It doesn’t get more traditional than log siding (otherwise know as cabin log siding)! And while this home siding option isn’t as popular as it once was it is still going strong in rural and rustic settings. Part of this continued siding trend is due to the production of faux wood siding options like vinyl log and concrete log siding.
In this RenoCompare House Siding Guide we take you through all your options, the different materials to choose from, how much they cost and who manufactures and sells them. You may also be interested in our cedar siding and engineered wood siding guides.
As you browse log siding (or log cabin siding) options, you’ll find real wood siding and a range of faux log siding choices. Fake wood siding includes vinyl, concrete and steel log siding. A variety of siding profiles await your perusal too. This summary of materials will assist you as you narrow your choices.
Here are the styles of log cabin siding available:
Full log siding: Genuine wood logs are the most common type of full logs, but structural concrete logs are available too. Both are made in various sizes. Larger-diameter full log siding systems offer good insulation and form the interior walls too in log home construction. This is known as full-wall construction
D-log siding: The shape of these siding pieces give them the name. If wood, the inner side of the log is milled flat while the outer edge remains round. Tops usually feature two tongues with bottoms milled with grooves. Gaskets may be added to prevent air leaks. Mostly used as exterior siding, wood and structural concrete D-logs can also be used in full-wall construction when a flat interior wall is desired.
Half log siding: This is generally genuine cedar or pine log siding. While the name implies that a full log is split in two to form half logs, most are not complete halves. For example, a log with an 8” diameter might be turned into half log siding 8” high and 3” deep rather than the 4” you’d expect. A variety of the half log is the quarter log. In the example given, the siding would be 8”x2”. In both half and quarter log cabin siding, a single tongue and groove system and end-matched design create tight fits and excellent strength.
Shiplap log siding: This natural wood siding style goes by the names ship lap and ship-lap siding as well. The name is taken from shipbuilding. Shiplap siding is flat, and one edge is milled to produce a protruding top side. The opposite edge is milled to create a recessed bottom side. Edges can be square or beveled. When installed horizontally or vertically, the protruding edge of one piece fits snugly into the recessed edge of the next in fashion similar to tongue and groove.
Once the domain of natural wood only, log siding is now available in faux log siding materials, each with their pros and cons. Here is a summary of real and fake log choices.
Real wood: Still the leader in market share, real wood species used are cedar and pine along with smaller quantities of fir and hemlock. The chief benefit is authenticity with the look and aroma that goes with it.
Vinyl: Most vinyl siding is embossed with wood grain, so vinyl faux log siding is the natural next step. Vinyl log siding is available in several sizes and styles. Its benefits include lower cost than genuine log siding and resistance to moisture and insects. Most significantly, vinyl log cabin siding requires very little maintenance. For more on the different types of vinyl siding click here.
Further Reading: Aluminum Siding vs Vinyl
Concrete: The mixes used for concrete log siding produce faux log siding both lightweight and very strong. Glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) and fiber cement blends are most common. Full log concrete and plank siding in flat and curved profiles are available. Concrete log siding is strong and durable, and it requires less maintenance than natural wood. Insects, woodpeckers and rot are not an issue.
Steel: Faux log siding made from tough, lightweight steel which is stamped to look like wood. Metal siding is often backed by about one inch of foam to increase rigidity and resist impact. It provides some insulation too. The obvious advantage is that it doesn’t require the consistent upkeep that natural wood does. Steel log siding requires little or no maintenance.
Here is a summary of log cabin siding cost for the various styles and materials.
Wood log cost: Here are prices for the most popular styles. Prices on the lower end of the range are pine log siding; the higher costs are fir, hemlock and cedar log siding. Costs are per square foot:
Vinyl log siding cost: This price range is for standard (lower cost) and insulated (higher cost) vinyl log siding.
Concrete log siding cost: Available in full log and veneer-type siding, engineered concrete log siding is a mid-priced siding product:
Steel log siding cost: Metal log siding offers better impact resistance at a moderately higher cost:
We have in-dpeth price guides to all the most popular siding materials. Click any of the following links to calculate and estimate or get a professional quote: Vinyl Siding Prices – Fiber Cement Siding Prices – Cedar Siding Prices – Stucco Siding Prices
Here is a summary of where to find genuine log siding and faux log siding for your construction or renovation project.
Natural wood siding:
Many manufacturers including those listed sell directly to the public. Before you order from a distant supplier, check for log siding available locally that will reduce or eliminate shipping costs. Menards has an excellent selection of Meadow Valley log cabin siding in Western red cedar, white pine, spruce and fir. Most other building supply and home improvement stores offer log siding through special order only.
These companies sell directly to the public. You can also order engineered cement log siding from most building supply stores.
Vinyl log siding is sold by the manufacturers. Adirondack brand is available at Menards. The other home improvement chains and most independent building supply stores offer it through special order.
Metal siding is available from the manufacturers or their franchisees or from most chain and independent building supply stores through special order.