The Washington Post ran a Q&A with Tim Carter this past June 16, 2020, and it was intriguing to see his perspective on the wood vs. vinyl debate.
Tim Carter is a pro home-builder, and he hosts a podcast at AskTheBuilder.com.
He comes from a background of once having only championed wood siding for houses.
Now, however, he has had a change of mind upon seeing the recent advancements in vinyl siding.
Vinyl Siding vs. Wood Siding – Tips From A Pro
As materials science has improved, and as more people have invested in vinyl siding, the Research and Development have gone through the roof. The modern vinyl updates – particularly the vinyl shakes that go on one-by-one to imitate the look of wood shakes – are remarkably close to wood in terms of look and texture.
Carter lists a few ways in which wood is still preferable to vinyl. Wood insulates a bit better than vinyl. And for protection, it is hard to defeat a set of wood shakes.
However, wood’s disadvantages are manifold. Wood requires maintenance. Wood requires expert installation and stainless-steel nails. Wood shakes are often very pricey.
And while the Tim Carter of old would lean toward wood, especially for his own home, he says he would choose wood for his own home today, without hesitation. The vinyl shakes interlock to make a weatherproof barrier around the home. And that vinyl siding requires no maintenance unless you live in an urban area (in which case you just have to wash off the truck exhaust occasionally).
To get the vinyl looking more like wood, Carter suggests, “use a special window, door, and corner trim that has a built-in J channel that hides the open end of the vinyl siding. This trim looks like traditional painted wood trim and gets rid of the traditional bulky J-channel that makes most wince.”