Many of the pros and cons for cedar and vinyl siding are documented in other entries in this blog. In this case, we’re going to walk through the pros and cons of cedar siding vs vinyl siding. We’ll compare sustainability, appearance, cost, home value/return on investment, and the x factors.
Cedar siding is often heralded as one of the most environmentally-friendly siding materials whereas vinyl siding is not regarded as environmentally friendly in its production or application.
Anytime appearance is compared there is a great deal of subjectivity. There is little dispute that cedar siding has an attractive look on almost any home. Vinyl siding is one of the cheapest materials for siding and even when it applied well it still gives the impression of being an economic choice. While premium vinyl siding can mimic other materials, there is generally no hiding that it is vinyl. There is no accounting for personal taste, but for a consistently better appearance
This one might seem like an obvious answer. But it may be helpful to distinguish between initial cost and final cost. The initial cost (material and installation) is almost always going to favor vinyl siding ($2-7 per square foot) compared to cedar siding ($7-13 per square foot). However, vinyl siding can have some expensive maintenance, repair, and may have to be replaced sooner. Not to mention the potential for issues of moisture and mold that can occur in your house if the vinyl siding cracks. To be sure, cedar siding also has maintenance cost if you want to maximize the life of your investment. All that being said, if the initial cost is your only criteria then vinyl may be your choice, but when you pause to consider all the factors you may find that cedar is a more worthwhile investment.
This is the other side of the coin when it comes to initial cost. Does vinyl siding help your home value more than cedar siding? Probably not. Vinyl siding has an expected 75% return on investment. For a $15,000 siding job, the return on investment would be approximately $11,250 in value. Cedar siding’s return on investment is above 80%, meaning the same $15,000 investment would be expected to return at least $12,000 in value. Curbside appeal and asking price data is not available for this comparison, but many realtors attest that cedar siding gives the impression of higher quality and value and therefore usually raises the asking price of a home.
These miscellaneous factors are frequently overlooked, but all tip in favor of cedar siding. First, cedar siding insulates better. If you live in a place with cold winters then cedar siding may save you money on your heating bill. Second, cedar siding absorbs sound better than vinyl siding. If you live on a noisy street, near an intersection, or just have noisy neighbors then you may appreciate the extra sound absorption from cedar siding. Finally, you may not have known this but cedar also has some natural function as an insect repellant. It is hard to put a price on that!
If you’re interested in exploring cedar siding for your home, visit EMA Construction’s Cedar Siding page for some samples of our work throughout the Cincinnati, Dayton, and Liberty Township, Ohio area.