cedar shingles or vinyl siding?

11 Replies

Just curious what everyone thinks - cedar shingles or vinyl siding?  My house is in the need of being resided.  Currently, it is an owner-occupied 2 family but hope to move out in a year or so and keep it as a rental. Pros and cons or each?  I hear vinyl is final, but I do love the look of wood shingles. 


Do wood shingles get you higher rent? If not, the maintenance is not worth the better look. If they do get you better rent, calculate the difference in cost and maintenance and see if it's worthit

Does not matter what you love the gaol of a rental is low maintenance, low cost, longevity. As Chris points out if it does not increase your rental income yu go with th eleast expensive and easiest to maintaine that will do th ejob. 


I would go cedar shingles. If I’d does not bring you more rent it should at least bring your property value up. In my opinion it looks better. Cedar is a great natural siding that is still tough and long lasting. Hands down I choose cedar every time.

I see you are in MA, what is on it now? I would compare costs and even if you dont plan to sell see if there is impact on resale in terms of appeal. Cedar is more maintenence, vinyl can need washing and it can crack and needs repairs on areas although not often. I am betting cedarvis more expensive but not sure how much. the exterior of a house definitely can impact rental appeal.

@Colleen F. One of my goals is to increase value because I plan on HELOC to buy my next rental. So home value is critical. Right now, I have cedar shingles. They are old, ugly, and falling apart. Every other home in my neighborhood is vinyl.

I would ask myself: Do I want to be responsible for repainting ever three to five years or residing every twenty to thirty?

@Chris Roche what you'll have to compare is whether the added cost and maintenance of the shingles will offset the increase in value for the HELOC. I will guess that you'll see a negative return on cedar shingles.
Vinyl works if you can get a nice appealing color and it is in line with the area and the style of the house. Cedar will probably cost more. I can say with white vinyl you have to wash it once a year as it gets mildew on the north side and over the years you can need to replace a few pieces so get a little extra. My neighbor claims a power wash also cleans his cedar but not sure I agree. I think it is just newer.

I’d venture to guess that if every other home in the neighborhood is vinyl, the upgrade to cedar may not give you as much added value as you’d like, since it may be over-improving the neighborhood. Personally, I love cedar shingles, and for my own home, would choose it over vinyl every time. But, for a rental, it would all come down to return. If you can’t stomach the cheap-looking vinyl, fiber cement might also be an option, and would save on maintenance costs compared to cedar. On the other hand, there are some nicer looking vinyls, and perhaps you could add an accent with vinyl shingles to add some extra curb appeal? If you do go vinyl, I would suggest a light color that won’t fade substantially over the years.

@Chris Roche I agree with the Vinyl as it is low maintenance... but, if you're looking for the cedar shingle look you can explore the higher-end vinyl sidings that imitate the cedar look.  Looks like cedar but is made from vinyl and provides the maintenance and long life.   Win-Win

@Chris Roche vinyl may be cheap and low maintenance, but it can be damaged fairly easily by careless tenants or even wind. After several years of fading, the patch will look really bad because it will be way darker. As far as Cedar, I used to paint houses and Cedar was very high maintenance. It sucked up the stain or paint by the gallons. It is your highest maintenance choice.

Another option is to use Hardie board siding, also known as cement board siding. It has a 50 year rot warranty and it is rock solid, so tenants won't poke holes in it and it won't fly off in the wind. It requires painting occasionally, but mainly for looks because the material is rot proof.

Final option is to just use standard fiber board siding. It is probably your cheapest option, so may be the best choice if you are not holding on to the property for more than 15 years. It requires painting but not as intensive as Cedar.

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