How To Install Cedar Shake Siding Over Stucco?


Homeowners often look for ways to improve their home’s appearance, increase energy efficiency, or simply try something new. One such option is installing cedar shake siding over an existing stucco exterior.

The beautiful, natural look of cedar shakes can give a home a rustic charm, while also providing additional insulation.

However, the process of installing cedar shake siding over stucco can be a bit more complex than working with other types of siding, and there are several factors to consider before embarking on this project.

First, let’s talk about preparation. Before we get started with installing the cedar shake siding, we need to make sure the stucco surface is clean and in good condition.

You can give it a quick wash with a hose or a pressure washer, just be sure not to damage the stucco in the process.

Next, we’ll need to add some furring strips to the stucco. These are thin strips of wood, usually about 1×3 or 1×4 inches, that you’ll attach to the stucco using masonry screws.

The spacing of furring strips when installing cedar shake siding over stucco can vary depending on the specific requirements of your project. However, a general guideline is to space the furring strips 16 to 24 inches apart on the center.

This spacing provides adequate support for the cedar shake siding and ensures proper attachment and stability.

This creates an even, level surface for the cedar shake siding to be installed on, and also provides a small gap for air circulation and moisture control.

After that, it’s time to put up the moisture barrier. This is a really important step, as it helps to protect your home from water damage.

You’ll want to use a high-quality house wrap, like Tyvek, and be sure to overlap the seams so that any water that gets behind the siding is directed away from your home.

Now comes the fun part, installing the cedar shake siding itself, Start at the bottom of your wall and work your way up, using stainless steel nails to attach the shakes to the furring strips.

You’ll want to stagger the shakes so that the seams don’t line up, which not only looks better but also helps to keep water out.

As you go, make sure to leave a small gap between each shake, about 1/8 inch or so. This allows the wood to expand and contract with temperature changes without causing damage to your siding.

And don’t forget to trim the shakes as needed to fit around windows, doors, and other obstacles.

Finally, when you’re all done installing the cedar shake siding, you’ll want to apply a quality wood finish or sealer to help protect the wood from the elements.

This will help maintain the natural beauty of the cedar and extend the life of your siding.

Are furring strips needed to install cedar shake siding over stucco?

Yes, installing furring strips is typically necessary when you want to install cedar shake siding over stucco.

Furring strips are thin strips of wood or metal that are attached to the stucco surface to create a level and stable base for the cedar shake siding.

The reason furring strips are essential in this case is that stucco surfaces can be uneven and textured, which can make it difficult to properly attach and secure the cedar shake siding directly to the stucco.

Furring strips help create a smooth, even surface that allows for proper installation and ensures the cedar shakes lie flat against the wall.

Additionally, furring strips create a small gap between the stucco and the cedar shake siding, promoting air circulation and preventing moisture buildup that could lead to rot or other damage.

This gap also helps improve the overall insulation and energy efficiency of your home.

Is it a good idea to put siding over stucco?

Installing siding over stucco can be a good idea in some situations, but it really depends on your specific circumstances and goals. There are a few factors to consider before making a decision.

First, think about why you want to put siding over the stucco.

Are you looking to change the appearance of your home, improve insulation, or address any issues with the existing stucco?

If your stucco is in good condition and you’re just looking for a new look, siding can be a great way to update your home’s exterior without removing the stucco.

One advantage of installing siding over stucco is that it can add an additional layer of insulation, potentially improving your home’s energy efficiency. This can be especially beneficial if you live in an area with extreme temperatures.

However, if the stucco is damaged or has underlying issues, such as cracks or water intrusion, it’s essential to address those problems before installing siding.

Installing siding over damaged stucco without fixing the underlying issues can lead to more significant problems down the road.

When it comes to the installation process, putting siding over stucco typically requires the use of furring strips, which are attached to the stucco to create a level and stable surface for the siding.

This process can be more labor-intensive and potentially more expensive than installing siding on a home without stucco.

It’s also important to remember that siding materials like wood or fiber cement may require more maintenance than stucco, such as regular painting or staining.

You’ll want to weigh the potential benefits of siding against the additional maintenance it may require.

Are there any specific tools or equipment needed for the installation of cedar shake siding over stucco?

When it comes to installing cedar shake siding over stucco, there are a few tools and equipment that will definitely come in handy. Let’s chat about some of them.

First, you’ll need a good hammer or a pneumatic nail gun to attach the cedar shake siding to the furring strips. Using a nail gun can save you a lot of time and effort, but a hammer will also do the trick if you don’t have one or prefer not to use one.

Next, you’ll want a saw to cut the cedar shakes as needed. A circular saw or a table saw would work best for making straight, clean cuts, but you could also use a handsaw if you’re more comfortable with that.

You might also need a jigsaw or a reciprocating saw to make more intricate cuts around windows, doors, and other obstacles.

A level and a chalk line will be super helpful for ensuring your cedar shake siding is installed straight and level. It’s important to keep everything aligned as you work your way up the wall so that your finished project looks professional and neat.

To measure and mark your cedar shakes, you’ll need a tape measure and a carpenter’s pencil or a marker. These will help you accurately measure and cut the shakes to the right size for your project.

Finally, it’s a good idea to have some basic safety gear on hand, like work gloves, safety glasses, and hearing protection, especially if you’re using power tools. Safety should always be a top priority when working on any home improvement project.

What are the most common mistakes when installing cedar shake siding over stucco?

When you’re installing cedar shake siding over stucco, there are a few common mistakes and challenges that you might come across.

One common issue that people run into is not preparing the stucco surface properly before starting the installation. It’s essential to make sure the stucco is clean and in good shape before attaching the furring strips.

