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Your home’s exterior provides both an attractive aesthetic and the necessary protection from the elements. Wood siding is an option that offers both. There are many materials to choose from depending on the look you want to achieve as well as your desired budget. Here’s an overview of the cost of buying and installing wood siding and what it takes to maintain it for years.
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Cost of wood siding
As with so many other home projects, your budget for wood siding will depend on two factors: the cost of the materials and the installation of the wood siding. Some materials are more expensive than others and some are also more difficult to install, which can further increase the final cost of your wood siding project.
Here is an overview of the costs of a wooden cladding:
Average wood cladding cost per project*
*Based on a 1,500 square foot exterior
Cost of wood siding per square foot
The price of wood siding is usually per square foot and costs can vary greatly depending on the type of wood used. Also, the size of the house will determine the amount of materials needed. Wood siding for a large house will cost more even if a more economical type of wood siding is chosen, simply because more material will be needed to complete the job.
The price range for materials alone is generally $1 to $5 per square footwhile installation costs anywhere between an extra $2 and $5 per square foot. This means that installation costs will easily double the price of the project, which is why many homeowners will consider doing the work themselves. However, if the type of wood siding chosen is difficult to manage or the exterior layout of the house is too complicated, homeowners will find that professional installation is well worth the price.
Cost of wood siding by type
Not all wood siding is the same, so prices won’t be the same either. Softwoods are an economical option for wood siding, but they are not as good as engineered woods and hardwoods when it comes to rot resistance; regular maintenance and care solves this problem, however. Hardwoods offer superior rot resistance but are generally more expensive, not to mention more difficult to install. Engineered woods, such as plywood, are generally the most economical choice.
Here is a breakdown of the costs of different types of wood siding per square foot:
- Cedar: $3 to $10
- Cypress: $1 to $5
- Douglas fir: $5 to $15
- Pine: $1 to $5
- Sequoia: $4 to $14
- Accoya: $4 to $9
- Cumaru: $6 to $8
- Garapa: $7.50 to $9.50
- Ipe: $8 to $15
- Massaranduba: $4 to $9
- Teak: $5 to $8
- Composite: $3 to $7
- Masonite/Hardboard: $1.50 to $3.50
- Plywood/T1 11: $1.50 to $3.50
Wood siding installation cost
Installing wood siding can cost between $1 and $6 per square foot. The price of the installation is based not only on the material, but on the form in which it comes. For example, long sheathing strips are faster to install than individual shingles. The more labor it takes to install the siding, the more it will cost. Here is a cost breakdown by type of wood siding per square foot:
- Plank and Latte: $1 to $2
- Knees: $1.50 to $3
- Record: $1 to $4
- Plywood/Engineering: $1.5 to $3.50
- Shake / Shingle: $2.50 to $6.00
- Tongue and groove: $2 to $5
When to install wood siding
Weather conditions are important for exterior home projects, such as installing wood siding. Again, it depends on the type of wood used. Some siding can be installed in low temperatures, but other materials are prone to cracking and expanding and must be installed in warmer weather. Be sure to watch for rain or snow in the forecast. Dry conditions are optimal so that no moisture is trapped in the coating. In addition, wood siding needs time to acclimate outdoors before installation. Keep siding materials covered outdoors for at least seven and no more than 30 days, so the wood has time to acclimate to the weather; otherwise, deformation may occur.
Wood siding offers more than visual appeal for your home. It also provides protection against the elements and pests like termites. There are many wood siding options that, when properly maintained, can last for decades.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does wood siding last?
When properly cared for, wood siding can last the life of your home. However, this requires regular maintenance according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Also, whenever you see damage or deterioration, it’s important to fix the problem quickly so it doesn’t become a bigger and more costly problem down the road.
Is wood siding better than vinyl siding?
Wood siding is the greenest and most durable option when it comes to maintaining the exterior of your home. The lifespan of vinyl siding is around 20 years, while some woods can last a century or more. However, wood is generally more expensive than vinyl and requires more frequent maintenance.
How to clean wooden siding?
Wood siding should be cleaned once a year. Unless done by a professional, pressure washing can be too harsh for wood siding because the heavy spray of water can trap moisture between siding and cause warping and rotting. To clean the wood siding, dip a soft bristle brush in warm water and scrub. Divide the house into sections and work from the bottom up to avoid streaks or drips.
How often should wood siding be painted or stained?
Wood is porous, so to keep it sealed against moisture and termites and other pests, you should treat the wood siding every few years. Keep it sealed with a fresh coat of paint every three to seven years. A high quality paint can keep your home on the longest lasting of this maintenance program. If you prefer the look of stain on your wood siding, you should aim to stain it every four years.
Is installing wood siding an easy DIY project?
Some wood siding is easier to install than others. Depending on the materials you choose and your level of experience with home improvement projects, wood siding might be an appropriate do-it-yourself project. However, some wood flooring, such as teak, is difficult to work with and is therefore best left in the very experienced hands of a professional installer.