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Fiber Cement Siding

For those who want the appearance of wood siding, but don’t want the hassles and costs associated with it, fiber cement siding may be a good choice as an alternative.
The market share of these products is approaching 10 percent, but the technology is almost a century old! Available in a variety of textures, fiber cement siding is more durable than wood. It’s also termite-resistant, water-resistant, and non-combustible and warranted to last fifty years!

Composed of cement, sand and cellulose fiber that has been cured with pressurized steam to increase its strength and dimensional stability. The fiber reinforces the product and prevents cracking. This siding product will protect your home from rot, fire, wind and insects.

Invented in France, fiber cement siding was exported throughout the world, including America, where many old homes have the product as part of their original exterior walls and roofs. These original products contained asbestos in the mix, but when asbestos was found to be dangerous, cellulose was substituted.

An advantage of fiber cement siding is its attractiveness and variety of styles that have embossed wood grained texture, stucco or smooth finish. These products are combined with various types of vinyl trim to block the weather. Vinyl ventilation accessories may also be utilized and painted as you wish.

Another benefit of fiber cement siding is the virtually unlimited choice of colors provided by water-based acrylic paint, which grips these products very well and doesn’t peel because the products do not expand and contract like wood. Paint typically lasts up to 15 years. Stains may also be applied to these products.

Finally, fiber cement siding is competitively priced, generally costing slightly less than the highest quality vinyl siding.

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While vinyl and wood have been the most popular siding choices for years, fiber cement siding is said to be the wave of the future. Besides its extreme durability and improved eco-friendliness, fiber cement siding also comes with a lower price tag than other materials. Here are the facts.

Costs

The overall cost of installing fiber cement siding is determined by the total cost of materials (which in turn depends on the size of the job), labor, and the paint or stain you’ll be using. A job completed with materials on the lower end could cost between $4.50 and $9 per square foot, or $10 to $11 dollars per square foot for higher-end materials. Either way, it is less than natural stone, cedar and wood siding.

Pros

Water-based acrylic paint adheres to fiber cement better than wood and lasts up to 15 years. It can be stained as well.

Fiber cement siding provides the aesthetically pleasing look of wood without the maintenance and high prices.

More durable than wood, it’s termite-resistant, water-resistant and non-combustible with a lifespan of 50 years.

Cons

Because of the extensiveness of the job, it’s recommended you only allow a professional installation.

Compared to vinyl siding, fiber cement siding is quite a bit more expensive.

It also comes with a slower installation time than vinyl siding.

Durability

Built to stand up against rain, hail, snow, salt air, and damage from insects and fire, fiber cement siding is extremely durable. Its biggest enemy, however, is moisture. Make sure that your siding is installed and finished properly so as not to allow moisture any entrance.

Maintenance

Luckily for homeowners, fiber cement siding also requires significantly less maintenance than other products. Routine power washing is suggested to get rid of dirt and insect nests. Also, make sure to close any gaps between boards, windows and doors by caulking every year.

Common Questions and Answers

What is the difference in cost between fiber cement siding and wood siding?

Fiber cement siding should cost about 24% less than wood siding after installation. It will also last longer with less maintenance.

What are the choices when it comes to ordering fiber cement siding from the manufacturer?

Fiber cement siding can be ordered from the factory primed and sealed in order to prevent damage from moisture on the job site. Or, it can be delivered raw and painted by the contractor.

History

Fiber cement products first came on to the market to replace the asbestos cement sheeting manufactured by James Hardie up until the 1990s. Fiber cement has since been considered the most environmentally-friendly siding available today.

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