Q: I see homes all over New England with beautiful cedar siding. I love the look and feel of real wood, but I don’t want to deal with the maintenance. I’ve heard that vinyl shakes look like real wood without the hassle. Is this true?

A: Vinyl cedar shakes are a trending exterior upgrade here in New England. They complement a variety of home styles and frankly make your home look like a million bucks. The key is to choose shakes that mimic the look of real wood, which saves you hours of trouble with maintenance and even keeps more money in your wallet.

What’s so Attractive About Vinyl Cedar Shakes?

All throughout history, cedar trees provided homeowners with an exceptionally beautiful exterior option. It’s known for its color, fragrance, and even its resistance to insects. Some cultures even use cedar in ceremonies to help prevent illness.

Even though cedar is still beautiful today, it isn’t the most practical exterior choice. Western Red Cedar is harvested from the coastal district of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. It’s a lengthy process to take down the tree, transport it to New England, and install it on your home. Vinyl cedar shakes are a much more convenient and environmentally-friendly option.

Vinyl Cedar Shakes: Immaculate Replication of Real Cedar

High quality vinyl cedar shakes are engineered to look just like real wood. In fact, high quality vinyl shakes are most often designed by top-notch artisans—making it look as authentic as possible when compared side-by-side with real cedar. Homeowners can choose from four styles inspired by the most beautiful shakes available today, with every panel looking handmade.

How to Use a Cedar-Inspired Exterior to Complement Your Architecture

If you’re interested in vinyl shakes and are wondering how you can use this exterior to your advantage, consider the following:

  • Highlight your architecture with vinyl scallops: Vinyl scallops are also engineered with a lifelike wood pattern. These look great around gables and window boxes.
  • Traditional cedar shakes: Take onlookers on a nostalgic journey back to the early days of New England. Traditional cedar shakes are a classic profile that is crafted with a rough texture.
  • Hand-split shakes will shake up your curb appeal: If an imperfect exterior is your style, hand-split shakes are perfect for accenting areas of your home for visual interest and texture. This option can also be installed over your whole home for an entirely new look.
  • Go completely coastal with Cape Cod shingles: These vinyl cedar shakes are truly New England architecture at its finest, which is used to give that authentic coastal look and feel.

With so many ways to use vinyl shakes on your home, it’s no wonder that this is quickly becoming one of New England’s trendiest exterior upgrades to date.

Yes—You Should Fake it

Today’s vinyl shake siding looks so authentic that the only thing missing is that cedar scent. If you live along coastal New England, ocean air and strong winds can impact real cedar wood and even strip the paint. This is also the case when the sun’s rays beat down on your home, breaking down the wood on a chemical level and resulting in faded cedar.

According to REALTOR®, real cedar siding can even cause your home insurance premium to rise. This is because real cedar wood is a fire hazard, and it can also contribute to moisture problems. In addition, not many homeowners want to deal with sanding, staining, rotting wood, or even termites.

What Vinyl Shake Siding Should You Choose?

Even though vinyl shake siding is low maintenance, keep in mind that the warranty and installation is just as important. The best type of warranty will cover both the product and installation, including manufacture defects and siding color that fades before its time. High quality vinyl siding will come with long lasting fade warranties and you won’t have to worry about warping and melting.

Get the Authentic Cedar Look and Feel with Fabulous Curb Appeal

Whether your current siding is dull and dated or you simply want to transform your home, Coastal Windows & Exteriors is ready to help. Contact us with questions about vinyl shakes and other premium exterior products at questions@mycoastalwindows.com or by calling 978-304-0495.