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White Cedar Shingles: A Great Siding Choice

By HomeCentrl on Feb 15, 2012
Having grown up and lived along the coast of New England for the better part of my life, cedar shingled homes seem to be an integral part of me. One of the first projects that I under took when I started construction was a beach house in Rhode Island. It was a three story home right on a popular beach and I had grand thoughts of working at the beach every day and how great it was going to be and oh was I young and foolish.
The home had mitered corners such as the home pictured below and every thing was done by hand. The shingles had to be hand planed so that the edges were square to the bottom and fit nicely to the next one as well as hand planing each of the corner pieces so that they made perfect corners. Then if that wasn't enough fun, each shingle was hand nailed with 2 nails each no matter the width. It was a true learning project for me.

Craft Modern  exterior
exterior design by new york architect Workshop/apd

 Now years have passed and mitered corners are still done but I also use built out corners such as shown below (corner boards in white). It does not provide the same look but are vastly easier and faster to install the shingles when used.
Mallets Bay Shingle traditional exterior
traditional exterior design by burlington architect Birdseye Design

Using cedar shingles for a home offers the ability to be creative too. In this photo every 5th row is a double course leaving a bit of design feature as well as having the windows inset  from the exterior wall.

Exterior - Front traditional exterior

Here is a design done by a friend in Maine.

Here's a design that I did on our last home.

 As well as a scallop detail on the same home.


Flaired edges help re-direct rain away from the foundation and add a nice detail.

Shingle style homes have a classic look and are timeless in their appeal.

Today siding a home with cedar shingles is vastly different then it was when I started that first project. Now I use a nail gun that shoots a ringed stainless steel nail and even though it is still only 2 nails per shingle I can now apply many shingles on a row at once.

I have also taken to using a shingle that I buy from Canada from a company called Maibec 
These shingles are squared and rebutted so no more hand planing, kiln dried and they are a pleasure to work with. They do cost a bit more than the shingles that you would get at your local lumber yard, but they are well worth it.


Ceder shingles have been a proven siding choice for the harsh climate of coastal New England for centuries and with good reason. They  are a proven siding course that should be in your consideration if you are planning a new home or remodeling your present home.



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