Exterior Wood Siding
Less expensive and low maintenance option
Natural beauty with some additional maintenance requirements.
Wood Siding for Your Home
Perhaps no siding material has enjoyed more success than wood. Even with a variety of "low maintenance" siding options available wood siding continues to be popular with consumers. Ironically most people who choose a different material will still select a "wood siding look" for their home as nearly all of the non-wood siding products that are available have tried to copy many of the common wood siding styles. Cedar and redwood are two very popular varieties of wood siding for their natural occurring preservatives but pine, spruce and fir are also common options.
Wood siding offers a lot of positives not the least of which is a beautiful classic appearance. Wood is available in a variety of styles and can be painted any color necessary to fit the look of your home. (Clapboard, also known as lap siding, as well as board and batten are two of the most popular options.) Wood is a long lasting siding material that can last 30 + years when it is properly installed and cared for. In fact wood that is well cared for will most likely have a much more pleasing appearance than a low quality vinyl product will after 20 years. Wood is a natural renewable material which does not cause environmental concerns when the time comes to dispose of it. Wood siding also offers good insulating qualities which can help reduce your heating and cooling energy bills an important consideration considering raising energy costs.
The obvious downside to wood is simply the ongoing maintenance it requires. You should plan on power washing your wood siding annually and painting or otherwise sealing it as it begins to show wear from the elements. Typical warning signs would be a finish that is faded or is showing signs of mold and mildew. Under normal conditions you will need to re-paint every 4-10 years depending upon the climate where you live and the quality of the paint job that was previously applied. While the maintenance requirements for wood are not extensive our society has become enamored with the idea of "zero maintenance" which has helped foster the popularity of vinyl siding in particular. If you are installing new wood siding you should be aware that some companies will offer pre-primed or sealed boards which not only reduces the amount of work at the point of installation but should give you a more even covering which will do a better job of protecting your siding.
Wood siding will vary in price depending upon your location, the type of wood you have chosen (redwood, a western grown tree will cost more in an eastern U.S. location) and how quickly the wood is able to grow to a harvested size. Typically, wood siding will be about average on the siding cost scale.
Longevity: 30 + years if well cared for
Maintenance: Annual power washing along with re-painting every 4-10 years
Wood siding style images from Cedarland Forest Products
You may want to visit International Wood Products Association to learn more about wood siding and other products
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