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My first post here. I had my house sided in 2004 with prefinished Certainteed Weatherboard fiber cement 7-1/4" lap siding. It looked nice for a few years and then we had all sorts of problems with warping, shrinking, fading, etc. Recently learned about the class action lawsuit and filed our claim. The siding is bad enough on some parts of the house that we are concerned about water intrusion in addition to poor aesthetics, so we want to replace it without waiting for a settlement which may take a year or more from what I have read.

Context: We own a ranch built in 1978 that has been attic air sealed very well. It has 2x4 stud walls with 1" extruded polystyrene on the outside for sheeting. There is no plywood or OSB sheeting except in the corners which was used for bracing. We live in Wisconsin.

We thought fiber cement would have lasted our lifetime, but it did not. I have spent way too many hours looking at alternatives and it seems like LP Smartside and vinyl siding come to the top of the list.

My concerns with the Smartside include long term durability, the importance of the contractor's skill in installation, and that our construction (no solid wood sheeting only studs) may make less than a quality installation especially around doors, windows, and corners.

My concern with vinyl siding is our very cold Wisconsin winters (think -20 degrees at night is possible in December - February) and our intense summer sun and heat. Will the vinyl hold up? For how long?

I am not looking at a DIY project, but will seek to find a quality contractor to do the work. Around here they use all different brands. Are they all the same? Which manufacturers make better products? Better support? Better warranty service?

Finally, some contractors have advertised insulated vinyl siding as being more durable and providing better insulation value. I think my walls are already pretty good, so the extra insulation may not doing anything meaningful. However, the extra durability is attractive. What concerns me about insulated siding is the increased risk of water being trapped behind the siding. Are there drain channels in the foam? How does the water get out?

I have not talked to any contractors in my area yet. First, I want to educate myself so I can ask good questions of the contractors. I want to hire the one that seems to understand quality materials and workmanship with the idea that I don't have to do this again for a long time. I am not shopping on price, but rather good value.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or information you might have.

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Going to get a lot of different opinions on this one.
My go to siding is vinyl.
At least 90% of the homes in this area use it.
A quality siding will be at least .045 thick.
One of the homes I own I did it with the insulated siding and it made 0 difference in the heating and cooling cost, cost twice as much, we had to build out all the window and door openings because it requires 1" J molding so that added to the cost.
Simple and fast to install, no painting, lower cost.
Vinyl siding does not have to look cheap.
Check out this website.
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