What’s The Difference Between Vinyl Siding and Fiber Cement?

What’s The Difference Between Vinyl Siding and Fiber Cement

There are many factors that go into choosing the right siding for your home. You want to choose a siding that is durable and easy to maintain but you also want it to make your home look attractive. Choosing the wrong siding can lead to added expense, damage to your home and impact the look of your home from the outside.

Siding Options

Cedar shake shingles and wooden siding options create a unique look to your exterior, but they also come with higher maintenance requirements. They are also less durable than vinyl or fiber cement options. Cost is also a factor in those types of siding and they are less energy efficient. Therefore, many homeowners choose between vinyl and fiber cement when choosing a siding option.


Fiber-cement siding is manufactured from wood pulp and Portland cement. The substance is formed into either shingles or long boards and attached directly to your home with nails. Vinyl siding is usually made from PVC, a plastic material that is rigid. The siding allows for expansion and contractions as temperatures get warmer and colder. It has been the most popular type of siding in the United States for 20 years.

Visual Aspects

Fiber-cement boards are available in many styles, including half-round, staggered or square in addition to the traditional long planks. Because it can be painted or stained, you can make the exterior of your home any color you choose. Today, fiber-cement is available in prepainted versions as well. Vinyl has a wider variety of decorative options. This means you can maintain the exterior look if you own a home that is historic or if you want a modern appearance for your home. Recently, popular styles of vinyl siding are those that have the look of real wood.

Energy Efficiency and Durability

Both vinyl and fiber-cement siding are thin, so alone they do not offer much in the way of insulation. However, they are very effective at protecting your home from the elements. Vinyl siding does come in an insulated variety that has a layer of foam added for more insulation. Both types of siding are very durable, although fiber-cement can absorb water which could lead to wood rot under the siding. It is also susceptible to cracking and chipping, even during installation.

Maintenance and Cost

Unless you choose the prepainted version, fiber-cement must be painted. It must also be caulked when installed. You may need to paint fiber-cement as it ages due to fading and you will have to be sure the joints remained caulked properly. Vinyl needs only a spray cleaning with a garden hose. The average cost for vinyl siding, including installation, is just over $200 per square foot while fiber-cement is just over $300 per square foot. Both will recoup as much as 78 percent of their installed cost when you sell your home.

Before choosing a siding for your home, it is important to understand the differences between them. Contact us today for more information on the many different types of siding and to learn what is best for your needs. You can reach us online or by phone to speak to one of our knowledgeable customer service staff.

How to Choose Siding for Your New Home

How to Choose Siding for Your New Home

Choosing siding for your new home or updating siding at your current residence is an important decision. Several factors determine what kind of siding you choose. Read more to learn about some common issues that affect a homeowner’s choices for home siding installation.


The initial cost of siding installation is critical because you don’t want to commit to a project that is outside of your budget. Some of the more expensive siding choices include brick and stone, which require costly materials and installation procedures. If you’re trying to save money, vinyl siding installation costs and fiber cement siding costs are cheaper alternatives to more expensive options.


Some types of siding require regular maintenance to keep up their appearance. Wood siding is especially vulnerable to changes in weather and requires preparation for winter as well as regular coats of paint and caulking. This can be a lot of work for the homeowner, and you should be prepared to invest time and money if you choose wood siding. If you’re looking for an easier option that requires less upkeep, try vinyl or brick siding. Vinyl siding is low maintenance because it doesn’t require painting and is water resistant. It’s also cheaper than other types of siding. If you choose brick siding, expect to wash it a few times a year, but otherwise it’s maintenance requirements are minimal.


When considering house siding installation options, consider the lifetime of various types. Vinyl siding can last up to 40 years, which can be valuable if you don’t want to replace the siding often. Brick and stone siding will usually last the lifetime of the home, but this benefit is partially offset by the cost of siding installation. Wood siding can last from 10 to 100 years, and its durability is highly dependent on how well it is maintained.


