Should I Use Fiber Cement or Vinyl Siding?

When building a home, you have a lot of choices. What many of them boil down to is whether you want a product that is cheaper now or one that will last for years to come. The siding options for your home are no different. And the biggest debate for most people comes down to fiber cement siding vs. vinyl siding. Most houses built today use one of these siding options.

Fiber Cement Siding vs. Vinyl: Which is Better?

Both siding options have their pros and their cons. They are both versatile and come in a number of colors; each one can be matched to your specific tastes in appearance. But there are a few more aspects to consider.

Fiber Cement Siding – Fiber cement siding has become a popular choice in the past two decades. It is tough and durable providing a protecting structure for your home.fiber cement siding

What is Hardie Board?

Fiber cement siding is often generically referred to by its brand name of Hardieplank (commonly called Hardie board), which is manufactured by James Hardie Building Products Inc.

Hardieplank comes prefinished in a variety of colors, or you can have it installed with just primer (to be painted whichever color you decide after installation). Since it is essentially made of cement, it is dense and can stand up to a lot of abuse before it cracks or breaks.

hardie board siding

Its biggest benefit is also its biggest pitfall, though. Fiber cement board is heavy and difficult to cut. Special saw blades are required, nails must be predrilled, and installation generally takes longer than vinyl. Because of its weight, fiber cement siding ends up costing more than vinyl.

Vinyl Siding – Vinyl siding is an immensely popular choice as well. It is versatile and easy to work with, making it a popular choice for a lot of homeowners.

vinyl siding

Vinyl comes in many different styles and colors. There is bound to be one that matches your specific tastes. Not only does the color vary, but the patterns do as well. Since it is made out of plastic, it can be formed incredibly thin. This allows an additional layer of insulation to be placed under the vinyl siding, as well as allowing each panel to be light and easily transported. It can be cut with any saw blade and shaped with a knife. Installation is quick and relatively easy.

vinyl siding falling off

Like fiber cement siding, vinyl’s biggest benefit is its biggest weakness. After time on the house, the vinyl can become weaker. A hailstorm, an errant baseball, or a falling branch can poke holes in it requiring replacement. While vinyl can be painted, you can only paint it a lighter color than it already is (darker colors can heat up too much causing it to warp in the sun).

Should You Choose Hardieplank or Vinyl?

You are here because you’re wondering if you should have fiber cement siding or vinyl installed on your house. Fiber cement is tougher, but it costs more. Vinyl is more affordable, but it damages easier.

Whether you use fiber cement siding or vinyl will depend on your budget, how you want the finished product to look, and how long you want to be in the house before replacement is needed.

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