All about Fiber Cement “Hardie” Siding

If you are in search for a great looking, more durable, but cheaper alternative to wood siding, fiber cement siding is an option to consider. Fiber Cement siding is often called HardiPlank and HardiPanel as these are brand names for fiber cement siding manufactured by James Hardie Building Products. Because of the many benefits this material offers to homeowners in terms of price, durability, longevity and style options, fiber cement siding is quickly gaining in popularity. Learn more about the pros and cons of fiber cement siding to decide if this is the right siding material for your home.

What is fiber cement siding?

Fiber cement siding is made from portland cement mixed with ground sand, cellulose fiber, and other additives. It is available in a variety of thicknesses that range between 4.5-18mm. The material also varies in density – the lower density results in a fibrous rough edge when cut, while the higher density has a clean smooth edge. Density and thickness are both important factors to consider when buying fiber cement siding. As a rule of thumb, the thicker and denser the product the better resistance it will have to temperature fluctuations and sound transmission.

Fiber cement siding is manufactured either as planks or panels. Planks are made to resemble long wood planks. They are typically 12 feet long and have varying widths. The width gives fiber cement siding it’s “reveal”, or the amount of plank visible on lap siding. Panels are bigger sheets of siding ( typically 4 ft x 8 ft) and therefore cover a broader surface area per piece than planks. Fiber cement panels are often used to mimic vertical siding.



While fiber cement siding is more expensive than vinyl siding, it is still significantly cheaper than wood. This makes it a great option for homeowners who are looking for a high quality siding material without the premium cost. Compare vinyl siding cost cement siding.


A major benefit of fiber cement siding is that it is more durable than wood or stucco siding. It is better to purchase the thicker/denser fiber cement products because they have excellent impact resistance. On the other hand, the thinner less dense varieties of fiber cement siding need to be protected from impact. Another advantage is that compared to wood siding, fiber cement is not susceptible to termites, fungus or rot. When properly painted and installed, it is also not susceptible to moisture. Moreover,HardieZone fiber cement siding is engineered to withstand tough characteristics of the North American climate, such as freezing cold temperatures, strong sun and hurricane-force winds. It is common for fiber cement siding to have a warranty of up to 50 years.

Fire resistant

Fibre cement siding is a non combustible material, which makes it ideal for homes located in regions prone to bush/forest fires.

Low maintenance

Once installed and painted, fiber cement siding requires minimal maintenance. You will still need to repaint fiber cement siding every 4-5 years, but this is still not be nearly as often as you would have to repaint wood siding. To prolong the length of time until you have to first repaint the siding, it is possible to purchase fiber cement products that are primed or primed-and-painted at the factory. While this is initially more expensive, this saves money and hassle down the road, since the paint is applied at the factory under optimal conditions and therefore lasts a lot longer than conventional paint applied after the siding is installed.

Great Curb Appeal

Fiber cement siding offers homeowners an opportunity to make the exterior of their home highly visually appealing. This siding can be manufactured to resemble stucco, wood clapboards, or cedar shingles, depending on how the panels are textured. Many homeowners love cement fiber siding becomes it comes the closest to emulating a natural wood grain. Premium grade fiber cement siding is often virtually indistinguishable from some wood siding products. Moreover, trim and millwork pieces are also available to provide design detail for the home.


Difficult Installation

One disadvantage of fiber cement siding is that it is difficult to install. Consequently, this installation is likely to cost you more than installing some other types of siding. Fibre cement siding is a very heavy product and requires two people to carry the uncut sheets and then install them once they have been cut. Before installation, fiber cement siding is very fragile and is prone to chipping and breakage if improperly handled. This means that you should choose your contractor wisely and hire a professional who has a lot of experience installing fiber cement siding.

Storage Issues

Fiber cement siding, while is moisture resistant – is not immune to moisture. If stored in conditions where it is exposed to element (not on the house), it will soak in water, and the freeze cycle will cause cracks and breakage of panels. This will render such panels unusable for installation. Cement siding must be stored in dry warehouse – never in the open, even if wrapped in plastic.

All About Aluminum Siding

Homeowners looking for exterior siding on their homes, should look into aluminum siding, which still remains a popular alternative to cheap vinyl siding and overly expensive wood siding. Aluminum siding offers many advantages to discerning homeowners who want a quality product for their home at a reasonable price. It is important to consider all the pros and cons of aluminum siding to decide whether this material will be a good fit for the style of your house and your personal needs.

