Vinyl siding is the absolute most popular type of siding among homeowners for more than one reason.
However, that does not discourage homeowners from wanting something that looks like wood siding. Wood also does have its advantages, although with the materials getting better and better every single year, more and more people are switching to vinyl.
It’s a material that brings the good looks of wood and the low maintenance of vinyl. Could you want anything else?
This article will take a closer look at the two different materials, compare their different pros and cons as well as talk a little bit about the different styles which are available for you to consider, in case you haven’t made up your mind yet.
If you choose to want to proceed talking with vinyl siding contractors following having read this article, we’ll also be happy to connect you with the most relevant ones in your area for free. Should you rather choose to want to talk with wood siding contractors, we’re also happy to help you connect with those instead. All you have to do is fill out the form below.
Pros and Cons of Vinyl
You’re not alone in finding this material incredible, but we’re sure that there’s one or two of the advantages below that you hadn’t heard of.
- You are basically getting maintenance-free siding that looks like wood – that is one of the reasons people love vinyl so much. It requires practically no maintenance. Sure, it’s great to have it washed once in a while, but that’s about it. It will fade a bit over time at which point you might give it a new coat of paint, but it’s nothing in comparison to other types of siding material that will need to have it done significantly more often.
- Vinyl is a great option when you’re on a budget – it doesn’t cost a whole lot for the material and the installation is also easy to do for a professional. In addition, you get a material that doesn’t need to be stained or painted like is the case with wood.
- You may not even need to remove the old siding to install the new one – vinyl siding can often be installed over existing wood siding, which saves you money on the installation too. There could be reasons why you would not want to do it, but it makes sense to do for a lot of homeowners.
- The material has gotten very durable over time – while some of the cheaper grades may have tendencies to crack when impacted, you can get very economical siding by installing vinyl, and if you get some of the slightly higher grades, they’re extremely durable options too that will last extremely long.
- Light-weight and therefore very easy to install for a pro – the difficulty in installing the different materials will also be reflected when you end up getting quotes for the various projects. If you get a type of material, which is very light-weight, it’s easier for a contractor to handle and can therefore be installed in less time.
- Easy to cut – when you compare the material to other materials such as fiber cement, it’s a lot easier to cut. However fiber cement is definitely also a type of material that has gained popularity, and fiber cement siding contractors are still busier than ever. Wood and vinyl are still both two materials that are easy to cut.
- Rust isn’t an issue – you should obviously use nails that do not rust, such as galvanized-steel ones, however unlike metal roofing, you won’t need to worry about rust with this material.
- No rotting – wood will eventually start rusting when it keeps being exposed to the outside elements, and while good maintenance will delay when it starts happening, completely keeping it from happening is basically inevitably. There are types of wood such as cedar siding that is a lot better at withstanding these elements, but with wood you’re still dealing with a natural material.
- Vinyl offers good warranties – since manufacturers believe so much in their products, they’re willing to offer very good warranties to homeowners that buy their products.
- Vinyl offers a range of different styles, colors and designs – vinyl products are made to resemble a bunch of different materials, and since you landed on this page your particular interest is likely to be wood. The most common type is cedar.
- A lot of manufacturers infuse the paint into the boards and the result is that you get a material that will keep its beautiful look for a very long time – forget having to stain the material every 2-3 years. It’s more likely that you will need to repaint it as infrequently as every 10 years simply to make sure it keeps looking new.
- Not loved by insects –
The benefits of getting vinyl siding that looks like wood instead of getting the actual material are many.
The material also has some cons that are worth noting, even if you may already have set your mind up for going with this material. By doing so, you’ll just know what you’re in for.
- The boards can crack if they’re impacted – when that happens, you’re likely to have to replace the whole board replaced. An alternative to solid wood that withstands impact a lot better than vinyl does is engineered wood siding.
- It may crack when worked on – cold temperatures makes the material especially prone to cracking and having it professionally installed is also the way to ensure that it gets done properly without cracking.
- Keep lawn mowers away from it – if you accidentally get the lawn mower too close to it, it’s not unlikely that it could end up damaging the siding, and you should therefore make sure that it doesn’t happen.
- When improperly installed, it won’t provide as many of the benefits as you’d like – it’s definitely one of the easier siding materials to install, but it can still be done improperly. In that case it becomes prone to wind damage as well as damage from other elements. Improper installation could cause a whole board to be ripped off when there’s a lot of wind.
- Dents are hard to avoid if something hits it – while the higher quality materials are more durable, vinyl just has a tendency to dent if not crack when it’s being impacted. In comparison, wood won’t.
- Limited insulation compared to wood – with this type of material it’s especially important that you make sure your house has adequate insulation. You’re able to get insulated vinyl siding, but it’ll also be more expensive as a consequence.
- Make sure to get quality material that will last a longer time – a lot of these problems are less likely to happen when you get better grades of the material.
Pros and Cons of Wood Siding
After going through those, it’s also only fair if we follow up with the reasons why some homeowners still choose to go for the real thing with its pros and cons. There’s still a reason why companies such as Maibec has so much success with their cedar siding products.
- Easy to install – as with vinyl, wood is extremely easy to install. That is especially the case when you choose a style such as shiplap siding rather than a more advanced installation style such as board and batten or wooden shakes.
