I've concluded that I’m just not a vinyl siding kind of guy. Our 26 year old New England home is clad in rough textured wooden clapboard. Fortunately when we built the house we had the foresight, or just dumb luck, to use a penetrating stain on the siding, not paint. While our neighbors’ painted houses peal and start looking a little aged just a few years after getting painted, a coat of solid stain on our house last 7, 8 or more years and still looks pretty darn good.
But even that amount of maintenance costs money and time and we periodically consider shouldn’t we make a move toward vinyl siding, or some other zero maintenance materials? Wouldn't that be the smart thing to do, we ask ourselves. These days some of those products look great with their wood-grained textures and they hold up extremely well. But so far I just can’t bring myself to do it. The uniformity of that factory-made wood-grain and the uniformity of the pieces of siding themselves cause me to recoil. That’s not what New England is about. Hey, if vinyl siding is OK, what’s next, plastic lamp posts? There’s just something about wood and the natural variability of the grain, and even the cut and fit of individual pieces. They’re imperfect, just like me. And somehow, in a small way, that seems comforting to this Yankee brain of mine.