Pros and Cons of cedar siding

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Old 04-08-06, 02:44 PM
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Pros and Cons of cedar siding

my window project is now coming to a end and the siding project is getting ready to begin in a couple of weeks . my wife has now seen some cedar siding she likes and i'm wondering what are the disadvantages of using this product. She wants it to be unpainted. i have read that it needs to be treated with a sealant / perservative . i don't want it to look like the siding on a old barn but i would like it to maintain some of its natural color.
 
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Old 04-08-06, 05:52 PM
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Besides being phenomenally expensive, cedar has a tendency to stain and bleed tannins. So while it may look great for the first year or two, as it ages and as your finish begins to fail, your siding may begin to exhibit some undesirable traits, because those stains are generally irreversable. I've also seen moisture problems behind the siding add to the above problems.

Asking how to finish cedar siding in the Decorate > Wood finishing forum might help you make a decision on whether to attempt using it or not.
 
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Old 04-08-06, 07:47 PM
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I can't think of a single advantage to cedar siding: it's expensive and maintenance intensive.
 
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Old 04-08-06, 08:27 PM
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My house originally had cedar siding. My wife liked it's "Cape Cod" look. I thought it looked like "+Cape Crap" It took a large addition and renovation to convinvce her to get rid of it.
My problem with untreated/unpainted cedar is that it will age to 4 different colors on four different sides of the house. It will cup and crack on the hot side and grow mold/moss/fungus on the cool side.
Painted or stained it will probably last as long or longer than other available options, but IMO I would opt for regular painted clapboards or even vinyl before I would put up untreated cedar.
 
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Old 04-09-06, 06:39 AM
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i intend to use some form of stain or sealer(thompsons ws or what ever is recommended) , if that is what you refer as to treating is. or is there something different ? i'm out to get something that doesn't require painting , if i can spray a sealer every 2 years and power wash it when ever required then i like the idea, we discussed brick , but the wait is unacceptable ( 6 + mths before the mason is avaliable ) and vinyl is not even a option, i had her convinced to use the hardi board along with me getting a airless paint sprayer ( for first initial spraying and other maintance and associated tasks ) but she was looking on the web for other options and came across a couple of homes with cedar on them and she like the appearence . This is why i have turned to you, THE DIY'ER / PROS you have helped me along with my window project , now i need help trying to convince her to something different.

thanks
Vic
 
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Old 04-09-06, 06:49 AM
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Your wife is looking at recently installed cedar. It looks good. It's a year or two or three down the road when problems start showing. My in-laws' home and lake home both have cedar siding. The lake home is three years old and the stain we applied has already faded something fierce, especially where the sun hits it. Their home was built in the mid 1970s and the siding starting rotting many years ago. They are contemplating selling their home and the siding is one of a few major repairs needed that have me convinced the house will probably be torn down by whoever buys it. Take some time to look at houses in your area to find some with cedar and then put your wife in the car to go look at how bad they can start to look in a relatively short amount of time. This is your home, somewhere you may live for many years to come. I don't think waiting six months to get an exterior you really want is unacceptable if the alternative is something that's going to bother you every time you look at it.
 
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Old 04-09-06, 06:20 PM
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everyone , thanks for your input .
there are not any homes in the area that have cedar, thats one thing that appealed to her. I had no idea that cedar was so much of a prolbem to keep. if we wanted to keep the idea of a natural wood siding, what would you all recommend ? i have access to some cypress that i can have milled into lap siding.
as far as brick i really don't want to spend the extra cash, but if there is no other alternative , then i guess i'll do the brick.
i failed to mention i live in the lower part of South Carolina.
 
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Old 04-09-06, 08:58 PM
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Cypress is one of the most sought after woods available, because of it's resistance to rot. I'm not sure how it looks when it weathers out, nor how it accepts stain, but I do know that it's renowned for it's longevity. That's a definite possibility. Being from Nebraska, I've only taken *pictures* of cypress trees... I've never had the pleasure of working with them. (mouth watering as I type).

One thing you mentioned... Thompson's water seal. My advice would be to avoid that product since it is parafin based and is not long lasting. If you plan on putting on some sort of natural wood siding (which costs a fortune to being with) don't mess around with DIY products. Get a professional grade product from Sherwin Williams or similar paint store. It may cost more but you will get a longer life, better quality finish that will keep the siding looking new, which is what everyone wants.
 
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Old 04-09-06, 10:09 PM
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Dude, you'll be a happier man if you just don't put wood on the outside of your home. The fact that you mentioned using thompson's tells me you don't know what you're getting into.
 
