is one of the most beautiful things you can have on your home. Since a cedar roof offers beauty and durability, you want to make sure the rest of your home lives up to the same level. Here are a few suggestions and ideas about how to pick the best siding for your home so that it coordinates perfectly with your cedar roof.

Benefits of a Cedar Roof

If you’ve chosen a cedar roof for your home, you’ve made a smart decision. There are some real tangible benefits to a cedar roof:

  • Dimensional stability: There is minimal shrinkage with a cedar roof.

  • Resistance to the elements: When used with natural preservatives, cedar is resistant to moisture, UV rays, insects and wind.

  • Workability: As a material, it’s easy to cut, saw and nail.

  • Strength: Cedar is one of nature’s toughest woods and will enhance the structural integrity of your roof.

  • Insulation: Cedar is a natural insulator. You’ll be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer with a cedar roof.

  • Color choices: Cedar roofing comes in a variety of colors that are dazzling and beautiful. You can find everything from slate gray to gold.

  • Look: A cedar roof is beautiful — there’s just no way around that. It will absolutely enhance the look of your home and improve its curb appeal which will help sell it if you want to move one day.

If you want to keep that cedar roof in great shape, contact us at Cedar Roof Coatings. We can keep it looking beautiful for many, many years.

What Factors Affect a Choice of Siding?

When you’re looking for exterior siding and cedar roof combinations, you need to consider several factors to make a good choice.

1. The Age of Your Home

The age of your home will help decide the kind of siding you want to use. For instance, with older homes — which always look great with cedar roofing — you might want to use wood shakes or shingles or even something a little more modern like fiber-cement slates which can be made to look like wood. If you have a newer home, you may want to experiment more with the type of siding that you use and decide on something like vinyl, which can both look attractive and is relatively cost-effective.

2. The Style of Your Home

The architectural style of your home plays a vital role in deciding what siding goes best with a cedar roof. Older home styles such as Federal, Victorian, Colonial or Gregorian probably work best with an exterior accentuating the house's historic look. For instance, in term of colors, you might like something in light or medium grays, or perhaps a white or a colonial yellow. Rich creams, slate blues and deep, rich colors also work.

A cedar roof looks wonderful on an older home, which is probably one reason why cedar roofs are so popular in the areas of the country that feature many older homes, such as the Northeast and the South.

3. Fundamental Design Rules

When choosing exterior siding, think of fundamental design rules. Try for colors that blend together naturally. You might not want a deep rich cedar roof with bright purple vinyl siding.

Look for materials that coordinate rather than matching exactly. Just as you don’t want something too garish, you also don’t want something too boring. Look for styles that complement each other.

The look you want to achieve is harmony. You want all the different elements of your home’s exterior – the roof, the siding, the doors and the windows – to work together. An odd choice might give your home an “interesting” look, but it will likely make it harder to resell one day if you ever plan to move.

Pay attention to your home's permanent features. These are things about your home that are either difficult to replace or can’t be replaced. If your yard features large trees or a lot of bushes, that could play a role in deciding how those elements contribute to the overall look of your home and deciding what siding you want to use and also the color of the siding.

It can be helpful to sit down with an exterior designer and discuss your design choices. They can help you sort through the many styles available to find the best cedar roof and siding combination.

4. Your Location

Where you live makes a big difference in the kind of exterior siding you need. If you live in an area of the country where there’s a lot of moisture, you may want to stay away from wood siding since it does require a lot of maintenance. Fiber-cement or vinyl might be a better choice in this case. Living in a part of the country that’s incredibly hot can also be a problem because vinyl siding can peel and crack in extreme heat, requiring it to be replaced much sooner than you had planned on. Brick siding, which can be used in almost any climate, also looks good with cedar roofing.

Take a look around your neighborhood and see what choices your neighbors have made. Some of them have likely decided to use cedar roofing. Stop by and introduce yourself, explain your situation and ask them how they decided what siding to choose.