- It looks better than any products made to imitate its look – when you want the wooden look, the best option is to go for the real thing.
- It’s easy to cut too.
- Easier to replace than vinyl when a board needs to be replaced – no matter what the reason is, replacing wooden siding is easier than vinyl. Vinyl often interlocks, making replacements and repairs more difficult.
- Wood accepts stain and paint better than vinyl does – when you want to change the color of wood, that’s more easily done than with vinyl.
- Be aware of the potential of water damage – with easy access to the material, water will start causing the material to deteriorate faster. Due maintenance is important to ensure that the material lasts a long time with less issues.
- Unforeseen costs are possible – while installing wood may help boost your home’s curb appeal, it comes with a cost.
- Insects such as termites constantly pose a threat to wood – while there are types of wood that are more resistant towards insects, they’re still a possible issue with most wood types.
So, What Are Your Options For Exterior Siding That Looks Like Wood?
KP Vinyl Siding
KP Vinyl Siding offers 25 year no-fade warranty on their products, which is among the best in the business. Such a warranty is obviously a declaration that they believe in the products they’re offering. With their contemporary brushed matte finish there’s also something for those wanting a more modern look. You can even request a color sample before you choose to go with their products.
They also have a thing they call a LookBook, which will certainly give you inspiration for your project.
They currently make their siding if 24 different colors including mahogany, barn red, khaki, ocean and a bunch of others. Their siding even boasts providing protecting against winds going up to 200 miles per hour.
Feldco is a brand that is especially popular in the Midwest, and their claims include that this is a material you won’t have to paint again. Their product range includes traditional lap siding, soffit and fascia, scalloped shakes, traditional shakes, vertical siding options, board and batten and dutch lap. The products also come with textured woodgrain that gives them a very realistic look.
Ply Gem’s Mastic product line offers beautiful, low-maintenance siding for the homeowner that doesn’t want to be painting their home all the time, and they’re one of the biggest on the market. Their siding products include insulated options, lap siding, vertical panels, shakes & shingles. They also have fascia, trim, shutters, roof vents and mounting blocks to make sure that you have everything necessary for the project.
Yet another vinyl siding option that looks like wood is CertainTeed. With nothing but a bucket of water and a brush, you’re able to keep this type of siding exterior looking beautiful on your home. To put their money where their mouth is, they offer Lifetime Fade Protection on their products. Their materials are also available in a range of colors, shades and styles depending on your wishes.
Cedar Impressions are vinyl shingles created by CertainTeed. They’re currently produced in no less than 30 colors and they’re .100″ thick. They come with a limited lifetime warranty, making them popular among homeowners wishing to have shingles installed with very little maintenance.
CedarBoards is yet another product by CertainTeed. They’re made in 20 different colors and it’s a product that doesn’t just provide the beauty of the vinyl siding, its convenience but also the benefit that the material has been insulated. It’s available as both clapboard, dutchlap and board and batten. The R-values of the material range from 2-2.7 providing great additional insulation to your home. They also help in reducing the amount of noise, and are in fact made by 60% recycled material.
WoodTone Rustic Series
WoodTone Rustic Series is another popular option for homeowners that want siding material that resembles wood without actually being made from it. Unlike the previously mentioned materials, this product is rather made from fiber cement or engineered wood. Engineered wood, while containing wood fibers, does not come with the same problems associated with traditional wood.
The products come available in different styles including panels, lap siding and shakes. They also provide trim to go along with the products, and their very special coating called RusticClarity is guaranteed for 15 years against failure, making it very popular.
Cerber Rustic Fiber Cement siding
Cerber Rustic fiber cement siding is a type of siding material that was previously sold by BuildDirect on their website. Several sources online suggest that it is Maxiplank that was behind the production, and that they had a class-action lawsuit against them due to faulty product.
When manufacturers use processes to imitate wood siding, it’s most likely to make vinyl siding that looks like cedar planks, due to their timeless appeal. The important thing whenever installing siding on your home is to make sure that you know the advantages and disadvantages of the different products, and if you aren’t sure about the process, that you have it professionally installed. Heavier materials such as fiber cement should, for example, never be installed as a DIY project.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Siding
There are several factors that need to be considered when you’re choosing siding to ensure that it’s a success, no matter if you’re choosing or a different style. Whether you’re building a home addition or remodeling your existing space, these factors apply.
Vinyl is generally a very affordably priced siding, but you can obviously get higher grades of the material that will also cost more. Matching your budget with the right type of siding is how you both get aesthetically what it is you’re looking for combined with the properties you need.
The Cost of Installation
Labor cost is also a significant cost factor and will in some instances in fact cost more than the material itself, especially when you’re talking about vinyl. You also need to consider that the style of the siding you are having installed will greatly impact the cost of installation too. Lap siding is the cheapest option to have installed, whereas shakes and shingles are significantly more expensive to have installed since it’s more difficult and takes more time.
Consider What Your House Currently Looks Like
While you may want to remodel your home, it should still be done within the style of the rest of the home to make sure that things keep looking good in unity. That is also how you’ll make sure that the new siding adds as much value to your home as possible.
Where you’re located could also affect the decision you’re going with. You can consider the different neighborhoods, what they have added to their homes and how yours would look in comparison. While you don’t want to base your decision off of what other people are doing, letting your decision get influenced by it may very well end up giving you the best ROI too.