Fiber Cement Siding Is this the Right Choice for Your Home

Kevin Brown

Fiber Cement Siding: Is It the Right Choice for Your Home?

Fiber cement siding is fire, rot, and insect resistant, making it a top choice for new builds.

If you’re considering new siding, vinyl and fiber cement are popular low-maintenance and durable options.

Fiber Cement Siding Is this the Right Choice for Your Home

Fiber cement siding was invented about fifty years before vinyl, but it didn’t come to the market until 35 years ago as a replacement for asbestos siding. Now, it’s gaining popularity and is a low-maintenance choice for your home’s exterior.

If you’re considering fiber cement for your home, here’s what you should know and how it compares to vinyl siding.

Fiber cement siding is made of…

Fiber Cement Siding Is this the Right Choice for Your Home

Fiber cement siding emerged in the 1980s to replace asbestos cement siding. The leading brand is James Hardie.

Its composition includes simple ingredients: Portland cement, wood pulp/cellulose fibers, sand, and water.

Some brands may include additional additives for increased strength and resistance to moisture, rot, and insects.

Is fiber cement siding easy to maintain?

Fiber cement siding is relatively low-maintenance.

If you choose an unfinished product that requires painting, expect to repaint every 5 to 12 years.

If you purchase pre-painted siding, there’s usually a “no-crack, no-peel” guarantee for 15 years. So, it should be at least 15 years before you need to paint.

Fiber cement is moisture, rot, and insect resistant.

You can help maintain it by cleaning your gutters and downspouts. There’s no need to worry about sealing fiber cement siding or performing additional maintenance.

Fiber cement siding comes in a variety of shapes, colors, sizes, and textures. The most common styles include clapboards.

Fiber Cement Siding Is this the Right Choice for Your Home

Clapboards are traditional lap siding commonly seen on vinyl or wood homes. Fiber cement clapboards are available in various colors and textures. These boards create sleek lines that enhance the appearance of modern homes.

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Fiber cement shingles are another option to consider.

Fiber Cement Siding Is this the Right Choice for Your Home

If you like shingle siding accents, you can find them in fiber cement. The ones with wood texture look like painted cedar shakes.

For a cape cod-style cottage, you can clad your entire home in fiber cement shingles. Otherwise, they look fantastic as an accent on the front of your house.

Stone, stucco, and brick options are also available.

Fiber Cement Siding Is this the Right Choice for Your Home

If you’ve ever wanted stone, stucco, or brick accents, you can use fiber cement panels to achieve that look. You can use the stone or brick as an accent with clapboards or cover your entire home with stucco panels. This siding looks authentic, and most people won’t notice the difference.

The cost of fiber cement siding varies by brand and type. Installation costs also depend on the location. Generally, fiber cement siding ranges from $1 to $15 per square foot for the material alone.

Panels are the cheapest, while clapboards are the most expensive.

On average, the labor and materials for installing fiber cement siding on a 1500-square-foot home cost $15,750.

Fiber cement siding costs more than vinyl and wood but less than brick. However, it is more complicated to install than vinyl, making it a difficult DIY option.

What are the Disadvantages of Fiber Cement Siding?

Fiber Cement Siding Is this the Right Choice for Your Home

Fiber cement siding is a durable material. However, it does have some notable disadvantages. The siding boards are heavy and can crack, break, or warp if not installed correctly. Special saw blades and respirator masks are needed for installation. It’s also important to note that cutting fiber cement releases respirable crystalline silica, which is a human carcinogen.

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Therefore, safety precautions such as working in a well-ventilated area and wearing a respirator mask are essential during installation.

Must repaint – Installing an unfinished fiber cement product may require you to add a coat of paint and then repaint every 5 to 12 years. Even a prefinished product may require touch-ups after 15 years. No insulation value – Fiber cement does not offer energy efficiency benefits if you’re looking for them.

Fiber Cement vs. Vinyl Siding: Lifespan, Maintenance, and Cost

Vinyl and fiber cement are popular siding choices. Here’s a comparison of their lifespan, maintenance, and cost.

Fiber Cement Siding Is this the Right Choice for Your Home

Vinyl siding is a popular product made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins. It comes in various types and colors, and it is widely used as a siding material.

Vinyl siding is flame retardant, moisture resistant, rot-resistant, and insect resistant. It requires low maintenance and does not need to be painted.

Here are some key details about vinyl siding for a 1500 sq ft house:

– Installation cost: $11,250

– Maintenance: Very low

– Durability: High

– Lifespan: 20-60 years

Fiber Cement Siding:

Fiber cement siding is made up of water, wood pulp, sand, and water. It is available in numerous types and colors.

Fiber cement siding is resistant to flames, moisture, rot, and insects. It requires low to mid-level maintenance and may need painting based on the specific type.

– The cost to install fiber cement siding on a 1500 sq. ft. house is $15,750.

– Maintenance is low.

– Durability is high.

– The lifespan is typically 20 to 50 years.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long does fiber cement siding last?

Fiber cement board can last up to 50 years or more, depending on the location and maintenance. Mild climates generally result in a longer lifespan compared to areas with significant temperature fluctuations. Additionally, the cleanliness of your gutters and regular repainting will impact the longevity of your siding.

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Installing fiber cement siding can be difficult, as improper handling can cause warping and cracking. There are also health concerns associated with cutting this material. Therefore, if you choose to do the job yourself, make sure to work in a well-ventilated area and wear a respirator mask.

Is fiber cement siding the same as Hardie board?

The most popular manufacturer of fiber cement siding is James Hardie. As a result, fiber cement siding is commonly referred to as Hardie Board, James Hardie Siding, or Hardie Plank. Hardie Board is a specific brand of siding.

Final Thoughts

Fiber cement siding is a durable and long-lasting material, available in various styles and often preferred for new construction. While more expensive than vinyl and wood, it is more affordable than brick.

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