Jake Goodwin - Jan 18, 2021

Everything You Need to Know About Vinyl Shake Siding

Rubber Mulch is worth every penny

Boral Foundry Vinyl Shake Siding

You're building your dream home or looking at its worn wood siding and thinking it needs a make-over. Selecting the perfect siding to protect your home will cover the structure from the elements and ensure it holds up like a well-defended castle. This is everything you need to know about vinyl shake siding including what it's made of and how to maintain it. 

 Vinyl shake siding is a synthetic exterior cladding designed for residential homes and small apartment buildings. Its indistinguishable from genuine wood and possesses synthetic fiber's advantages of low maintenance, customization, longevity, and curb appeal. 

We will look at what makes vinyl shake an optimum choice for protecting your home, what it's made of, and its primary advantages. Read on to discover everything you need to know about vinyl shake siding.  

What Is Vinyl Shake Siding? 

Vinyl shake siding is the first line of defense for your home against the elements. 

Wooden shakes were once the industry standard for completing a home; however, wooden shakes deteriorate over time. High temperatures and direct sunlight can cause wooden shakes to expand, contract, curl, and crack. The result is water penetrating the siding of a home.  

In the 1960s, vinyl arrived on the scene, and vinyl sidings started to appear on homes' exterior walls. Vinyl sidings were the precursor to vinyl shake siding.  

In comparison to early vinyl, contemporary vinyl shake siding resembles wood so closely, that it can be hard to distinguish it from genuine wood. Vinyl shake lasts much longer than wood does, providing you a sound investment in the protection of your home at the same time increasing its curb appeal.          

In its most basic description, vinyl shake siding is interlocking, overlapping, and weather-resistant panels. They come in various textures, colors, and looks.  The design of vinyl shake siding allows for the expansion and contraction of panels during temperature changes without loss of shape or integrity.  

Varieties of Shake Siding 

There are 3 common styles of vinyl shake siding:

  • Vertical Planks 
  • Horizontal Planks aka Clapboard Siding 
  • Shingles or shakes half-round or scalloped shingles

Rather than purchasing multiples of single shakes, you get a strip of specially prepared 'tiles' arranged with an attachment element when you buy vinyl shake. There is a central point where a fastener is used attach the strip to the house. After that, additional points remain that can be fastened to the structure and interlocked with the surrounding shakes.  

Vinyl Shake Siding vs. Vinyl Siding: What’s the Difference? 

Vinyl shake is made of  an incredibly tough polymer that can be manipulated to take on the appearance of wood grain. The material composition means that the product holds its color without fading. 

Today's manufacturers can offer plenty of options in design and finish. Some products are made by taking an impression of real wood. With specific makes of vinyl shake, the tile pieces are individual just like wood shakes, yet they form an impermeable membrane when interlocked.   

With such versatility in color range and design, homeowners have plenty of creative opportunities, knowing the colors they choose will last for many years with little maintenance.  

The design of today's vinyl shakes also makes for rapid installation by an expert team, too, so you can cover the side of your house in just one day. The design also factors in temperature changes, allowing for expansion and contraction even when nailed in place. You can be assured that once you've installed your shakes correctly, they'll tolerate climate changes without sacrificing their protective ability.   

How Much Does Vinyl Shake Siding Cost? 

Vinyl shake siding costs range  from $4.60 to $ 6.27 per square foot. Price varies depending upon the thickness, style, type of shake siding, as well as the square feet you intend to cover.

The price range covers differentiation in quality, thickness, and insulation performance. 

To work out how much your shake siding will cost, first, deduce the area you intend to cover. Factor into this equation the following components, which your home may or may not require: 

  • J-Channel to cap off the raw edges of panels 
  • Soffit
  • Corner trim 
  • Gutter
  • Fascia board 
  • Starter strips 
  • Trim around sockets and windows 

Why You Should Choose Vinyl Shake for Your Home 

In a recent article in The Washington Post real estate section, expert builder Tim Carter highlighted the reasons why he'd choose vinyl shakes over wood. The reasons he cites are: 

  • Vinyl shakes are almost indistinguishable from real wood 
  • Each piece of siding is individual, which enhances the look  
  • Sections interlock to make a weather-resistant barrier 
  • Low to no maintenance 
  • Comparatively quick to install 
  • Effective means to maintain your home exterior 

Advantages of Vinyl Shake Siding 

As desirable as authentic cedar shake can be, they have their pitfalls in contrast to vinyl shake.
Here are some advantageous of vinyl shake siding:

  • Customizable: No matter your preference, whether it's color, or texture, vinyl shake come in just about every design and color option to make each housing project unique. 
  • Durable: Your home is your castle; you don't want it to fade or age over time. Vinyl shake siding stands up to all weather conditions without diminishing or requiring additional handiwork, such as repainting or sanding. Once it's on, it's on.  
  • Simple to install: Boral vinyl shake siding remains easy to install, so if you want to cut costs and do the work yourself, you can install your siding with ease. 

We've talked about its advantages, but every investment requires some home care. In the next section, we address how to extend the life of your vinyl shake. 

Extending the Life of Your Vinyl Shake 

While vinyl shake is virtually maintenance-free, we still recommend the following advice: 

Check Your Panels Regularly

It's unlikely that your panels will ever suffer any damage; however, wear and tear to the exterior of homes happens even in the best of circumstances and with the most robust materials.  

Top-rated manufacturers of vinyl shake include methods that allow for moisture to escape. However, regularly checking the panels will ensure you keep on top of your home's exterior.

Replace Damaged Panels 

If an accident occurs like a BBQ placed to close to the siding warping may occur. Should this happen it's important to replaced the damaged section. This is typically not a huge issue and can be done in a few hours by a contractor/handyman. 

Final Thoughts

Vinyl shake siding possess the real cedar wood shakes aesthetic and has a longer lifespan at a lower total cost, which is something every homeowner appreciates.   

A durable, weather-resistant, and low-maintenance material that defends the home from the elements is a serious asset. Combine these factors with the range of customization offered by this material, and you get a home exterior that'll serve you and your family for years to come.  

Jake Goodwin