Don't Settle for Ordinary: Premium House Siding Options

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If you are considering vinyl, fiber cement, or engineered wood siding, this article isn't for you. If you want to make the smart investment in long lasting siding, here’s how to make an extraordinary choice.


Burlington VT Trespa Pura siding Aged Ash wood decor

Pura NFC by Siding by in Aged Ash Wood Décor


New siding is a home improvement that creates big impact. But the important cost question to ask before you start is,

“How long will my siding stay both beautiful and durable?”


Your siding choice will affect how long it has curb appeal and how much time and money it takes to maintain. Don’t settle. It’s worth your time to compare and see if you can get more quality for your money.


What to look for in exterior siding

The three main jobs your siding of choice should perform extremely well are:

  • Protect your home from weather, wind, and other environmental threats like insects and mold.
  • Create awesome curb appeal and make you happy with the look of your home.
  • Have a low lifecycle cost and high return on investment.

Lifecycle cost determines how much value and return on investment you will get out of the siding over its lifetime. This starts with your upfront cost and includes the cost of maintenance and repairs over its lifetime, all the way to how soon it needs replacement and the cost to recycle or dispose of it when removed.

Lifecyle cost varies greatly and will depend on the quality and materials used to make the siding. So how do you compare the ordinary versus the extraordinary?


Ipe hardwood rain screen system on modern barn widescreen

Ipe hardwood rainscreen siding installed vertically on a barn-inspired home

What is “Premium” Siding?

Natural or manmade siding that does the job better then most ordinary siding options on the market. Premium siding will have a strong core, high bending strength, and high durability to resist every day wear and tear, damage, and decay. Premium house siding options will be a higher upfront cost for materials, but is balanced with a lower lifetime cost and high return on investment.

When choosing a premium siding, you should expect high resistance to:
  • Bending and resistance to high winds
  • Cupping or warping (especially from UV exposure and heat)
  • Cracking and splitting (especially in cold weather)
  • Insect Damage
  • Rot and mold from moisture damage
  • Keep its cosmetic good looks for decades

For more details and project photos using premium sidings, check out these downloads.

Download the PDFs here.

Premium Wood Residential Siding Projects:

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Pura NFC by Trespa Residential Siding Projects:

Download now:  The Pura NFC Siding Residential Portfolio

Here's an overview of the best siding materials to consider:

Pura NFC Siding by Trepsa

High upfront cost, premium high quality. Lifecycle costs are very low, return on investment is high.

Pura NFC makes their HPL Laminate siding with a natural-fiber core encased in a surface that has been sealed with their patented electron beam curing (EBC) process. EBC creates a closed cell surface that locks out dirt that can dull your exterior. They test their siding materials extensively to guarantee colorfastness, no loss of finish, and resistance to damage.


Readily available; has a wide range of prefinished realistic wood tones and colors; does not require painting, staining, finishing, or refinishing; very high durability; very high resistance to fading, insect damage, storm debris, high winds; and other damage. High resistance to insects, decay, mold, and rot. When installed as a Rainscreen siding individual boards can be replaced without disturbing the whole wall.


Premium priced, high upfront cost (but makes up for it in low maintenance cost and decades of good looks!)

Pura NFC Mystic Cedar Wood Décor mixed with a natural stone entryway and hardscaping Pura NFC Mystic Cedar Wood Décor mixed with a natural stone entryway and hardscaping 

The two styles of premium Pura NFC sidings to consider are:

Pura Wood Décors

The wood décor colors cover a large range of popular wood look colors that are incredibly true to life with a consistent color throughout the boards.

Wood Decors can be mixed and matched with beautiful results. They can also be contrasted with other exterior materials like stone and stucco for a stunning effect.

Pura NFC Wood Decors Chart 2023

Pura Lumen Décors

Lumen colors are collection of modern contrasts in Metropolis Black, New York Grey, and Athens White. They boast a durable matte finish that diffuses light that will not fade (even black), wear away, or peel.

Pura NFC 2023 Lumen Decors

Ready to learn more on Pura NFC by Trespa? Grab your download here of the

Pura NFC Siding Residential Project Portfolio for more detailed information.

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Western Red Cedar Siding

High upfront costs, premium quality. Lifecycle costs are high, return on investment is good.


western red cedar house shoreline ct

One of the most popular real wood siding options, hands down. Cedar is beautiful and has awesome curb appeal. Cedar is a softwood, meaning it has low fiber density and strength. Softwood requires more upkeep and refinishing than hardwoods.

