Engineered Wood Siding
Natural wood siding can provide a unique look and feel to your home, but it is often expensive and difficult to maintain. Vinyl and aluminum siding is a less costly and more durable option, but it often fails to give your home the same natural appearance. Choosing engineered wood and fiber cement can give you the best of both worlds. It provides the appearance of authentic hardboard without having to deal with the expense or maintenance of using natural wood.
Engineered wood is designed to be resistant to deterioration, easy to install, and affordable. There are a variety of engineered wood siding products, such as Smartside, Catawba, or TruWood, all of which offer the aesthetic appeal of real wood with the advantages of a technologically enhanced product.
Durability of Engineered Wood Siding
The Smartside line of engineered siding and trim, developed by LP, is composed of strands of wood that are coated with a resin binder and compressed to create boards possessing superior strength. To attain the authentic appearance of natural wood, the boards are coated with a moisture-resistant overlay that is embossed with a cedar-grain pattern.
Additionally, to protect the piece from termites and rot, the siding is treated with LP's Smartguard zinc-borate treatment system. According to Ben Skoog, Brand Manager for LP's Smartside, "The process of treating each wood wafer with zinc-borate, using a heavy exterior glue, and pressing the product under heat and pressure, results in one solid piece of wood."
LP's Smartside and Collins Products' Truwood are backed by a 30-year transferable warranty on their engineered sidings. LP's Smartside also offers a warranty for 100 percent of the labor and replacement costs for seven years. Skoog adds, "If something were to happen to the siding from years zero to seven, we would cover the cost of the siding materials, and the removal and reinstallation of new siding."
Installation of Engineered Wood Siding
Engineered wood siding comes is a large variety of finished products. It can be pre-primed, ready to paint, or pre-finished in any number of finish options. Engineered wood is also lighter in weight than natural wood, and it offers technological advances that make installation easier. LP's Smartlock self-aligning edge design provides the user an easier alternative to dealing with natural wood pieces. These advantages allow the homeowner to save field and labor time while installing their new siding.
Engineered Wood Siding: Affordability
Purchase price, installation costs, and maintenance define affordable building products. Engineered wood siding is a product that can be ordered pre-primed, comes in universal 16-foot segments, and costs about half the price of real wood. Fiber cement is virtually maintenance free, holds paint three times longer, is easier to clean, and also about half the cost of natural wood siding. Homeowners can be assured that there will be little additional money going to the maintenance of their siding with the strong durability warranties offered for these products.
Engineered wood and fiber cement have little negative impact on our forests, through the smart use of wood. They prevent widespread clearing of trees for use in building products. The Forest Stewardship Council is an organization that recognizes wood products that are taken from forests in a managed and socially responsible manner. They have certified Collins Products' TruWood to be an environmentally friendly product.
Drawbacks to Engineered Wood Siding
While engineered wood siding provides many advantages over natural wood, there a few flaws, with moisture remaining a common enemy. Problems stemming from product imperfections and installation errors caused the wood siding industry to suffer a number of class-action lawsuits in the past. According to Ben Skoog, "Our earlier attempt at engineered wood siding, called Inner-Seal, was not made or treated the way Smartside is, and the result was products failure."
LP Smartside siding has been installed on more than 1.5 million homes since they revamped their product seven years ago.
Engineered wood or fiber cement siding offers homeowners the ability to have the appearance of natural wood, without having to deal with its expense, maintenance, or issues of durability. It is easy to install and not harmful to the environment. Although there have been some issues with the product in the past, it would seem through new advances in technology and extensive warranties, that engineered wood and fiber cement can provide a great alternative for your home's exterior.