Paint Again Or Siding?

12 Replies

I apologize if this is the wrong forum for this.

It's time to paint my personal home again. Given the estimates I've received, and the frequency of repainting required, I'm tempted to have the wood siding removed and have the house sided with vinyl. Most of the houses in my neighborhood are vinyl sided. In my opinion, the wood looks better, much better, but the maintenance costs...

You see a bit of stone work on the front, but the sides and the back are all siding.

Obviously, the answer depends on...

!. How long am I staying?

2. Resale...What do/don't buyers want?


Thank you,


@Arnie Guida  Wood looks better, and I think adds more value than vinyl (though that's just my personal opinion). If it were me, I'd stick with wood. The house looks good. I especially appreciate that you painted your garage door to match the body of the house. That's my #1 pet peeve on houses with front loading garage doors, when people leave them white or paint them the accent color. 

I have looked into James Hardie siding (HardiePlank) and it would be my preference. Looks like wood and wears like concrete. It's obviously more expensive than vinyl but has zero maintenance according to the information.

@Arnie Guida  

Wood looks good! . . . if it is painted and looking new.  

As you mentioned, Your decision should reflect your personal plans and tastes. If you choose vinyl, make sure you like the color. Color schemes can be very fickle and If you ever want to change it you will be back to the painting and maintenance issues you are dealing with now. The same goes for HardiePlank. @Bill S.  , - Don't believe the hype. Cement siding may be more durable than wood but it still has to be painted . . . and re-painted, depending on paint quality, climate and conditions. Sadly, there is no such thing as "zero maintenance." 

I have a rental with flesh-colored vinyl siding and I wish a color change was easier and cheaper.  I also have a house with name-brand HardiePlank and where the sprinklers and west sun hit the side, the paint has flaked away in just 4 years. I wire-brushed the surface, painted again and adjusted the sprinklers.  I also just skinned a wood-construction fire pit with HardiePlank. The cement board is water and fire resistant and it looks great . . . for now!

@Douglas Larson  I was under the impression that HardiePlank came precolored so there was no need for painting, hence the maintenance free.

I second Bill S. - you should really consider Hardie plank to replace the wood. It will cost in between vinyl and wood, will be much lower maintenance than wood, and will look 20x better than vinyl.

I might try this new RhinoShield I keep hearing about. Check it out, here.

I see that people are mentioning HardiePlank as a solution. If you go this route, please find someone who has hung it before.

Few years ago I was called to come bid a new construction home for paint. They used pre-painted navy blue HardiePlank on the exterior and the professional contractors hanging it had typical size gaps where the siding pieces meet eachother } So when it was all said and done, they had to caulk the cracks with the Hardie colored caulking, which in turn left this very glossy shine outlining every crack on the house. The siding comes with some touchup paint, they applied this to Just those crack areas and feathered out hoping to blend.

Didn't work.

I came out as I said to the homeowners disappointment  to bid painting the exterior which he thought he wasn't going to need to do with HardiePlank. But we couldn't come to a agreement on price so there it sits unpainted and unimpressive overall.

While walking back to my truck I looked in the contractors truck-bed and saw a bunch of bracket-like things all piled up. I don't know much about HardiePlank but that sure looked like a sheath for the siding boards.

Maybe to help minimize the size of crack gaps? Maybe to ensure waterproofing? 

Sorry this went kind of long. Wood is King in my opinion but than again that was my job security.

When I was looking around to purchase my first home, I insisted on wood siding.  I thought wood looked better and I'd have a better chance selling it, when the time came.  Boy was I wrong!  In the 5 years I owned it, I ended up painting the whole house once and the South facing wall twice.  My realtor told me most prospective buyers were looking for maintenance free siding, and wood wasn't it.  Vinyl is a superior material, just make sure you like the color you pick.  You can't paint vinyl. 

The fiber cement products -- James Hardie, Nichiha, Certainteed, etc. -- can be good performers, but even the pre-finished versions will typically require fresh paint in 5-10 years.  Sound familiar? ;-) 

A couple companies not mentioned above make fiber cement boards and panels that are colored throughout -- which, architecturally makes much more sense, but, of course, is also much more expensive.  This type would require less maintenance.

Arnie's house looks like a nice place.  It appears to have a lot of trim -- also note that the trim components for fiber cement systems add significantly to the overall cost.


As a prospective home buyer, my first home has wood siding and has been a real pain.  I will never get wood siding again.  That is just my opinion, I hope it helps.


Vinyl is normally the best bet. Most buyers don't want to spend much time and money on maintenance. I do occasionally get a few that have their heart set on particular items such as wood siding, hardwood floors, and so on, but they have been getting rarer and rarer these days. 

There are some areas that attract those kind of buyers though. Generally homes that sit on several acres, or those in high end or historic neighborhoods where the buyer doesn't really care about particularities because they are going to pay someone else to do it anyway.

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