Q. We live on a golf course and golf balls always hit our house. We need to replace the siding, but it doesn’t make sense to do it with the same product that’ll get damaged over and over again. Is there a product that won’t crack or show damage when hit by a golf ball?
A. While golf course communities offer great views and home values, houses often find themselves in the wayward crosshairs of hacks and pros alike. Many homeowners, especially those within range of tee boxes, spend their time constantly checking for and fixing golf ball damage.
Foam-backed vinyl siding offers more protection than standard vinyl, but it isn’t enough to eliminate cracks caused by golf balls. While fiber cement features increased durability, you’ll find another type of siding on an increasing number of golf course clubhouses nationwide — engineered wood.
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Considered a green building material, engineered wood brings the look of old-school wood, but it’s cheaper, easier to install and sometimes guaranteed up to 50 years. The composite product is designed to resist damage, moisture-based deterioration and even pests.
Engineered wood consists of treated wood strands and a resin binder. One manufacturer adds zinc borate to combat fungal decay and termites. Siding comes in 16-foot boards, which means fewer seams and waste than common 12-foot varieties. You can buy finished or ready-to-paint siding, with an extensive selection of trim possibilities.
Installation costs $6 to $9 per square foot. That’s more than vinyl, but less than fiber cement. The value isn’t limited to when you own the home. A 2016 report based on a national survey of real estate professionals found engineered wood had a 78.6 percent payback at home resale, the best of any siding type.
NASA recently tested engineered wood siding and fiber cement versus golf ball, baseball, rock and marble impact at high velocity. The results were clear, as engineered wood held up better across the board. While golf balls made a hole in fiber cement at 49.4 mph, engineered wood remained dent-free at nearly 64 mph.
So, if your siding has taken a beating from errant golf shots, engineered wood might be your home exterior hole-in-one.