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How Much Does Engineered Wood Siding Cost?

Engineered wood siding is a great and economically-friendly wood alternative. It is a type of composite made with sawdust and bonding agents that is coated with resin binders for strength and a moisture-resistant topcoat. Less natural resources are used to make engineered wood because it is made from recycled wood or waste wood. Although engineered wood siding is relatively new, it is often used because of its aesthetic properties. It looks almost identical to wood siding but has a longer lifespan because of its strong material composition.

The Costs 

  • Average Minimum Cost: $3.50 per square foot

  • Average Maximum Cost: $8.00 per square foot

The average material price based on a 1,500-square-foot house ranges from $3,750 to $7,500. Engineered wood siding is not as costly to install as real wood siding. Because engineered wood can be designed to specification rather than pulled from untainted trees like solid wood, it is much more cost effective. Because of its lightweight properties, it is also easier to install. It can be bought prefinished or primed which can cut down on installation times as well.

Materials Needed for Installation

If the homeowner decides to make installing engineered wood siding a DIY project, labor costs are saved, but time and material costs must be considered. When installing engineered wood, it is common to attach a weather or vapor barrier behind it first. The barrier should be airtight as should the windows, doors and any other openings.

Installing the siding is basically a matter of cutting it to size and nailing it on. Engineered wood is very easy to cut, so a power miter saw would work in this case for cross cuts or angles, and a table saw will be good for cutting long lengths of wood. Once completed, the final touches would be to caulk the siding and to fill the trim. Painting the exterior should be done as soon as possible after the siding is installed.

Advantages of Engineered Wood Siding 

Besides being less expensive, engineered wood siding is very low maintenance. Repainting is not necessary unless one wishes to change colors. At bare minimum, basic maintenance may involve an exterior wash at least once a year using a power washer or hose. Another advantage to this type of siding is the resin layer added during to the finish. The resin helps the siding to ward off decay, mold and insects. The resin coats the surface in order to seal it, which makes the layers harder to penetrate.

Engineered wood is very durable as well. It is resistant to warping, cracking and splitting. It is an excellent shield against the elements, standing up to hail, rain and wind. The siding can often last the lifetime of the home, and manufacturers tend to offer long warranties because of this. 

Disadvantages of Engineered Wood Siding 

Although engineered wood siding is lightweight and therefore easy to install, installation should still be left to a professional. If it is not placed correctly, there can be moisture-related issues that cause rot and mildew. When installing, gaps need to be kept to an absolute minimum in order to keep out insects and moisture. The siding will still need to be painted at least every five years in order to hold its color. Engineered wood siding has been known to grow fungi in humid areas and to trap humidity within the fibrous interior. Water can infiltrate the interior, causing the plywood to decompose. The siding should be inspected regularly for these issues in order to avoid costly repairs.

Last updated on Jul 29, 2014

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