5. Community Rules

If you live in a community housing development that has specific rules about the way houses can or can’t look, this may restrict some of your siding choices. For instance, while vinyl is an inexpensive and durable option, some neighborhoods may have rules against it. If you live in a community that has a homeowners association (HOA) or some other form of cooperative, make sure you look into what the rules are about the kind of siding you can use on your home.

The Six Basic Types of Siding

When you come right down to it, you can cover your house in any kind of siding that you like. After all, some people enjoy covering their homes with bottle caps or building entire houses out of glass bottles.

For most of us, however, our siding choices probably won’t be quite so extreme. For most American homes, the choice of sidings comes down to one of six popular types:

  • Vinyl siding

  • Wooden siding

  • Fiber-cement siding

  • Stucco siding

  • Brick siding

  • Stone and stone-veneer siding

While all these are good choices, some will work better with a cedar roof than others. We’ll take a look at all the different styles and give you a brief idea about the strengths of each style.

1. Vinyl Siding

Vinyl is currently the most popular siding choice in the United States largely because of its low cost and easy maintenance. Vinyl siding has come a long way since the days when almost all it was unattractive. These days manufacturers work hard to create better products that are more attractive for all homeowners. The greatest strengths of vinyl siding are the variety of colors and the many different styles available.

Another reason for the popularity of vinyl siding is that it is a regular choice among do-it-yourselfers. You don't need many tools to install vinyl siding, and you can often purchase it at home improvement stores. A word of caution for DIYers — make sure you follow the instructions to the letter when installing vinyl siding or you could end up needing costly repairs to your vinyl siding before you even get it all installed.

2. Wood Siding

Wood siding is very durable and has a rich look but must be properly maintained to protect that look. Wood siding is commonly used in a variety of homes including bungalows, cottage exteriors and Cape Cods. If this is the look to which you are attracted, it’s important to keep in mind that it requires regular maintenance such as painting and staining to prevent water damage. It is also somewhat susceptible to insect or rodent attacks and can be quite attractive to woodpeckers. If you maintain your wood siding, however, it can last anywhere from 10 to 75 years.

Wood siding comes in two forms — clapboard, which is also known as bevel or lap siding, and shakes or shingles. Clapboard siding involves installing planks of wood horizontally. It features an upper piece that overlaps the lower edge. You can purchase wooden siding with a more modern look that features tongue and groove panels or a more rustic board-and-batten look. The best-known woods for wood siding are Western Red Cedar, Redwood and White Cedar.

Shingles give you a smoother, more consistent look and are more uniform in appearance but are thinner than shakes. You can also add visual interest to the exterior of your home by cutting shakes and shingles into different shapes. If you live in an area with high fire risk, be sure to check the local regulations in your area to see if your shingles need to be treated with fire retardant chemicals.

3. Fiber-Cement Siding

Fiber-cement siding is composed of cement, cellulose fiber and sand. These materials are pressed together and form shingles or planks. You can purchase fiber-cement that is already primed and painted, or it can be painted after you have installed it.

The best thing about fiber-cement siding is that it resembles wood so closely that you can only really tell the difference if you are standing right beside it. It comes in various finishes that mimic the look of wood grain. You can get it with a rough-hewn rustic look or, if your tastes are more modern, you can get fiber-cement with a smooth finish. Fiber-cement has actually been approved to replace wood siding in several historic districts across the country.

It is nonflammable, low-maintenance and is resistant to insects like termites and birds like woodpeckers. While wooden siding needs to be re-stained and repainted every five years, in most cases fiber-cement siding only needs to be hosed down. It can last as long as 50 years with proper maintenance.

For many years the knock against fiber-cement was that asbestos was used in its manufacture. This is especially true for homes built before the late '80s. Starting in the 1990s, asbestos was removed from the process and is no longer used in any fiber-cement siding.

4. Stucco Siding

Stucco has traditionally been made from Portland cement, lime, building sand and water. As part of the process, galvanized metal screening and a waterproof barrier are applied over wooden walls before stucco is applied. This protects the walls and gives the stucco a good base.

