Engineered wood—it almost sounds nonsensical! To ‘engineer’ something is to make it better via human innovation, and wood is something completely natural. However, the two concepts can coexist very well together, and they do just that in engineered wood siding. It brings the best of both the natural world and the innovative one together in one harmonious package, creating a siding type that’s both gorgeous and strong.
Thinking about adding such a siding to your home? Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors, a Sauk Rapids siding company and installer of engineered LP Siding, is here to help. Below, you’ll find a primer on this siding type—what it’s made of, how it performs and the sorts of styles available.
What Goes Into Engineered Wood Siding?
Well, that depends! Engineered wood siding describes siding with a variety of compositions. As long as it has wood combined with something else, it can take the name. This means that, to truly get the most out of an engineered siding installation, you’ll need to research your brands. Every company has a specific ‘recipe,’ so to speak, that they use, and some—like LP Siding—stand out above the rest.
LP Siding is, according to the brand’s official website, made up of a blend of
- Wood, of course
- Zinc Borate, to keep the siding strong against fungus and pests
- Resins, for strength and weather resistance
- Wax, for moisture resistance
As you can see, LP Siding has thought out every aspect of their siding, using man-made materials to compensate for the shortcomings of real wood while still keeping nature’s undeniable beauty.
Why not Real Wood?
If you’re paying to have wood siding, why not go all out and go for the real thing? Why use shreds of the stuff instead?
Quite a few reasons—in sum, that one-hundred percent wood siding has inherent shortcomings that engineered wood siding has been made to overcome. For example, wood siding is vulnerable to rot and pest infestations, as any natural thing is. No matter how well the wood siding is preserved, no amount of care can overcome something so inherent. Engineered wood siding, on the other hand, has decreased the amount of wood to make room for more protective materials, thus making it a viable siding solution.
In addition, wood siding isn’t the most eco-friendly thing around. Though it’s natural and thus, to some degree, biodegradable, it takes a lot of trees to cover the exterior of a house. By using less wood, you’ll thus lessen your impact on the environment with engineered wood siding—and since LP Siding takes its environmental commitment seriously, you’ll feel good about reducing your carbon footprint.
Finally, wood siding is vulnerable to Minnesota’s chaotic freeze-thaw cycles. Because it’s difficult to maintain its waterproofing, moisture can quickly seep into any cracks in real wood siding. In the winter, this water freezes, widening these cracks and putting strain on the siding—and when it melts, it seeps into the wood itself, setting the stage for mold infestations. LP Siding, on the other hand, is made specifically to resist this damaging moisture. It’s a sturdy siding that can stand up to our wild statewide weather.
What Are the Benefits of Engineered Wood Siding?
Aside from all the advantages engineered wood siding has over real wood, it also has benefits unrelated to its physical superiority to wood.
For instance, it tends to be relatively affordable compared to one-hundred-percent wood siding. Face it: lumber is expensive, and it’s especially expensive right now, given what the pandemic has done to supply chains. The Family Handyman cites not only increased tariffs but also unpredicted environmental issues as causes for 2022 America’s sky-high lumber prices. If you’re looking to renovate right now, these high wood prices are out of your control—making engineered wood siding, which uses less of the stuff, a much more viable option financially.
Ease of Installation
Engineered wood siding is also easy for a professional to install, meaning that you could save money and time on labor costs. We certainly don’t recommend doing it yourself, as siding is a critical factor in protecting your home and therefore its financial stability. But because engineered wood siding is relatively lightweight, installing it can be accomplished much quicker and easier than with certain other siding types.
A Variety of Stylistic Choices
Finally, this type of siding is aesthetically versatile. Available in a variety of textures and colors, the specifics of which we’ll touch on below, it can be made to look like a variety of more expensive and more maintenance-heavy siding types while still holding onto its strength. With engineered wood, you can get the look you love plus the durability your home deserves. What’s not to love?
What Styles of Engineered Wood are Available?
LP Siding is available in a variety of textures, many of which mimic the look of logs or other wooden materials. Shape-wise, it’s purchasable in laps, vertical panels, and shakes.
Laps and Vertical Panels
Laps are what you’d think of as “traditional” siding; they’re parallel to the ground and installed in long planks. Stylistically, they’re a fit for a variety of homes, as it’s hard to argue with something seen as traditional. For the wilder design, standout colors can add a little spice without going overboard. To apply an even more modern twist, consider vertical panels, which run perpendicular to the ground!
Shakes are made to look like elegantly shaped pieces of wood, and they add a lovely texture to anything they cover. They’re less “traditional” and more “old-school;” they harken back to decades wherein elegance and class were prized. If you want to show off a bit to the neighbors (who wouldn’t!) and have a siding that accentuates your household’s fine taste, shake-style is the way to go.
What Sort of Maintenance Does Engineered Wood Siding Require?
All in all, not much. Unlike wood siding, engineered wood is inherently tough against the elements, so there’s no need for pesky and pricy refinishing.
LP actually details their recommendations for engineered wood siding maintenance on their website. It involves such basic tasks as minding where your sprinklers are going, trimming back your trees, and twice-yearly home inspections to make sure everything is working as it should. How’s that for low-fuss siding?
Is Engineered Wood Siding Right for me?
Because it’s relatively eco-friendly, stylistically versatile, and long-lasting, LP siding is a great choice for a variety of homeowners. You really can’t go wrong with it!
Top it off with the fact that, compared to many siding types, it’s budget friendly, and this catch just got even better. So long as you have a competent siding contractor install it, your engineered wood siding will keep everyone in your home warm and safe for years to come.
It’s also a great siding type for homeowners looking to sell, as we cover in our blog on the subject.
Contact Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors Today for Siding Installations Like No Other
Looking for engineered wood siding installation? Go with a Minnesotan company that’s both skilled and always has your best interests at heart: Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors. Give our Sauk Rapids office a call today at 320-252-9086.