$11.85 Per Square Foot Installed
The average cost to install cedar log siding is $11.85 per square foot when a siding contractor does the work. Log siding installed cost starts at about $6.00 per square foot for pine and can be as high as $20 per square foot for premium cedar log siding.
$7.80 – $12.95 / Sqft
$4.25 / Sqft (DIY)
$18.00 / Sqft (Pro)
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 12, 2022
How Much Does it Cost to Install Wood Log Siding on Your House?
$6.00 – $9.50/sq.ft.
$9.55 – $13.95/sq.ft.
$14.00 – $1800
|$3.00 – $6.00/sq.ft.
|$5.00 – $9.00 sq.ft.
|$7.50 – $13.00/sq.ft.
|Pine or Cedar
|Knotty Pine or Midgrade Cedar
|Average to Difficult
|Average to Difficult
|Remove Old Siding
|Yes or No
Sections: Overview | Product Costs | Installation Cost | DIY or Pro
Overview of Log Cabin Style Siding
Genuine log siding takes an ordinary home exterior and gives it extraordinary character. Your options start with pine siding, which is more affordable but requires more maintenance. Cedar provides a more durable siding that will last indefinitely with proper care. Many log-sided homes are in excellent condition a century or more after the siding was installed.
Log siding is used as the sole exterior material on many homes. It is also frequently installed alongside stone veneer siding to customize a home’s appearance.
You have an appealing choice of log siding profiles in styles from rustic to modern. With the natural beauty comes higher ongoing costs. Cedar and premium pine are usually stained. Cheaper grades of pine are sometimes painted.
Whichever material you choose, every 3-6 years you’ll have to add staining or house painting to your list of home maintenance projects. It also makes sense to have an exterior home inspection every few years or if you see the start of any issue such as rot, cracking or insect/bird problems.
This pine and cedar log siding cost estimate focuses on genuine wood rather than faux log siding made from vinyl, aluminum or lightweight concrete. Retail costs are included below followed by installation costs. They’ll give you a good idea of what your cost will be when you get estimates from log siding contractors – or the chance to formulate a budget for a DIY project.
We’ve gathered accurate log siding prices from reliable estimating sites and have invited homeowners to share their project costs – and we hope you’ll provide the scope and cost for your siding job for the benefit of other readers.
Product and Installation Supplies Cost Details
Log Siding Price Factors
Whether you’ll pay closer to $6 or $20 per square foot will depend on these cost factors.
There are material factors and installation factors to consider.
- Wood Type – Pine is cheaper and gives you a good range of options including pre-primed log siding on the low end. Cedar costs more but lasts longer and is more resistant to moisture, rot and insects. And you have several pine and cedar species to consider.
- Wood Grade – There are fewer grades of log siding than are available with wood siding, but you do have a few choices such as knotty pine.
- Air-dried vs Kiln Dried – Partially air dried siding costs less
- Siding Profile – Names vary slightly from seller to seller. The thicker the siding, the higher the cost. 1/4-log siding is typically 2” thick. 1/2-log siding is 3” thick and D-log siding ranges from 2” to 4”.
- Pre-finished vs Bare – You’ll pay slightly more for pine and cedar siding that has been primed or stained and sealed at the factory on all sides. However, that is a fraction of what doing the work onsite will cost. Either way, most log siding manufacturers recommend a topcoat of stain or paint once the siding is installed.
- Where you Buy – Local building supply warehouses and home improvement stores (if they carry log siding) often have less expensive grades of cedar and pine siding. Better materials, especially in cedar, are available from specialty siding retailers. Local log siding installers are the best source of advice on where to get log siding that will perform up to your expectations.
- Removing Old Siding – Expect estimates of up to $3.00 per square foot to remove and dispose of old vinyl or wood siding.
- Dumpster Rental – If you DIY, you’ll need a dumpster for old siding. Contractors might haul it away for the agreed-upon siding removal cost or rent a dumpster as a separate expense.
- Job Complexity – Installation cost is higher on homes with multiple levels, more than 4 corners, dormers, porches and other features that make the work more difficult.
- Who You Hire – Be sure the contractor you choose has years of log siding installation experience. The cheapest options in most areas are inexperienced or don’t have a good reputation. One potential way to save money without sacrificing quality is to choose a smaller contracting company. They typically have lower overhead costs than large contractors, so they can offer more competitive pricing.
Calculating the Cost of Supplies
How much siding do you need? You can get a pretty good idea by:
- Measuring the length x the width of rectangular wall sections and adding the total
- Using the area of a triangle for gables – 1/2 x L x H
- Subtracting the area covered by windows, doors, chimneys, etc.
- Adding 10% to the total to cover trimming waste
Here are popular log siding profiles and their cost.
