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Based on the information found via the internet, I believe the difference in siding materials depends a lot on where you live and what kind of climate you experience year round for your location. I'm including a link here that shows what one inventive father did with his children to promote education in understanding their climate of California. It's a very good way of finding out the semantics of a product while spending quality time bonding with your children. Best of all, he's done the difficult work of figuring out which materials stand up to severe climate changes for you!
I cannot say that I've ever done this or known anyone who has, however, I found this helpful step by step on the internet from someone who says it's relatively easy and can be very cost effective:
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