In the vinyl siding vs wood debate, there are various factors to consider. Homeowners should think about things like lifespan, architectural style, maintenance costs and sustainability.
Vinyl siding has come a long way since it first appeared after WWII. Products from decades ago sometimes cracked or warped. Finishes did not always last. When homeowners looked at vinyl siding vs. wood, they often chose the latter.
Today, you can invest in durable vinyl siding with special finishes that last decades. Look for lifetime warranties that provide added peace-of-mind.
Many homeowners side with vinyl in the vinyl siding vs wood debate. One reason is cost. Vinyl siding remains one of the ways to protect the exterior walls of your northern NJ home at a lower cost. Compared to wood, it is quick and simple to install vinyl siding.
Vinyl siding is impact-resistant. It can cope with the temperature extremes so common in New Jersey. Unlike wood siding, it is completely immune to water damage. It is also insect-resistant. By comparison, termites, ants, beetles and even wasps find the “taste” of wood irresistible. On the other hand, well-maintained cedar and redwood also resist moisture and insects.
Manufacturers like CertainTeed and Alside offer textured siding that mimics natural wood, split cedar and other materials. Smooth vinyl siding also remains popular.
Vinyl siding is crafted from a synthetic product called polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It is helpful to know that recycled material is increasingly used in the fabrication of new vinyl siding. So much so that the U.S Green Building Council recognizes some vinyl siding among its sustainable products. Sometimes it’s possible to install new siding over the existing vinyl siding. This reduces the energy consumption associated with the hauling and disposal of the old siding.
Many Tri-state homeowners still prefer the look and feel of wood siding. This is particularly true when it comes to re-siding classic or historic homes. After all, wood cladding is often what other siding styles try to look like.
The installation of new wood siding is only a good idea if the homeowner commits to maintenance. Timely re-painting, re-staining or re-sealing helps wood siding resist rotting, warping and cracking. Loose or wind-damaged boards must be repaired or replaced without delay. Deteriorating siding is more than unsightly. It can also allow unwanted moisture into the walls.
One advantage of wood siding is that it is easy to work with. Craftsmen can customize and stylize wood siding and trim. They can work around the architectural detail of historic homes with ease.
As with all types of siding, you should consider the total cost over its expected lifespan. Factor in the cost of any re-painting, resealing and/or re-staining. Consider the need for repairs as the years go on.
If the architectural style of your home points to wood siding, seriously think about it. Or, look at premium composite or polymer siding that delivers a similar look.
Shakes & Shingles
Shakes and shingles work well with various architectural styles. In New Jersey, you’ll find many Cape Cod and Victorian homes clad in shakes and shingles. The three-dimensional, handcrafted look is very attractive.
When most people first think of shingle siding, they think of beveled cedar. Keep in mind that today’s manufacturers also fabricate shakes and shingles from other materials. There are vinyl, polymer and fiber cement shakes and shingles. Top manufacturers offer three popular cuts. They are straight-edge, staggered edge and scalloped (half-rounds).
James Hardie offers durable fiber cement shingles. CertainTeed’s Cedar Impressions polymer shakes mimic the look of cedar. Their TrueTexture process transfers the grain of actual cedar boards to the shakes. Alside offers Pelican Bay One shingles in a hand-split look, among others.
Natural cedar requires periodic re-staining and/or re-sealing. Polymer, vinyl and fiber cement shakes and shingles need very little maintenance. Some of these synthetic products come with a lifetime, transferable warranty. This type of warranty provides real peace-of-mind, and it comes in handy should you ever decide to sell.
Cedar siding comes in a variety of styles. Beveled boards and beaded panels are examples. Natural cedar is more costly than vinyl and other common siding types. However, with proper maintenance, it will last a very long time. Natural oils in the wood resist insects and wood rot. Still, those that skimp on maintenance may shorten the lifespan of cedar siding. When cedar is not re-sealed or re-stained from time to time, it can dry out. This can lead to cracking, splintering and even rotting. Moisture that gets behind damaged siding also accelerates deterioration.
Natural cedar is one of the more environmentally-friendly siding materials. Although cedar trees do not grow as fast as pine trees, cedar does remain a renewable resource.
Cedar is a very workable building material valued by architects, builders and craftsmen alike. It is also impact-resistant. Many individuals appreciate the natural scent of cedar.
Do you plan to sell your home one day? If so, what kind of siding do you think prospective buyers will value most of all? One day, the right siding selection could add thousands of dollars to a purchase offer.
CRS is a full-service home improvement contractor. We offer siding installation, maintenance and repair services. We work with leading siding manufacturers like CertainTeed, James Hardie and Alside. Our design specialists can help you as you consider vinyl siding vs wood vs other options.
We’ve been serving northern NJ homeowners for more than 40 years. We also offer roofing services, window replacements, attic insulation upgrades, power washing and more. Please contact us today to arrange for a visit from a specialist who can help you work through the vinyl siding vs wood debate and more. Our estimates are always free.