Should You Use Engineered Wood for Your Northern Virginia Siding Project?

Filed Under: Siding    by: Steve Kayhill
TruWood siding

TruWood siding

Replacing your Northern Virginia siding can be an expensive project. Many homeowners tackling this home improvement are looking for affordable options that deliver the same level of durability and visual appeal of traditional siding products. Engineered wood siding offers homeowners a familiar look and relatively good quality, but most people are initially attracted to the lower price.
Compared to traditional solid wood siding, engineered wood is more affordable. You’ll find many of the same patterns and styles across a wide range of manufacturers, including TruWood and SmartSide. But how does this man-made product stack up against the natural strength and durability found in traditional wood siding? Would you be better to make the switch to vinyl siding and enjoy a maintenance-free solution?

How Is Engineered Wood Siding Made?

Manufacturers combine wood by-products, such as sawdust, chips and flakes, with adhesive to make textured sheets of engineered wood siding in various styles. Both vertical and horizontal designs are available, and the appearance mimics wood species traditionally used for siding including cedar, pine and redwood.

Engineered wood siding goes up quickly, reducing the labor costs of your Northern Virginia siding project. It may or may not offer the same level of insulation that traditional wood does, but engineered wood can be easily installed over various insulation products.

Maintenance Specifications

Just like traditional wood, engineered wood siding will require a coat of paint or stain every five to ten years. It’s difficult to sand down and refinish, so be sure to choose a finish color and stick with that. Some brands come pre-finished from the factory, but that finish will fade and wear away with time. Repainting helps to extends the life of this product, as well as keeping the appearance fresh and clean.

The biggest issue with engineered wood siding is moisture. Because this product contains wood by-products that tend to absorb moisture, as well as adhesives that may breakdown in moisture, you may run into difficulty with excessive exposure. Paints and stains repel rain, snow and sleet, but if engineered wood siding is left in standing water it will deteriorate and create serious problems.

Proper installation remains the most important factor when choosing this type of siding. Ask your siding contractor whether they have dealt with engineered products before, and be sure their installation procedures follow the manufacturer’s direction. Hire a company that offers a solid warranty on the installation, as well as good warranty coverage on the product.

Engineered wood siding provides value for the money. Costs are similar to fiber cement board siding and vinyl siding products, but engineered wood offers a more rustic, traditional appeal. If you are longing for that look but cannot afford to invest in traditional wood, a high quality engineered siding product may be right for you. Be aware of the maintenance required and hire an experienced installer.

For a more solid product with a longer lifespan and less chance of damage, opt for solid wood siding or consider installing vinyl Northern Virginia siding. In any case, do your homework before making a final decision and you’re bound to be happier with the final product.

Protecting Your Virginia Siding From Damage

Filed Under: Siding    by: Steve Kayhill

damaged-virginia-sidingVinyl siding is designed to last for years, providing an attractive and durable exterior finish for your home. But certain conditions and circumstances can easily damage your Virginia siding. From melted panels to discoloration and problems with nearby vegetation, many of these situations can be avoided.

How To Avoid Melting Your Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding can hold up to extreme climate conditions, including hot summer days and frozen winter nights. But it is a combustible material. When direct flames or extreme concentrated sunlight is applied to the material, damage will occur.

Keep your BBQ grill and backyard fireplace away from the siding in order to reduce the risk of heat damage. Check the owner’s manual for recommended clearances and use non-combustible materials as a barrier. Remember that the fascia and soffits above your BBQ or fireplace are also made from vinyl and can be subject to warping and damage when exposed to heat.

Direct sunlight is rarely a problem with vinyl siding, unless the rays are concentrated due to reflection. Use shade trees and screens to break up concentrated rays before they hit your siding. Many energy efficient windows are designed to reflect light away from your home, but those same reflections may cause a problem on the neighbor’s vinyl siding. Screens, awnings or leafy branches can be strategically placed to break up the rays and avoid any siding damage.

How to Avoid Discoloration on Your Virginia Siding

Most quality vinyl siding products are manufactured to resist discoloration. You may notice some fading on the surface , but the color penetrates right through the siding materials offering an even finish. Dents and scratches will be less noticeable.

But discoloration can still be a problem if the vinyl is exposed to chemicals and other substances. Some insecticides and herbicides contain harsh chemicals that will stain the surface of your siding. Take care to protect areas around your garden, especially when using a sprayer or applying products on a windy day.

Remember to cover your siding when staining and painting exterior features of your home. Stain can easily splash onto the siding when you’re coating a deck or railing. Removing excessive stain or paint right away could help to avoid discoloration, but hanging up a thin plastic covering will work well to protect the entire area from overspray and splashing.

How To Avoid Damage From Vegetation

Many different plants pose a threat to your siding if left to grow unchecked. Vines, bushes and trees present the greatest danger. Branches, stems and vines can grow around, under and even through siding panels given the right conditions. If a particularly strong species of plant grows into your siding and establishes itself, further growth could warp the panels resulting in gaps.

The best solution is to keep vegetation off of your vinyl siding. Trim any vines and branches that make their way onto the wall, or keep a close watch on the plant if you don’t want to cut it down entirely. Many climbing vines stick to siding and cause discoloration. Cutting these away is your only option.

Your Virginia siding is designed for durability. With the proper protection and professional installation, vinyl siding provides a virtually maintenance free exterior finish. Use common sense and a keen eye to keep your vinyl siding looking its best for years to come.

