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Cedar Siding for the Modern Homeowner

New Advancements Give Your Home a Classic Look without the Upkeep

A gray home with snow on the ground.

In the past, siding your home meant selecting from a couple of standard styles in a handful of colors. That’s no longer the case. Thanks to new products and innovations, there are more siding options available than ever before. To help you keep up to date on new trends and styles, we are exploring the latest options and materials. Here we look at classic wood siding.

Seen above:  Cedar Impressions® Double 9” staggered rough-split shakes in sterling gray with CedarBoardsTM Double 6” Clapboard in Granite Gray 

A Little History


Wood has a long history in American architecture beginning with the earliest settlers. From Massachusetts Cape Cods to Virginia farmhouses, wood could be found in wide use across New England and the southern United States throughout the 1800s. While, the look remains prized, the cost and required maintenance has driven it out of favor for many homeowners.

Seen above: A traditional New England Cape Cod style home featuring wood siding. Our research shows that only about 13% of current homes are sided in wood.  


Maintaining wood shingles is an enormous task. Water and sunlight damage means spending weekends and money trying to clean and protect the wood siding. Colors fade, wood rots and without constant maintenance over time, your once beautiful home will need a costly facelift.

Seen here: Without regular maintenance cedar shingles can suffer from mold, mildew, rot and weather damage, and even with regular maintenance uneven weathering can be an issue.   

 Material Gains

A house with Cedar Impressions siding in Seagrass and stone facade.

Until recently, if you wanted the look of real wood your only option was to use real wood and deal with the added maintenance and expense. But that has all changed. Vinyl and polymer siding has never looked better. Innovations in manufacturing mean you can now get the look of real cedar with the durability of vinyl and polymer siding.

Seen above: Cedar Impression® Double 7" Straight Edge Perfection shingles in Seagrass

Texture: Improvements in Authenticity

After Cedar Impressions.jpg

One of the biggest advancements comes in terms of texture. Impressions from wood are used to make the polymer replicas. You can see the same natural and authentic grain, texture and splits found in real wood. Up close or far away, the siding looks like wood – one profile is even installed individually just like traditional wood siding.

Seen here: Cedar Impressions Single 7" straight edge perfection shingles in driftwood blend

Shingles or Shakes

Cedar Impressions Double 7" Straight Edge Rough Split Shingle in Buckskin on house facade

The precision of replication has also increased the range of choice within the polymer market. Homeowners can now select with great authenticity between a shingle and a shake. A polymer shingle, true to its heritage, has a softer texture and a more polished look. Shakes, on the other hand, have an aggressive texture mimicking the original splitting process that leaves the board rough and unfinished. Shingled houses are popular on the East Coast and have a more refined look compared to the rustic appeal of a shake exterior popular in the West and the Midwest.

Seen above: Cedar Impression® Double 7” straight edge rough-split shakes in buckskin 

Color: Even Better Than the Real Thing


Another concern with real wood siding is the color can be unpredictable, because the color is a direct reflection of the shingle’s exposure to the elements, different sides of the home may fade and weather at different rates making the exterior look uneven and blotchy. The color you loved when the wood shingles are installed will change, often all too quickly.

Seen above: Cedar Impressions® Single 7” straight edge perfection shingles in driftwood blend

Inspired by Nature 

Cedar Impressions Driftwood Blend Medium on house facade

Thanks to improved color matching technology and advancements in manufacturing, polymer sidings can now get almost identical renderings of natural cedar colors, like freshly cut western red or eastern white cedar or aged western red or eastern white cedar, and unlike real cedar these colors won’t fade over time meaning the color you select is the color you get.

These advances are best seen in the new individual 5” sawmill shingles from CertainTeed. These shingles, designed to mimic wood’s natural aging process, come in four blended colors with three shades varying from light to dark and seven widths. This gives homeowners and contractors the ability to mimic the naturally occurring variations of wood.

Seen above: Cedar Impressions Individual 5” Sawmill shingles in driftwood blend. These shingles are also available in natural blend, cedar blend and rustic blend. Mix variations in shade and size for an authentic look. 

Quality that Lasts


Another major advancement comes in the injection of color throughout the shingle. Early replica materials may have looked good at installation but the coating does not last and the only way to repair these chips and gashes is to replace the siding. Thanks to CedarLife™ Color Blend technology, CertainTeed has solved this problem with a patented process that blends the color throughout the shingle.

Seen above: Cedar Impressions Individual 5" Sawmill Shingles in cedar blend 

Finally! Beauty with Performance 

If you’re remodeling or building from the ground up, it’s time to reconsider the idea of wood. New advances in vinyl and polymer siding make the look of cedar a viable option for many people offering authentic texture and style without the hassle and cost of real wood.

Seen above: Cedar Impressions® Double 7” straight edge rough-split shakes with Restoration Classic Double 4” clapboard siding in charcoal gray 

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