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Sidings are an integral component of your house. However, they are temporary as they degrade over time. You will need to maintain your house's sidings frequently and replace them about ten to 30 years after installation – the frequency and period depend on the sidings' material

Real wood is the traditional siding option, but artificial wood is becoming increasingly popular. Each option has its benefits and shortcomings, and it is important to ensure that your chosen material is the best. Here is a comprehensive comparison of real wood and artificial wood sidings based on five important factors. 

Artificial Wood Siding vs. Real Wood Siding

What is Real Wood Siding? 

Real wood sidings are made of organic wood sourced from trees. Redwood and cedar are the preferred wood species for real wood sidings because their soft nature makes them resistant to water damage. However, it is worth noting that the wood is processed using chemicals to improve the sidings' overall appearance, functionality, and durability. 

What is Artificial Wood Siding? 

Artificial wood sidings are made of wood fibers recycled from real wood and processed using other materials. The wood fibers are bound together using composite resin and treated using chemicals and extreme heat. The artificial wood also undergoes several processing and treatment stages before the sidings are finally ready. It is also worth noting that artificial wood is also known as composite, manufactured, or synthetic wood. 

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing between Artificial Wood & Real Wood Siding 

Real wood and artificial wood sidings have varying benefits and shortcomings that affect important factors such as aesthetics and durability. Here is an overview of five critical factors to consider when choosing between real wood and artificial wood sidings:  

1. Durability 

Real wood is organic and prone to natural degradation and deterioration over time. Weather elements such as excessive heat, cold, rain, and humidity also affect real wood sidings' durability. It is also worth noting that organic wood also attracts destructive pests such as termites and woodpeckers. 

Artificial wood is inarguably more durable than natural wood. It is not entirely organic as it comprises wood fiber and composite resin, making it less vulnerable to natural degradation and deterioration. Artificial wood sidings are also treated using zinc borate, making them resistant to insect infestation and fungal decay. 

Overall, artificial wood sidings are more durable than real wood sidings. Real wood sidings will degrade over ten to 25 years, depending on the maintenance routine applied and the quality of wood used. In contrast, artificial wood sidings can last for up to 30 years with the proper maintenance. 

2. Installation & Maintenance 

It is always advisable to hire a professional contractor to install your house's sidings. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that artificial wood sidings are easier to install than natural wood sidings. They are compact, light, and don't split or splinter as easily as natural wood sidings. 

It is also worth noting that both real and artificial wood sidings require regular maintenance to keep them looking good and enhance durability. Both materials are treated when making the sidings, but the treatment loses its efficiency over time. 

It is advisable to paint and stain real wood sidings annually to prevent them from rotting and warping. Regular cleaning is also recommended to keep them looking good. In contrast, artificial wood sidings only require regular cleaning because they are pre-primed to protect the original paint. Overall, artificial wood sidings are easier to install and maintain than real wood sidings. 

3. Cost

Natural wood is becoming increasingly rare, making real wood sidings expensive. Real wood sidings also require more regular maintenance and have a shorter lifespan than artificial ones, adding to their overall cost. In contrast, artificial wood is easy to source and costs less than natural wood. Artificial wood sidings will also save you money on maintenance, repairs, and replacements. 

4. Sustainability 

Read wood sidings are made from natural trees. Trees grow over many years and play many important roles in environmental conservation, including: 

  • Producing oxygen and improving the overall air quality. 
  • Making the soil firm to prevent soil erosion and landslides. 
  • Conserving water and attracting rainfall. 
  • Supporting wildlife. 

Most notably, trees absorb the carbon in the air, counteracting the increasingly adverse effects of climate change. Sadly, the latest report by the Global Forest Watch reveals that the United States lost about 1.59Mha of its natural forest cover, which is equivalent to about 683Mt CO2 emissions. 

Artificial wood is made from wood fibers discarded after processing natural wood, so artificial wood sidings don't contribute to deforestation and climate change. On the contrary, they help reduce homeowners' reliance on natural trees, helping make the world greener. 

5. Appearance

Real wood offers an authentic, somewhat exotic appearance, which is the most popular thing about it. Real wood sidings come in varying natural shades ranging from light to dark, depending on the type of wood used, but it is only compatible with a limited range of paint colors. It is also worth noting that natural wood sidings' texture options are limited. 

In contrast, artificial wood is highly versatile and comes in diverse styles, designs, colors, and textures. These sidings come in many colors, including shades designed to mimic real wood's appearance. They also come in varying textures, ranging from smooth to abrasive. 

Overall, artificial wood sidings look better than real wood sidings. They come in a greater variety of colors, textures, and styles than natural wood sidings. Also, learn about fiber cement siding vs wood siding as we have already covered this.


Overall, artificial wood sidings are better than real wood sidings in every aspect. They come in many styles, designs, and colors to suit your unique needs and preferences. They are also easier and cheaper to install and maintain, and they last longer than real wood sidings. In contrast, real wood sidings are exotic and offer a classical look and feel, but they require more regular maintenance and help contribute to the runaway deforestation. 

GS Exterior Experts offers stylish and incredibly durable Woodtone Rustic Series artificial wood sidings in more than 20 colors. We also offer installation, repair, and routine maintenance services. Get in touch to learn more about how we can give your home the ideal artificial wood sidings. 

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