What Engineered Wood Isn’t

Take a look at our shed’s side walls. Do you know what our siding is made of?

Inside Utility Shed

We’ve had some customers, by just a picture, doubt that our warranties can be trusted. All they see is OSB (oriented strand board), which in the history of construction has proven susceptible to rotting and retaining moisture. NOT a good idea for a shed that’s holding your belongings, equipment or hobby materials. As a side note, even plywood can eventually rot, so it’s not a plausible alternative either.

That’s why at Cook we use an engineered wood called LP SmartSide®. This is not fake wood or particle board. This is a wood based product, made with treated wood strand technology. This is simply wood that’s engineered to perform better!

So, understand first, what engineered wood isn’t. It’s not:LP Shed Comparison Chart

-Traditional OSB

-Particle Board



-Fake wood

We’ve heard them all, but every time we remind our customers of the truth behind engineered wood.

Here was an exchange we had on Facebook with a potential customer. At first they were appalled that we would use “chipboard and not plywood” for our sheds. Here’s how it went:


Customer: I’ve seen that OSB type stuff rot out real bad at the bottom of sheds, this LP siding won’t do that?

Cook Portable Warehouses: You’re right. Sheds built from OSB siding end up rotting along the bottom where water splashed up or, if it touches the ground, it ends up wicking up moisture. The LP products won’t do that. Each piece of wood is impregnated with resins that make it water resistant. It comes with a 50-year warranty from the manufacturer. No OSB product would ever carry that warranty because of the reason you pointed out. We have used LP SmartSide® on tens of thousands of sheds and have had zero issues with rot. Even plywood begins to rot eventually and therefore, does not carry a 50-year warranty.

Customer: Thank you, that is good to know. It’s just hard to accept they are different when they look so much alike. But you said it was a 50 yr. warranty? So if it rots on the bottom it will be replaced and painted?

Cook Portable Warehouses: Yes sir. If for some reason, the siding ever rotted we would replace it at no charge.


So, What IS Engineered Wood?

LP Smartside

Let’s dig into how LP engineers this better performing, longer lasting wood siding. All of our shed styles are made from LP SmartSide® and is one of the reasons we stand strongly behind our warranties.

Keep in mind that this wood siding is something many homeowners use on their homes. At Cook, we believe in using what’s best for protecting our customer’s things, it doesn’t matter that it’s in a “shed”.

The difference is in the manufacturing process of LP SmartSide®.

  1. The siding starts as fast-growing aspen logs that are chopped into wood strands about the size of a business card. They’re treated with the LP’s proprietary SmartGuard® process. This coats the strands with a blend of marine-grade waxes, resins and Zinc Borate to protect against termites and fungal decay/rot.    
  2. The strands are placed in layers to form a thick mat and covered with an overlay of resin-saturated paper.
  3. The mat is pressed together at intense pressure (roughly 2,200 psi…that’s like a temperature of 425°F!). This gives the product its strength and durability.
  4. This leaves a wide, flat panel that is then ripped into 4×8’ sheets that can be cut then into lap siding, soffit or trim boards.
  5. Each siding piece, plus trim, is primed so it’s ready to be painted your desired color when it arrives at a Cook Portable Warehouses factory.

This process was engineered to improve upon nature, creating siding panels that are more durable, dimensionally stable and more consistent than traditional wood materials. We use it because it resists splitting, cracking, warping and delaminating, making it the perfect choice for your portable building.