The average cost of concrete log siding is $12.55 to $28 per square foot for materials and labor
The appearance of glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) log siding is one of the most exciting innovations in siding in recent years. Developed in response to the threats that wildfires pose to classic log cabins of the Interior West, concrete log siding evokes the quaint look of logs but in a very sturdy and fire-resistant material that requires significantly less maintenance than wood.
Suppose you long for a home or a vacation property that inspires feelings of old school Americana (Abraham Lincoln was famously born in a log cabin), but feel wary about the yearly maintenance and pest risks of wood. In that case, you should consider concrete log siding. How much does it cost, though?
Factoring in both materials and labor, the average cost of installing concrete log siding ranges between $12.55 and $28 per square foot. For example, if your house has 1,500 square feet of exterior space, you could expect to pay between $18,825 and $42,000 to clad your home in GFRC log siding.
How Much Does Concrete Log Siding Cost by Square Foot?
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Depending on the brand and the style profile, concrete log siding materials typically cost between $7.55 to $16 per square foot. The price of cornered pieces runs higher, around $10.55 per square foot on the low end, or as much as $150 to $360 per corner, depending on the level of customization.
For professional installation, you can expect to pay between $5 to $12 per square foot, depending on the complexity of the home’s design and the prevailing rates in your area.
How Much Concrete Log Siding Can I Get on My Budget?
$15,000 is the lowest amount you can expect to pay to add concrete log siding to a 1,500 square-foot house, providing that you opt for the lowest-cost materials and DIY the installation. For example, 1,650 square feet in materials, including corners and an additional 10% to account for waste, errors, and fasteners, will run you $13,312, leaving enough left over to add some accent blocks for $8 each.
With $25,000, you could side the same 1,500 square-foot home with the same inexpensive materials, but now you can hire an experienced contractor to install the siding. Since $7,500 is the lowest you could expect to pay for professional labor, that brings the estimated total of the project to $20,802.
If you have a $30,000 budget, you could opt to clad a 1,500 square-foot home in high-end concrete log siding. For example, you could buy 1,650 square feet of material at $12 per square foot for $19,800 altogether in material costs. Professional installation would add $10,500 at $7 per square foot, for a total of $30,300.
Putting $45,000 toward siding the same 1,500 square-foot home would allow you to use the most expensive rounded or board and batten concrete log siding for a total of $26,400 for 1,650 square feet of materials. Plus, your budget allows you to hire top-rated siding contractors at $12 per hour, amounting to $18,000 in labor costs.
How Much Does It Cost to Install Concrete Log Siding Yourself?
Many concrete log siding manufacturers offer packages designed to make DIY installation as easy as possible. The pre-finished siding and accent pieces are packaged in crates and shipped directly to the consumer.
The average cost to hire a professional to install log siding runs between $5 to $12 per square foot, depending on the contractor’s rate and the particular demands of a project. For a typical 1,500 square-foot house, opting to install the siding yourself could save you between $7,500 to $18,000 on the final bill.
However, unless you have experience installing siding and a working knowledge of local building codes, you will likely save time and money in the long run by hiring a professional siding contractor. The material is heavy and must be installed properly to yield long-term benefits and savings in low maintenance (since improper installation will require costly repairs) and energy efficiency (gapping, cracks, and other consequences of a bad install will let cold air in).
Additionally, building codes vary by location, and many local jurisdictions have precise specifications about different aspects of siding installation. An experienced contractor will know how to navigate these requirements and ensure that the siding and its installation is compliant with local regulations.
What Factors Influence the Cost to Install Concrete Log Siding?
The cost of siding a house varies significantly based on many different factors, and concrete log siding is no different. The most significant considerations include:
Material quality: Manufacturers of concrete log siding use different proprietary processes to produce their GFRC materials, leading to a wide range of material costs. The price difference can be as wide as $10 per square foot in some cases.
Siding profile: While most concrete log siding manufacturers only offer their products in one or two standard profiles (in other words, the appearance of the siding), there are more stylized profiles available, such as rounder, log-like designs or profiles that mimic familiar styles like board and batten. These profiles will put you at the highest ends of the price range per square foot.
Size: The house’s exterior square footage will be, of course, the most significant factor in determining the total cost of a concrete log siding installation. Concrete log siding panels are generally larger than wood log or lap siding, meaning you will need fewer of them, but they’re still sold on a per-square-foot basis.
Shape and level of detail: The shape of your house will also affect the cost of log siding. Corner pieces, trim, windowsills, and accent blocks require materials that cost more than standard siding panels. So the more corners and windows you have to cover, the higher the total cost. If your home is tall enough to require installers to use scaffolding, or if it features a lot of detailed work that needs additional precision, labor costs can rise steeply.
Siding removal: If your house already features siding that you’d like to replace with concrete logs, you will have to pay an additional charge to remove the old materials. Average labor costs run between $0.94 to $1.94 per square foot to remove vinyl, wood, engineered wood, aluminum, or fiber cement, and between $3 to $13 per square foot to remove brick, stone, or vinyl log siding. Add $20 to $50 per ton if you’re going to dump the waste yourself, or between $100 and $800 for pick-up.
FAQs about Concrete Log Siding
Is concrete log siding the same thing as fiber cement siding?
While GFRC log siding is a relatively new innovation, there are other types of siding made with cement-based materials. Fiber cement siding, which is made with a mixture of cement and cellulose fibers, has been around since the early 20th century. It’s most recognizable in North America from the clapboard siding produced by Hardie Board.
While some manufacturers may offer a fiber cement product engineered to more closely resemble logs, it is not the same thing as GFRC log siding. Fiber cement is less expensive, with materials costing an average of $0.70 to $15 per square foot. Still, it does not as closely mimic the appearance of wood logs as concrete log siding and, though it is highly durable, it is more susceptible to damage from moisture.
Does concrete log siding offer any cost savings compared to wood logs?
Wood logs require yearly maintenance that can total up to $750 annually, while their concrete counterparts don’t require ongoing work. Since concrete log siding exceeds the requirements of most building codes, it can also lower insurance premiums and boost resale value.
Which companies sell concrete log siding?
A small handful of companies account for the bulk of the concrete log siding industry in the United States, including Everlog Systems, based in Missoula, MT; Old Kentucky Logs, located in Corbin, KY; NexGen Logs, in Wisconsin Rapids, WI; and Clear Creek Log Siding, in Springfield, MO.