Like the look of cedar? Vinyl siding might do the trick


It may seem strange the amount of effort that is put into creating convincing alternatives to natural materials, but there's no denying that vinyl siding has nature pegged. It's true that houses have been clad with cedar for centuries, but vinyl siding is steadily taking over as the go-to material for the American homeowner. Why? Because vinyl offers many of the benefits that cedar provides, and at a fraction of the cost.

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Cedar siding vs. cedar vinyl siding

  • Anti-Rot, fungus: Old-growth cedar is known for its anti-rot and anti-fungal properties, but the stands of old cedar trees have dwindled due to the wood's popularity. Much of the cedar used nowadays is young, and not as rot-and fungus resistant. Vinyl, on the other hand, is impervious and not subject to rot and fungus.
  • Anti-Pest: You know that wonderful cedar smell? Well, bugs hate it. Bug-wise, cedar is a great choice for your home's exterior because termites simply don't like to munch on it. Well, guess what? Termites don't like to munch on vinyl, either!
  • Appearance: It's hard to beat the look of cedar; the way it ages so gracefully, the warmth of the wood, the textural complexity, the rich colors. But cedar vinyl siding has come a long way, with colors that mimic cedar hues, from its silvers to its reds, not to mention the wood grain patterning. Also, cedar vinyl siding comes textured -- these days, you can get pieces of shake that passersby would be hard pressed to peg as plastic.
  • Maintenance: Cedar wood needs occasional staining or painting, and vinyl doesn't. Simply clean your vinyl siding with soap and water when needed, and enjoy a good-looking exterior for years.

Really, it comes down to price. If you can afford to dress your house in cedar siding, by all means, do so. But if you can't, you needn't feel that your home will be less than one clad in the real deal.

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