You’re ready to replace the siding on your home and your research is telling you that fiber cement siding is a popular choice.
There are major benefits and drawbacks to consider with fiber cement siding before you could know if it is the right siding option for you.
In this guide, we cover fiber cement siding pros and cons as well as some important factors to consider while thinking about fiber cement siding.
Table of Contents
- What Is Fiber Cement Siding?
- What Are the Advantages of Fiber Cement Siding?
- 7 Pros of Using Fiber Cement Siding
- What Are the Disadvantages of Using Fiber Cement Siding?
- 4 Cons of Using Fiber Cement Siding
- Considering Siding for Your Home or Building? Let Elite Home Exteriors Provide a FREE Consultation and Estimate
What Is Fiber Cement Siding?
Fiber cement siding has been around for the last few decades. The most modern version of fiber cement siding is generally made up of the following materials:
- Cement blend
- Natural cellulose fibers
Once mixed, the cement is pressed and molded into planks or shingles used as siding on homes, businesses, or other structures.
Fiber cement siding can be made with several different textures, styles, and colors. Sometimes, fiber cement siding will come pre-painted. If not, the planks will be given a primer coat in the factory so that they can be painted once installed.
For information regarding your choices when it comes to fiber cement siding, you’ll want to reach out to set up a consultation with your siding company.
Elite Home Exteriors has a dedicated team of workers. We provide free consultations and estimate for installing new siding on your home or business.
What Are the Advantages of Fiber Cement Siding?
Fiber cement siding has recently been earning more and more of the market share. There are several reasons why people and businesses are choosing to use fiber cement siding.
Reasons like it is …
- Low maintenance
- Durable; and
… are just a few.
Would you prefer to speak with an expert to hear more about the advantages of fiber cement siding?
Call Elite Home Exteriors today to schedule a consultation with one of our siding experts, get information, and receive a free estimate.
7 Pros of Using Fiber Cement Siding
Business owners and homeowners that choose to use fiber cement siding enjoy several benefits.
Some of them include:
- Being low maintenance
- Its durability
- The protection it provides
- The customizability
#1: Low Maintenance
When it comes to maintaining that new siding glow, you’ll be happy to know that fiber cement is a very low-maintenance siding.
Fiber cement will need:
- Annual cleaning with a power washer
- Caulking around joints
- A new coat of paint after 25-35 years.
Other than those few maintenance items, you really don’t need to worry about your fiber cement siding after it is installed.
Fiber cement siding is known to be resistant to:
- Inclement weather
- UV damage; and
It is important to note, however, that fiber cement is generally more prone to moisture-derived issues. In areas of high humidity, issues with mildew or drainage could develop over time.
Even so, fiber cement persists as a very low-maintenance siding option.
Durability is a key factor to consider when choosing a siding for your home. In this category, many opt for fiber cement.
Fiber cement siding is built to last up to 50+ years. It is generally made up of the following materials:
- Silica sand or ash
- Wood pulp
- Portland cement
Fiber cement is incredibly strong and should hold up against the toughest of weather. It is even resistant to fire, making it one of the most durable options on the market.
In terms of environmental impact, fiber cement is known to be one of the most sustainable products in the siding market.
Hardie siding, the most popular brand of fiber cement, was even recognized as the “Greenest Siding Brand” on Green Building Media’s Readers’ Choice survey six years in a row.
What makes it so sustainable?
Fiber cement is:
- Made of natural materials
- NOT a producer of hazardous chemicals that pollute the environment
Currently, fiber cement is not renewable or recyclable. While it is not perfect, it is still the most eco-friendly siding product available.
As we mentioned previously, fiber cement siding comes in a variety of:
- Shapes; and
Want your home to have a classic look? Or are you into more of a rustic feel? Fiber cement siding can likely achieve any look you have in mind.
Check out our Elite Home Exteriors gallery for some siding inspiration.
Fiber cement is made of mostly non-flammable materials, meaning it is very fire-resistant.
In fact, if you’re worried about protecting your home from a house fire or fire-related damage, you can rest assured knowing that fiber cement siding was given a Class 1(A) flame spread rating – the best there is.
Regarding fire resistance, fiber cement is the best choice.
Unlike its wood siding counterparts, it is not made of flammable materials. Even vinyl siding, under enough heat, can easily warp or melt.
