There are many things that could be debated between the advantages of one form of siding over the other. But, when you match vinyl siding against wood siding, there will always be a clear winner- wood.

That answer may come as a surprise to you. Wood is known for requiring more maintenance, painting, and a need for sealing to protect it from damage. But What most people don’t know is that, with maintenance wood siding can last the lifetime of the home. Vinyl siding, while notoriously claimed as low-maintenance, can hardly match up against the beauty of real wood. There are other benefits to using real wood siding that homeowners don’t often consider, but really should.

Beauty of Natural Wood

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Wood siding not only adds more character and options for customization to your home exterior, but it allows your home to show real depth and shadowing played by the crafted wood siding. It is a rarity that you ever drive past a home with vinyl siding and think much of it. It’s a basic, plain house, and if the vinyl has been cracked or worn over time the house may look downright cheap. It then becomes just a functioning home, no character present.

Your home is an opportunity to express your own character and style, and there aren’t too many people who would claim they are as plain as vinyl.

Installation & Potential Hazards

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When installing vinyl, more often than not the siding is installed right over the former wood exterior. This is because it is not only easier and more cost-effective, it will also provide more insulation. The problem with this is that it changes the entire look of your home, including your windows. Windows will becomes recessed and the original frame with be removed, including the sill, which is used to direct water away from the foundation of your home as well as create visual appeal.

Vinyl siding will also hold in heat in the event of a fire, making your house hotter, creating more damage. The acidic smoke from the vinyl is enough to kill someone quicker and easier than smoke inhalation ever will.  The fumes and toxins released by burning vinyl are also a major hazard for everyone, not just the homeowners.

Benefits of Installing Wood Siding

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(above: home with colored shingles)

Wood siding is not only an affordable solution to adding character to your home and reducing heating and cooling costs, it is also an easy to install option, and can also be replaced a lot easier than other types of siding (especially if using shingles).

Wood siding is also a green option, with no toxins and is bio-degradable. There are many different types of wood siding options for you to choose from as well, leading to more character and creativity. Here are a few of your options:

  • Wood Lap Siding- 
    • has more mass, and is therefore more resistant to windy weather and storms.
    • fewer areas where water can seep in and cause damage.
  • Clapboards-
    • long boards installed horizontally so they overlap (usually using cedar or redwood because they are more resistant to decay)
    • Best for homes with slanted a slanted roof, this siding will help with the runoff of water
  • Shakes & Shingles-
    • Shakes are still manufactured by hand and generally vary in sizes, leading to more character for your home.
    • Shingles are machine manufactured, leading to more uniformity.
    • Because of home shingles are cut they will sometimes get a cross grain, while shakes will go with the grain.

While there are many other types of siding to choose from, these are simply the most common. As time goes on and there becomes more customization in home building and restoration we will see more changes for the exteriors of homes. My bet is, that when it comes to beauty, wood will stand the test of time.