Essential Accessories For Your Northern Virginia Siding

Filed Under: Siding    by: Steve Kayhill

northern_virginia_siding_accessoriesThe exterior of your home needs to be finished for protection and architectural appeal. Choose from a variety of Northern Virginia siding styles to achieve an attractive and durable look. But siding accessories also help to bring that look together, finishing awkward corners, covering gaps and creating a seamless appearance. Bringing these exterior finish elements together can be challenging, but enhanced siding accessories will transform your house from an ordinary building to an extraordinary home.

Keyed Corners

Instead of simply installing outside corner trim, look for keyed corner trim. This product has more depth and detail, providing a better profile on the corners of your siding. This product comes in a variety of widths and profiles, designed to compliment any style of home.

Some homeowners opt for corner trim in a matching color, while others choose a complimentary or contrasting tone. It depends entirely on how you would like the finished look to appear, as well as the total number of corners on the building and their location. Contrasting colors can seem busy if your home has a lot of angles, while matching trim can look washed out on a fairly flat or square home.

Dentil Trim and Crown Molding

Adding trim to the underside of overhangs and eaves provides interesting detail and form on the exterior of your home. Just as crown molding will enhance the interior of the house, dentil trim and crown moldings can be installed over your Northern Virginia siding to create a beautifully detailed and upscale look.

Accent certain areas of the house, like the front porch, or trim around gables and across straight rooflines to achieve the same details over the entire building. Dentil trim offers smaller, rectangular blocks in an offset pattern, while crown molding has a swooping look that provides greater depth at the roofline.

Shutters and Window Corner Blocks

Dress up the windows with siding accessories in contrasting colors. Shutters provide a dashing look, but may also offer protection and shade for the windows if they are operational. Many homeowners opt for the standard decorative models that simply provide a wider vision of your windows.

Give the corners of your window trim a dash of style using window corner blocks. Available in wood and vinyl, these square pieces often have a decorative shape formed into the middle. Set into each corner of the window trim, those shapes add an interesting twist to the flat, boring trim typically seen on most homes.

Mounting Blocks

Do you want to make your exterior lights, hose reels and house numbers stand out in a decorative way? Take a look at how mounting blocks can completely change these utilitarian additions into works of art. A vinyl mounting block can be added over vinyl siding, fiber cement siding or stucco, providing a flat area for the fixture to sit on and a molded trim to cover the hole underneath. These components add depth and can be chosen to match exterior moldings and trim to provide a symmetrical look on your house.

No matter what type of Northern Virginia siding you are having installed, siding accessories like keyed corners, dentil trim, window corner blocks and mounting blocks can will dress up the finished look. Add style to your home the easy way with high quality siding accessories from your preferred manufacturer.

Low Maintenance Replicas Are Ideal For Virginia Siding Replacements

Filed Under: Siding, Uncategorized    by: Steve Kayhill

virginia-siding-shakesVinyl siding is a popular choice for homeowners across the United States. Offering a low maintenance solution for your home’s exterior, vinyl  is also available in a variety of styles designed to mimic traditional and maintenance-intensive types of Virginia siding. Have you considered these attractive and affordable alternatives to your preferred look?

Shakes and Shiplap

Wood siding adds charm to your home, but it will also add a fair amount of work to your schedule. Wood needs to be painted or stained in order to slow down the aging process. It also needs to be protected from pests and will rot quickly when moisture is consistently present.

There are various styles of vinyl siding that have been formed to look like wood – from replica cedar shakes to shiplap vinyl siding, these products offer all of the charm without any of the maintenance. You can even get these siding styles in natural wood colors, including golden cedar tones and traditional painted wood finishes like nautical blue or whitewashed pine.

Manufacturers also offer vertical vinyl siding that looks similar to tongue and groove cedar, a style often seen on sheds or pool cabanas. This gives your home a distinct look and comes in a wide range of colors and profiles.

Log Cabin Look

Besides the flat wood siding styles that are available, you will also find vinyl siding shaped to mimic log cabins. Rounded and textured to look similar to the rough hewn cedar logs used on rustic cabins, this style of vinyl siding is much less expensive than its counterpart and can be used for the whole home or as an accent.

Many people wonder whether vinyl can ever come close to the look and feel of genuine log cabins. Stop by your nearest building supply store or go online to browse through samples and pictures of this product. You may be pleasantly surprised at the realism this type of vinyl Virginia siding presents.

Stone and Brick Work

Are you looking for a stone accent on the facade of your home? Maybe you’ve always dreamed of a stone finish, but the design of your home cannot accommodate the weight and construction of that material. Check out the vinyl siding products that provide the look of stone or brick without the added weight and depth requirements. Less expensive and easier to install than even stone veneer is, formed vinyl siding is available in a variety of shapes.

Look for profiles made to resemble bricks, sandstone and a selection of other natural stones in varying shades. Often made from a polymer compound, these panels may be heavier than the standard vinyl siding pieces, but they are installed in a similar fashion and provide the same level of durability.

If you are considering what type of siding to install on your new home or home addition, take a close look at the many benefits vinyl offers. But you don’t need to settle for the standard appearance. Vinyl siding is available in profiles that mimic cedar shakes, wood shiplap siding, log cabins and even stone and brick. The possibilities for your Virginia siding project are wider than you may have thought.