Wood Siding For the Best Looking House On the Block

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Are you thinking about wood siding for its curb appeal and good looks? Real wood siding has a natural warmth and character that can’t be matched. What are you hoping for with your wood siding? With so many choices of wood siding out there, it can easily become overwhelming. Here is a quick comparison of the most popular wood siding options, and which ones stay beautiful longer. 

Ipe hardwood rain screen system on modern barn homeIpe wood siding installed vertically for a barn-style home design 

 

Wood Siding: Siding a House Is a Big Decision

If you are shopping wood siding choices, you know there are many types to choose from. You may see cedar shingles, cedar clapboard, red cedar wood siding, thermally modified wood siding and hardwood siding. What’s the difference besides price? Significant ones: durability, higher performance, and ease of maintenance to name a few. These will vary greatly by wood species.

Questions you might want to ask about wood siding materials that you are considering:

  • Do you prefer the natural beauty of real wood siding color and grains?
  • Or do you want to paint or stain your wood siding a distinct color?
  • Will I need to re-paint or refinish my wood siding?
  • Can I allow my wood siding to weather to a natural gray tone?
  • How long will wood siding last?
  • How durable is my wood siding against termites, mold, rot, and decay?
  • How much does the wood siding cost upfront?
  • Is a wood rainscreen installation worth the cost?
  • Will I get my money’s worth out of my wood siding investment?

 

Quick Comparison Chart of Popular Wood Siding Materials

wood siding options comparison chart


Grab your FREE resource on selecting the right wood siding materials that last.

Download the "Ultimate Guide to Wood Rainscreen Siding" here. 


Cedar Wood Siding

Cedar siding is a beautiful way to provide a real wood façade for your home. Cedar siding is available as shingles, shakes, beveled clapboard, and siding boards. For a more sustainable design, cedar siding boards are often installed in a wood rainscreen system.

Cedar Shingles and Shakes

Red Cedar and White Cedar shingles have been popular for centuries. Cedar shingles and shakes offer a charming ‘cottagey’ style appearance. You can allow cedar shingles to weather to a silvery coastal gray appearance. Or you can paint or stain your cedar shingles to match your design palette. Painted cedar shingles last longer.

Cedar Clapboard Wood Siding

Western Red Cedar clapboard has been a popular choice in siding for decades. Cedar clapboards have a cleaner, more formal look than cedar shingles. Cedar clapboard may be painted or stained, too, for better looks and a longer life.

Western Red Cedar Board Siding

Western Red Cedar boards are another wood siding option to consider. Cedar siding boards are thicker and stronger than shingles, shakes and clapboards. For a healthier home or building, cedar siding boards may be incorporated into a rainscreen design.

 

Cedar siding on a beachfront home with Climate-Shield rainscreen systemClassic cedar wood siding on a beachfront home installed with a rainscreen system.

Because a wood rainscreen siding system creates a passive insulation layer, your home will ‘breathe’ better and dry out quickly. A properly installed wood rainscreen system will add years of life to your siding and your home.

Learn more about the Climate-Shield Rainscreen system, click here. 

For more facts about the benefits, check out "Understanding Wood Rainscreen Siding Systems".

 

Things you may want to know about cedar siding:

Cedar is a softwood siding species. The ‘red cedar’ people and the ‘white cedar’ people can argue all they want about whether red cedar or white cedar is better. But neither side can refute that Western Red Cedar siding lasts longer than White Cedar. And thermally modified wood lasts longer than cedar.

  • Cedar is a naturally beautiful, real wood siding material
  • Most of the Western Red Cedar available today is a range of reds, light browns, and medium browns, usually with a knotty grain.
  • Clear grade cedar is much harder to find than in the past.
  • Availability of Western Red Cedar is inconsistent, and when it is, prices are higher than ever.
  • Softwood siding material like Red Cedar are more susceptible to rot, decay and insect damage.
  • Western Red Cedar has an expected lifetime use of about 10 years unless you paint it or stain it.
  • For maintenance, cedar siding must be repainted or re-stained as needed, for good looks and longer life.


Get the latest copy of the "Residential Rainscreen Wood Siding Projects Portfolio",

with lots more inspiration and information.


 

Thermally Modified Hem Fir Siding and decking

Because of its durability, Thermally Modified Wood was used for the wood siding and wood decks at this home.

