Steel Log Siding Cost, Pros and Cons, ROI and More

Steel log siding is a unique type of siding made from steel that looks like real wood logs. It was invented and is manufactured in Colorado, where strong siding is a must to stand up to extreme weather.

TrueLog Steel Siding Canyon Red

Steel log siding cost is $7.50 to $15.00 per square foot for the material and installation. The cost range reflects differences in material options and installation complexity.

By comparison, natural wood log siding ranges from $4.50 to $14.00 per square foot.

This guide focuses on steel log siding cost, pros and cons, durability, the return on your investment in terms of your home’s value. Along the way, we’ll make comparisons to authentic log siding, so you can see steel’s relative advantages and disadvantages.

That Appeal of Log Siding

Log siding makes a home look solid, warm and inviting. It is classic siding with unsurpassed charm.

Steel log siding remarkably mimics the look and texture of wood while eliminating the worst aspects of real log siding – high maintenance costs and susceptibility to insects, rot and fire.

What is Steel Log Siding?

Here are the basics of this material often called fake log siding.

Lightweight 26 gauge (thicker) and 28 gauge steel is used. The material is stamped with authentic wood texture: cedar, pine, weathered wood and more. Some designs include faux chinking.

Durable coatings are designed to resist fading, cracking and blistering. Foam backer inserts are added for stability and an R-value of 3 to 4.

Steel log siding is installed using the same techniques and accessories as standard steel or vinyl siding, so the process goes quickly. The siding is backed with very good warranties discussed below.

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LP SmartSide Siding Cost vs. Fiber Cement HardiePlank Siding

The top two engineered lap siding brands are the defending champion HardiePlank fiber cement and the up-and-coming contender LP SmartSide engineered wood siding.

LP SmartSide Siding on a cabin style home

This guide covers the HardiePlank vs. LP SmartSide comparison from all angles that matter to a homeowner – Looks, durability, cost of materials and installation, and more. We’ll uncover the differences between the two to help you decide which one fits your project requirements better.

Cost

Expect to pay about $9.00 per square foot to install LP SmartSide siding. For HardiePlank siding, your costs will about $10 per square foot installed.

Note: LP’s SmartSide relative cost advantage is due to slightly lower material and installation costs thanks to its lighter weight.

The possible cost range is broad, however, based on factors spelled out below. This table breaks down costs for these two leading siding alternatives to natural wood.

HardiPlank LP SmartSide
Material Cost per sq.ft. $2.00-$4.00 $1.85-$3.75
Installation Cost per sq.ft. $5.50-$9.00 $3.50-$8.00
Total Cost per sq.ft. $7.50-$13.00 $5.35-$11.75
Average Cost per sq.ft. $9.85-$10.35 $8.65-$9.30
Cost to Value Recouped 83%-86% 82%-87%
LP SmartSide vs HardiePlank Siding Cost Comparison Table

As you can see in the table above, these are comparably priced materials, so unless you’re watching pennies very closely, this probably won’t be the deciding factor.

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