Timeless and elegant, wood siding is always a refined choice for the home. It will stand up well against the elements when properly cared for. One of the great features of wood is that you can choose a variety of styles from lap siding and vertical boards to traditional shingles and shakes. Of course, the biggest disadvantage of wood siding is that it needs to be repainted on a regular basis.
The siding on this Cape Cod home is made of cedar shingles. (Photo courtesy of Tim Batchelder)
Longevity – If you choose to install wood on your home, consider redwood, cedar or cypress. These species of lumber are better able to withstand moisture, insects and seasonal changes in climate. Wood can easily survive on the home for fifty years or more, provided the wood is regularly painted or sealed to protect it.
Maintenance – The wood should be power washed every year to keep it looking fresh. Plan on staining or painting your home every four years or so. Signs that your siding requires a fresh coat of paint include a faded finish, signs of mildew or flaking paint.
Cost – Having your wood siding professional installed typically costs between five and ten dollars a square foot. This price includes materials and labor. It’s important to also calculate the cost of having the wood maintained every few years. If you will do this chore yourself, plan on spending a few hundred dollars for the materials. If you have a professional handle the painting or staining, plan on the expense being in excess of a thousand dollars.
Installation – Look closely above the windows and doors. The siding should be cut and spaced so that a single board provides continuous protection directly above these areas. Horizontal siding boards should overlap by at least an inch, and all boards should fit snugly against doors casings and adjoining boards. All mitered corners should fit tightly with smooth seams.