Recently, prices of Cedar have skyrocketed. Availability of clear cedar (meaning without lots of knots) will remain low in the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, this results in long waits for your siding to arrive.

PROS: Good durability; can be painted, stained, sanded, and refinished; can be naturally weathered to gray (but with a big increase in maintenance).

CONS: Highest upfront cost of real wood siding materials; low availability, upper grade materials are very hard to find; mid-range resistance to rot, mold, and insect damage; requires regular refinishing, especially when weathered to gray with age.


Hardwood Siding Types

High upfront costs, premium high quality. Lifecycle costs are low, return on investment is high.

Hardwood siding has truly stunning natural colors ranging and grain patterns that speak for themselves, no staining or painting required. When you want a natural wood-look without high maintenance, hardwoods deliver with amazing curb appeal.

Hardwoods have the highest fiber densities and strength of all real wood siding types. This means they require less work to maintain and have high resistance to mold, rot, decay, splintering, and insect damage.

View the hardwood siding picture gallery here

They can all be weathered to a naturally silver-gray aged patina. Weathering hardwoods actually lowers maintenance needs, and it stays durable.

RELATED: "How Does Exterior Decking and Siding Wood Weather?"

Premium hardwood siding includes: 

Ipe wood

Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba)

Cumaru wood

FSC Machiche wood

Garapa wood

Hardwood thumbnails  chart circular

PROS: Natural colors and grain patterns are gorgeous on their own; very good availability; excellent durability; high resistance to checking, splintering, and splitting; high resistance to rot, mold, and insect damage; high resistance to wear and tear; does not require finishing or refinishing; weathered hardwoods have even lowers maintenance needs, and stays durable.

CONS: Cannot be painted; requires a reapplication of a UV protectant oil based sealer made for hardwoods, like Penofin as needed to keep the wood color “like new” and prevent weathering. (Which is not really a big "con" since it's way less refinishing than most wood siding requires.)

Looking for more details about the premium wood siding options here? Don't miss downloading your copy

of the Residential Wood Siding Projects Portfolio here

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Thermally Modified Woods

Affordable upfront costs, premium quality. Lifecycle costs are low, return on investment is high.

Newly installed Thermally Modified Hem Fir rainscreen sidingNewly installed Thermawood siding wraps this home exterior

Thermally Modified Woods are a good option when Hardwood or Cedar do not fit your budget, but durability and longevity are still important to you.

These are wood species that have gone through an modification process to make them more durable and long lasting than the non-modified wood, without the use of chemicals or additives. The patented process uses high heat and steam in a pressure kiln. This gives these wood species similar characteristics to other premium wood sidings.

Mataverde novathermowood rainscreen siding vertical and horizontalThermowood Ash wood rainscreen siding installed horizontally and vertically is impressive on a tall, multifloored residence

These siding materials can start as softwood or lower density hardwood. The modification “cooks” the sugars out of the wood without drying it out. Modification significantly increases the resistance to mold, rot, decay, and insects compare to the non-modified wood.

The result is an attractive, deeper color siding board that has a prominent, darker grain pattern. Mataverde thermally modified woods are often chosen as great alternative to Ipe hardwood or Western Red Cedar. 

RELATED: "What Is Thermally Modified Wood Siding?"

The two species of thermally modified wood sidings to know are:

Thermowood –modified American Ash

Thermawood – modified Hemlock Fir (also available in FR fire resistant siding material). 



Thermally Modified Wood Thumbnails circular titled

RELATED: View the Thermowood Ash Siding Picture Gallery and the Thermawood Hem-Fir Siding Picture Gallery

PROS: Comparable in looks to higher cost sidings; Very good availability; Very good durability; Can be painted, stained use a UV protectant sealant for a natural look;    Will turn a natural weathered gray over time very little extra maintenance; Very good resistance to checking, splintering, and splitting; Very good resistance to rot, mold, and insect damage; High resistance to bending, high winds, and storm debris damage.

CONS: Not as durable as hardwoods, although they share some very close characteristics, if weathered gray it still requires some regular maintenance.

With these factors in mind, are your ready to choose a siding that will be the best for your project? Let us know what you think. And if you need more information, feel free to contact our team, we are here offer solutions. 

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