Should I replace or repair my cedar siding?

We get calls every week from homeowners asking us to take a look at their cedar wood siding.

As each year passes, we get more and more of these calls, as houses built in the 70’s & 80’s are experiencing siding failure.

That said, we get calls all the time from houses clad in Vinyl Siding, built in the 90’s & later suffering failure as well, as their finish becomes dated, brittle, and in need of refreshment. Cedar siding is, by far, a much more durable siding material, providing it is maintained!

More often than not, when we visit these homes, the failures are due to lack of regular maintenance and upkeep, and why we don’t see cedar wood siding being used anywhere near as often as in the past. It’s not due to it being priced out of the market, James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding falls within the same price point, and has been seeing an increased market share, year over year, and for good reason!

Cedar siding, with a timeless beauty that is, as yet, unmatched, requires diligent, and costly upkeep. Cedar wood siding should be painted or stained EVERY 6 Years or sooner, depending on the level of UV exposure, in order to reduce the costs of repainting. Once the paint starts to peel, costs can quickly grow as sanding out walls is not cheap, let alone replacing warped, twisted, and cracked siding panels. The most common reasons for rot, that we come across, however, is the cedar wood siding being installed tight onto horizontal surfaces, flashings, and roof lines, as well as an often overlooked maintenance item, namely, CAULKING. Caulking should be checked annually and replaced as needed, this is almost never done, and over time, will rot the siding out from around windows and doors.

So lets get back on track, now that we’ve covered a few points of reference….repair or replace.

If the siding is less than 15% of the total wallspace, then replacement is a viable option, albeit still quite expensive for what it is. However, once we enter into higher percentages for replacement, the narrative changes to replacement. Why replace your cedar siding? Simple, once we look to repair large wall areas with new cedar, you’re committing to many more years of costly maintenance. If there was ever a perfect time to replace your old cedar siding with James Hardie siding, or even Vinyl siding, it is when you are looking to spend thousands of dollars to repair a product that is going to continue costing money.

Lets make this easy….if we were to put siding on two identical houses, side by side, one with James Hardie colorplus siding, and the other with painted cedar siding, the price would be nearly equal. However, over the lifetime of the product, James Hardie siding will require no additional money spent on painting, whereas the cedar siding will have been painting FIVE TIMES! Lets assume it costs $8,000 to paint the house each cycle, and the cost never goes up in price…..just pretend, thats an ADDITIONAL $40,000 just for repaint alone, not including caulking replacement and cedar siding replacement in high UV areas, not to mention installation errors!

When you look at the lifetime costs for cedar wood siding, it’s easy to see why James Hardie ColorPlus siding is gaining so much popularity!

Obviously everyone has budgetary constraints, and keeping costs down are the primary concern, and that’s perfectly understandable, if you’re willing to give up a little elegance, vinyl siding is a perfectly good alternative to cedar wood siding and can achieve a price point that’s very reasonable, while reducing your maintenance costs dramatically. In fact, Premium Vinyl siding comes in a number of darker designer colours, and is more durable as it is thicker than standard vinyl siding. Vinyl siding also comes in simulated cedar shingles , and board & batten profiles.

However, some neighbourhoods aren’t a good fit for vinyl siding, and as it is now, it has been in the past, cedar wood siding is a premium product, and it’s only surpassed by the quality and product integrity of James Hardie siding products. James Hardie siding products are as great a fit in old neighbourhoods as it is in new ones, with so many design features and elements, James Hardie products can achieve a near limitless array of architectural designs, and lets your imagination loose!

If you have any questions about YOUR cedar wood siding, feel free to reach out and give us a call, we’d be more than happy to discuss your particular situation!

In fact, we are happy to answer any of your siding questions, whether it’s vinyl siding, James Hardie siding, or any of the many siding options in our market!

When you need us, West Coast Barrier will be there! Check out our reviews, we’re HOMESTARS Verified!!

Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association, and a James Hardie Preferred Remodeler