The Advantages of Engineered Wood Siding

What are the key advantages of engineered wood siding?

  • Enhanced Durability: Engineered siding boasts a lifespan of 20-30 years, significantly outlasting traditional wood siding with minimal maintenance.
  • Low Maintenance Needs: Unlike traditional wood, engineered wood siding requires no regular painting or staining, thanks to its resistance to moisture and UV rays.
  • Eco-Friendly Choice: Utilizes sustainably sourced wood fibers and recycled wood waste, making it a greener option than many other siding materials.
  • Easy Installation: Known for its lightweight nature and often pre-finished state, engineered siding simplifies and speeds up the installation process.
  • Insulating Properties: Offers inherent insulating qualities, contributing to better thermal regulation and energy efficiency in homes.
  • Aesthetic Flexibility: Can mimic the appearance of various wood species, providing a wide range of design options for homeowners.

Wood has historically been a popular siding choice. In fact, the use of wood as a building material predates recorded history, making wood siding one of the oldest forms of exterior cladding. In the United States, early settlers hand-crafted their siding from locally available materials. It was not until the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century that wood siding production became standardized. 

However, in the 20th century, advancements in other siding materials meant that wood siding began to slip in popularity. Additionally, traditional wood siding began to raise environmental concerns. Today, instead of wood, vinyl siding is an extremely prevalent choice. Yet, the development of engineered wood siding has allowed the wood siding look to return to popularity. 

If you are new to engineered wood siding, this article is for you. In it, we will discuss how manufacturers create engineered wood siding and its pros and cons. At the end of this article, you should have a better idea of whether engineered wood siding is the right choice for you and your home remodel

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Orange County with reliable general contractors, we help homeowners navigate their home remodeling projects every day. Get in touch to speak with our experts – give us a call at 818.317.3567 or click ‘Get Started’ on the right.

What is Engineered Wood Siding?

Before discussing its advantages, we should define engineered wood siding. Manufacturers create this siding type by combining wood fibers or strands with various resins, adhesives, and sometimes other additives. The resulting composite material mimics the look and feel of traditional wood siding while offering enhanced durability and performance.

The look of engineered siding also sets it apart from its traditional wood predecessor. Traditional siding was typically made from cedar or redwood. These types of woods are softwood and more resistant to water damage than hardwoods. 

On the other hand, engineered siding can take on the appearance of any species of wood. Its appearance depends on the type of wood used to make the composite material. This flexibility in appearance is one of the many reasons why engineered wood siding has become so popular in recent years. 

Exterior home siding options - vinyl, wood, brick

What are the Advantages of Engineered Wood Siding?

In addition to its appearance, engineered wood siding has many advantages. Here are a few of the most commonly cited by contractors and homeowners alike. 

Durability:

It is much more durable than traditional. The engineered option has a lifespan of 20-30 years, and as we will discuss below, there are very few maintenance requirements. This lifespan contrasts strongly with traditional wood siding, which requires intense maintenance to make it to 20 years. 

It is so durable because the manufacturing process creates a composite material that is resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage. It is also strong enough to withstand the harshest weather conditions, providing a long-lasting and reliable solution for exterior cladding.

Close up of exterior wood siding

Low maintenance requirements:

To ensure your traditional siding is as long-lasting as possible, you must stain and paint it every 2-3 years. On the other hand, engineered siding does not demand regular maintenance. It resists moisture and UV rays, reducing the effects of weathering over time. 

Environmentally friendly:

Many engineered siding products use wood fibers sourced from sustainably managed forests of fast-growing wood species. Additionally, the manufacturing process often involves recycling wood waste, making it a more environmentally friendly option compared to other siding materials.

Lush forest with wood for home siding products

As an added bonus, the reduced need for painting and staining means that engineered wood siding also has a lower toxicity than traditional siding. By using engineered siding, you will be contributing to a healthier indoor environment

Ease of installation:

Siding installation should be as efficient as possible to reduce the cost and time it takes to complete the job. A major advantage of engineered siding is that it is renowned for its ease of installation, as it is often lighter than traditional wood and requires fewer specialized tools. 

Additionally, it is usually pre-finished, which streamlines the installation process. Overall, this type of siding is one of the easiest and fastest to install, which explains its popularity with contractors. 

Insulating properties:

Finally, engineered wood siding has insulating properties, as that is a feature of the composite material. Contractors will still likely use an insulating material, such as Tyvek Home Wrap, under the siding. However, installing siding with inherent insulating properties provides another layer of protection for your home and can help regulate indoor temperatures and reduce energy consumption. 

Does Engineered Wood Siding Have Drawbacks?

Clearly, there are a lot of advantages to engineered wood siding. However, there are a few disadvantages to keep in mind as well. Understanding both the pros and cons of this option will help you in your choice of whether to use this siding material or not. 

Here are the most common drawbacks of engineered wood siding to keep in mind. 

wood plank exposed to moisture

  • Sensitivity to moisture: It is more moisture-resistant than traditional wood siding, but moisture can still damage it. Prolonged exposure to high moisture levels may lead to swelling, warping, or delamination of the material.
  • Low impact resistance: Engineered siding has high wind resistance, but its impact resistance may be lower than other siding materials, such as fiber cement and metal siding. Hail, falling branches, or accidental impacts can potentially dent or damage the surface.
  • Lack of first resistance: A lot of manufacturers treat engineered siding with fire-resistant additives, but that is not universally true. Any siding material made of wood will be more prone to fire damage, meaning it may not be a great choice for areas prone to wildfires. 
  • More costly than vinyl: Engineered siding is more cost-effective than traditional siding. However, it is still more expensive than vinyl siding, which can put it out of the budget of many homeowners. 

Engineered siding can be a great choice for homeowners who want the exterior of their home clad in wood. It is more environmentally friendly, lower cost, and less maintenance than traditional wood siding. While engineered siding has some drawbacks, it is still a wonderful option for many. 

Finding a contractor on your own can be an involved, long process. Don’t have the time or worried about selecting the wrong one? Let GreatBuildz do all of the hard work for you. Just reach out to us to be matched with one of our trusted, pre-vetted contractors in the Los Angeles and Southern California area. Contact GreatBuildz today at (818.317.3567) or visit our website for more information.

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.
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