Wood siding adds so much warmth, character, and appeal to a home. Its organic character can transform how your place looks and feels, providing amazing curbside appeal to boot. Adaptable to pretty much any scenario, wood is a natural and affordable option, but which kind works well for your situation? In this guide, CLAD Siding covers the most popular types of wood siding so you can get a better feel for what can fit your exterior best!
Pros and Cons of Wood Siding
Does anyone use wood siding anymore? Once the most popular option in the United States, wood has seen a decline in use in recent years. This is primarily due to the rising popularity of vinyl and stucco, which has skyrocketed. Nonetheless, wood exteriors are still super popular. For instance, it’s the go-to option in the West, and you’ll see neighborhood after neighborhood filled with gorgeous examples of natural paneling.
Advantages of Wood Siding
When it comes to pros, wood siding provides a timeless, organic look that has universal appeal. That’s why so many other types of siding mimic wood – it has a texture and warmth that just works! But you really can’t replace the genuine feel (and smell) of real wood.
Another advantage is that wood is easily sourced. You can find the wood siding you need fairly quickly.
It’s also relatively simple (and cheap) to install. It can also be replaced without too much trouble if damaged. And whether you want to go the DIY route or hire a contractor, the ease of installation allows for fewer headaches.
While we’re on the roll with pros, wood provides a sustainability factor with its renewable nature. It’s also an organic material, which allows for biodegradability. If you’re looking for an ecologically friendly material, wood is a great pick!
Endless Color Options
Last but not least, wood siding also provides many options when it comes to staining or painting. This opens up a world of possibilities, and you can find the exact shade or color to compliment your house and property.
Recap of the Pros
- Classic, natural look
- Easily sourced
- Simple to install (especially for most contractors)
- Affordable, sustainable, and biodegradable
- Can be stained or painted in myriad colors
Okay, so now that we’ve looked at the benefits of wood paneling, let’s take a look at the not-so-great aspects of the siding.
Disadvantages of Wood Siding
Requires Paint or Stain
As we left off with the pro section, wood can be painted or stained in numerous shades. This is both a blessing and a curse. Wood siding requires paint or stain in order to battle the elements and bug infestation. Without it, the siding would succumb to these factors, resulting in a major degradation in a short period of time.
Susceptible to Damage
The two biggest enemies of wood siding are water damage and insects.
Requires Routine Maintenance
As a result, this type of siding must be well maintained. Every few years or so, it must be restained or repainted in order to safeguard it from warping, rotting, and cracking.
Maintenance is Resource-Intensive
Obviously, this requires quite a bit of time, effort, and funds to maintain over the course of the siding’s lifespan.
Neglect Can Lead to Bigger Issues
As mentioned already, insects are a big issue. Without proper maintenance, a home can be infested with the likes of termites, which can lead to major damage to a house. These damages can cost a lot of money, or worse, lead to irreparable structural issues.
Recap of the Cons
- Requires paint or stain
- Susceptible to insects and water damage
- Proper maintenance can be costly
- Requires repaint or restain every few years
- Without proper care, it can lead to major issues
Most Popular Types of Wood Siding
So you might be asking, what is the best wood siding to use? You’ve come to the right page! In this section, we’ll go over the most popular types of this natural and timeless siding.
Here are the most popular kinds of wood siding:
Pine is super popular for several reasons. First, it has a gorgeous look. This wood also grows really fast and is abundant, particularly in North America. This makes it cost-effective. White pine, in particular, is a popular option for exterior use. The wood cladding also takes on finish particularly well. A downside of pine is that it is less resistant to issues than other wood species. Due to its sweetness, it is definitely susceptible to infestations, particularly by termites. So, you definitely need to safeguard it with proper coating.
Spruce, which is a part of the pine tree family, provides longer runs than pine. This makes it an ideal candidate for clapboard siding. And as with other types of wood, spruce is not particularly resistant to moisture and insects, so you’ll need to properly seal and routinely maintain it. This is softwood and doesn’t do well with moisture, so it’s imperative to keep it well coated and take care of any issues before it becomes a big problem down the road.
Offering similar qualities of pine siding, spruce is a great option for those wanting it for wider applications. If you’re looking for a smoother finish with longer lengths, spruce siding might be right up your alley!
As a hardwood, cedar provides many uses both inside and outside the home. Due to its strong nature, it does well in the elements (particularly compared to softwoods). In many cases, it can have a lifespan of more than 50 years! Typical applications include shingles and shakes, but can also be used in clapboard form. This can be an expensive option, however, as clear grade commands a premium. The wood’s rich grain, color, and overall character are highly appealing. Due to its texture and grain, cedar is most typically stained.
Cheap and versatile, fir is a popular option (especially in the West). It shares many qualities with spruce and pine, making it a favorite pick for those with a smaller budget. As a softwood, fir is also easily workable into various applications ranging from board-and-batten to shiplap and tongue-and-groove. It also works really well with a finish and provides easier cutting and installation. But also as a softwood, it’s more vulnerable to the elements. This requires proper finishing and consistent maintenance. But if done correctly, fir wood can provide years of beauty.
Held out as the standard for wood cladding back in the day, cypress is an extremely durable option. You can see many examples of it on vintage homes. If maintained properly, this siding can last for a long time. It’s also highly rot-resistant yet lightweight. This allows for easy work during installation and years of peace of mind.
The downside is that it can be hard to come by and costly. One option is to source reclaimed cypress from older buildings. It’s typically found in the eastern portion of the country. Note that since it doesn’t do well with moisture, there is more maintenance involved.