Wood and vinyl are the most popular materials used as siding. Known to stand the test of time, weather, and aesthetic scrutiny, they\u2019re both top-notch, quality materials. But the question here really isn\u2019t one of wood siding vs. vinyl, pitting them against each other and determining which one is better. Instead, it\u2019s about finding out which one - wood or vinyl - is better for you.\r\n\r\nWe\u2019ll compare and contrast wood siding and vinyl siding below, take a look at the cost and durability, and analyze different types of wood and vinyl siding to help you make the right decision.\r\n\r\nWood Siding\r\n\r\nWood is an in-demand material for siding because of its classic and understated appearance. It can blend in seamlessly with your home and the rest of your outdoor structures, but it can also stand out with an eye-catching finish.\r\n\r\nTypes of Wood Siding\r\n\r\nSouthern Yellow Pine is a gorgeous and durable wood. Highly resistant to wear and weather, yellow pine is a go-to for exterior use. If you\u2019ve ever walked the boardwalk, then you\u2019ve probably stepped on this material before. It\u2019s also a popular option for decks, patios, and of course, siding.\u00a0\r\nWestern Red Cedar is another excellent choice for outdoor use, as it\u2019s known for its durability against the elements and insect attacks. Red Cedar lumber is also harvested from some of the most sustainably managed forests, so it looks great and is good for the environment.\r\nSpruce is a quality substitute for traditional pine (it\u2019s a member of the pine family) and is easily accessible to those on the East Coast. It often comes in longer lengths than pine while possessing many of the same characteristics. Spruce is not a naturally resistant wood, however, so it\u2019s essential to re-seal it regularly.\r\nEngineered (composite) wood is manmade lumber. Designed to be the strongest wood on the market, it\u2019s highly durable and is often a composite of different materials. The cost of engineered wood siding vs. vinyl, for instance, is going to run much more expensive than traditional lumber vs. vinyl, but it\u2019s a great fit for people in harsher climates.\r\n\r\nMaintaining Your Wood Siding\r\n\r\nWood, for its many benefits, does require more upkeep than other materials. To keep it looking its best and holding up over time, we recommend regular maintenance, such as power washing every year or every other year, and repainting and re-staining it with the same frequency. If you choose a durable wood and follow these regular maintenance tips, you shouldn\u2019t run into any trouble, and your outdoor shed, gazebo, or pavilion will last you many years.\r\n\r\nFinish Options for Wood Siding\r\n\r\nAnother benefit of wood is the array of options it presents when selecting a finish. While quality lumber in its natural state looks great, you shouldn\u2019t be afraid to experiment with different paints and stains. Most manufacturers offer various options, but they can also customize it with a simple color match. This way, you can ensure consistency with your home or other outdoor structures.\r\n\r\nVinyl Options\r\n\r\nVinyl is available in just about any style and color you like. While it isn\u2019t as customizable in appearance as wood, it doesn\u2019t require repainting or restaining, meaning the color you choose on day one will, for the most part, carry on years after its installation. You can\u2019t repaint vinyl, as the material won\u2019t hold color. Because of this, we recommend finding a distributor that can meet your color and design preferences from the get-go.\r\n\r\nIs Vinyl Siding Cheaper Than Wood?\r\n\r\nVinyl is easy to install and requires less maintenance than wood. With an average lifespan of 40 years, vinyl siding is inexpensive, highly durable, and less affected by insects. It also comes in at a lower price point. On average, vinyl\u2019s installation cost is around $2 a square foot, compared to $7 a square foot for wood.\u00a0\r\n\r\nTips for Vinyl Siding Care\r\n\r\nOne of the benefits of vinyl siding is that it requires much less maintenance than its wood counterpart. But that doesn\u2019t mean you want to abuse it or treat it carelessly. There are a few simple TLC tips you can implement to make sure your vinyl siding lasts as long as possible, including:\r\n\r\nWashing vinyl with a soft cloth or soft bristle brush\r\nPower washing to avoid mold and mildew build-up\r\nUsing a cleaner free of organic solvents as these can be aggressive and damage the appearance\r\n\r\nVinyl is a durable, long-lasting material, but it\u2019s not immune to everything the elements will throw at it. While not affected by humidity (like wood is), vinyl siding can crack in extremely cold temperatures, and grow soft and melt under extremely hot temperatures.\r\n\r\nTo avoid unnecessary damage, try to place your outdoor grill away from your structure with vinyl siding. If zoning permits, you can also try placing your shed, gazebo, pergola, or outdoor play structure with vinyl siding in a shady spot away from direct sunlight. While extreme heat isn\u2019t an issue in most parts of the country, it is something to be aware of in hotter climates.\r\n\r\nCan You Replace Wood Siding with Vinyl?\r\n\r\nThe short answer is yes. But to do so, you need to make sure the existing wood siding is in good condition. This means the wood must be free from any mold or rot. Another thing to consider is whether your wood siding is beveled. If so, you\u2019ll need to use furring strips and foam board to make a flat surface for the new vinyl siding. You\u2019ll also want to be conscious of preventing any moisture from getting beneath the new vinyl siding and the old wood. To prevent this, place a moisture barrier over the top of the existing wood.\r\n\r\nCan You Replace Vinyl Siding with Wood?\r\n\r\nThe best option here is to simply remove it, as vinyl siding is surprisingly easy to take off. Since it\u2019s installed from bottom to top, you\u2019ll want to start at the top and work your way down. This typically doesn\u2019t require any special tools, as a pry bar, screwdriver, and wooden block to protect the underlying surface should do the trick.\u00a0\r\n\r\nWood Siding Vs. Vinyl Siding: Pros &amp; Cons\r\n\r\nIn the end, wood siding vs. vinyl is a matter of preference. Your budget, aesthetic preference, and location all contribute to whether wood or vinyl siding makes more sense for you. Regardless of what you choose, the most important thing is to make sure you purchase quality materials and receive a professional setup.\r\n\r\nIf you\u2019re interested in a shed, log cabin, swing set, or outdoor living structure that boasts exceptional Amish workmanship, contact us, and someone from our team will be happy to speak to you!\r\n\r\nThis blog was originally published on May 1, 2018. It was updated on Feb. 15, 2021.