Clapboard siding has been popular for centuries. In case you’re unfamiliar, it’s those 2 by 4 wooden planks you see on the exterior walls of country homes. They sometimes come with a picket fence. Two other popular styles for wood siding are lumber logs and cedar planks.
Logs can be used whole, halved, or quartered. Cedar planks can be symmetrically machine-cut shingles or unevenly hand-split shakes. And all these materials can be substituted with printed vinyl. So let’s look at some ideas you can try out with faux cedar vinyl shake siding.
As a side note, many builders use shake and shingle interchangeably, so we will too. But the main difference is that cedar shingles are symmetrical, often in identical, parallel rows. Cedar shakes are generally cut by hand so they’re less uniform and may have odd angles.
1. Multicolored Vinyl Shake Siding
The natural color of cedar is described as pink with purple tinges. To the layman’s eye, that’s a kind of reddish-brown, depending on the type of stain. But vinyl shake siding is printed plastic, so it comes in endless shades. This pictorial only shows a few of those shades. These may hues have snazzy marketing department names, but the grain detail is gorgeous!
2. Upgraded Cedar Dormer
The quickest, most affordable, and most convenient way to update your home is to change the siding. It will look instantly new and you won’t even have to move out. In this house, the exteriors were redone with beige clapboard vinyl but the dormer seems like an even more recent addition. Its vinyl shake siding stands out but the blue shutters align with the rest.
3. Barnyard Garage
Yes, it sounds like an oxymoron. But doesn’t this structure simultaneously resemble barns and garages? And that curious color? It’s called Huron blue. The visible truss webbing gives the garage a rustic ambiance. The gable section is done in blue clapboard while the lower walls are clad with cedar vinyl shake siding. The color is the same but the texture is mixed.
4. Tando Vinyl Shake and Shingle Siding
Faux wood comes in multiple forms. Some are composites while others are plastic. Many suppliers stock both options, so be sure of what you’re buying. Tando shakes are made of polypropylene composite so it’s definitely vinyl, though some of the company’s products are engineered wood. Tando’s vinyl shake siding comes in solid (synthetic) and natural colors.
5. Bloomfield Shake on Birmingham
You can use color in clever ways to brighten a house, even if the primary tones are neutral. The walls are done in grey vinyl siding, with vinyl shake siding under the gable. But the grey is enhanced by spots of bright blue in the front door and the window shutters. Uneven stone stacks in mixed tones are used to cordon off the porch and add some detail to the homefront.
6. Gable End Accents
You know those houses with a triangular tip? They’re called pitched roofs, or sometimes gables roofs. That A on the side is called the gable, or sometimes the gable end. A common siding style is to put perpendicular siding on that gable. If the wall has vertical siding, the gable will be horizontal or vice versa. On this home, the gable has vinyl shake siding.
7. Miris Vinyl Shake Siding
If someone asks you to describe cedar siding, what would you say? The simplest explanation is that you’re using roofing materials … but on the walls. And cedar vinyl shake siding is becoming popular because some residents worry that vinyl looks too cheap and plasticky while shingles and shakes seem more like wood. See for yourself – isn’t that grey gorgeous?
8. Daring Dormers
Dormers are a clever way to add square footage to a home. And they tend to … stand out, pun intended. That’s not always the goal. It’s just that those dormers are often added later, so you may not find the same siding colors and materials you used in the rest of the house. On this home, the walls are half stone and half red vinyl while the dormers are vinyl shake siding.
9. Dull but Delightful
If you tell an interior designer that your color scheme is brown and grey, they’ll have a hard time hiding that groan. But a clever color expert can make it work. In this farmhouse, they’ve chosen a deep shade of brown that leans towards red. This brown wood forms the sturdy garage door and the same tone is used on the vinyl shake siding at the gable end.
10. Curvy and Clever
Can you reverse the line without … reversing the line? Cedar vinyl shake siding has distinct printed grains that are often arranged in a brick pattern. So it introduces some vertical lines and right angles amid those parallel rows of shingles. But because it maintains a horizontal profile, it lengthens the look of the house. And those curvy window arches are cute too.
11. Perpendicular Perfection
Here’s an example of perpendicular siding patterns. You can’t see much of the siding from the front, but the garage and porch have board and batten vinyl while the dormer has vinyl shake siding. The basement is done in brick and the windows are a schizophrenic mix of awnings for the dormer, garage sashes, hung windows on the porch, and sliders upstairs.
12. Brick, Brack, and Cedar
Brick walls have a rustic, sentimental touch, but they can easily date your house. They also need some maintenance and will crumble over the years. So this house has an accent brick wall in a sheltered section of the porch. Meaning the weather won’t punish it too harshly. But because the residents love that staggered pattern, they’ve retained it via vinyl shake siding.
13. Jungle Tones
Green and brown will always go together, just like they do in the forest. But the shades you chose will make a difference. This home is done in dark brown and jungle green, with mixed textures for differentiation. The vertically hung windows are flanked by dark brown wooden shutters. The lower floors have clapboard vinyl while the upper story has vinyl shake siding.
14. Of Cedar and Copper
Cedar shingles are generally installed in dark browns and greys. But once you step into artificial vinyl shake siding territory, you can find these plastic shanks in lighter shades. This home has pale grey cedar shakes that are almost white from certain angles. The copper roof over the bay window adds a rich red tone and visual interest to the front fascia of the house.
15. Stone Bottom Siding Top
Some construction materials are more expensive than others. So you can maintain the luxury of your home by mixing expensive accents with cheaper sections. For this house, the lower story has stacked stone and white decorative grout. On the upper floor, the projecting rooms have traditional lap siding while the recessed rooms and gable ends have vinyl shake siding.