PROS of Aluminum Siding

Resistant to extreme temperature fluctuations

A big benefit of aluminum siding is that it is a stable material at all temperature ranges. While extreme hot or cold temperatures can damage vinyl siding, aluminum siding remains unaffected, continuing to protect your home. This property makes aluminum siding a smart choice for homeowners who live in areas with extreme temperature variations.


Of all siding materials available, aluminum is one of the most durable and long lasting. The aluminum itself can last virtually indefinitely, and it is also a rotproof, waterproof, corrosion and termite resistant material. As a result, aluminum is able to withstand years of exposure to the elements. In terms of durability, aluminum by far outperforms vinyl siding. If your home is in a coastal area, aluminum siding would be a ideal choice, since aluminium reacts with air to form aluminium oxide. This is an extremely hard coating that seals the aluminium surface from further degradation and provides superior protection for your home.

Low Maintenance

Apart from removing occasional dents, aluminum siding requires very little regular maintenance. Once the aluminum siding colors will fade, it can be easily repainted to look like new. An added benefit is that the extra layer of new paint will not only improve the appearance of your home, but will actually improve the durability of the siding as well. A good paint job on aluminum siding can last for about 20 years.

Provides insulation and energy efficiency

Aluminum siding is a great insulator. It adds more insulation to your home then vinyl siding. Additional insulation can help reduce your heating and cooling costs, particularly if you live in a colder climate.

Aesthetically appealing

Many homeowners really like the attractive look of aluminum siding. This material is available in a wide range of styles including horizontal, vertical panels and a broad array of prefinished colors. Alumnim siding is also available in a variety of textures including wood shake/shingle style. Note that it is not possible to do detailed trim work with aluminum siding.

CONS of Aluminum Siding

Cost and availability

Aluminum siding is expensive. Much more expensive than vinyl siding and even more expensive than cedar. On average, 1 square of aluminum siding will cost $275-300, just for panels. This cost does not include trim.

Additionally, aluminum siding is very hard to find. I had to call 5 different suppliers until I found on carrying aluminum siding and their on hand stock was nine 8″ x 12′ clapboard panels, only available in white. Others did not even sell it. So to today if you plan to have horizontal aluminum siding installed, plan to spend an are and a leg, and hope you can find enough for your home. You can use our Siding Calculator to estimate aluminum siding cost.

Issues with color

Unlike vinyl siding, the original color of aluminum siding will eventually fade. In addition to gradual fading, the prefinished paint is known to also chalk, and run off onto the walls below siding and it can even wear down to bare metal. Scrubbing, washing or even steam cleaning aluminum siding cannot make it look the way it used to when it was new. This means that sooner or later you will have to repaint it. If you are willing to spend extra money, now you can purchase vinyl coated finishes that will help alleviate paint problems of cheaper aluminum siding products, significantly prolonging the fresh new look of your aluminum siding.

Difficult to repair in case of damage

In case aluminum siding gets damaged or punctured, it is a challenge to patch in a piece of metal. As a result, large scale repair jobs are both difficult and costly. Repairing a hole or damaged part of aluminum siding requires removal of a very large piece of planking, or the use of metal sheers that can leave visible cuts if not used properly.

Prone to denting

Alluminum siding can be dented or damaged by impact. If you live in a area that gets a lot of hail storms, aluminum siding would not be a good option to protect your home. Similarly, aluminum may get easily damaged if you live in a high traffic area where debris or sticks could hit the siding, or there are lots of children who may bounce balls off of it. Dents on aluminum siding will not spring back like they might in vinyl siding and the strip may need to be replaced or refinished to make it look right.

Unwanted Noise

Because aluminum siding is made of light, flexible metal it is prone to being noisy when the wind starts to blow hard. As a result you get a lot of “pinging” sounds when aluminum siding rattles in high winds. Similarly, you may hear additional unwanted noise if it rains really hard. Consequently, if you live in area that is prone to strong winds and/or heavy rain fall and you are also sensitive to outside noise, aluminum siding may not be the best option for you.

Siding Prices and Installation

The least expensive siding materials are vinyl and aluminum. Wooden siding is usually much more expensive and it therefore has a reputation as a more luxurious, high end material, although it does not usually cost as much as stone or brick siding. The cost of installation can be just as influential on the overall cost of your new siding as the price of the material itself. You should make sure that you find out exactly how much it will cost you to buy your new siding and have it installed. It is also a good idea to shop around for a number of different quotes before you choose your supplier, in order to ensure that you are getting the best possible price. You may also want to consider the cost and effort involved in maintaining different types of siding when you are making your choice.

