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Vinyl Shake Siding Accents for an Exterior Renovation

What is Vinyl Shake Siding? Modeled after cedar shake, vinyl shake provides a custom look with low-maintenance. Check out the before and after of this home’s exterior renovation with shake siding accents.

While our house was primarily renovated using board and batten (or, vertical siding), we accented several parts of the exterior with shake siding. Based on traditional cedar shake, vinyl shake siding is a cost-effective and low maintenance option for exterior remodels.

shake siding exterior renovation, gray shake, dark gray vertical siding

What is Cedar Shake Siding?

Cedar shake is a siding and roofing material that is split (vs. sawn) on one or both sides (source). Splitting the wood (vs. sawing) results in thick shakes with natural irregularities that will not necessarily lie perfectly flat.

Want to learn more? Check out this video about how to hand-split cedar.

Cedar shake is beautiful upon installation, and it ages gracefully, as well. With the proper maintenance – including cleaning and applying stain every several years – cedar shake siding will last decades (source).

What is Vinyl Shake Siding?

Vinyl shake siding replicates the look of cedar shake siding, without the maintenance. Similar to other look-a-like siding products, such as vinyl board and batten, the vinyl version of cedar shake is durable, lower maintenance, and lower cost.

Types of Shake Siding

Shake siding is available in several main styles. Here are a few of the common terms to know:

Straight Edge Shake Siding – Straight edge siding shakes are all the same length, resulting in straight-edged rows of siding.

Types of Cedar Shake - Straight Edge Shake vs Staggered Edge Shake

Staggered Edge Shake Siding – Staggered edge siding shakes are not all the same length, resulting in an uneven edge on each row of siding.

Hand-Split Shake – Hand split shake is the term that refers to the traditional method of making shakes, where one or two face sides are split by hand, instead of sawn. Even though vinyl shakes aren’t actually hand-split, the vinyl has a hand-split appearance.

Shake vs. Shingle - Hand Split Shake vs. Rough Split Shake

Rough-Split Shake – Rough-split describes shakes that are especially rough due to the hand splitting process. Even though vinyl shakes aren’t actually hand split, rough-split vinyl will have a rougher appearance.

Vinyl Shake Siding Accents

Shake siding can be used in large or small amounts on a home’s exterior.

When selecting siding for our home, we found out that shake was more expensive than lap siding and vertical siding (we eventually chose board and batten siding).

Therefore, it made sense to use shake siding in small doses. We used vinyl shake to accent the architectural features of our home’s exterior.

Shake Siding on Dormers

Our cottage style home has two dormers, one on each side of the chimney.

Rather than using our primary siding – a vertical board and batten – we chose to highlight the dormers with a light gray, rough-split, staggered shake siding.

shake siding with brick, exterior renovation

Shake Siding on Gables

Gables, similar to dormers, is another exterior feature that lends itself to using shake siding as an accent.

Abbie, from The Gray Cottage, used a straight shingle in the gables of her board and batten home (check out her exterior color palette, here).

Shake Siding with Board + Batten by The Gray Cottage

Shake Siding on Bump-outs

Another exterior feature that is well suited to shake siding accents is bump-outs.

What is a bump out? When an exterior wall extends out further than the rest of the exterior it is called a bump-out.

shake siding exterior renovation, gray shake, dark gray vertical siding

Our home has a bump-out on the back of our home. It is where the kitchen and laundry room are located. The kitchen has patio doors which open to our deck.

During our exterior renovation, we chose to use a light gray vinyl shake siding on the bump-out to highlight the entry and break up the board and batten.

shake siding exterior renovation, gray shake, dark gray vertical siding

Shake Siding Exterior Renovation

The shake siding accents on our home are a favorite detail of our exterior renovation.

I especially love the shake around our patio doors.

shake siding exterior renovation, greystone shake

In a lighter color – compared to the dark vertical siding – the gray shake makes our black patio doors a focal point. Plus, the light gray allows the dark finish on our patio lights to pop.

The rough-split shake design adds organic texture where almost every other exterior detail has straight lines.

Best of all? Vinyl shake siding fit within our budget. Since we only used it in small doses – on the dormers and bump-out – we didn’t have to invest a ton of extra money to get the look of cedar shake.


Q: What is the difference between a shake and a shingle?

A: A shake is split on one or both face sides, whereas a shingle is sawn on both face sides.

Q: Is vinyl shake siding more expensive than regular vinyl siding?

A: Yes, vinyl shake siding is more expensive than regular vinyl siding (lap siding). As an example, Lowes shows that shake siding is approximately twice as expensive as lap siding (when comparing the same color and brand).

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shake siding exterior renovation, greystone shake