All of these cedar products lend themselves well together in creating a natural looking and textured West Coast appearance. But there are so many options – Shake or shingle? Left naturally rustic or stained to be more refined? Should the stain be a solid or semi-transparent? Bevelled cedar or board & batten on some areas of the house and shingles or shakes in the gables? The addition of stone or brick to these exterior finishes enhances many homes to another level of curb appeal, rock or brick may not always being necessary though depending upon your landscape plan. There are so many possible ways to combine these products into wonderful combinations, our advice would be to take your time in deciding!

Of course there is Hardie board siding that is available in bevelled, board & batten & plaster looking panels and the use of stucco has always been popular. We believe that only acrylic  stucco should be used here in our west coast environment, it is more expensive than standard stucco products but it provides a far superior weather shield. For this post though I am mostly thinking of cedar products and will discuss more on these other two siding products in a future post.

True cedar shakes are the ones that have been used in Qualicum Beach for, I would guess at, 70 years ~ on homes that line our beach. The thinking then must have been that if heavy cedar shakes on the roof worked as well and lasted as long as they did, medium shakes on the walls would keep out the weather well too. It is a rustic, naturally weathered look that is quite timeless ~ admittedly though, it does not appeal to everyone. We love it and have chosen it for our current home and for our last home as well.

Shingle siding (much thinner than shakes)on the home below has become extremely popular over the last several years, it provides a relaxed appearance but one that when stained, leans toward a more refined look. Greyed shingles, whether left to grey naturally or stained in grey work so well with white windows and white trim. Such a traditional east coast look, whether it is from Prince Edward Island, Cape Cod or Nantucket Island, it is a look that, to me, symbolizes an idyllic way of life. A way of life that has become so much a west coast style of living!

We built this home for a couple about four years ago and it looks better each year as they embellish the exterior. The addition of shutters on the interior and white adirondack chairs on the porch, thyme surrounded stones…. I’m getting off track from discussing siding!  From a distance (at least in this picture) the stained shingles can look like bevelled siding but on closer inspection the individual shingles are evident. The close up below will show you what I mean.

When a client would like to have their home clad in bevelled cedar siding we highly recommend a cedar siding product we use that is thicker than normal, it is more expensive but of such good quality that there will never be a problem with it down the road and there is virtually no waste of material in its application because of its high calibre. We prefer to mitre the edges rather than add corner boards, it adds a dimension that is not as common today. The house below has used a combination of  heavy bevelled cedar siding, a clear stained shingle and cultured stone.

A style that was very popular in the 70s and 80s seems to be coming back, it is in the staining of the cedar siding with a transparent stain so that all of the inherent beauty of the grain shows through. It is a rich woodsy look that works beautifully with stone – the stone in this case is a K2 Stone product.

A house clad completely with cedar board & batten can look stunning, another relaxed style that has always been popular. In this case river rock was used sparingly on the guest house and surrounding the entry doors. Once again, a timeless look – I don’t believe that it says “this house was built in the mid 90’s”.

Next is an example of Hardie board bevelled siding with board & batten in the gables, it is on a home we built last year – both done in a solid stain, so that the the contrast is just in the texture not in the colour.

For any questions that you may have about these products please do leave it as a comment and I will be happy to get back to you.