Installing steel log siding is a home improvement project that can drastically improve the character of your home. Traditional log homes require a great deal of upkeep to maintain the home’s exterior, but now there’s maintenance-free steel log siding that greatly decreases the work needed to keep your home looking nice.

Benefits of Steel Log Siding

Steel log siding provides numerous benefits compared to natural wood log siding:

  • Durability: Steel is highly durable and resistant to warping, rot, decay, termites, and other damage plaguing wood siding. Heavy-gauge steel stands up to impacts, moisture, and sun exposure.
  • Fire resistance: Steel does not combust like wood log siding, making it a much safer option. It meets fire codes and does not require additional treatments.
  • Low maintenance: Steel log siding requires little upkeep besides occasional cleaning. It never needs painting, staining, or sealing.
  • Warranty: Many quality steel log sidings (like TruLog siding) come with a lifetime warranty against defects, corrosion, and workmanship.
  • Custom looks: Steel log siding can mimic the look of hand-peeled logs, rounded logs, or squared logs in various widths.
  • Sustainability: Steel is a recycled material, and steel siding is 100% recyclable. It’s also energy-efficient with the right type of paint and coating.
  • Affordability: Steel siding has a higher upfront cost than some wood sidings, but it lasts longer and has lower lifetime maintenance costs.
  • Pest resistance: Steel siding neither attracts nor harbors termites, carpenter ants, woodpeckers, or other pests like wood does. It carries no risk of infestations.
  • Consistent quality: Manufacturers produce steel in controlled conditions to create a consistent, enduring product. It does not have irregularities like natural wood.

Types of Steel Log Siding Finishes

Steel log siding comes in a variety of finishes to complement different home styles:

Mimics the look of natural wood grain in colors like western cedar, pine, red cedar, and more. Offers an authentic, rustic log home look.

Has a clean, uniform look without faux wood grain. Often has a satin-like shine.

Has a flatter, understated finish that avoids glare. Is good for a modern industrial aesthetic.

Available pre-finished with baked-on paint in solid colors or two-tone combinations. Streamlines installation.

Important Factors When Installing Steel Log Siding

Proper installation is crucial to gain the full benefits of steel log siding products and avoid potential problems:

  • Flashing: Installers must use flashing to prevent moisture infiltration behind siding. Flashing is especially important to place around openings.
  • Ventilation: Air circulation behind the siding is vital to prevent moisture buildup. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for venting.
  • Insulation: Insulating behind siding helps prevent energy loss and moisture condensation that can lead to mildew or corrosion.
  • Sealing: Close up all unfinished edges with a corrosion-resistant sealant to prevent rusting.
  • Fastening: Fasten siding securely to structural framing or furring strips. Use the proper fastener, material, and spacing to prevent problems.
  • Expansion gaps: Gaps must be left between siding pieces to allow for expansion and contraction as temperature changes. Rigid installation can lead to buckling.
  • Professional installers: Reputable installers understand proper steel siding techniques. Poor installation can negate the product’s benefits and longevity.

Cost Considerations for Steel Log Siding

Steel log siding costs more up front than wood, vinyl siding, or standard metal siding. It recoups much of that cost over time because of exceptional durability, longevity, and a lack of maintenance. Estimated cost details of steel log siding include:

  • Initial material cost: $6–12 per sq. ft.
  • Professional installation cost: $3–8 per sq. ft.
  • Total installed cost: $9–20 per sq. ft.
  • Life expectancy: 50+ years
  • Low maintenance costs: $0–500 over a lifetime
  • High return on investment: 60–80% at home sale

Is Steel Log Siding the Right Choice?

For homeowners who want the genuine wood look of a log cabin with superior durability and performance, steel log siding can be an excellent choice. It brings visual interest, character, and rustic charm to a home while virtually eliminating maintenance and repairs.

Although steel log siding has a higher initial cost than other types of siding, it pays off in the long run through its longevity and resistance to damage. Strongly consider a steel log if you like easy upkeep, sustainability, and a beautiful log look.

Consult reputable siding installers and manufacturers to ensure proper installation. With the right steel log siding, you can enjoy the beauty of a log home without the hassles and upkeep.

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FAQs About Steel Log Siding

What Are the Main Benefits of Steel Log Siding?

The main benefits of steel log siding are durability, fire resistance, low maintenance, custom realistic looks, sustainability, affordability, and pest resistance. Steel holds up well compared to natural wood.

Does Steel Log Siding Look Fake?

Modern steel log siding does not look fake. Manufacturers produce molded and textured siding to mimic real wood. Colors, grains, and shadow lines deliver a real log cabin look.

Can Steel Log Siding Be Painted?

You can paint steel log siding just like wood siding. Use high-quality exterior paints and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for surface prep and application.

How Long Does Steel Log Siding Last?

Properly installed and maintained steel log siding can last over 50 years. Some manufacturers offer lifetime limited warranties on their steel log products.

Is Exposed Fastener or Hidden Fastener Steel Siding Better?

Hidden fastener steel siding creates a cleaner, more seamless look. Exposed fasteners may make it easier to repair. Either option can work.

If you want to know more about Steel Log Siding, here's a useful infographic to check out before having it installed in your home.

Steel-Log-Siding 2018
Editorial Contributors
avatar for Doug Sluga

Doug Sluga

Doug Sluga is a professional roofer and carpenter with ten years of experience in residential and commercial construction. His expertise spans the breadth of the roofing trade from minor repairs to laying shingles to framing trusses. These days he spends most of his time writing about roofing and the roofing industry.

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Sabrina Lopez


Sabrina Lopez is a senior editor for Today’s Homeowner with over 7 years of writing and editing experience in digital media. She has reviewed content across categories that matter to homeowners, including HVAC services, home renovations, lawn and garden care, products for the home, and insurance services. When she’s not reviewing articles to make sure they are helpful, accessible, and engaging for homeowners like herself, Sabrina enjoys spending time with her family and their two parrots.

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