So, take the time to inspect your stucco, clean it, and repair any cracks or damages you find. That way, you’ll have a solid and clean foundation for your cedar shake siding.

Another challenge that comes up is installing the furring strips incorrectly. You see, these strips need to be secured well and level to provide a strong base for the cedar shakes.

To avoid problems, you can use a level and a chalk line to make sure the strips are straight and evenly spaced. This will help ensure that your siding stays in place and looks great.

Now, moisture protection is something you don’t want to overlook. If you don’t install a proper moisture barrier, water can seep behind the siding, leading to rot and other damage.

To prevent this, always use a high-quality house wrap, and make sure the seams are overlapped. This will direct any water away from your home and keep it nice and dry.

When installing the cedar shake siding itself, sometimes people don’t leave enough space between the shakes.

You want to have a small gap, about 1/8 inch, to allow for the wood to expand and contract with temperature changes. By doing this, you’ll prevent damage to your siding over time.

Lastly, it’s important to remember that cedar shake siding needs maintenance to stay in good shape. Some people forget this and then find their siding looking worn or damaged.

To avoid this, make sure to apply a quality wood finish or sealer after installation, and keep an eye on your siding over the years to address any potential issues early on.

How to choose the best cedar shake siding for my project?

Choosing the right cedar shake siding for your project is definitely an important step. There are a few factors to consider when making your choice.

First, let’s talk about the thickness of the cedar shake siding. Thicker shakes tend to be more durable and have a more pronounced, textured appearance.

On the other hand, thinner shakes are generally more affordable and easier to install. It really depends on your preferences and budget.

You might want to visit a local building supply store or look at some samples online to get a feel for the different thicknesses available and decide what you like best.

Now, the quality of the cedar shake siding is also crucial. It’s a good idea to look for cedar shakes that have been kiln-dried, as this process removes moisture and helps prevent warping, splitting, and decay.

Additionally, you’ll want to check for any knots or defects in the wood that might affect the performance or appearance of the siding.

When it comes to the grade of cedar shake siding, there are generally three main grades to choose from premium, medium, and low. Premium-grade shakes are of the highest quality, with a uniform appearance and minimal defects.

Medium-grade shakes may have some knots or other imperfections, but they’re still suitable for most projects.

Low-grade shakes have more visible defects and are typically used for utility or non-structural applications. Consider your budget and desired appearance when choosing a grade.

You should also think about whether you want your cedar shake siding to be pre-finished or unfinished. Pre-finished shakes come with a protective coating already applied, which can save you time during installation.

However, unfinished shakes give you the flexibility to choose your own stain or finish and can be more cost-effective.

Lastly, don’t forget to consider the environment where you live. Cedar shake siding is naturally resistant to moisture, insects, and decay, making it a great choice for many climates.

However, in areas with extreme weather conditions or high humidity, you might need to invest in additional treatments or maintenance to keep your siding looking its best.

Is stucco better than shake siding?

When it comes to deciding whether stucco or shake siding is better, it’s not a simple black-and-white answer.

Each material has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice for your home will depend on various factors like aesthetics, maintenance, durability, and the climate in your area.

Stucco is a classic choice with a timeless appeal. It’s made from a mixture of cement, sand, and water, which makes it very durable and long-lasting.

Stucco is also energy-efficient, as it provides an extra layer of insulation for your home, helping to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

One of the great things about stucco is its versatility in terms of texture and color options, allowing you to achieve a range of different looks.

However, stucco can be prone to cracking if not properly maintained, and the installation process can be a bit more labor-intensive than other siding options.

Shake siding, on the other hand, offers a rustic and natural appearance that many homeowners find appealing. Cedar shake siding, in particular, is resistant to moisture, insects, and decay, making it a durable choice for many climates.

Additionally, wood siding can be stained or painted to match your desired aesthetic. One downside to shake siding is that it typically requires more maintenance than stucco, like regular staining or painting to protect it from the elements.

It can also be more expensive than some other siding options, depending on the type of wood and the installation process.

Ultimately, whether stucco or shake siding is better for your home will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

Think about factors like the style of your home, the level of maintenance you’re comfortable with, and your budget when making your decision.

What lasts longer stucco or siding?

When it comes to the lifespan of these two materials, it’s not exactly a straightforward comparison, as there are different types of siding and a lot depends on factors like climate, maintenance, and installation quality.

Stucco is a versatile and durable material made from a mixture of cement, sand, and water. When properly applied and maintained, stucco can last anywhere from 50 to 80 years or even more.

It’s known for its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions and resist damage from the sun, wind, and moisture. However, stucco can be prone to cracking if not properly maintained or if the foundation of the home shifts over time.

Now, when we talk about siding, there are several different materials to consider, such as vinyl, fiber cement, or wood. The lifespan of each type of siding can vary quite a bit.

Vinyl siding, for example, is low-maintenance and resistant to weathering. It can last around 20 to 40 years, depending on the quality of the material and how well it’s maintained.

Fiber cement siding, on the other hand, is more durable than vinyl and can last 50 years or more with proper care.

Wood siding, like cedar shake, is another popular option. The lifespan of wood siding depends heavily on the type of wood used and how well it’s maintained.

Cedar shake siding, when properly cared for, can last anywhere from 30 to 50 years or more.

Keep in mind, though, that wood siding generally requires more maintenance than other types of siding, such as staining or painting every few years to protect it from the elements.

So, stucco tends to have a longer lifespan than most types of siding, but it’s important to remember that regular maintenance and proper installation are crucial for any exterior material.

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