Pros and Cons of Fiber Cement Siding
When you need to replace the siding on your home, the options you have at your disposal can be overwhelming at times. Should you opt for the tried-and-true classic, vinyl siding? Or perhaps something with a little more aesthetic appeal like cedarwood? Another option that deserves consideration is Fiber Cement siding. Created in its modern form in the 1980’s when James Hardie built a version that was asbestos-free, fiber cement has been around since about 1900. However, it has taken off in popularity in recent years as an alternative to vinyl siding. If you’ve been wondering if fiber cement siding is the right option for your home, take a look at our guide comparing its pros and cons below.
- Fire Resistant: Fiber Cement Siding is one of the most fire resistant siding options one can install on their home. It has the Class A1 certification for fire resistance, the highest rating achievable. While Vinyl siding will begin warping and melting at 165 degrees, Fiber Cement is capable of resisting much higher temperatures, and could help save your home in the event of an external fire.
- Endurance: Fiber Cement siding lasts a very long time. If properly installed and maintained, it can last 50-75 years, which is far longer than vinyl siding. If you want to re-side your home and not have to think about doing it again for decades, fiber cement is the right choice.
- Durability: Fiber Cement siding is also very durable. Fiber cement will not rust or rot, resists extreme weather like snow, hail, and high winds, doesn’t degrade from UV exposure, and is crack and pest resistant.
- Versatility: Fiber Cement can also be designed to mimic a variety of textures, and can be painted any color you choose. This versatility makes it a popular option among homeowners.
- Expensive: Because Fiber Cement is heavy and requires careful handling, it is difficult to install. This makes it far more expensive to install than vinyl siding. However, it lasts a very long time, and its comparable in cost to installing vinyl siding two or three times.
- Maintenance: Fiber Cement siding lasts a relative eternity, but it will need to be repainted along the way. Expect to have to repaint your siding every 15 years or so.
- Insulation: While basic Fiber Cement and Vinyl Siding offer comparable levels of insulation, vinyl siding can be ordered with extra insulation which considerably increases its insulation value. If you live in a climate with extreme heat or cold, insulated vinyl siding will insulate your home more efficiently than fiber cement siding. However, fiber cement does offer marginally better insulation than basic siding, which is important to keep in mind.