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

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.

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.

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.

Roy Melnick
6/19/2009 11:40:35 AM

Thank you for the informative article. It is refreshing to see accurrate information about such great siding product. In the New England Area we have been installing fiebr cement products for over a decade and have hundreds of beautiful homes we have transformed. I reccommend fiber cement siding to anyone who needs to replace current failing siding, whether it is old brittle vinyl, rotten cedar, lead painted wood clapboards, old asbestos shingles and so on. If you plan on maximizing the value of your home, reduce your exterior maintenance for the long haul and be green, fiber cement siding is the right choice. In fact realtor magazine has conducted studies that for the last 7 years running replacing existing siding with new fibe cemnt siding give you the biggest return on your investment even more so than a new kitchen or bath. To find out more visit or email me at

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265