Introductions of several brands of siding that aren’t made from vinyl, fiber cement, or solid-sawn wood led us to include a new project this year, involving what we decided to call “engineered siding.” Examples include LP’s SmartSide and Boral’s TruExterior. We kept the project description the same as for the vinyl and fiber-cement projects: Replace 1,250 square feet of existing siding, then include factory trim at openings and corners.

Our consultants figured it would cost an average of $13,832 nationally to buy and install an engineered siding product; real estate professionals concluded that doing so would increase value at resale by $10,866. That produces a cost-recouped ratio of 78.6%. Fiber-cement came in at 78.1%, but the two numbers are well within the margin of error.