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The Latest Wood Siding Trends: Durability and Sustainability

Being in the wood industry since I was a young pup working with my father and grandfather, and building Buffalo Lumber as an adult, I’ve had firsthand experience with wood siding trends. 

Wood siding remains a popular choice for homeowners due to its classic look, durability, and versatility. 

There are some wood species, popular for siding in the past, that are plantation grown today and no longer have long-range performance durability. As architects, builders, and homeowners become more knowledgeable about wood siding, the demand for these woods have decreased.

Premium woods, such as cedar and redwood, have consistently been popular wood siding choices, but today they are especially requested because of their durability. Equally as important, they are easy to work with, add value to your home and enhance curb appeal. Properly finished, installed, and maintained, premium wood siding is an investment that will last a lifetime.

Wood siding is so versatile it can be used in any home style – traditional, rustic, or contemporary.

Cedar Siding vs Redwood Siding
Cedar Siding, Stained vs. Redwood Siding, Stained

Recent Wood Siding Trends

Here are some of the wood siding trends we’ve seen in recent years.

Sustainable Siding Options 

The growing interest in green building practices has architects, builders, and homeowners choosing real wood siding more than ever because it’s a renewable resource. More consideration is made for responsibly forested and harvested woods, like cedar and redwood.

Cedar Siding 

Cedar’s popularity in the wood siding market has continued to grow by leaps and bounds. As people choose real wood siding, they’re choosing cedar because it’s extremely durable, light weight and easy to work with, takes stain or paint well, and cedar is really beautiful.


One trend I find noteworthy is the shift from tongue and groove to shiplap. For many years tongue and groove held the top spot because of its versatility. That is, until Joanna Gaines and her Fixer Upper show changed our industry forever. 

She found a lot of shiplap behind old wall board when renovating homes and is known for making shiplap wood a feature in her finished homes.

The popularity of her show blasted the term “shiplap” to one of the most searched for on the internet. Many people are now familiar with the term shiplap, while not always knowing exactly what it is.

Prefinished Wood Siding

Prefinished wood siding has become a must-have option. The wood siding is delivered with a factory-applied finish, which eliminates the need to clear coat, stain, or paint the siding after installation. This saves homeowners time and money, and it also helps to ensure a consistent finish.

Natural Finishes

Homeowners are increasingly opting for wood finishes that showcase color tones, grain, texture and the natural beauty of the wood, while offering protection against UV and moisture. The use of clear coats, transparent and semi-transparent stains preserve and highlight these features.

Semi-transparent Stain Shows Wood Tones, Grain and Texture

Darker Colors 

There’s been a shift away from dark wood tones, like mahogany – so popular early in this century. We’re seeing bolder, dark colors of greens, blues, and charcoals that create a dramatic and sophisticated look. We can achieve the bold colors and highlight wood’s natural texture using semi-solid and solid stains.

Solid stain siding
Solid Stain with Vibrant Color and Visible Wood Texture

Vertical Siding

Vertical siding installation is a trend that has had steady growth. It can add a lot of height and visual interest to a home. The rustic charm of classic board and batten still has a lot of appeal. There’s a growing trend to install tongue and groove and shiplap profiles vertically for a sleek, contemporary look.

board and batten v vertical install
Rustic Board and Batten vs. T&G Vertical Install – Contemporary

Mixed Use

We’ve seen an increase in premium wood siding installed with accents of stone, brick, and metal. There’s a rise in multi-directional installations. And, mixing patterns and board widths has become popular.

Any of these mixed uses create visual texture and unique, eye-catching styles that make for great curb appeal.

redwood and metal
Redwood and Metal
Cedar with Stone Accents
Cedar with Stone Accents
Redwood and Brick
Redwood and Brick

Wide-Plank Siding 

We’ve seen more interest in wider wood planks of 10 and 12 inches that can create a bold, or sleek, or modern look. This is especially attractive on larger homes.

