Figured if I couldn't get an answer or opinion here, I won't get one anywhere.
Here's the situation: we have a 3-story home in southeastern Wisconsin that is about 100 yrs old. Location is right on main street, so has a high degree of visibility. Over the past 30 yrs of ownership, we have always chosen to paint the original wood clapboard siding...white, of course! The cycle for painting has been about every 6-8 yrs. But, we now find that costs range about $7K-$10K to paint, versus about half of that the last time around.
It's now time to ask if we might not be better off to using siding. The key, however, is that we don't want to detract from the original look. So the 1st question is whether that goal can be attained through the use of siding? If that answer is "yes", the 2nd question is, "What kind of siding?" I know absolutely nothing about this kind of thing -- totally clueless. I don't want to do anything that would detract from the value of the house. Nor do I want to create problems by using a siding product rather than painting.
Can someone provide some input as to what might be the best -- the best -- alternatives to painting an old house such as this? Maintenance free with the look of wood is the ideal. Keep in mind we are in Wisconsin. Also, the southern and western sides of the house get the most abuse from sun, cold, rain, snow, wind, etc.; these are the areas where wear on the paint shows earliest.
Thanks in advance for any help you can give or suggestions you can make.