Stucco can be used on brick and stone surfaces. It is most commonly found on ranch, Spanish-mission and Mediterranean house exteriors. When it is properly installed and receives periodic maintenance to reduce the possibility of unwanted cracks and dense, stucco can last for decades.

5. Brick Siding

Commonly used on English, Colonial and Tutor homes, brick is a beautiful, well-known siding that has been used for hundreds of years across the globe. Its longevity shows its toughness and popularity. In the past, all bricks were made from fired clay. These days it’s more likely that brick siding is a brick-looking veneer that is installed on a home's wooden frame with mortar used to keep the structure in place.

Using brick as a siding material is labor-intensive and, as a result, brick is more expensive than other siding options. Its beautiful look, however, and its longevity more than make up for what it might cost in the beginning.

6. Stone and Stone-Veneer Siding

You should use stone siding if you want to add visual interest and texture to the exterior of your home. The durability and natural beauty of materials like limestone and granite make it an appealing option.

It is a very expensive option, however, and can present problems. It is the most costly of all the siding options.

On the other hand, stone-veneer siding is less expensive and lighter than granite or limestone. You can get stone-veneer siding that is composed of synthetic or natural materials. Another positive about this as a siding option is that it is very easy to clean — you need to inspect and use your hose to clean it about once a year. It is essential to inspect annually as this will help it last the lifetime of your home.

What About the Cost?

  • Vinyl siding can cost anywhere from $3 to $8 a square foot installed depending on the quality of the vinyl you select.

  • Wood siding costs typically from $5 to $10 a square foot installed. But that’s just the start. Remember you’ll also have to pay to have it painted and stained.

  • The cost of fiber-cement siding is a bit higher than the first two options but, once installed, requires no additional painting or staining. Its average cost is $6 to $12 a square foot.

  • Stucco siding runs about $6 to $9 a square foot installed.

  • Brick siding costs between $6 and $10 a square foot installed, but it depends upon the size of your project. The larger your project, the lower your cost per square foot. If you have a particularly large home, the cost might go as low as $3.50 a square foot.

  • Stone siding can cost as much as $42 a square foot. However, stone-veneer siding is about $11 a square foot. Cultured or manufactured stone veneer is about $5 to $8 a square foot.

What’s the Best Siding to Use?

This choice will always be up to the homeowners. It’s a combination of the factors that we mentioned above along with personal taste. If you have the money, you might want to go for a stone siding. If you’re looking for an inexpensive option, you might want to go with vinyl siding.

In the end, however, we think you have three options for the best siding with a cedar roof — wood siding, fiber-cement siding and vinyl siding.

  • Wood siding naturally enhances a cedar roof and gives your home a wonderful natural look. You do need to consider the constant maintenance that wood siding requires.

  • Fiber-cement siding is a durable, low-maintenance option. Its ability to mimic a wood finish also is a real plus. You can get the same look as wood siding but for a lower cost and a lot fewer headaches. On the other hand, fiber-cement siding doesn’t last quite as long as properly maintained wooden siding does. And there are some problems with moisture if it gets in cracks, freezes and then thaws. Also, if you used fiber-cement siding on your home in the 1970s or '80s, you will need to have it removed by a professional abatement contractor.

  • Vinyl siding doesn’t look as good as the first two options, but you can’t beat the price or the color selection. And the quality of vinyl has improved over the last decade. That’s one of the reasons why it’s the most popular choice for siding in the United States. Still, there will be people who feel that it will never look as good as wooden siding, and it is not the best siding if you live in a very hot climate.

The choice is yours. Whatever decision you make, you can count on Cedar Roof Coatings to inspect, maintain and repair your cedar roofs so that they always look in great shape regardless of the siding you choose.

Let Cedar Roof Coatings Maintain and Repair Your Cedar Shingles

If you want to keep your cedar roof in optimal condition for 30 or more years, have your shingles inspected from time to time and repaired when necessary. Our team of roofing professionals has serviced and repaired cedar roofs in Fairfield County, Conn., and Westchester County, N.Y., for more than three decades.

Contact us today for more information on what we can do for your cedar roof.


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