Having siding installed on the exterior of your home can protect it from the weather, as well as improve curb appeal. There are a few varieties of siding materials to choose from, including fiber cement, vinyl, wood and metal (aluminum, steel).
When deciding which type of siding is best for you, you need to weigh certain factors, like appearance, durability, required maintenance, cost, etc. Fiber cement siding can be a great alternative to the other types of siding.
What Is Fiber Cement Siding?
Fiber cement siding is constructed using a blend of cement, sand and cellulose materials. It closely resembles the look of real wood, while being more durable and easier to maintain. Sal Vaglica of This Old House magazine calls it the “Wonder Siding” because it holds down costs without compromising aesthetics.
Fiber cement siding can be ordered in a wide variety of colors. It can be repainted virtually any color imaginable. It typically costs a bit more than most other types of siding, but its durability makes it a better value. It protects your home for decades from the elements, like wind, pests, excess moisture and winds.
Fiber cement siding is very easy to maintain. Its appearance remains beautiful for many years. When it’s time to repaint it, you can choose almost any color imaginable. Water-based acrylic paints adhere well. Because fiber cement siding doesn’t expand and contract like wood siding does, the paint remains smooth, resisting chips, peeling and blisters.
How Fiber Cement Compares to Other Siding
Let’s look at some comparisons of fiber cement to other siding materials.
- Vinyl siding is not resistant to extreme heat or open flames and can melt when exposed to them. Color choices are limited and can fade, making it difficult to match if repairs are needed. It cannot be repainted. In very cold weather, it can become brittle and crack. It’s also susceptible to dents and scratches.
Fiber cement siding is non-combustible, so it’s resistant to open flames or extreme heat. It’s suitable for any climate and withstands even the most extreme heat or cold. Even hail and high winds will not damage it. It can also be painted virtually any color.
- Wood siding is more porous and can swell and shrink as the weather changes. This makes it susceptible to cracking and peeling, requiring more frequent cleaning and painting. Wood products attract pests, like termites. Even when treated with a fire retardant, wood can sustain serious damage in a fire.
Fiber cement does not expand and contract, so its surface remains smooth and beautiful for decades. The material does not attract pests. It is also non-combustible, so can be used in fire-related construction.
- Metal siding, like aluminum or steel, can dent easily on impact, or by flying debris. Its appearance isn’t the most aesthetic. It can easily fade and its surface can become chalky-looking.
Fiber cement resists damage in the most extreme conditions. Its appearance resembles the attractive look of wood siding, while being much more durable. It remains beautiful for decades, with very little maintenance.
James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding
When it comes to the premium fiber cement manufacturer, James Hardie is the one. They offer their siding either primed or in a variety of “pre-baked” colors that come with 15-year warranty. Baked-on ColorPlus® Technology has greater resistance to fading, chipping and cracking, meaning less maintenance for you.
James Hardie offers a variety of siding styles and other products that complement your home’s exterior, like:
- HardiePlank® Lap Siding
- HardieShingle® Siding
- HardiePanel® Vertical Siding
- HardieTrim® Boards
- HardieSoffitt® Panels
- Artisan® Collection
- HardieBacker® Cement Board
- HardieWrap® Weather Barriers
In conclusion, as a homeowner, you have several choices when installing or replacing the siding on your home. If you want superior performance, durability and beauty for decades to come, choose James Hardie Fiber Cement siding. You might pay a little more up front, but the long term benefits far outweigh that initial expense.
This post was written by Banner Construction, in St. Louis, Missouri. They are a James Hardie Preferred Elite Remodeler, meaning their staff has received the required James Hardie factory training. They also have years of experience working with homeowners to achieve the best results possible. Banner Construction also installs vinyl siding and premium replacement windows to make your home’s exterior looking beautiful, insulated and protected from the elements.