When it comes to the home, it's not only what's inside that counts, but the outside plays a major role too. A good exterior plays a major role in the façade of the home. This is what makes people curious and could even pique the interest of potential homebuyers. Due to this, the outside of your home must look good at all times, and the opportunity to give a great first impression can be astounding! If you're considering a home makeover, why not go with something that's simple yet effective such as investing in good house siding? While there are so many sidings out there on the market, one that homeowners often want to flock to is bark siding.
It's easy to see why; it's rustic, attractive, and organic, but there are more than enough problems with popular bark siding. All around, wood, particularly bark siding, has a way of adding that "oomph" to a home, but sometimes, the bark siding problems don't make it worth it. So, why not go for an alternative? Let's go over some common bark siding problems and the wood-look alternatives that can be used for homes.
Why do homeowners choose bark siding?
Wood siding offers an amazing look for homes and can suit so many styles, from traditional, colonial, or even a rustic cottage if that's what you're after. When comparing organic siding, wood siding is in a league of its own, particularly bark siding. There are more than enough benefits to it, especially when it comes to aesthetics. But with the number of problems with popular bark siding, is it actually worth it? Let's dive into some of the problems.
Common Problems with Bark Siding
Bark siding is beautiful, it creates this gorgeous balance between elegance and rusticness for a home, but sometimes, the cons just outweigh the pros. So, here are some common bark-siding problems that you can expect.
1. Environmental concerns
There are a lot of environmental concerns that come up, especially when it's natural resources such as cedar trees. Sadly, wooded areas and forests are shrinking, and sourcing this for the aesthetics of a home is a major issue. On top of that, it doesn't last nearly as long as other siding materials. So, not only are trees being destroyed in the name of aesthetics for exterior houses, but the siding itself doesn't last as long as its other organic or synthetic counterparts either.
2. Warping or bowing out
A lot of issues come from this; not only does this ruin the look of a home, but it's not particularly safe for the house, either. When bark siding warps, it's due to extreme temperature swings and damage due to moisture. This disfigurement means that there will be gaps left in the exterior, leaving your house vulnerable. This can lead to made issues from mold, leaks, and pests, and it can go far beyond that.
3. Constant maintenance
While small upkeep such as repainting or a good pressure wash on the house can be nice every few years, when it comes to bark siding it's needed more often. The constant maintenance of wood siding can get pretty tiring, but it's crucial, as all homeowners need to be proactive in taking care of their wood siding. This isn't just about making the siding look good, but it's needed to prevent the signs of deterioration. In the end, it's time-consuming, costly, and just a lot of work.
4. Limited on aesthetic
If you have a particular vision for the exterior of your home, then bark siding may not be the best choice. You're going to be limited on your color and design choices with bark siding.
5. Faded color
Sun damage is no joke, and this can play a major role in making the color safe or even causing flakes. Plus, when it comes to sun exposure, it's going to vary all over the exterior of the house, meaning that color fading will happen at different rates. It's just not going to give your house a good look.
6. Potential pest issues
While you can have an annual pest-control inspection if you're looking for prevention methods for infestations, that can be pricey in the long run. But there is no denying that lumber attracts bugs (like termites) and pests such as woodpeckers. In addition, pest infestations can do more than just damage your siding, as they can impact the structure of your house and can even carry diseases into your home.
7. Fragile to the elements
Most bark siding is made from pine and cedar; these both are considered fairly weak. Plus, wood isn't the best at handling extreme elements such as rapid temperature change, extreme heat, or long periods of moisture. As a result, you can expect a lot of noticeable damage due to how fragile the bark siding is to the elements.
8. Short lifespan
If you're willing to put in all the annual upkeep and costs that bark siding comes with, then you can expect it to live no more than 30 years. Of course, this is already pushing it, but you can expect to need a replacement of planks every ten years.
