The Advantages of Fiber-Cement Siding

Choose fiber-cement siding for your house and you may not have to paint it again for 25 years.

| June/July 2009

  • installing siding
    You’ll need to install vertical wood furring strips to which the siding will be attached before installing the siding over concrete or concrete block walls.
    JAMES HARDIE
  • cartoon Dan cutting siding
    Safety first! When sawing fiber-cement siding, be sure to wear a dust mask and eye protection. And protecting your ears from the noise produced by power tools is always a good idea.
    KEITH WARD
  • yellow house with fiber cement siding
    Fiber-cement siding is a great option for new construction. Made of cement, sand, and wood fibers, it resists fire, wind, insects, (including termites) and moisture. 
    PHOTO: CERTAINTEED CORPORATION
  • brown house
    Fiber-cement siding is manufactured to resemble cedar shingles and wood clapboards (either wood-grain or smooth). You also can purchase fiber-cement siding that looks like stucco.
    JAMES HARDIE
  • fiber cement siding with window box
    Fiber-cement siding is manufactured to resemble cedar shingles and wood clapboards (either wood-grain or smooth).
    JAMES HARDIE

  • installing siding
  • cartoon Dan cutting siding
  • yellow house with fiber cement siding
  • brown house
  • fiber cement siding with window box

If you’re building a new home, garage, addition, workshop or barn — or if it’s time to replace the ancient, weather-beaten siding on your house — consider fiber-cement siding.

What is fiber-cement siding, and what are your options? Like conventional siding, fiber-cement siding is applied to the exterior of buildings to protect them from the elements. This product comes in a wide range of colors and styles that resemble conventional siding materials, notably stucco, cedar shingles, and wood clapboards. It’s made primarily from cement, sand, and wood fiber (often a recycled wood-fiber waste product), a combination that results in an extremely durable material.

Fiber-cement siding typically costs a bit more than vinyl siding, but less than stucco. It also outlasts its competitors — often by decades — because it resists many common hazards, including fire, wind, insects, and rain. Fiber-cement siding is recommended in all climates, but is ideal for hot, humid regions. No matter how wet it gets, it won’t rot. And because of the cement and sand content, it’s termite-resistant.

Because of its durability, fiber-cement siding reduces maintenance costs, and it’s less likely than conventional siding to end up in landfills. Unfortunately, there are currently no recycling programs in place for fiber-cement siding. However, it is an inert material that, if ultimately sent to a landfill, should not endanger the environment.



Although many builders and homeowners are just discovering its benefits, this material has been around for quite some time — nearly 100 years — so you won’t be experimenting with a new product.

Fiber-cement planks made with a wood-grained or a smooth finish are popular. These come in widths of 4 to 12 inches, so you can match existing siding if you’re building an addition or garage. Wall panels with vertical grooves and soffit panels for the underside of overhangs are also available.

timmy55
8/14/2018 3:35:37 PM

i heard that fiber cement siding was very hard to install yourself (ver heavy.) Is this not the case? I got this advice from conservation construction of texas that it would be best to hire somebody. Does anbody know how heavy the individual peices are?


Germaine
10/17/2014 11:12:51 AM

Great information here. I took your advice and tried to install some fiber cement siding on my house. Unfortunately, I had little success installing it, so I hired a local Houston professional, Advanced Home Exteriors, to install it for me. As a result, they did a really nice installation, and, because of this, I would recommend them to anyone needing a professional siding installation. For more info on Advanced Home Exteriors, feel free to check out their website. www.advancedhomeexteriors.net


kcisis
4/26/2013 4:30:10 PM

Can certainly attest to it's durability--I have some cement fiber siding on my house that dates to the turn of the century!  It's in a shingle style form--I've been in the house 17 years and only had to replace a small section that had been regularly battered by large tree limb, due to some large chipping on the edges.  It was commonly used in our area of the Midwest and I had extras left from a sleeping porch that was added to the house 20-30 years after the house was originally built.  Getting ready to replace my soffits with those from James Hardie and hopefully close the racoon resort in my attic.  Wood (even reinforced with hardware cloth) has proved no deterrent; however, the one patch job I did with a piece of the siding hasn't been breached.







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