Among fiber cement siding’s many advantages is its ability to protect against common siding concerns.
With fiber cement siding, you can expect to receive protection from things like:
- Vermin or small animals
- Mold and mildew
Not only that, but the durable siding works to reduce the number of allergens in your home. For you, that means cleaner air and better breathing.
#7: Looks Real
Fiber cement can take on many different styles. Due to its unique production process, fiber cement siding has the ability to be:
- Changed to fit your stylistic preferences
Many people who use fiber cement siding are impressed with how realistic it can look.
If you’re considering other options for your home or business’s exterior, you may find that the more inexpensive options tend to look cheap or fake.
The texturizing done to fiber cement can often achieve an appearance just like that of:
- And more
The benefit of this is that homeowners can enjoy the classic look of these materials without missing out on the advantages of modern products.
What Are the Disadvantages of Using Fiber Cement Siding?
When it comes to choosing the best high-quality siding for your home, fiber cement is hard to beat. There are, however, some disadvantages to be aware of that could impact your decision.
Since every buyer can have their own set of needs and objectives, keep in mind that certain advantages or disadvantages may vary in terms of importance
4 Cons of Using Fiber Cement Siding
Though fiber cement is generally a strong choice, there are a few potential downsides worth mentioning.
Some of them include:
- Work of installation
- Low-insulation value
We’ll cover each of these more in-depth in the following sections.
Fiber cement siding is typically going to be one of the most expensive options on the market. Many, however, argue that fiber cement (particularly HardiePlank) is the best exterior system on the market.
On average, the cost to install fiber cement siding is anywhere from $7-13 per square foot.
While the upfront cost of using fiber cement siding is higher, you can expect the long term cost to be offset by:
- Less maintenance
- Long-lasting durability
If you are looking for a more budget-friendly option that doesn’t sacrifice too much quality, many find that vinyl siding is a great choice.
Want to compare? We’ve put together a price comparison for vinyl vs. fiber cement siding for you.
One of the reasons fiber cement siding costs more than other siding options is because it requires more time and effort to install.
Why is fiber cement more difficult to install?
A couple of reasons:
- The cement slabs are large and heavy.
- The cement material is more likely to break or chip if not handled properly.
#3: Low Insulation Value
Having a well-insulated home is important for a number of reasons.
In addition to saving money on your utility bill, one of the key reasons is that you don’t want energy to transfer easily in or out of your home. In other words, you want your air-conditioned home to:
- Stay warm when you heat it
- Keep cool when you cool it
Fiber cement is not known for its insulating capabilities.
If your home is well-insulated with high-quality insulation, you will likely have nothing to worry about.
Older homes, on the other hand, might not have the best insulation. Using fiber cement won’t necessarily help the issue. If you’re unsure, it is a good idea to have someone inspect your home and recommend a product that will work best.
In recent years, James Hardie siding has come out with an updated version of its already popular fiber cement product. This updated siding has insulated backing, making it far better at:
- Insulating your home
- Helping it run more efficiently; and
- Saving money in the long run.
Vinyl siding has always been known as a great insulator. If you’d like to read more information on the differences between vinyl siding and fiber cement, we’ve put together a comparison for you.
#4: It’s Heavy
Cement is heavy. That is no secret.
Fiber cement siding can add up to 5x the amount of weight that vinyl siding adds to your home.
While the materials make the product durable, the weight of fiber cement siding is something that not all structures can handle well.
That said, if you’re unsure if your home could hold fiber cement siding, is it recommended that you have an experienced contractor take a look at your property.
The weight of fiber cement siding also makes the installation process more difficult. Labor costs may be higher than with other siding materials since it takes more people to handle such a heavy product.
Considering Siding for Your Home or Building? Let Elite Home Exteriors Provide a FREE Consultation and Estimate
There is a lot to consider when choosing the right siding for your home or building, so we understand that the process can feel overwhelming.
You now know all about fiber cement siding, the pros and cons, and some important factors you should think about before picking the right siding for your home.
At Elite Home Exteriors, we work with all types of siding. Let us help you decide what is right for you and your home. We’ll provide you with our best recommendations with honesty and transparency every step of the way.
Set up a free consultation with Elite Home Exteriors and receive a free estimate for your project.