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Hardwood Siding

Exterior siding is the
outermost protective material of a house and as such, siding protects
the house against the elements and adds aesthetic value to the
structure. If properly selected and maintained, it also provides both
durability and longevity to the home.

While it isn’t as
common in recent years, wood siding was used on houses for hundreds
of years. While siding used to be made of raw hardwood such as yellow
poplar, red oak, hickory, beech, sycamore and soft maple, when
compared with other products, especially treated ones, hardwood was
harder to season and was difficult to nail into compared to
softwoods. Common softwoods that lend well to being used as siding
include cedar and redwood.

When tested by the U.S.
Forestry Service in 1967 in a special study of nine hardwoods, yellow
poplar siding cut into tongue in groove (versus board and batten)
boards performed better than any other traditional hardwood siding.
Ipé Brazilian
hardwood siding is an exotic imported wood that has proven be more
durable than most hardwoods.

Nowadays, wood siding
is commonly “specially engineered” to improve it in many
ways, including making it more durable over longer periods of time.
In fact, hardwood siding is primarily made from wood chips, cooked
with pressurized steam and refined into fibers. Resins are added to
bind the fibers and make the product stronger and wax is added to
make the product water repellent. Engineered siding is an improvement
on traditional siding as it allows us to make the most of our natural
resources.

If
you still want the best exterior natural wood siding, look for wood
that contains natural preservatives and has vertical grain. A
contractor who specializes in installing natural hardwood siding will
probably prime new hardboard siding be primed with one coat of a top
quality alkyd primer and two coats of a top quality finish paint.

While many are drawn to wood siding for its warm appearance and old-world charm, hardwood isn’t nearly as common today as other siding options. That’s not to say you can’t use it on your own home, but you must make sure that it’s installed and sealed correctly for long-lasting durability. Here’s what you need to know.

Costs

Because hardwood siding rates vary from one type of wood to the next, the only way to estimate your costs is to get a price quote from a certified installer. They can help you find the toughest hardwood siding your budget will allow.

Cons

Hardwood is more difficult to nail than softwoods.

It must be sealed with special sealants, and won’t stand up to the elements as well as other materials, like fiber cement siding.

Durability

Specially engineered hardwood available today is far more durable than the materials of the past. It is now made from wood chips, cooked with pressurized steam and refined into fibers. Resins are then added to bind the fibers and make the product stronger, while wax makes it water-repellent. If properly sealed, this type of hardwood siding can last for years.

Maintenance

Ask your contractor to recommend the best sealants for your type of hardwood siding, as well as the proper way to care for your siding after installation.

History

While it isn’t as common today, hardwood was a popular siding choice for hundreds of years. It used to be made of raw hardwood, such as yellow poplar, red oak, hickory beech, sycamore, and soft maple. A study conducted by the U.S. Forestry Service in 1967 discovered that yellow poplar siding cut into tongue and groove boards (versus board and batten) performed better than any other traditional hardwood siding.

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