Among numerous house siding options, natural wood siding remains a favorite for its unparalleled beauty, versatile styles and longevity.
High quality, well-maintained exterior wood siding can last up to 100 years, but this premium material comes with a hefty price tag.
Since wood is more expensive than both vinyl and fiber cement siding, its important for you to carefully weigh the cost effectiveness of this material over the long haul.
How Much Does Wood Siding Cost?
There are many factors that impact the cost of wood siding, such as type of wood and grain, board thickness and finish, siding style, installation complexity and more.
On average, expect to pay $5-9 per square foot installed. Thus, installing wood siding on 2,300 sq.ft. two-story house will cost between $11,500-$20,700
If the manufacturer has prefinished the wood in any way, expect to pay $0.25-0.75 per square foot. extra.
You should also budget for an additional $1,000-3,000 for tear-off and removal of old siding.
You can use our Siding Cost Calculator to estimate how much it will cost to replace your old siding.
Cost of Clapboard Wood Siding (most popular)
Also known as horizontal lap or beveled siding, this is one of the most popular styles that works well on traditional style homes, such as Colonial or Cape Cod.
Pine, Fur and Spruce: $5-6/sq.ft. installed
Cedar: $6-7/sq.ft installed
Redwood: $6-9/sq.ft. installed
Red Cedar: $8-10/sq.ft. installed
Cost of Board and Batten Wood Siding
Comes in vertical panels that create a distinct and taller look for your home. Similar to clapboard, this style works best on traditional homes, or modern homes that have a rural inspired look.
Typically it costs about the same or slightly more than clapboard wood siding.
Cost of Wood Shingles Siding
Wood shingles or shakes siding is ideal for traditional style, rustic, historic or Arts&Crafts Style homes.
Because shingles or shakes are typically left unpainted to reveal the natural beauty of wood, more expensive species and higher quality grades are selected for installation.
Cedar: $6.5-9/sq.ft. installed
Wood Siding Maintenance Cost
In addition to budgeting for the initial cost to buy and install wood siding, you must factor in its maintenance costs.
Wood is one material, where maintenance is absolutely necessary to ensure that the siding does not rot, become susceptible to mold or rodent infestation, does not cup and split.
Your wood siding will require:
-Repainting about every 5 years: expect to spend between $3,000-5,600 for a professional paint job on a 2,300 sq.ft. two-storie home.
-Re-staining about every 3 years: expect to spend between $2,300-4,500 for a professional job on a 2,300 sq.ft. two-storie home.
-Re-sealing with a clear finish about every 2 years: expect to spend between $2,000-4,000 for a professional job on a 2,300 sq.ft. two-storie home.
Factors That Impact Wood Siding Cost
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The following factors will impact the final cost of your wood siding:
1. Wood Species: costs vary greatly depending on the species and grain.
Pine and related soft woods (spruce and fir) are the cheapest options, because they don’t offer top notch durability and longevity.
Cedar is a good quality, durable wood that stains beautifully, and offers mid-range pricing.
Redwood: a little more expensive than cedar, this high quality, durable wood can be easily painted or stained, and is also easy to install.
Red Cedar: offers similar quality and durability as cedar, but is more expensive that cedar or redwood due to its beautiful and unique look.
2. Finish Type: if you are looking to have a natural wood look, you will need to use clear stains (no paint), and therefore will need to use more expensive clear wood grains that have very few knots and other defects.
If you plan to paint your siding or to use a very opaque stain, you can opt for cheaper grades of wood and inexpensive species, such as pine, which take paint really well.
3. Siding Style: your total cost can go up significantly depending on the style of siding you choose. Clapboard (horizontal lap siding) is the most economical option, followed by Board-and-Batten, then Shingles, followed by Shakes, and finally Wood Strip style (often installed in a tongue – and – groove configuration). The most expensive style will be Split-Log because it has to be custom made.
4. Local Market Trends: wood pricing varies greatly depending on the market. For example, it may be difficult and more costly to obtain Redwood outside the West Coast (where its grown), and the markup may be as high as 50%.
To save money, it is best to select the wood that grows in your region or can be easily purchased without any major upcharges.
5. New vs Old-growth Species: expect to pay more for old growth species of pine, cypress and redwood, as compared to their new growth counterparts. Old-growth woods are a lot stronger, more durable and naturally more rot resistant.
Tips On Selecting the Right Exterior Wood Siding For Your Home
While there are potentially many wood species to choose from, not every product is going to serve your house best.
It is important to consider your local climate, the amount of maintenance you are able and willing to do, and the durability features of a particular wood species.
Here are a few tips to help in your selection:
1. If you live in a cold climate, avoid choosing exotic wood that comes from warm climates as it will not do a good job withstanding your local temperature fluctuations.
2. For each species you are considering, inquire about rot resistance, splitting, warping and cupping.
3. As a rule of thumb, go for the highest grade of wood you can afford. Your goal should be the most long lasting and durable siding that is within your budget.
4. For optimal durability and aesthetic appeal, go for clear grain grade (it will cost more).
5. Upon receiving and installing the siding, make sure that the wood is properly sealed and protected.
6. If you live in area prone to wild fires, consider paying more for a material that is treated with special fire-retardant chemicals during the manufacturing process.