How to Install Cedar Wall Shingles

Updated February 21, 2017

Exterior siding is an attractive wall covering for any home or building. Many homeowners prefer to install siding due to its durability and low maintenance requirements. Cedar shingles are thin, shingle-like layers of cedar wood that are alternatives to traditional vinyl and aluminium siding. Cedar wall shingles are applied slightly differently than traditional siding, in that the layers must overlap. When installed correctly, cedar shingles can last for many years.

Attach a single layer of felt underlayment to the entire surface of the wall. Underlayment comes in rolls that can be unrolled as you move along the wall. Attach the felt using a staple gun and staples, overlapping the edges of each row by 1/2 inch.

Install the first row of shingles along the base of the wall by inserting two nails into the top of each shingle. Position the bottom of the shingle 1/2 inch above the ground. Each shingle on this row should be 1/4 inch away from the adjoining shingle. The sides of the singles should not touch.

Attach a second row of shingles flush with the ground with the tops 1/2 inch lower than the first row of shingles. Move the first shingle on this row horizontally until it covers the seam between the lower two shingles. Insert two nails into the top of each shingle to attach it to the wall. Continue installing shingles until reaching the end of the wall. This is called a double row shingle technique and is designed to protect the base of the home from water.

Start a new row of shingles above the existing shingles but with the bottom of the new covering 1/2 of the shingles below it. Insert two nails into each shingle approximately one inch above where it meets the underlying shingle.

Place another shingle 1/4 inch away from the shingle and nail it into place. Continue installing shingles until reaching the end of the wall.

Repeat the shingle installation on all exposed areas of the wall until the home is covered with shingles.

Install corner boards at the four corners of the building where the walls meet. Place the edge of a corner board flush with the vertical corner edge of the wall and attach it with 1 1/2 inch nails spaced three inches apart. Install an adjoining corner board on the other side of the corner in the same manner. Make sure the vertical edge is as close to the other corner board as possible. Each corner has two corner boards, one board on each side of the corner.


Some shingles placed at the edges of the wall will need to be cut with a saw.

Things You'll Need

  • Felt underlayment
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Cedar shingles
  • Stainless steel nails, 1 1/2 inch
  • Corner boards
  • Saw
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About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.