- $2.40 – $3.50 per square foot | Yellow and White pine siding
- $7.50 – $12.00 per square foot | White or Red cedar siding
- $1.25 – $2.00 per linear foot | Pine Trim Boards
- $3.15 – $5.00 per linear foot | Cedar Trim Boards
- $.40 – $.60 (40-60 cents) per square foot | Cost of factory finishing log siding on 6 sides
- $2.00 – $2.30 per square foot | Cost of the initial coat on all 6 sides if done by a local siding contractor
- $2.00 – $2.50 per square foot | Cost of the topcoat – staining or painting the siding once installed
There will be miscellaneous material costs for nails and other installation supplies. They are typically included in the installation labor charges discussed below.
About Pine and Cedar Log Siding
Wood log siding profiles and profile names vary slightly by seller. Here are a few common names and types.
Specifications are often used. A 2×6 siding is 2 inches thick and 6 inches wide. 2×8, 2×10 and siding 3” thick in those widths are available.
Cedar siding manufacturers often use names like 1/4 log (2” thick and most affordable), 1/2 log (3” thick and mid-priced) and D-log (thickest and most expensive, with thickness varying).
Cedar is also milled in No Reveal aka Chinkless profile and Reveal aka Log Cabin profile. No Reveal siding pieces fit tight together along the horizontal edge.
Reveal siding has a small, flat area horizontal boards that is optionally filled with chinking to produce the log cabin look.
PAD and KD: As you shop log siding prices, you might see these designations.
- PAD is Partially Air Dried cedar siding, and it has moisture content of 20% or higher and is considered “green.” It is suitable for staining only.
- KD is Kiln Dried siding. The wood is seasoned and has moisture content of about 14%. It should be chosen if you intend to paint your siding. Kiln dried cedar siding cost is 15% to 25% higher.
Finish options for pine are bare, primed, stained and painted.
Pre-finishing cedar at the factory is a better choice. Remember, the siding will need a topcoat once installed whether or not it is factory finished.
There are two reasons for preferring factory-finished cedar. First, it is essential to any wood log siding that all six sides including ends be sealed prior to installation to protect it from moisture.
To this point, the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association says, “Finish Siding Prior to Installation –Factory applied finishes are best. They ensure the best performance of the finish. The type of coating will be determined by final finish and look selected. The [factory] finish protects the wood from moisture absorption and UV degradation, helps prevent staining caused by mildew and extractives and will increase the service life of top coats.” The quote is from the guide How to Install Western Red Cedar Siding that can be downloaded here.
Secondly, the price to finish six sides on the job site is much higher. In fact, according to Brandon Stendal, owner of Stone Valley Painting in Minnesota, “For us to prime coat 6 sides in the field takes about twice as long as coating the face alone after installation. So the price immediately doubles.”
Top Log Siding Brands
Siding contractors are the best source for quality local log siding, if it exists where you live. Buying local is cheaper too, since shipping costs are usually lower. A few of the larger regional and national sellers of wood log siding are:
- Buffalo Lumber (Cedar)
- East Tennessee Building Supply (Pine and Cedar)
- The Woodworkers Shoppe (Pine and Cedar)
- Twin Creeks Log Home Supply (Pine and Cedar)
- Bear Creek Lumber (Pine and Cedar)
- Log Home Shoppe (Pine and Cedar)
The Western Red Cedar Lumber Association can help you find a local seller.
Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time
Permits and Inspection Cost
- $0 | Siding Installation or Replacement do not require a permit
Related Costs and Installation Time
There’s little difference in installation cost between log siding and most other siding using planks – vinyl siding, aluminum and wood siding products.
Labor and installation supply costs are:
- $3.50 – $5.00 per square foot | Small Wood Siding Contractor
- $4.00 – $6.75 per square foot | Large Siding Contractor
Cost factors other than company size are listed above.
A small company typically has a crew of 2-3 while large contractors might send larger crews.
Here are typical times for a 2-person crew. A 4-person crew would go about twice as fast.
- Up to 1 Day | Remove Old Siding (if needed)
- 1-2 Days | Repairs, if needed, to the home’s sheathing
- Up to 1 Day | House Wrap Replacement (if needed)
- 3-4 Days | Siding Installation on Homes up to 1,200 square feet
- 5-7 Days | Siding Installation on Homes up to 2,500 square feet
DIY or Hire a Pro?
In some way, log siding installation is similar to installing vinyl or aluminum siding. It’s quite different than stone siding installation.
Installation requires the basic skills starting with making sure home’s sheathing is in good condition and house wrap is installed properly. Initial boards have to be “perfectly” level.
There are specialized techniques and steps for log siding installation. If you’re considering DIY, read the WRCLA’s installation guide linked above. Watch video tutorials on the exact siding profile you’re installing, since each requires unique tactics. Be sure to seal any end-cuts you make prior to installation.
These specialized skills and techniques are why most homeowners hire a siding contractor, but some also successfully complete the work themselves.
How much can you save with DIY log siding installation? While the figures above are accurate, there’s a wide range based on factors related to the material you choose and the layout of your home. The best way to learn about potential savings is to get written estimates from several installers in your area.
A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.