What are the benefits of real wood siding?

Get some information to help you decide whether real wood siding is the right choice for you.
There's a reason that most types of siding materials on the market today try to mimic the look of real wood - it's classic and beautiful.

If you're looking at your siding options, maybe you should forget the imitations and go with the real thing. Let's see how real wood siding stacks up against its competitors.

While the timeless beauty of wood siding is undeniable, it has other benefits adding to its allure. One of the biggest advantages of wood siding is that it is available in a wide range of woods, styles, and colors.

The main types of wood siding are:

  • Clapboard: Long boards installed horizontally so that they overlap. Cedar and redwood are popular choices, as they are resistant to decay, but clapboard can be made of other woods as well.
  • Rectangular Planking: Similar to clapboard, but it is installed vertically and has a smooth look.
  • Plywood: Commonly made of yellow pine, Douglas fir, and western red cedar, plywood can be applied either vertically or horizontally.
  • Shingles: Cut by machine, shingles are uniform in size. Typically made of cypress, redwood, and cedar woods, shingles are applied from the bottom up so that each layer overlaps the one below it.
  • Shakes: Applied like shingles, but they are hand-split and vary in size.
  • Solid Wood: Solid wood applied vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.
Another benefit of wood is that it is a natural insulator that keeps out the cold and keeps in the warm, which will help lower your utility bills.

If you are among the growing number of homeowners looking for eco-friendly choices, then real wood siding is the answer for you. Wood is a biodegradable and renewable resource.

While real wood siding has many advantages besides its natural beauty, the reason that other materials have grown in popularity is their ability to look like wood without some of the disadvantages of real wood.

One of the major drawbacks is that wood siding requires regular maintenance. If properly cared for, real wood siding can last for the life of the home, but it must be repainted or resealed every few years. If neglected, it will crack, split, and warp, and if it's painted, it will peel.

If you're considering real wood siding, be realistic about maintenance. If you can't spend the time to take care of it or don't want to hire someone to perform routine maintenance, it may not be the best choice for you.

Another downside of wood is that it is more susceptible to insect infestation and termites. Some types of wood are more insect resistant, and wood can be treated with preservatives to ward off unwanted wood chewers.

Climate will play a factor in your decision as well. Wood may grow mold in warm, humid climates. It is also less fire resistant than other types of siding, so it may not be the best choice if you live in a dry climate prone to fires.

To find out if real wood siding is the best choice for your home, contact a siding professional. He or she will be able to provide additional information about your siding options and discuss the best solution for your home.

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