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Old 04-10-06, 10:25 AM
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In the S.E. cedar is the preffered wood siding material. It is one of the few woods that will hold up with transparent stains. I agree with not using water sealer for a finish. The heaveir bodied stains offer more protection.

There is a good chance the cedar look she likes is cedar coated with CWF. It gives a dark wood lustre to the cedar. While CWF gives a beautiful finish it is not maintinence free [or low] Even with the extra UV protection it still weathers badly. A well protected area can look good for 10 yrs but areas exposed to a lot of sun and rain may need attention in less than one year.

I have only worked with cypress siding twice [both new] and bleaching oil was applied to one thompsons to the other. I never got a chance to go back years later to see how they weathered.
 
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Old 04-10-06, 12:23 PM
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I agree the look of stained cedar is very beautiful and we have thoudands of home around here with both vertical and horizontal cedar both painted and stained. It takes annual attention to keep it looking good years and cannot be installed directly against the exterior walls of the house. 2 things to help insure it lasts is to prime the back side of all planks and install furring strips to keep cedar siding out away from the house to allow for water/moisture that builds up behind it to drain properly and not rot from the inside out.

You said she's not into the paint option, but there are quite a few cement siding manufacturers that offer pre painted panels that look identical to wood, but have the longevity of cement board-and when they're factory painted they offer a great warranty too if installed per their specs.
 
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Old 04-10-06, 04:01 PM
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I like the cement board idea IHI suggested. All the look of cedar with a fraction of the hassle. I bet the price is comperable or even cheaper than cedar.
 
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Old 04-10-06, 06:01 PM
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thanks guys, the brick mason finally came by to look at the house and his estimate is around the $20 grand mark give or take a few hundered so the cypress thing is a possible yes, there is a house down from our river lot that has had cypresss on it for 6 years, and it looks good. around here cypress is fairly easy to get, there are several local sawmills that handle it, i just have to have it planed into shiplap. i talked to the owner of the river house this afternoon and asked him what he used to treat the siding, he told me hydralic (?) fluid/oil. he treates it every 2 years, he buys the cheapest fluid he can find and he uses is a 2 gal pump sprayer to apply it after he power washes it and lets it dry . worse case is i will have to paint it .
 
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Old 04-10-06, 06:12 PM
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I used to run an OTR repaid shop for the big trucks and whenever the new drivers got a new trailer the first thing they'd do it get a bunch of our old used oil, mix in some linseed oil and paint the wood decks with it. Took awhile to dry, but man did that stuff ever hold up well since it's constantly exsposed to the elements, the wood treated in this manner was no worse for wear after 4 or 5 yrs compared to our company trailers that were never treated and required decking replacement each time the drivers came through.

Not recommending you slap oil motor oil on your house, but I can totally relate to the hyd oil suggestion.
 
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Old 04-10-06, 10:03 PM
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Used motor oil is a known carcinogen.
 
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Old 04-11-06, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by mitch17
Used motor oil is a known carcinogen.
and everything in life give you cancer.

just relating real world experience, and this stuff dried hard as nails/impervious to weather and tracked machines.
 
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Old 04-11-06, 06:53 AM
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I know several farmers that use deisel fuel mixed with used motor oil to coat their barns and out bldgs. Effective and economical. I wouldn't use it on a residence.

As with most things in life prudent common sense precautions will go a long way in keeping you safe and healthy.
 
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Old 04-12-06, 03:46 PM
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i forgot we also do Penta treating , thats what i couldn't remember . I'm leaning to the cypress, i got a price to day of $60 a 100 linear ft. rough sawn to 3/4" x 7 1/2"x 12 or 16ft boards. now i got to get it spit into a bevel, 2 pcs out each board . this is less than anything else i've seen. i got to have 3000 lin ft. if i did the math correct house is aprox. 300 lin. ft with a wall hieght of aprox 10 ft.
for that price i can buy me a planer and the some other things i been wanting.
 
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Old 04-12-06, 05:33 PM
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For $1 a foot, I'll split it for ya... I always wanted to buy that Laguna bandsaw with the 16" resaw capability! LOL!
 
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Old 04-13-06, 09:46 AM
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X, i don't think i can afford the frieght to ship it out and back, with the price of fuel skyrocketing but thanks for the offer, got my boss checking on having it split for me, he knows a guy that has a small mill that produces siding and flooring made out of old wood(barns, sunk logs). by the way i was talking to a guy this morning and he told me about a chemical called TWP, its some kind of stain. i saw some pictures of a house he did with this stuff and it had a good color . he told me it was very thick that i needed a airless sprayer or a brush and roller to apply it , but that it was a very durable product.
 
