Cedar Shake Siding vs. Vinyl: The Best Solution for Your Home

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Cedar Shake Siding vs. Vinyl: The Best Solution for Your Home

Cedar shake and vinyl are common siding options for residential homes. Each of these materials offers unique qualities that may appeal to certain homeowners. Cost, value, durability, aesthetic appearance, and maintenance are all very important elements to consider when assessing cedar shake siding vs. vinyl and determining the best option for your home.

Take a look at some of the side-by-side comparisons of cedar shake siding vs. vinyl, along with an alternative solution that addresses some of the major concerns that are common for both of these siding materials.

Cost and Value

Cedar siding almost always costs more than vinyl since it is a raw material that must be harvested and lumbered properly. Though many homeowners consider vinyl siding to be the ‘cheap’ option on the market, it should be emphasized that many vinyl products have been enhanced in recent years to perform much better than original prototypes. With that said, vinyl is still the more affordable option on the market, and in many ways the old adage rings true — you get what you pay for.

In addition to costing more to purchase, the installation and maintenance costs of cedar shake far exceed vinyl, which is relatively easier to care for. Repainting, sealing, and staining will all need to be done on a routine basis to keep cedar shake siding looking and performing at top quality. However, this investment certainly correlates to increased value when comparing cedar shake siding to vinyl. In many cases, cedar proves to be more valuable than vinyl, simply based on durability, longevity, and aesthetic appeal.



Durability can impact the longevity of house siding, so it’s important to have realistic expectations when outfitting a home’s exterior. Cedar is generally more durable than vinyl, which is prone to crack, warp, and tear away with severe weather, like wind gusts and hail.

Though cedar shake siding is stronger than vinyl (in most cases), it has its own unique vulnerabilities, like insect damage, rotting, and color fading. Natural wood is always going to be a big attraction for insects, woodpeckers, and rodents looking for shelter.

Unfortunately, when it comes to flammability, both of these materials are susceptible to fire, spreading flames quickly and easily. This can be a serious cause for concern that influences homeowners to consider alternative siding materials, like fiber cement.

7 Key Issues with Cedar Shake Siding and a Better Alternative

Aesthetic Appearance and Selection

Comparing the aesthetic appearance of cedar shake siding to vinyl tends to be unique to each homeowner’s tastes. Some are attracted to the natural wood grain patterns found in real wood siding like cedar shake. On the other hand, natural cedar tends to be limited in color choices and cuts, which can cause homeowners to look to vinyl for a better selection of styles and colors. Since both of these materials are susceptible to sun damage, they will most likely require a fresh coat of paint or stain every few years to maintain an attractive surface appearance.


Cedar and vinyl both require routine maintenance to deal with color fading, but cedar will tend to need a bit more attention than vinyl. Regular caulking, sanding, and sealing is fundamental to maintaining the structural integrity of cedar shake siding, along with maintaining its appearance. This level of regular maintenance can be time-consuming and costly.

A Better Siding Solution

A Better Siding Solution

Comparing cedar shake siding to vinyl reveals that both materials have their downfalls. Whether it’s high-maintenance work, routine expenses, susceptibility to wind, water, and sun damage, or an overall high flammability rating, choosing between cedar and vinyl will require some compromises either way. This causes a lot of homeowners to consider an alternative siding material made from fiber cement.

Fiber cement has an innovative composition that gives it enhanced durability to outperform both cedar and vinyl. This durability translates into less maintenance for homeowners, which can be a relief on both your schedule and your wallet. Plus, fiber cement siding is fire-resistant, easing concerns that are common with real wood products and highly flammable materials like vinyl.

Suede Desert Tan - Cedar Shake Siding vs Vinyl

Homeowners are often pleasantly surprised to discover that fiber cement has a huge range of styles, colors, and cuts available, too. In addition to smooth lap siding and shake-style siding that’s easy to install, there are also fiber cement products that imitate the natural wood grain patterning found in authentic cuts of wood. This gives homeowners a huge range of styles and aesthetics to explore, along with the ability to mix and match textures with similar or contrasting hues.

Superior in both form and function, fiber cement should not be overlooked when weighing the pros and cons of different siding materials. Contact the siding experts at Allura to upgrade your home today.

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