Stories The Many Benefits of a Cedar Siding House
The name Lindal Cedar Homes is historically synonymous with the image of post-and-beam cedar siding houses, built with high-pitched roofs and expanses of glass to take in panoramic views. This kind of classic home is still a large part of the Lindal Cedar Homes portfolio. It’s a style of home that has stood the test of time – both physically and design-wise. Of course, these days Lindal homes are built with any number of different siding materials – from composite material such as Allura siding to stone, metal and even stucco. They can prove a durable and cost-effective alternative to cedar siding. However, this article focuses on the benefits of a house with cedar siding. Cedar-sided homes are still a large part of what Lindal offers, and for good reason.
The Amazing Benefits of Cedar Siding
The cedar tree provides us with one of nature’s most perfect building materials. Many people choose cedar sided homes for their beauty alone. But deciding to use cedar siding for your home has many other benefits. The aromatic oils that occur naturally in the wood make cedar a long-lasting material, resistant to rot and toxic to insects. Good quality cedar wood of the kind used in Lindal homes is soft and flexible yet firm and straight-grained. Because of its loose cellular structure, pockets of air in the wood give it superior insulating qualities. This also makes cedar a lighter wood and thus easier to build with. Another property of cedar that makes it so desirable is that the wood naturally absorbs outside noise, making for a quieter home.
It is possible to split a mature and healthy cedar tree into clear, straight planks of 40 feet or more in length and 3 or more inches in thickness, with almost no knots. This type of cedar is known as “clear cedar”. It is very popular among Lindal clients for their home’s siding and soffits, and as a ceiling liner for interior rooms. Red cedar’s natural earth tones of brown and reddish brown give a warm feeling to any cedar home. The Western red cedar we use for our homes is sourced from the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. where Lindal is headquartered. Red cedar grows along the temperate northwest coast of Canada and the United States, from Alaska south to Northern California.
Wood Siding can be Fire-Resistant!
You can have a traditional Lindal Cedar Home with cedar siding, even if you live in a high-fire area! Cedar siding at least two inches thick and coated with a flame retardant gives your home the same fire-resistant properties as composite materials. Lindal homes have been built with cedar siding in high-fire risk areas of California and elsewhere.
Bevel or Tongue-and-Groove Cedar Siding
Lindal has two primary options for your home’s cedar siding (ask your dealer if you are interested in other options): You can go for the warm traditional feel of layered bevel, the sleek look of tongue-and-groove or another more contemporary style. Ask your Lindal dealer for details as you make plans to build your own home.
Tongue and Groove (T&G)
Tongue and Groove planks join together and interlock for a snug fit. The tongue – a projecting centered ridge – on the side of one plank slides into a corresponding groove on the next plank, eliminating the need for gluing or using nails to connect the two. The image shows tongue and groove clear cedar siding with different pre-stain options (image courtesy of Westrend Exteriors).
Tongue and groove cedar is often used for soffits and as a liner for interior walls or ceilings (pine, fir, and hemlock are other options). It can also be used on exterior walls.
Bevel Cedar Siding
While T&G siding is flat, beveled siding is angled and overlapped to create a shadowed edge between each plank. It is the most common and traditional form of exterior cedar siding.
Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Homes
Real cedar siding is one of the most environmentally friendly exterior sidings available. It produces the least greenhouse gas, air pollution, water pollution and solid waste. Not only that — the Western Red Cedar Lindal uses in its homes is harvested from trees grown in sustainably managed forests in Canada; a world leader in sustainable forest management. So you can feel good about your wood. In addition, for every Lindal Cedar Home built, Lindal plants 25 new trees in the clients’ name through a donation to the American Forests’ Global ReLeaf program.
The Cost of Cedar Siding
The cost of your cedar siding can vary greatly, depending on the thickness and quality of the wood used. Clear cedar siding is made of the highest grade of Western red cedar, and as such is your most expensive option. As its name implies, clear cedar has no knots in it, giving it a very smooth and even appearance. Siding with a cedar veneer is the least expensive. Some people chose to use lightly stained clear cedar on an accent or on the wall by the entry of their home for maximum impact, and painted cedar siding on other areas.
Interior Cedar Liner
Lindal often uses cedar to line the interior ceilings of our homes (as in the image above). Our soffits are often cedar lined – which creates a beautiful effect in tandem with interior beams that extend out beyond the frame of the house to create overhangs and protected areas on the exterior.
Cleaning Your Cedar Siding or Deck
As with just about any home siding material, a wood sided home needs to be periodically cleaned and maintained. This is an important part of any cedar home care.
It is relatively easy to maintain a natural exterior and interior on a home with cedar siding. Many local Lindal dealers can refer you to products they feel work well in your local climate. Commercial cleaners are available to treat most issues.
To remove dirt, simply clean the surface with a non-phosphate detergent.
Use a stain with mildewcide if your house is in a damp area. A mild oxygen bleach solution should help to remove mildew from existing wood.
Use a mild oxalic acid solution to remove stains that are the result of water, tannin or iron.
Cedar Siding Stain
Western Red Cedar is free of pitch and resin, which means it takes to stains, oils and finishes very well. As a result, you have a lot of siding color options.
Most Lindal exterior cedar siding comes pre-finished with the client’s choice of stain. Lindal materials supplier Jeff Lisson of Westrends Exteriors described many of the benefits of factory finished materials. “When you are pre-finishing in a factory environment, it’s all done indoors and the coatings are applied very evenly. It’s hard for painter to apply on site evenly. When you see a coat deteriorating you’ll often see where the lap marks are. Pre-finishing can also offer a cost savings to the customer in terms of the labor expense. The cedar siding comes finished out of the package with a back prime on it – something that rarely happens on site. The back prime helps prevent moisture intrusion from the back side. It also helps to stabilize the product and ensure the long-term performance of the coating,” he said. “Also, when you’re putting pre-finished siding up on a beautiful Lindal home, it has instant curb appeal.”
Depending on your homes’ exposure to inclement weather and UV rays, a stain can last anywhere from 5-15 years before needing to be reapplied. A south-facing home on a windy bluff will need to be re-stained sooner than a wall in a more protected environment.
Painting Cedar Siding
While paint can work well on composite materials, it is not always best for a cedar exterior. “Stains provide a more durable coating,” Lisson said. “Paint doesn’t breathe as well and can lead to peeling. Wood is a natural product and will be moving over the life of the coating. Paint doesn’t have the elasticity of a stain. When the wood moves, the paint can crack. Then, water gets in and the material erodes. Lindal is all about performance and quality,” Lisson said. “That’s why we use higher-end coatings. I’ve learned over 20 years that you get what you pay for in a coating,” he added with a laugh.
We recommend you discuss paint and stain options with your local Lindal dealer.