Composite Wood v. Engineered Wood: How Siding Differs

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If you’re thinking about having new siding put on your Carolina home soon, you’ve probably been researching all of the options that are currently on the market. Even if it’s only been a decade or so since you last had residential siding installed, the odds are good that there are many new products you haven’t seen before. The home siding industry is constantly evolving, which means that there are always exciting new materials available to homeowners. 

Here, you’ll learn about two materials that are only growing in popularity: composite wood siding boards and engineered wood siding boards. At first glance, these two terms seem almost identical and you might not realize that there are actually numerous differences between the two options. As you read this guide, you’ll learn more about how these materials differ from one another and, hopefully, come away with an understanding of which is the best choice for you. 

What are composite and engineered wood made from?

Composite wood siding is manufactured using some type of base, such as fibrous wood (cellulose) or cement, mixed with other materials that typically serve as bonding agents. It is important to understand that all engineered wood siding falls under the umbrella of composite wood siding, but not all composite wood siding is engineered wood. This is much like the concept that all rectangles are squares, but not all squares are rectangles that you learned in elementary school. 

Engineered wood siding always has wood strands as its base. The size of the strands matters significantly in regard to functionality. Wood strands that are too small can make the siding weak, meaning it won’t stand-up to strong Carolina storms, especially hurricanes on the coast. If the strands are too large, on the other hand, the density could vary throughout a single siding board, allowing for water to seep behind it or vermin to gain access. 

What are the benefits of engineered wood?

While all forms of composite wood siding have certain benefits, such as very little maintenance, over authentic wood, engineered wood siding typically has additional perks. Brands often treat their engineered wood boards to ensure they are resistant to pests, fungal growth, and various molds. They are also often strong enough to withstand very high wind speeds, which is especially important for those on the coasts of North Carolina and South Carolina.

How much will my siding cost? 

All types of composite wood siding tend to cost more than both authentic wood and vinyl siding boards. The brand, however, plays a big role in the final price of any composite or engineered wood cladding. If you choose a major name brand that offers patented perks, you are going to pay more than if you select a product made by an off-brand, such as those manufactured for and sold by a specific retailer. 

If you are intending to have new siding installed on your home soon, contact the team at Hatch Homes to learn more about all of the materials we work with. From composite wood siding to fiber cement panels, we can give your Carolina home the look you’ve always dreamed of, but never thought you could afford. Contact our office today to schedule your free quote. 

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