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Composite Decking and Cedar Siding, Value and Appearance

Aug 17, 2007
If you're thinking of adding new siding or decking to your home this year, one of the key decisions you'll need to make is your choice of wood, synthetic material, or other material. You've probably heard your friends speak about cedar as their preferred building product for decks, fences, and siding. It's the way they speak about cedar that tells you that cedar wood is special. This year, improve your home with cedar siding and add a new deck using composite decking.

You may believe that cedar siding is more suited to quaint cottages, however there are a number of finishes that can be applied to cedar siding products that match any style of home architecture.

The truth is, that cedar siding offers tremendous benefits for the homeowner who wants the best combination of appearance, insulation, and weather resistance. No other wood compares to cedar for its natural beauty, durability and functionality. It suppresses noise better due to its cellular structure. This wood's cellular structure also offers better heat insulation value. Most respectable builders and contractors know and will advise on using cedar siding because of its lasting value and attractiveness, but the energy saving benefits are worth noting.

Decking

Homeowners today want to extend their living space into the yard to be closer to nature and to have more room for backyard barbecues, pool parties, relaxing and leisurely Al Fresco dinners, and evenings spent leisurely reading or chatting with family and friends. Decking provides a versatile living space however it is heavily trafficked and can suffer wear and tear. While cedar is a nice decking material, it may need yearly maintenance. Some homeowners don't mind and enjoy sanding and applying a new coat of finish every few years. For someone who wants less maintenance and more living, a better alternative is composite decking. These engineered products have the appearance of real wood, yet are more durable, weather resistant, and require less maintenance. Composite decking is the choice of today's homeowners.

Composite Decking

There are a variety of building materials you can construct your deck with. Pressure-treated pine is inexpensive but comes with a variety of problems such as rotting, warping, breakage, moisture retention, insect damage, and drying out. This leads to deck deterioration. Cedar and other woods such as Red Meranti are wonderful woods for decking, but some have to be sealed or stained every few years. Composite decking on the other hand is very durable and can withstand the harshest winter conditions. Maintenance is easy. As temperatures rise and fall and as moisture freezes and then thaws, it is composite decks that will better maintain their original appearance and condition.

Western Red Cedar Siding

There's nothing like Western Red Cedar siding. It is in strong demand.

Cedar wood types are white cedar, red cedar, and yellow cedar. The advantage of red cedar is tight grain and high oil content. Red cedar is more porous and you can apply a wider variety of paints and stains to it. The most plentiful supplies of cedar are Western Red Cedar from the Western Pacific regions of the US and Canada. Manufacturers such as Interfor (International Forest Products) are producing an array of superior quality, primed cedar products that deliver the great value of cedar and which can be finished in the color of your choice to match all modern home decors.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding products on the other hand are available in a limited amount of colors and the grain and texture in vinyl siding doesn't compare to cedar siding. Cedar's grain and texture is difficult to duplicate artificially. These primed and prefinished cedar products are developed under ideal temperature and humidity conditions, with the cedar substrate dried to the proper moisture content for superior paint adhesion.

Studies show that 70% of the cost of home siding is recouped when selling the home. However, cheaper vinyl siding will not contribute to the resale value as well as finished cedar siding products will. Your investment in cedar siding may be fully recovered when you sell your home.

Vinyl siding products account for a large share of all siding products sold in the Eastern US, however they are purchased because of perceived lower cost and maintenance. The average homeowner often makes the decision to buy siding only when an emergency situation arises such as severe deterioration, plans to sell the home, or damaging moisture or water penetration is occurring. The choice is to use an inexpensive building product in the hope that it will impress and serve the short term need.

Few homeowners can afford to buy new siding every 5 years so they're stuck with their vinyl siding product for years to come. Vinyl siding also has the tendency to break under very cold temperatures and another drawback is its appearance. Few dream homes utilize vinyl siding, and that should tell you all you need to know about the value of appearance. When you consider value, appearance and durability, it is difficult to beat cedar siding. Since you make this investment in your home so infrequently, why not consider cedar siding for your home?

Other Home Finishing Products

Some cedar wood product distributors carry a line of cedar building products for uses on patio railings, deck railings, mouldings, and exterior trim.

New Home Developers

If you're a builder of exclusive residential communities, cedar products can stimulate sales and build enthusiasm during open house events. Buyers of high end homes are sensitive to quality and nothing says class and elegance the way cedar does. Today's cedar siding products are manufactured and designed to suit any home architecture. The prestige of cedar wood products is worth noting and creates real sales-generating value for your new home development.
About the Author
Boston Cedar is a distributor of composite decking , deck building products, deck railings , siding, and millwork products.
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