Quality Considerations

The quality of the material that you purchase for your home siding will be an important consideration since it will affect the appearance, durability and cost of the siding. Many home centers and other suppliers offer a selection of different types or qualities of siding for each type of material. This is particularly true with wooden siding. Higher quality materials will be more expensive, but this extra cost can be worthwhile in order to achieve the best aesthetic results and durability. The highest quality wooden siding will have fewer knots and it will be produced from the best types of wood. High quality vinyl siding, meanwhile, can be recognized by its superior appearance, which will look less artificial than the cheaper varieties of vinyl siding. The higher quality vinyl siding products will also tend to be heavier than the lower quality ones.


Wood siding can last for up to 30 years or more when it is being cared for properly. Vinyl siding is intended to be able to last as long as your home, although the quality of the material will determine how long it will actually last. Thicker, seamless vinyl tends to be more durable. Fiber cement siding can last up to 50 years. Natural and manufactured stone, and brick siding can last as long as your house. Stucco can last for 50 years or more.


Suppliers of siding will usually offer warranties on their products, with the length of the warranty varying between different types of siding material and siding of different qualities. The length of the warranty is a good indication of how durable the material is and how long it is likely to last. A longer warranty also offers you protection against any problems that may affect your siding in the future. It is, therefore, a good idea to find out about the warranties offered by your supplier and exactly what will be covered by these warranties.


Vinyl and aluminum siding is typically the easiest to maintain, requiring very little work. This can help to increase the savings of both time and money that can be made by choosing these types of siding. Wooden siding, while it is considered more luxurious and aesthetically appealing, usually takes more effort to maintain. This is particularly true if you have chosen to paint your wooden siding rather than to stain it, as the siding will then require more regular maintenance and repainting in order to keep it looking its best. Wood siding usually needs to be repainted or stained every four to ten years, depending on the climate and the quality of the paint or stain. The amount of maintenance that wood siding requires will also depend upon the type of wood that has been used to construct it. Cedar siding, for example, is a very durable material that typically requires little maintenance. In most cases, the maintenance required by wood siding will simply involve repainting or re-staining it when necessary, which could be as often as every few years.

Vinyl Siding installed on a Cape house

Fiber cement will require periodic repainting, but usually less often than wood. It usually only needs to be painted once every 15 to 20 years. Natural stone may require occasional mortar repairs, but is otherwise very low maintenance. Manufactured stone requires even less maintenance, although its appearance may occasionally be improved through washing it. Brick siding rarely requires maintenance. Stucco siding does not usually require much maintenance, although it will need to be repaired if a crack develops.

Fiber Cement Siding Installed on a house

Suppliers and Installation

You can buy your siding material directly from a home center, or you can buy it through the installer. Even if you intend to purchase your siding from the service that will be installing it, it is still sensible to consider the options that are available in order to ensure that you choose the right material for your home and avoid overspending.

If you are hiring a professional to install your siding, as most homeowners will find it necessary to do, then you should make sure that you choose a professional, reputable installation service. Brick and stone siding typically require professional installation, but you may be able to install some types of siding yourself. Ensuring that your siding has been installed properly will help to make sure that it lasts longer and that it looks as good as possible on your home. You should check that the supplier has experience fitting the type of siding that you have chosen, so that you can be sure they know exactly what they are doing. It is also a good idea to ask for recommendations from friends and relatives who may know a reliable supplier, or to try to find out more about a supplier’s reputation by checking online or consulting the Better Business Bureau. This will ensure that you choose a supplier who you can trust to do the job well. You should also make sure that you ensure your supplier knows the exact size of the area that needs to be sided and that they are aware of the quantity of material that will be required. It is also sensible to find out how long the work is likely to take to complete.

Siding Materials – Buying Guide

When choosing siding materials for your home, there are many options to consider. Little else will define the look of your home as the siding will. The appearance of your home will undoubtedly be affected by the choice of siding material and will likely be the first thing visitors to your home will notice.

While most people, unless they live in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s society, have the luxury of choosing whatever material makes them happy, it is important to keep in mind the feelings of your neighbors. If you live in a neighborhood of a specific style of home, for example brick ranch, choosing a stucco finish might make your home stick out like a sore thumb. For this reason, at least, consider carefully your choice of siding materials.

Speaking of brick, it is a durable and classic look that has been a popular siding material. Brick is an Eco-friendly building material as it is made from naturally replenishing resources, and can be recycled. Brick does not require maintenance and painting like other types of siding materials, as its natural coloring options are beautiful. In addition, the lack of painting means the air quality is improved and the chance of mold is greatly diminished.

