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.


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