When it comes to house siding options, wood is a classic choice. It’s been around since the dawn of man, and it’s served us well ever since. Wood siding looks good, can last a long time, and is relatively easy to install.
That said, there are certain facts you should be aware of if you’re thinking of using wood in your home exterior remodel. Some are pros, others are cons, and all of it is helpful to know.
#1 – There Are Many Kinds of Wood Siding
There is a wide variety of wood siding available for consumers. Some of the most common and popular types are:
Each type of wood siding has its own distinct look and feel. In addition, the properties of each wood will affect their maintenance and longevity. For instance, redwood is especially durable, and it even has some insect-repelling properties. Keep in mind that there’s also many forms wood siding can take in terms of its shape and cut.
#2 – Wood Siding Is Durable
Generally, wood is pretty weather-resistant. It can also age well and last decades with proper care. Most forms of wood even carry significant insulation (also known as R Value), which can make cold seasons more pleasant.
#3 – It Requires Maintenance
When I said earlier that wood siding ages well, you’ll notice I said “with proper care”. If left alone without maintenance, wood is likely to rot, warp, and crack. Wood will require the following steps on a regular basis:
Re-Painting or Re-Sealing – Wood will require paint, staining, and/or a clear sealer to protect it from cracking. This is because wood will expand and contract with temperature and moisture changes. Whatever sealer you use will need to be re-applied every 2-5 years. Clear sealers will need to be re-applied the most often, while paint can usually be re-applied after the longest period. Regardless, you’ll need to keep watch for signs of deterioration and get a fresh coat as soon as you see them.
Cleaning – Wood siding needs to be cleaned with warm water, soap, and a soft bristle brush at least once-per-year, ideally every 6-8 months. In the case of mildew, you will also need to apply a fungus-killer to the affected area. Make sure to wear eye protection for this part.
Replacing Damages – While wood siding is generally durable, damages can happen. Be prepared to deal with this by hiring a skilled contractor rather than try to deal with it yourself. It will cost at least a few hundred dollars per panel, so keep that in mind.
#4 – It’s Expensive Right Now
Wood is a commodity, which means that its price can fluctuate pretty dramatically. Lumber prices are through the roof as I write this. At the end of last month (January 2021), lumber hit an all-time high price of $892.60. Currently you can expect to spend between $15,000 – $25,000 to install wood siding on your house. That’s at a low end cost of $6 per sf and a higher end cost of $12 per sf.
In other words, before you decide on wood siding, check the price of lumber and see if the cost is at a peak or a valley. Ideally you will want to buy when prices have dropped.
#5 – Beware Pests And Fire
Two of the biggest downsides of wood when compared to fiber cement and vinyl siding are its flammability and its vulnerability to pests. While almost nothing is completely fireproof, fiber cement and vinyl are flame-resistant (though the latter can melt pretty easily). Wood simply is not. Moreover, if a critter is given an option between Hardie Board and any form of wood, it will choose wood every time. This goes for woodpeckers, bees, termites, and just about any other pest you can think of. So bear this in mind, especially if you live near a forested area.
#6 – Cedar is Our Favorite
Cedar is a classic for a reason. Not only is it beautiful (arguably the most beautiful to stain) but it has a reputation for high durability. This goes double for heartwood cedar, which is more resistant to insects and pests than most other forms of wood. Cedar is less likely to rot and warp, and again, this is especially true of heartwood. Finally, it’s easy to work with compared to other wood siding options.
Get a Consultation From An Honest Siding Professional
CHE has served North Carolina faithfully for over 20 years. We go out of our way to educate our clients so that they can get the best work at the best price. We also make sure you can capitalize on the many warranties that you could be entitled to, depending on the house siding option you choose.
Call us today to set up a free consultation from one of our team. Click here to get started.