I'm considering putting real wood siding on, and would like to be able to burn the wood in the fireplace when it reaches the end of its life. I don't want to burn paint or anything else that produces a toxic smoke. What are my options?

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    by the time, 30 to 40 years from now, when you are ready to change the wooden siding, you will be too damn old to light a fire anyway! – shirlock homes Sep 20 '11 at 10:26
  • When it reaches the true end of its life, it will be because it's rotting, won't it? – Reed Hedges Sep 20 '11 at 14:50
  • @Reed : not necessarily. If you're in a hurricane area, you might have to replace cracked boards from blown debris damage, particularly if you're using cedar shakes. I assume shakes are okay with hail or they wouldn't be using 'em so much in New England. – Joe Sep 21 '11 at 2:02

I lived in a house growing up that had some diagonal board & batten siding that had gone to a shade of grey like an untreated cedar fence, and I know it wasn't painted, but it's possible it was stained.

But I'd agree with DA01 -- there's lots of types of 'green building', and I'd rather go with long-lasting and locally produced (to minimize shipping) products. If you take care of your wood siding, it reach its end of life until after you're gone. (my house is 80+ years old, and although the sills have been replaced, the siding is still original)

If it were me, building today, I'd probably not go with wood, and look at some of the fiber cement board products, particularly if it's produced nearby.

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Stain? Though I'd suggest you instead seal and maintain the wood so you lasts a long time rather than burn it.

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