Fiber Cement vs Cedar Shake Siding

The exterior of your home and the way that it looks may be one its most important attributes. Your home’s exterior not only protects it from the elements, it enhances the architecture and sets the stage for your personal style and design.

For this reason, many people have strong desires and opinions about the materials and styles they use on their homes. Materials like cedar shakes get a lot of attention for their beauty and the look that they can produce on a home’s exterior. Cedar shakes have many drawbacks, however, that make them less than ideal as a home covering. Getting the same look with fiber cement shingles instead can help you have the best of both worlds – the look you want, but with the durability and low maintenance coverage, you need.

Cedar Shakes

Cedar shakes have a rugged, rustic appearance to them that can complement a wide range of architectural styles. Each shake may have subtle or dramatic variation from the others installed in each row, and this variation between size, shape, texture, and color is part of what gives the material its appeal.

Unfortunately, cedar shakes come with a number of drawbacks as well. The shakes are highly flammable unless treated with chemicals that can give off VOCs. They may also absorb water, swelling and warping over time, particularly in very wet climates.

If not installed correctly, the lower rows of the shakes may also begin to rot, soaking up water from the ground, and being unable to drain or dry properly. Added to this is the fact that like all wood siding, the shakes will need to be treated either with stain or paint on a regular basis to help keep them in good condition. They will also require regular pressure washing, which can add to the maintenance time and expense of the material

Cedar shakes can also be very expensive to have put in correctly. True shakes are often hand-split, and installed individually, which gives them their character. Finding a craftsman that can put them in properly, preserving their look and helping to prevent problems such as water damage and wood rot can often be a time consuming and expensive proposition.

Fiber Cement Cedar-Look Shakes

Fiber cement shingles and shakes provide you with the same appearance and good looks of traditional cedar shakes, but without the drawbacks. You can choose from even shingles, irregular shingles, or individual shakes in a variety of sizes to customize the look of your home. The shingles are available in a range of traditional wood stain colors, as well as a range of paint colors, all of which are far more durable than paint applied to wood. The color won’t peel, fade, or chip, and won’t require the same level of maintenance or care that real wood will.

Fiber cement shakes are also highly durable. They’re flame retardant and resist insect activity and water damage as well. They won’t swell or warp on contact with water, and they won’t discolor over time the way that natural cedar shingles will. So, there’s no need to pressure wash and re-stain every few years to maintain the appearance of your home.

Fiber cement shingles can, therefore, help you get the character and appearance you want for your home’s exterior, along with more options for customization, and a lot less maintenance and care.

Make the Best Choice for Your Home

With fiber cement shingles and shakes, you can have your beautiful siding and enjoy it, too. If you love the look of real cedar shingles, but don’t want to deal with the upkeep and maintenance, consider investing in fiber cement instead, to get the best of both worlds.