16. Shake Up Your Style
You might still be unsure of the difference between shingles and shakes. Look at these images of faux cedar siding. The ‘shingles’ have flat, even bottoms along all the panels. But on the ‘shakes’, some of the panels hang lower so the ‘hemline’ is uneven. But this collection also shows you the endless colors, textures, sizes, and shapes available. Including scallops!
17. Shaky Little Details
Again, from a distance, you can’t always tell the difference between traditional lap siding and shake/shingle siding. Especially if it’s in the same shade. But with this close-up, you can see the window trim is interspersed with vinyl shake siding. It’s a clever tactic if you want cedar accents to break up the line of your longer clapboard siding while maximizing natural light.
18. Barnyards and Gables
The amount of real estate on that gable suggests a busy attic. Especially as it has piping vents on the side. But aesthetically, it’s a lovely effect. The walls are done in board and batten vinyl that make the structure seem taller than it is. The dark vinyl shake siding on the gable end offers cohesive contrast because its bold tone is quite close to the color of tiles on the roof.
19. Staggered Foundry Shakes
It can be challenging to identify the same color in different materials. The shift in texture can tweak the Pantone and have you doubting your eyes, so consider going a shade up or down if you want a visual monochrome. That aside, the vinyl shake siding on these gable ends is the same tone as the clapboard siding below and beside it. And it all looks great!
20. All the Way Down
Why is vinyl shake siding used in small patches? It doesn’t have to be, but it’s a little more pricy than horizontal vinyl siding. So if your budget is tight, you may be forced to use less of it. Also, not everyone likes that roof-like-wall aesthetic so they may install it sparingly. But if you like bold, brassy designs, you can do the whole wall in cedar shakes, like this house here.
21. Updated Ocean House
Maybe it’s the playful portholes. Or the aqua-colored doors and window shutters with their mustard-colored trim. It may even be the pale seaside yellow on the walls. But everything about this home screams casual beach house. The aging deck will soon be redone, but the sideways wall siding and the gable vinyl cedar shakes are new. Yes, cedar vinyl shakes come in pastel.
22. Cedar and CeDUR
The first two houses in this article are clad with cedar vinyl shake siding. The dark cedar and high ceilings on the upper floor of House #1 give it a rustic, farmyard feel. But the French windows on the lower floor add a modern touch and invite tons of natural light. The rest of the article showcases CeDUR shake, a polyurethane composite that’s mostly used for roofing.
23. Tree-Lined Cedar
This house has a pretty thick tree line. The photo was taken towards winter or fall, so the branches are mostly bare, but the foliage probably does a great job of shielding the home in spring. The walls were originally aluminum siding, though the tree cover means the house probably didn’t overheat. But the vinyl shake siding is far kinder for insulation purposes.
24. Realistic Cedar Shingle Siding
I’m sure you’ve heard at least one person claiming cedar vinyl shake siding looks fake. Show them this video. Yes, those are shingles (because they’re even and symmetrical) but they could visually pass for hand-cut cedar panels, yes? The nude color resembles raw unstained planks and the aesthetics are remarkably realistic. Plus, no wood maintenance needed!
25. Subtle Shake Siding
You may prefer an understated front façade that doesn’t invite passers-by to stare at your house (or photograph it and put it on the internet!) Dull colors also need less washing and painting because they don’t show dirt as easily. For this low-key home, the roofing color carries down the gable in the form of vinyl shake siding with a hung window and white trim.
26. Borders and Trim
In most construction projects, the cedar siding looks subtle while the clapboard sections are louder. That tale reverses here for three reasons. One, the gables are massive so that vinyl shake siding occupies a lot of visible real estate! Two, the cedar is a more vibrant shade than the neutral clapboard below it, so it draws your eye more insistently. And three, white rakes!
27. What’s Wood What’s Not
And which one do you like better – the before or the after? If nothing else, you can see what a difference color makes! He lower images are the ‘before’ where the lakehouse was clad in nude beaded clapboard with a touch of cedar on the gables. After the renovation, the wood was replaced with board and batten in barnyard red plus vinyl shake siding for the walls.
28. Framing for Brightness
Houses with vinyl shake siding are rarely described as cheerful. For some reason, the grainy detail and earthy appeal of cedar shingles just make a house feel … old. But you can lighten that classic look with pastel shingles or lighter shades. Or you can focus on the trim. These cedar shake gables are framed with thick rakes and columns in vivid snow-white tones.
29. When Shape Defines You
Can you tell which part of this house has vinyl shake siding? Look again. It’s such a small section that it’s almost drowned by the rest of the house. Check the gable. That dark, triangular patch has deep brown cedar shakes that almost defy attention. But the semicircle attic window matches the half-moon window in the front door. The walls are clapboard.
30. Addams Antracite?
If the Addams Family moved to the suburbs, can’t you just see them living here? The high gables, black window trim, and matte siding are all so deliciously ghoulish. The color of that vinyl shake siding is called anthracite. And while this house will never show dust and will only look cooler when it rains, you don’t want any birds splashing droppings on those walls!
31. Cedar Shake Swatches
As we close, you may wonder just how many colors vinyl shake siding comes in. Well, this brand uses vinyl molded from carved, shaped, or split cedar panels. The color selection includes 10 weathered tones and 30 traditional shades. The cut of these faux cedar planks can be staggered, shaped (into scallops), split, or symmetrical shingles. They come in 5′ panels!
What’s your favorite vinyl shake siding? Show us sample photos in the comments section!