Fiber Cement Siding Pros and Cons: The Case For Fiber Cement

Fiber Cement Siding Cover Image

Fiber cement siding offers many benefits, but still, may not be for everyone. Whether you’re remodeling or building a new home, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with all the options. There are many types of siding to choose from, how do you decide which is best for you? 

Durability is the most common concern when choosing a residential siding. After all, the siding is what keeps your home’s interior safe. Other factors such as climate, cost, and maintenance also play a role in this decision-making process.

Large home with two toned siding

At MEI, we know how important it is to have high-quality home siding that is properly installed. Learn more about our excellent siding options and expert siding contractors today.

What Is Fiber Cement Siding?

Fiber cement siding is one of the most durable siding materials available for residential, multi-family, and commercial buildings. What is fiber cement? Of all the types of siding for your home, fiber cement siding is one of the most popular due to its low maintenance, fire-resistant, and insect repelling qualities.

Fiber Cement Siding vs. Vinyl Siding

When weighing the differences between fiber cement versus vinyl siding, it’s essential to note that, unlike vinyl, fiber cement will not crack due to freezing temperatures. With proper maintenance, fiber cement siding has a lifespan of upwards of 50 years.

Beautiful siding on a new apartment complex

Fiber Cement Siding Pros and Cons

Whether you’re looking to replace existing siding or building a new home, there are several aspects to take into consideration. Fiber cement siding options have many benefits, but there are some important factors to be aware of, as with any other siding type.

Fiber Cement Siding Benefits

There are a few key benefits to using cement composite siding that make it stand out. First, fiber cement paneled exteriors have been around for decades and stood the test of time.

  • Weather-resistant: Composite cement board siding offers protection from extreme wind and hail storms that other sidings cannot.
  • Insect resistant: Nesting bugs, including termites, won’t be able to make their home inside this siding, which helps keep them out of the interior as well.
  • Fire-resistant: Fiber cement siding can stop wildfires from entering through the building exterior and contain fires inside the building.

Fiber Cement Siding Problems

There are a few critical factors to consider before deciding to go with concrete siding. These concrete fiberboard panels are made to last a lifetime, but that comes with an upfront cost.

  • Cost: The cost to install fiber cement siding can be higher than other siding options because the material is more complex and challenging to work with.
  • Non-recyclable: The composite material used is not recyclable, but the 50-year life expectancy of fiber cement siding helps minimize its carbon footprint.
  • Install: Fiber cement siding is a heavy material, and cutting it creates dust that is dangerous to inhale, which makes installation difficult.
  • Maintenance: While this siding is extremely durable, it will need to be washed periodically and repainted every 10 to 15 years to stay looking fresh and new.

House front with blue fiber cement siding panels

Types of Fiber Cement Siding

With fiber cement siding, you’ll find there are many different styles and textures you can choose from for your house. Each manufacturer’s product has a unique appeal that makes them an excellent choice for any homeowner. There are several reputable brands we like to work with at MEI. Check out the selection of each brand below to find your favorite.

  • James Hardie
  • Nichiha
  • Allura

James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding

James Hardie is the most popular brand and the one we tend to install the most. They have been dominant in the industry since the 1980’s when they invented fiber cement board technology. Since then, their name has become synonymous with longevity, beautiful design, and weather resistance. James Hardie board siding typically costs between $7.99 and $13.55 per square foot.

How Much Does Fiber Cement Siding Cost?

The cost of residing in a house with fiber cement siding can be more cost-effective than vinyl if you decide to stay for the lifetime of the siding. However, fiber cement siding cost vs. vinyl is typically a dollar more per square foot, which can be a significant upfront cost but will pay off when the vinyl siding needs replacing due to damage from weather, insects, or rot.

Technician installing siding with a nail gun

Fiber Cement Siding Installation

Proper installation of siding protects and increases the value of your home. Therefore, when deciding who should install your siding, there are vital things to consider before calling a handy neighbor.

Whether a contractor is handling the installation or you’re doing it yourself, you’ll want to wear a mask if exposed to the cutting of panels. Due to the heavy nature of the siding, at least two workers should handle the job, and once the siding has been mounted, caulking should be placed around windows, doors, and trim to seal the small gaps. If unfinished siding was installed, it should be painted within 90 days. If you don’t have any construction experience, you can call on us to help and join our long list of satisfied customers.

Maintenance Tips for Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding can be more costly and challenging to install than other siding options. However, it is also one of the most durable, long-lasting options for many homeowners, particularly those in cold, damp climates. If you choose to go with fiber cement siding vs. stucco or any other siding, here are a couple of tips to extend the longevity of your siding.

  • Routinely wash away dirt and mildew with soap and water.
  • Repaint the siding every 10 to 15 years to seal it and make it look new.
  • Wear a mask when cutting or replacing any sections of siding.

Sunny patio outside a beautiful new home

Visit the MEI Showroom to Explore Our Siding Options 

Fiber cement shingle siding is the perfect option for those looking for a great siding that will hold up for 50 years or more. To learn more about what cement siding is and what siding is the best fit for your home, visit our blog. At MEI, we use the highest quality products and guarantee that our team of expert contractors will do a great job on your next home project. Visit our website or our showroom to learn more about our siding options and the MEI guarantee.