Debating on engineered wood siding versus real wood siding? Whether you’re building a house or adding a new exterior to your current home, it pays to know your options. The look of wood is timeless and can add a lot of charm and curbside appeal, while also boosting your property value. But you’re not just limited to genuine wood. CLAD Siding is here to help you get better acquainted with the advantages and disadvantages of engineered wood siding.
Background On Engineered Wood Siding
So, you want to know the pros and cons? First, let’s quickly go over what exactly engineered wood siding is. As opposed to genuine wood, which is made up of panels or planks cut from a tree, engineered wood siding is a composite material. It consists of recycled or waste wood chips and fibers that are mixed with a resin (or wax), as well as several types of additives. These additives, one of the most popular being zinc borate, provide added strength and resistance to the elements.
Working well in all kinds of environments, from extreme heat to frigid cold, engineered wood siding gives you the warmth and charm of wood while being significantly more immune to issues over time. Whether you’re looking for something that can withstand the test of time in severe conditions, or want a unique look, engineered wood siding is a wonderful choice!
Advantages Of Engineered Wood Siding
Engineered wood siding is pretty amazing. Utilizing a mixture of wood chips, strands, and fibers, this composite material has become a super popular alternative to the genuine article. Below, you’ll find the top benefits of choosing engineered wood for your home’s exterior.
It’s nice to know that your siding will last for a long time. With proper installation and maintenance, engineered wood siding can hold up for many decades. And because it’s a processed material with certain additives, the siding can withstand a number of common problems better than real wood. These include termites, mildew, mold, and rot.
Its increased strength also makes the siding much less likely to warp in extreme cold or heat. And when it comes to impact resistance, it’s a champ! Compared to aluminum, vinyl, and natural wood, engineered wood has proven to rate higher against impact damage.
Along with boosted protection against rot and termite infestation, this wood siding alternative also costs a lot less than its genuine counterpart. In a lot of cases, engineered wood is two times less per square foot compared to real wood options. For instance, engineered wood can price out at $3 to $10 per square foot, while genuine wood comes in at $7 to $12 on average. That’s a load of savings you can keep in your pocket!
Styles and Colors
With natural wood, you’re kind of stuck with the look of it. Sure you can stain or paint it different colors, but engineered wood siding provides a plethora of styles and colors. It also offers greater consistency, so you know exactly what you’re getting prior to installation. From vertical siding to shingles and scallops, you can customize your home’s exterior to look exactly the way you want it!
Unlike other sidings, which require tons of skill and specialized equipment, engineered wood siding is straightforward to install. Without a whole lot required in the way of training or expertise, it can be cut and attached to your home with relative ease. All it takes is basically a measuring tape, saw, hammer (or nail gun), and the time to get it done. Do keep in mind, though, that if you’re not handy with tools or have multiple stories, it might be best to leave it to the pros.
Trees can be sustainably harvested, but when it comes to eco-friendliness, engineered wood siding takes the top prize. This is because, unlike real wood that comes straight from a tree, this alternative utilizes recycled wood and wood waste. This composition makes it a green building material. However, the additives used in its creation can have issues in terms of sustainability.
Disadvantages of Engineered Wood Siding
As with any type of home siding, engineered wood has its drawbacks. Before you decide to go with this siding choice, you’ll want to know exactly what you’re dealing with. Here are the most common issues with engineered wood siding.
With its growing popularity, engineered wood siding has several new manufacturers. On paper, more choices might seem great, but the reality is that not all of these companies make a high-quality siding. Depending on several factors, quality can be hit or miss. The best option is to work with a well-established and reputable company. These include Collins TruWood, Georgia Pacific Catawba, KWP, and LP SmartSide, among others.
When properly installed and maintained, engineered wood siding is highly resistant to many culprits, ranging from termites to mold. But if there’s damage, and it’s not taken care of in a timely manner, it can lead to major degradation. One of the biggest issues is moisture. It’s important to address any small issues quickly before they become big problems.
Since this type of siding is primarily composed of wood material, it’s susceptible to fire damage. The good news is that engineered wood has a one-hour fire rating. This means that the siding can withstand direct fire for an hour before it succumbs to its effects. Obviously, real wood siding is also in danger of catching on fire. So, if fire resistance is a top priority, you might want to take a look at options other than real wood or engineered wood siding.
Now, compared to real wood, this is actually a plus. One of the main drawbacks of genuine wood is that it requires upkeep when it comes to re-staining or repainting. Unfortunately, the same goes for engineered variants. The color actually has a tendency to fade more quickly, and so you might have to recoat it every few years (approximately 3 to 10 years).
This point is partly subjective. But if you’re in search of the genuine look of wood, it’s hard to beat actual natural wood. There’s a depth and richness to the grain that is difficult to replicate. Plus, there are unique variations in texture that only real wood can offer. Do keep in mind, however, that engineered wood costs a lot less, so it might come down to weighing the pros and cons (including cost, aesthetics, durability, and customizability).
Once the dust settles, engineered wood siding is a fantastic alternative to real wood. If you want a natural look without many of the headaches, this manufactured product is a great pick. You’ll want to take care when installing it so that you can enjoy its long-lasting lifecycle and sturdy performance for many years to come.
Need a professional? Spare yourself the wasted time of researching wood siding contractors on your own. With the help of CLAD Siding, you can quickly & affordably hire a specialist near you. Click here to get your quote asap!