Bold Look of Wide Plank Reclaimed Wood Siding
Bold Look of Wide Plank Reclaimed Wood Siding

Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood has found a foothold in the marketplace. It is wood that has been salvaged from old barns, warehouses, and other structures. 

There have always been wood lovers who see the beauty of reclaim wood, appreciating both its rustic, weathered look and provenance. As a sustainable and environmentally friendly choice, as well as offering a unique rustic or vintage look, reclaimed wood’s appeal has traction. 

Innovative Uses

Here are some specific examples of how wood siding is being used in innovative ways today.

Wood siding is being used to create green walls. Green walls are living walls that are covered with plants and other vegetation. Premium cedar is a popular choice for green walls because it is lightweight, durable, and very attractive.

Cedar Living Wall
Cedar Living Wall

Premium wood is used to create a ventilated slat system installed over an airspace, known as open-slat siding. Premium wood is a popular choice for open-slat siding because it’s breathable and resistant to moisture and insect damage.

Open-Slat Cedar Siding
Open-Slat Cedar Siding

Premium wood and wood siding are being used to create curved and other complex shapes. They can be bent and shaped or cut to create a variety of different looks, including curved walls, columns, and arches. Premium woods, like cedar and redwood, are especially popular for outdoor use because they are lightweight, easy to use, and extremely durable.

Cedar Topped Sun Dial with Cedar Band and Redwood Pergolas
Cedar Topped Sun Dial with Cedar Band and Redwood Pergolas

Future Wood Siding Trends

We predict stronger interest in premium wood siding from trees grown, harvested, and manufactured in a sustainable way.

One of the main trends we will see going forward is more knotty wood. It will become dominant in the marketplace as older forests are preserved and protected. Consequently, clearer grade woods will be harder to get and much more expensive.

There will be a stronger shift toward smaller homes and simpler footprints that not only help offset higher home prices, but fall within the green building model. Also, home renovation will thrive and expand as a popular, more affordable option to new builds. Smaller homes and renos do not mean homeowners are settling for blah, cookie-cutter exteriors. There will be a continued, strong trend to create unique, customized exteriors with interesting patterns, textures, and colors using premium wood siding that is easy to work with, yet durable and beautiful.

Smaller, simpler designs with beautiful exteriors
Smaller, simpler designs with beautiful exteriors

Increased use of wood siding in commercial and multi-family construction will be on the rise. Wood siding is traditionally used in residential construction, but it is becoming more popular in commercial and multi-family construction as well. This is due to the durability and aesthetic appeal of wood siding, as well as its sustainability credentials.

Wood siding in commercial
Wood siding in commercial

The trend of green building projects will be strong in the future with an increased use of wood siding in these projects, as well. Wood is a natural and renewable resource, making it a popular choice for green building projects. Wood siding can help to improve the energy efficiency of a building by providing insulation and blocking solar heat gain. It can also help to block out noise.

Green Building Community
Green Building Community
Green Building Community
Green Building Community

Overall, the predicted trends for wood siding use in the future are very positive. Wood siding is a durable, sustainable, and versatile product. As consumers become more aware of the benefits of wood siding, it is expected to grow even more popular in the coming years.

Future trends also indicate the popularity of cedar siding will continue to rise because it adds value to your home, lasts 50-70 years, it’s beautiful, and has strong curb appeal.

A future trend we hope to see more of is finding really great wood that’s already in homes, pinned between layers of drywall, plaster or horrid 70’s wood veneer paneling. Often, this is old growth cedar or redwood that is $30 per square foot in today’s market. Because the wood has been preserved between layers of building materials, this beautiful, old growth wood usually just needs a good cleaning to be restored to its glory. We know it’s out there…talk about a great find!

In Closing

If you are considering wood siding for your home, it is important to choose a premium wood that is resistant to rot, decay, and insects, like cedar or redwood.

You should also make sure to have your wood siding properly installed and maintained. This will help to ensure your investment in real wood siding lasts for many years to come.

Ciao, Wood Lovers

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