Steel Log Siding vs. Wood Log Siding

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Creating curb appeal on your home is an attractive investment that can be functional and affordable. By choosing the right type of exterior you can increase the value of your property while also enhancing the quality of your life. Homeowners seeking a rustic cabin-style tend to have three choices: concrete, wood, or steel log siding. For the purposes of this article, however, we will be looking at only the two most popular options: steel log siding vs. wood log siding.

What Is Wood Log Siding?

There are several different types of wood log siding, each one unique based on the wood from which it is milled. The most common woods used are Eastern White Pine and Red Cedar. Furthermore, the price and appearance of this type of siding will vary widely due to numerous factors such as wood availability, installation fees, and maintenance costs. While both types of wood are relatively robust and attractive, there are numerous drawbacks to using this type of siding on a home.

The Pros and Cons of Wood Log Siding

Although wood log siding allows homeowners to get creative about how their structure looks, its use is not welcome in all neighborhoods. In fact, homeowners are often required to get permission from the HOA to install it. Due to certain by-laws and restrictions, wood log siding must be approved before it is placed on a residential structure.

Additionally, while every home is bound to shift and settle over time, substantial movement leads to cracks and structural fractures that are difficult to repair. Moreover, wood log siding is not always durable against certain weather conditions. Snow, ice, heavy winds, torrential rain showers, and dramatic temperature shifts can cause wood logs to bow, swell, and/or sustain significant and expensive damage.

Upkeep can be a headache as well, especially since wood log sided homes require frequent power washes and stain applications. Because wood is an organic material, it can become laden with mold and mildew or act as the perfect breeding ground for pests such as termites and rodents. More importantly, it is not resistant to fire in the least (even when treated with a high-quality flame retardant) and is therefore not the safest option for a home.

What Is Steel Log Siding?

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As an equally attractive alternative to wood log siding, steel log siding is a much more durable and easier to maintain option. Steel logs are formed using industry standard safety and manufacturing techniques and can be made to fit any structure regardless of its size or shape. Without requiring nonrenewable natural resources, steel logs are designed to mimic the look of organic wood logs while possessing inherent advantages that lumber simply cannot provide.

The Pros and Cons of Steel Log Siding

While it’s difficult to replicate the look, smell, and texture of natural wood, steel logs are about as close as you can get while still being able to enjoy a low-maintenance exterior that’s both cost-effective and attractive. Durable and environmentally friendly, steel log siding is 100% recyclable and more energy efficient because it contains infrared reflective pigments and is therefore less prone to fading, scratching, peeling, and mildew growth.

Steel log siding can withstand variable weather conditions much better than wood can, not to mention its rigid, heavy gauge, galvanized alloy is rust, corrosion, and fire resistant as well. Unlike wood, it often comes with a limited lifetime warranty from the installer and is typically welcome in all communities without needing prior approval from the HOA. Perhaps most attractive is the price: wood log siding installation costs an average of $12-$15 per square foot and maintenance fees can add up quickly, while steel log siding installation costs a fraction of the price and requires a lot less attention.

The Final Verdict

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When searching for the best of both worlds – an attractive exterior and easy upkeep – steel house siding is the wisest choice for numerous reasons. In fact, good steel logs are made to look like genuine wood, with realistic chinking, coloring, contouring, and hewing. Steel log siding is much less expensive too, not to mention easier to mount and maintain. While wood will always be naturally beautiful, with steel log siding, you don’t have to worry about fire, moisture absorption, rotting, mold, discoloration, or warping over time.

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