Shingle siding, popular for its low maintenance, is primarily made of cedar and stained in earthy tones. The shingles offer a woodsy-type look and are found on both modern and antique buildings. The shingles may be horizontally laid or installed over a solid sheathing. The shingles come in a variety of attractive shapes such as fish scale, hexagonal, arrow, diamond, half-round, and so on. The home owner can use the shingles to create different patterns, and various looks can be achieved by the degree of the overlapping.

Although the siding is an alternative to wood clapboard, the shingle is not as inexpensive as aluminum or vinyl siding. With proper upkeep, such as staining it every five years to prevent the onset of mildew and rot, the siding can last up to 30 years. It is essential, however, to check the shingles regularly for cracking and chipping.

It is important to keep moisture away from the shingles, as they are vulnerable to mold and rotting. It is definitely recommended to install them a bit higher than the ground, which will prevent moist and wet soil from covering them. If your home faces west or south, it will be more vulnerable to fading due to the sun’s exposure. However, this does not necessary mean a bad look, as the exterior can become quite distinguished looking.

Home owners also have the option of purchasing the siding in rows or in panels, which are constructed on a wood base and laminated. Panelized shingle siding provides for a much easier installation, with less time and less expense. However, the quality of the shingles is typically not as good, as they are thinner than single shingles. The panelized shingles are also more vulnerable to weather damage and repairs are more difficult.


Should you decide on shingle siding, it can be done as a DIY project. It will be necessary to determine the amount of the surface of the shingle that will be exposed to the weather. Often the manufacturers specify this. To reduce the exposure, install more shingles. Four bundles of shingles is typically required for a 100 sq. ft. wall area. If you are installing the shingles yourself, be sure that there is no cupping or cracking in the shingles you use. Also, be sure to install only dry shingles.

The typical cost for wood shingles is roughly $3 to $4 per sq. ft. If you are having a professional install the shingles, installation will be an additional cost.