Community“Green” Options for Exterior Siding?

“Green” Options for Exterior Siding?

Hello!  I have a 32-year-old two-story (story-and-a-half) house with crumbling composition siding that needs to be replaced. I'm in Texas, where temperature and humidity can be concerns. I'd appreciate input on sustainable, responsible siding options. I'm not a huge cement fiber board fan, although I will get at least one bid, because it needs to be painted. Addtionally I'm concerned about both manufacturing and end-of-useful-life disposal issues. Other options might include thin-stone veneer, full-stone veneer, manufactured stone (clone-stone, faux-stone) veneer, EIFS, stucco, or Eco Prem wood siding – or possibly a combination of two or more of these. While we have 3KW of solar PV on the roof and are exploring solar hot water, it is more difficult to find substantive discussions of siding that take sustainability and environmental responsibility into account. We are interested in economically-favorable, sustainable, responsible solutions. What should we not overlook?

The Money Pit Answer
This is a great question that's worthy of an entire article.  I would not discount fiber cement siding.  If you purchase it pre-finished, it can last an incredibly long time.  I've seen it last on homes for 20+ years with zero sign of wear.  And while it's not organic, this means it doesn't have problems related to moisture - so you get a lot more out of your investment.  Paint on fiber cement siding comes prefinished in a factory, so you can expect a long life out of it.  Even if you do have to repaint it at some point, that effort is going to last a lot longer than it would on wood siding.  Stone veneers are another good choice.  A recent cost versus value survey found that stone veneers provide 92% return on investment - great when it comes time to sell your house.  Whatever you do, stay away from EIFS - exterior insulated foam siding.  EIFS has a long history of failure and litigation.