9. It can potentially be unaffordable in the long run
While bark siding is considered very high-end, the cost is too. Timber cladding is not only expensive, but the upkeep tends to be expensive too. Just think about it, annually, you'll need to hire pest control, you'll have to do upkeep, you may need to plan for potential damage, and so much more. So while bark siding can significantly increase your home's value, if homebuyers know about the upkeep needed, they may shop around for a home elsewhere.
Why consider wood-look alternatives?
Wood siding, such as bark, has been one of the more popular options for homeowners for decades now, but with the number of issues it comes with, homeowners (rightfully so) want alternatives that are easier to work with. Nowadays, there are a variety of sidings out there that offer the appearance of wood but without the stress or upkeep. On top of that, homeowners understand that there should be a balance between exterior beauty and pricing; this is something that traditional wood just doesn't provide.
Advantages of wood-look alternatives
Even though wood siding has that "oomph" that many homeowners are looking for when creating the home of their dreams, wood-look alternatives shouldn't be skipped out on either. So let's look at some of the advantages you can expect.
When it comes to wood siding, you're very limited to five types of wood. However, with wood-look alternatives, you're immediately hit with a myriad of options. There is so much diversity that you're able to get siding that resembles pine, redwood, oak, or any other wood species you like.
Aesthetics of wood without the maintenance
The major reason why homeowners flock to bark siding is simply due to aesthetics, but the major downside is all the needed maintenance, not just to keep the home looking good but to protect too. However, with wood-look alternatives, you're getting all the aesthetics of natural wood with little maintenance required.
Not only is it less expensive than bark siding or other types of wood siding, but you're also still getting a better value overall because you won't have to spend money on annual upkeep.
Every consumer must make changes to help save the environment. However, with deforestation happening at an alarming rate, getting wood siding that needs upkeep and replacements isn't doing the environment a favor. Instead, switching to a better-look alternative means you'll be able to keep the same siding for decades to come. This is by far an eco-friendly option compared to traditional bark and wood siding.
Generally speaking, you don't need to worry about wood-look alternatives to battle the extreme outside elements. Whether it's moisture or extreme temperature changes, wood-look siding alternatives can handle this easily.
Can be customized
In the end, one of the best reasons to go for wood-look alternatives would be the easy customization. You'll have a large number of colors and finishes to choose from. Plus, it's one of the best ways to make your home stand out and create a lasting impression. Plus, if you ever get bored of the wood look, you can just paint over it!
Better Wood-Look Alternatives
Now that we covered some of the perks of better wood-look alternatives let's dive into the three alternatives that homebuyers could go after. Of course, each of these has its pros and cons, but in the end, they are a far better alternative and can still provide that wood look many homeowners are after.
This exterior cladding has its roots dating back to the 1950s. It's actually the most common siding installed on residential homes in the United States. It's a popular choice for a reason; it's easy to install, comes in a variety of colors, it's able to handle most climates, plus is low cost. Nowadays, vinyl siding offers a wood-look appearance, though the quality may vary based on the vinyl siding brands.
Fiber Cement Siding
If you're adamant about getting the colors right and the texture right, then look into fiber cement siding. This type of siding takes inspiration directly from cedar and other tree species. It's durable and doesn't need nearly as much upkeep as traditional bark siding. Plus, there are other benefits, such as being even more eco-friendly than vinyl siding.
When it comes to composite siding, you have cement fiber-based siding, but wood-based siding is also available. The wood-based siding is composed of a variety of materials, such as aluminum, asphalt, and wood scrap materials. It's a pretty inexpensive siding option, and you're still getting the wood appearance for your house siding too.
Have the Real Look of Wood— Without the Headache!
In the end, it should be all about having the classic appearance of real wood without the challenges that real wood has. Homeowners can have those authentic colors, that gorgeous detail wood grain pattern, and that unique style without having to deal with the stress of the upkeep of real wood. When it comes to house siding, you should never have to worry about trading aesthetics for good performance; just know that you can get both! Get siding that's built to last, so you can have a beautiful house for years to come!