Brick is also durable and resistant to fire. Brick siding can last a hundred years or more. The energy use of the home is deeply decreased, as the indoor temperature swings are moderate, therefore, the load on the heating and cooling systems are decreased as well.

Stucco is a siding option that is traditionally made of cement, water, sand and lime. Often found on homes that are Mediterranean or Spanish style, stucco has been around since the time of ancient Greeks and Romans. Synthetic stucco is an option that is not as heavy as real stucco, but it is also not as durable. Stucco can be tinted any color you want and may never need to be repainted, but it does require maintenance. Certain types of synthetic stucco have had reported problems with water damage as well.

Stone siding can hold up to extreme weather conditions unlike many other siding materials. While it is not only the most durable, it is also the most costly. Stone siding brings to mind European castles and mansions, but also New York cobblestone, which is less expensive and considered an art form by many. Some stone veneers can be made-made, which will lower the cost, but many are fake looking and are not as rugged.

Wooden clapboard siding is a traditional looking material that is often found on older American houses and historic homes. It is the least maintenance-free option in siding materials as it requires painting and caulking and is prone to insect damage and wood rot. An advantage to wood siding is the relatively inexpensive cost and maintenance costs can be lowered by staining the wood rather than painting. Engineered wood siding is an alternative to traditional wood siding and is easier to install since it comes in panels, but it rarely looks like real wood. An advantage of the engineered wood siding is that it is more aesthetically appealing than vinyl or aluminum siding to some people.

Vinyl and aluminum siding are both durable options for siding materials. Vinyl won’t rot like wood and it is usually the cheapest to buy, but vinyl is prone to fading and cracking. There are also some environmental issues with vinyl siding. Aluminum siding is easy to maintain and won’t damage the environment, but it can fade as well as become dented.

Cedar shakes or shingles are a wonderful option for a home in a wooded area as this type of siding material blends in among the natural setting of trees. Stain applied to the shingles will help to prevent peeling, and they require less maintenance than wood clapboard siding.

Siding Materials Vinyl Siding Fiber Cement

Is Vinyl Siding Right For Your Home?

You have probably heard a lot about vinyl siding and how it can help your home. According to many people, it is easier to install than other materials, fairly durable, and comes in a wide range of colors. However, you probably have heard very little about the different kinds of siding, such as fiber cement and cedar, and what the pros and cons are.

Vinyl is a popular choice amongst many homeowners because it can be a do it yourself project if you want it to be. Also, this type of material does not require too much maintenance over time, which is ideal for busy people. It should be washed annually though. It tends to be cheaper than wood and fiber cement siding.

For many people, vinyl is easy to find in hardware stores and allows them to add their own unique touch to the exterior of their homes. This is because siding comes in tons of different colors and styles, some of which mimic the look of wood and other materials. Also, any good hardware store should have a special toolkit to help you get the job done.

Over time, the vinyl can tear and become worn. It may not be suitable for areas where there is harsh weather, such as frequent storms, as it may tear or puncture the vinyl more easily than other materials. Also, high winds can cause the panels to become undone.

If you consider yourself to be an environmentally friendly person, vinyl is probably not for you. This is because when vinyl burns, it releases toxic chemicals which are hazardous to the environment and to our health. Additionally, disposing of it is also hazardous to the environment.

Fiber cement siding is more expensive than vinyl, but cheaper than wood. It can be made to resemble any number of different materials, like stucco or wood. Additionally, this material is more durable than wood and fire resistant.

Many people choose fiber cement for their homes because of the added safety. Also, it is quite affordable when compared to the cost of wood and generally requires less maintenance. This type of siding can also be found under the names cement fiber siding and concrete siding.

Wood clapboard siding is known for giving homes a classic look and being very beautiful. However, this look does come at a cost because this type of siding is both expensive and high maintenance. However, the prices do range greatly amongst the different types of available woods.

Wood clapboard comes in tons of different finishes that can appeal to almost anyone. You can also paint it any color you desire. However, you will need to paint it regularly and apply a good finish to it in order to ensure it is always looking its best. Staining, rather than painting, the wood may help decrease the amount of regular maintenance that must be performed.

Choosing the right siding for your home is not an easy task. To help you narrow down the material choices, consult a professional siding installer / contractor, and they will help you figure out what appeals to your tastes, how much you can spend, and what will best stand up to the weather conditions of your home town.