Why Engineered Wood Siding Outshines its Predecessor

Aug 04, 2022

There are a number of siding options available, and one that continues to gain popularity is engineered wood siding, which features several improvements when compared to the original – natural wood. Wendy Cline, J&B Construction owner, explains how the successor is superior to the original.


An interesting aspect of engineered wood siding is aside from sporting a natural woodgrain appearance, it shares little else with its predecessor. “For instance, engineered wood siding is comprised of wood fibers, metals, and polymers, while natural wood siding is commonly made from redwood, cedar, cypress, or pine,” Wendy said. “The unique composition of engineered wood allows it to exceed traditional wood siding in terms of strength and durability.”

Also, water-resistant waxes along with zinc borate are applied directly to engineered wood siding to further protect it against decay, even when exposed to high levels of humidity, according to  LP® SmartSide®. When it comes to natural wood, it can be painted or stained, but its longevity is primarily based on the consistency and quality of maintenance performed on the product throughout its lifetime.


As mentioned, zinc borate is applied to engineered wood siding during the construction process to protect it from the elements, but it also works well to prevent pest damage, specifically what can be caused by termites. “Natural wood siding is particularly prone to damage from pests, especially termites, squirrels, rats, and mice,” said Wendy. “Since natural wood siding has fewer layers of protection compared to engineered wood siding, pests have a better chance of gaining access to your home via any gaps, cracks, or holes that may be present in the natural wood.”

In some instances, pests can even make their own points of entry, depending on the condition of the natural wood siding. Even though pests may seem like a nuisance initially, they can cause serious structural damage to your home over time. “If you ever see any evidence of pests present in or around your home’s siding, it’s important they are removed by a professional as quickly and efficiently as possible, and your siding is properly repaired,” she said.


A high maintenance product, natural wood siding requires regular application of fresh coats of paint or stain in order to maintain its integrity. “It’s recommended to restain wood siding once every two years or repaint it once every four years or so,” said Wendy. “Otherwise, natural wood is prone to moisture problems that can lead to distortion and dry rot. It should also be cleaned annually to avoid mold and mildew growth.”

Conversely, engineered wood siding requires a minimal amount of maintenance. It usually comes pre-coated with a paint primer or is pre-finished for immediate installation. “Other than cleaning your siding from dirt and mildew on occasion and ensuring all trees and plants are properly trimmed back from the home’s perimeter, you’ll simply need to inspect your home’s siding a couple times annually to ensure everything looks in order,” she said.


Natural wood siding fluctuates in price based on the type of wood chosen and the home size. It is typically more expensive to purchase and install natural wood siding than engineered wood siding. “The primary reason is the cost associated with the advanced level of care and upkeep needed to maintain natural wood siding,” Wendy said. “Engineered wood siding requires considerably less maintenance, is more economical to install, and is undoubtedly the more affordable option.”

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 The only complaint I have is when I have J&B do my roof in another 30 years or so, is Dave their sales man (a great guy) would not guaranty I could get the same great crew I had this time. They did a fantastic job. Much better than the last roofing company did. A nice bunch of guys. Did a very nice job cleaning up. I'd give them 10 stars but 5 is the limit. If you need a roof done this is the company you want to do it. One more point I need to make. The guys that did the chimney flashing are artists. I went up on the roof when they were done and was very pleased with not only the roofing job but the sculptured sheet metal work. It's kind of a shame it's on the roof and not hanging on the family room wall :). You get the point. Hire em. You'll like em. 
 We live in a historic designated neighborhood and recently had our 30 year wood shingle roof replaced with another wood roof and new gutters. From Day 1 of the project to the final day, the entire team was responsive, professional, and very competent. When some minor changes were proposed by us they quickly and effortlessly complied. After going through this experience with J&B, I would highly recommend them to anyone considering a roof and gutter replacement, whether it be a simple or complicated project. 
 J & B did an amazing job from start to finish. The initial meeting at my home took place exactly at the time that was agreed upon and Scott was thorough in his explanations and transparent about costs. When the time came to begin the project, the team that showed up was friendly, professional and timely in getting the project done. The cleanup afterward was such that it looked like they hadn't been there at all. The roof looks great, there were no surprises and Scott came by to inspect the work and explain the warranty upon job completion. I would highly recommend them. 
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