 

Thermally Modified Wood Siding

Thermally modified wood is an amazing wood siding option to consider. Softwood sidings like cedar, spruce, fir, and others will rot. It’s a scientific fact. That’s why scientists started a quest to make softwood siding more rot resistant and more insect resistant. Through trial and error, and years of scientific testing, they found a simple solution. If you cook out the sugars, the insects won’t eat it, and neither will fungi.

That’s why thermally modified wood siding is so rot resistant and insect resistant. Thermally modified wood siding is remarkably stable, too. Thermally modified wood expands and contracts less than non-modified wood.

Thermally Modified Hardwood Siding

For hardwood siding, the thermal modification process uses heat and steam to create thermally modified American Ash. 

Thermally modified ash cladding on modern residential designThermowood Ash wood siding on a modern residential home.

 

Learn more about ThermoWood Thermally Modified Hardwood exterior siding choices here. 

Check out the Siding Photo Gallery of ThermoWood Thermally Modified Hardwood Rainscreen projects for more inspiration.

 

Thermally Modified Hemlock Siding

For some softwoods, like Western Hemlock, a vacuum kiln is used to create thermally modified wood siding. This process uses lower hate and higher pressure to cook out the sugars. The result is a beautiful, high performance wood siding. 

Thermally Modified Hem-Fir  siding on mountain homeTherma Wood Thermally Modified Hem-Fir siding on a mountain home blends wonderfully surroundings. 

 

Learn more about Therma Wood Thermally Modified Hemlock exterior siding here. 

Check out the Siding Photo Gallery of Therma Wood Thermally Modified Hemlock Rainscreen projects for more ideas.

 

Things you may want to know about thermally modified wood siding:

  • Thermally modified wood siding is a beautiful real wood siding option
  • Thermally modified wood siding can be painted or stained with appropriate finishes.
  • Colors of thermally modified are a little darker, and more uniformly colored, than the original non-modified wood.
  • Thermally modified wood siding is exceptionally stable and durable. Resistant to rot, decay, and insects.
  • Thermally modified wood siding boards can be installed traditional or in a wood rainscreen assembly.
  • Thermally modified wood siding can last for 25 years, and even longer with occasional re-finishing
  • Thermally modified wood siding has low life cycle costs and a high return on investment.

We made a free resource for you,

the "Ultimate Guide to Wood Rainscreen Siding". Download now. 


 

Ipe rain screen siding with stone accents on an exterior entrywayIpe wood siding contrasts with stone accents on an exterior entryway

 

High Density Hardwood Siding

High density tropical hardwoods may be used to create very high-performance wood siding. There are several species that offer a mix of beauty, exotic looks, strength, and durability. Jatoba, Machiche, Ipe, Garapa and Cumaru wood sidings are excellent options to consider.

Although there are many different hardwood siding species to consider, here are a few things they all have in common:

  • High density hardwood is a beautiful, real wood siding option
  • High density hardwood cannot be painted - it is too dense.
  • For a richer look, hardwood siding can be sealed with an oil base finish such as Penofin Hardwood Formula or a similar finish.
  • Hardwood siding is so durable, you can allow it to weather to a silvery gray patina without harming it.
  • It varies by wood species,  but hardwoods are more exotic in appearance and exhibit lots of color variations and lots of tropical grain patterns.
  • Hardwood siding is very resistant to rot, decay, and insects.
  • Mataverde hardwood siding is covered by a 25 year limited warranty.
  • Hardwood siding boards can be installed traditionally or in a wood rainscreen assembly.
  • Hardwood siding has the lowest life cycle costs, and offer a high return on your investment.

View the Rainscreen Siding Photo Gallery here for more hardwood siding designs.

For more about your Wood Rainscreen Siding options, click here.  


Want more information on choosing wood siding material?

Download the "Ultimate Guide to Rainscreen" free, now. 


Jatoba Wood Siding

  • Jatoba has warm pink and cherry tones with a coarser grain.
  • Jatoba is a comparable alternative to the look of Ipe wood siding at a lower price.
  • Jatoba hardwood is extremely strong and resistant to decay.
  • Jatoba has a 25+ year usable lifetime.
  • Jatoba wood siding can be installed traditionally or in a wood rainscreen assembly.
  • The natural high density of Jatoba makes it highly resistant to moisture damage and decay.
  • Jatoba can be sealed with a UV protectant oil-based finish.