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Old 04-13-06, 11:38 AM
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I had never heard of TWP - total wood preservative, so I checked it out. Appears to be a product similiar to CWF. They claim a 3-5 yr life span for this coating. They also said areas that recieved intense sun or sever weather would need to be recoated earlier, possibly yearly. The prices they showed seemed to be higher than CWF. It would be interesting to apply the 2 products side by side to both see if they look different and more importantly if one would outlast the other.
 
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Old 05-29-07, 08:14 PM
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Outcome? re: cleaning/sealing Cypress

VC;

What was the outcome with your Cypress-sided house?

My home is redbrick with cypress siding soffit,facia, dormers, and front porch. It's time to clean and seal it (my first since buying the house). Any lessons learned or advice to give?

tnx,
Kelly
 
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Old 05-30-07, 05:50 PM
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Thumbs up

well due to the cost to have it split. i decided to do hardiplank on my residence. however i did do the cypress on my river house with a full 3/4 x7" random length siding. i have let it weather naturally, so it is begining to look like a old barn, which is great because it's in the woods, where there are no neighbors for 2 miles.
 
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Old 05-31-07, 07:53 AM
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tnx, VC

Thanks VC.

I can see how that would work well in your situation. My house isn't as remote. I'm hoping to keep a bit less of the weathered look.

Were there any bits of information or sources to research in all this, that you'd mind sharing? I'm very much a beginner.

Thanks again,
Kelly
 
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Old 06-03-07, 05:01 PM
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there is a wealth of info here, try doing a search. if you don't mind spending the money, cypress can be kept by treating it with a durable weather proofer, but the beauty of the wood is when it weathers. cypress is a very durable wood but its expensive, but not like some. luckly i live in South Carolina and cypress is available here. i have a friend who owns a small sawmill and he gets cypress on a regular basis and thats where i got mine for the river house from .
the only prolbem i had putting on my house in town was the overall cost. i did the hardi plank for 1/2 of the cost of wood. i got a super deal on hardi plank. i got it for $4.75 a 8 1/4" x 12' ft. piece.
 
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Old 06-23-07, 08:43 PM
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Cedar siding

I have a cedar sided house that is about 50 years old. It has been painted but the paint is peeling badly and I have started removing it with a pressure washer. It doesnt appear to be rotted except for a few spots. Should I use a good quality paint or not? Would stain be better and last longer? It doesnt look like anything lasts from the conversations previously posted.
 
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Old 06-24-07, 06:03 AM
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Painted or stained cedar will hold up as well or better than most any wood siding. If you paint it is best to use an oil base primer followed by 1-2 coats of quality latex house paint.

House paint will outlast any stain but when it fails it both looks worse than old stain and requires more prep for a repaint. Given a choice on old cedar siding I would use a solid stain instead of paint. It may not last as long as paint but requires less prep to recoat

Some of the older houses have vapor barrier issues [lack of] which can affect the ability of paint to adhere long term to siding. It is usually best to use latex only as it is less affected by moisture passing thru the walls. The only problem with not using an oil base primer on cedarr is if any tannins are still present they can bleed thru the paint [oil primer prevents this] This is especially noticable with light colors. Sometimes you're durned if you do and durned if you don't
 
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Old 10-21-12, 12:27 PM
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Don't cedar side anything but the dog house

In today's age of fine looking, zero maintenance man made siding products, neither cedar nor any other wood should ever be put on a house. It's expensive, and high maintenance. Not to mention, God help you if the woodpeckers take a liking to it. It curls in the sun, it has to be stained and, yes, it does rot.
 
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Old 10-22-12, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by rambo2_981

In today's age of fine looking, zero maintenance man made siding products, neither cedar nor any other wood should ever be put on a house. It's expensive, and high maintenance.
I've searched high and low to find examples of man-made products that have lasted longer than the natural ones they attempt to replicate, but no such luck

In my area cedar sells for less than $2 a square foot. Hardie and vinyl (the good name-brand stuff) costs about $3.
I do agree with wood needing more maintenance.

There's always brick & stone, which along with wood make up 99% of our surviving historical buildings.

(yes I know how old this thread is but I felt the need to rebut)
 
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Old 10-22-12, 09:48 AM
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Wood can last outside but it's too much work, IMO. Plus, you have to take that maintenance into account in the cost - fiber cement siding can supposedly go 25 years between paint jobs, no way cedar will last that long between siding or paint jobs; I believe that's a cost one should take into account beyond the purchase/installation cost.
 
 

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