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Choosing the Right Cedar Cladding

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 1

Introduction

Whether you are building a new house or remodeling an old one, cedar cladding could be your best option. Not only is cedar wood attractive, it is also very durable and resistant to rot and decay. Cedar cladding is versatile and can be used on just about any project. The cedar wood is also sturdy in the case of a fire. Cedar cladding is also environmental friendly and has thermal properties that will keep your heating bill down. It also has a natural resistance to  insect damage and moisture, making it an excellent choice for outside buildings. The natural oil in the cedar has a nice woody aroma, but has a corrosive effect on certain metals. Stainless steel and galvanized tools should be used when installing. The most popular cedar cladding is the western red cedar.

The Western Red Cedar


Stretching from Canada to California, a spline of mountains run parallel to the Pacific coast. Along the slopes and valleys of these mountains are nutrient filled spots for softwoods to grow. Among these softwoods are the Western Red Cedars. Western Red Cedars grow mainly in coastal forestry.
The western red cedar is so popular because of its stability, durability, and its volume to weight ratio. The stability is due to the fact the western red cedar won't warp, shrink or twist and can be nailed without splitting. The light weight properties of it, make it easy to transport. It is also a good insulator and sounds are not easily heard through the material. Left unstained western red cedar will turn to a weathered silvery grey color. Due to cedar cladding's durability it is often used untreated. Western red cedar is a softwood and is found mainly in North America and Canada. Unlike most softwoods, this particular cedar cladding does not contain any resin and can take a large range of paints, oils, and stains.

Benefits of Using Cedar Cladding

Cedar cladding is the most durable cladding option. It will last for years to come when treated correctly. Homes that have cedar cladding will stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer saving a significant amount of energy and saving you money in the long run. Cedar cladding's natural oil makes it easy to stain or paint any color you choose. Cedar cladding also has sound suppressing properties that dampen any sounds chance of coming through the wall. These are the most common benefits of installing cedar cladding.

How to Install Cedar Cladding

Installing cedar cladding to a house is a process of measuring, cutting, carefully leveling, and using corrosion resistant nails. All boards should be stained prior to installing. The house should also be wrapped in house wrap before installation is started. You may also need a circular saw, chalk line, pencil, hammer, tape measure, and a level. First thing you want to do is determine a starting point. You should measure based on how much the box of cladding will cover. It should be mentioned in the manufacturer's recommendation book. Mark the whole perimeter of the house so you will know how high and how low you can go. Next you want to cut the boards to size and coat them in a layer of primer or penetrating stain. Make sure to get the end pieces good, for they can absorb 250 times more water than the face wood. Next you want to fasten your starter strip at base of the house. This should be level, because the cedar cladding strips above the starter depend on it. You can now run your first course. Make sure you leave 1/6 to 1/8 of an inch gap between each cladding strip for expansion. Do not nail or screw corrosion resistant nails or screws too tight. Then fasten the second course. This course will overlap the first course and the amount of overlap varies depending on the manufacturer's specification for your particular cedar cladding. Seams should be staggered every 3 to 4 feet to insure water resistance. The level should be checked every 5th course. If level is off, make small adjustment, as opposed to waiting too long and having to make a big one. Work your way from the base to the top of the house and your cedar cladding installation is done.

Pricing

Pricing on western red cedar cladding can range mainly because of its grade and dryness. Most companies also offer a square foot minimal for purchase. In this example of pricing, we will use a standard 1,500 square foot minimal. This price also includes pre-stained from the factory cost. I'm sure you could get cedar cladding cheaper if you were to stain it yourself, but getting it pre-stained could end up saving you a lot of work and money. A 1x6 LAP with STD & PAD grade goes for $2.57 per sq/ft. The total cost for 1,500 sq/ft would be around $3,852.00. A 1x8 LAP with same grade goes for $2.61 per sq/ft and 1x10 LAP goes for $2.74 per sq/ft. The total cost of a 1,500 sq/ft project with these two sizes are $4,048.00 and $4,236.00. As the grade and dryness goes up, so does the price. For a 1x5 T&G EM piece with a grade of STK KD, the price per square foot is $2.89. This total project cost would be $4,445.00. The rest of the all pattern pieces and different grades range from $3.14 to $5.38. The total cost for a 1,500 square feet project ranges from $4,716.00 to $8,064.00. Of course these prices can vary with different companies. Better quality cedar cladding will probably cost a little more, opposed to roughly sawed wood that might go for a little less. It just depends on what cedar cladding you're looking for.

Haida Wavy Skirt

Haida Wavy Skirt is sort of a design that is cut into cedar cladding. It is the same softwood used in other home projects, with a little added style by the wavy look. This type of design cost a little more, but will dress up your outdoor or indoor project nicely. Haida wavy skirt cedar cladding comes in lengths of 1x10 and 1x12. This price is also based on pre-stained from the factory pricing. The 1x10 piece goes for $5.04 per sq/ft and the total cost for a 1,500 sq/ft project is $7,500. This beautiful cedar cladding design is surely worth the extra cost.

Conclusion

Cedar cladding is a great option for any home-owner or construction worker looking to install it. With such a visually beautiful product at a reasonably cheap price, you couldn't go wrong with trying it. With so many durable and lasting features, you could have a beautiful and insulated fortress in no time.


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Comments

May 20, 2012 3:45am
yalkun
This comment has been deleted.
May 20, 2012 3:45am
yalkun
Great article with accurate and helpful information. A+!
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