FSC Certfied Jatoba rainscreen siding on storefrontJatoba hardwood rainscreen siding installs easily and beautifully around windows and doors. 

 

Learn more about Jatoba Hardwood Rainscreen Siding, click here.  

Visit the Jatoba Rainscreen Siding Photo Gallery here for more Jatoba wood siding examples.


There's more to see in the "Residential Rainscreen Projects Portfolio".

Download your copy now.


Garapa Wood Siding

  • Garapa has natural golden brown to amber tones and exotic figuring.
  • Garapa hardwood is extremely strong and resistant to decay, rated about two times tougher than Oak.
  • Garapa wood siding can be installed traditionally or in a wood rainscreen assembly.
  • The natural high density of Garapa makes it highly resistant to insect damage and decay.
  • Garapa has a 25+ year usable lifetime.
  • Garapa can be sealed with a UV protectant oil-based finish.

Garapa hardwood rainscreen cladding

Garapa hardwood siding installed vertically on a modern colonial home exterior.

 

Learn more about Garapa Hardwood Rainscreen Siding, click here.  

Check out the Garapa Rainscreen Siding Photo Gallery here for more Garapa wood siding images.


Want to know more about installing vertically or horizontally with wood rainscreen siding?

Download the "Ultimate Guide to Wood Rainscreen" here for more information. 


FSC Machiche Wood Siding

  • Machiche has rich, chocolatey brown tones with exotic graining.
  • Certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as sustainably harvested (learn about FSC Certification here).
  • Machiche wood siding can be installed traditionally or in a wood rainscreen assembly.
  • Machiche has a 25+ year usable lifetime.
  • Machiche can be sealed with a UV protectant oil-based finish.

Swatt Miers Project Machiche Rainscreen Siding front entryway garageMachiche wood rainscreen siding elevates the exterior of this modern custom home. 

 

Learn more about Machiche Hardwood Rainscreen Siding, click here.  

Check out the Machiche Rainscreen Siding Photo Gallery here for more Machiche wood siding images.


Looking for more wood siding ideas? Check out the "Residential Rainscreen Wood Siding Portfolio"

for additional photos and case studies. Download now.


Cumaru Wood Siding

  • Cumaru has varied reddish-brown colorations with interesting grain patterns.
  • Coarse grain with lots of tropical variations
  • Cumaru wood siding can be installed traditionally or in a wood rainscreen assembly.
  • Cumaru has a 25+ year usable lifetime.
  • Cumaru can be sealed with a UV protectant oil-based finish.

Cumaru siding on angled exterior

Random lengths of Cumaru and both vertical and horizontal rainscreen installation shows off the natural colors.

 

Learn more about Machiche Hardwood Rainscreen Siding, click here.  

Check out the Machiche Rainscreen Siding Photo Gallery here for more Machiche wood siding images.


Now sure how to choose for your next wood siding project? Download a free copy of the 

Ipe Wood Siding

  • Ipe wood siding boasts warm brown tones and exotic graining.
  • Ipe hardwood is the standard all other wood siding materials are compared to, because of its incredible high fiber density and rugged strength.
  • Extremely resistant to insect damage, rot, and decay.
  • Ipe has a 25+ year usable lifetime.
  • Ipe wood siding can be installed traditionally or in a wood rainscreen assembly.
  • Ipe can be sealed with a UV protectant oil-based finish.
  • If allowed to naturally weather to a silver gray patina, no additional finish is needed.

Warm Ipe rainscreen exterior looks over a cool stone deck  and pool

An Ipe wood rainscreen siding exterior warms the feel of a cool stone deck and pool.

Read more about Ipe Hardwood Rainscreen Siding, click here.  

Check out the Ipe Rainscreen Siding Photo Gallery here for more Ipe wood siding images.

 

We hope you found this article helpful. Choosing the right wood siding material will make, and keep your home exterior the best looking on the block. If you still need help, contact our specialists for samples, pricing, and more guidance. We are here for you. 


Grab the "Ultimate Guide to Wood Rainscreen Siding" for details on how to decide what's right for your next project. Download here. 


Before you go, grab your free download of the "Residential Raincreen Wood Siding Projects Portfolio"

for more information and images. 

 

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