This is the first thing many people consider when they are choosing siding for their home. Think about the architecture and style of your home, and from there you can choose what siding complements it. Cottage and bungalow homes look good with wood siding, brick is often used for colonial style homes, and stucco suits a Mediterranean theme. Vinyl siding is common and will allow your home to blend in, while stone adds texture and will add a unique appeal to your property. Make sure to check for any requirements in your neighborhood that may restrict what types of siding you are allowed to install.

Resale Value

This is closely connected with durability and the initial cost of siding installation. If you invest now you will likely see a greater return when you sell your home.

Staff Writer (2014 November 11) How to Choose Siding for Your New Home. Retrieved on November 17, 2014 from housekillers.com

Siding buying guide

Siding buying guide

Getting started

New siding is one of the most visible ways to give your home a makeover now and make it easier to sell later. And siding isn’t just decorative: Loose or cracked panels or shingles can allow entry to moisture and insects, leading to expensive structural damage. What’s more, performance can vary significantly between and even within types. Use this guide to find a replacement.

Our tests have found significant differences by type and brand–and even within the same brand. Some siding is far less resistant to cracking from impacts in warm and cold weather, an especially important consideration for active families with children. And some is less likely to stay put in a wind storm, based on our simulated 150-mph winds. We’ve also found that some vinyl siding–still the best-selling kind–is more prone to fading under ultraviolet light, especially important in sunny climates and where trees don’t provide much shade.

The thickest and most expensive vinly siding tended to perform best in our tests, although several thinner and less expensive products did almost as well. While you’ll often pay more for the strongest, longest-lived vinyl, we’ve found some very good products can cost far less yet perform nearly as well. Vinyl, plastic, and other synthetic materials are also getting much more realistic: Thanks to better graining and deeper profiles that cast wider shadows, some vinyl siding looks much more like wood for a small fraction of what you’d pay for the real thing. Check under Types to determine which material–vinyl, plastic, fiber cement, or wood–best suits your taste and budget.

Buy the right amount

An installer will calculate how much siding your home needs, but you can make a rough estimate without climbing a ladder–and avoid overpaying someone you hire. Simply multiply the height times the width of each rectangular section of your house in feet, going by what you can measure from the ground, to determine its area. Multiply the approximate height and width of gables and other triangular surfaces and divide each total by two. Then add all the totals. To allow for waste, don’t subtract for doors, windows, or other areas that won’t be covered. Finally, divide the total square footage by 100 to estimate how many squares of siding you’ll need.

Get it installed right

We recommend having a professional install your siding. If the old siding is sound, new siding can go over it. But rotted wood siding should be replaced and the wall behind it checked for damage–something that could save you tens of thousands of dollars in structural repairs later on. If the old siding is removed, have a moisture barrier installed beneath the new siding, and add flashing around doors and windows. Fasteners should attach to wall studs, not just the sheathing. The installer should center the fasteners in the slots and leave a gap as thick as a dime between the panel and the fastener heads to allow for expansion and contraction.

Make it last

You can extend the useful life of your siding with simple maintenance and repairs. Siding is susceptible to leaks, especially where it meets windows and doors. A $5 tube of caulk could ultimately save you thousands of dollars in structural repairs. If you live in a region with cold winters, check the siding under the eaves for water stains, possibly a sign of ice damming. Adding attic insulation and sealing any gaps around pipes and ducts into the attic may help prevent future damming–and may lower your heating and cooling bills as well.


Weigh the look you like against upkeep and cost. Prices listed are per square (100 square feet). Figure on 20 squares and $1,800 to $4,000 in labor for a typical 2,300-square-foot house. Here are the types of siding to consider.


vinyl sidingLow price and minimal upkeep make vinyl by far the most popular siding material. Vinyl needs no painting. It won’t warp or twist, and it’s impervious to insects and water. But it can rattle, crack, melt, and burn. Some vinyl products may look like wood from a distance, but not up close. Before you settle on vinyl, consider whether your taste or the architecture of your neighborhood makes the added realism and cost of plastic, fiber cement, or even real wood a more appropriate choice.


plastic sidingThese shingles and shakes can closely resemble cedar, even up close. Plastic, like vinyl, requires minimal upkeep. Though less rigid than vinyl, it resists impact better in cold weather.

Fiber cement

fiber cementThis blend of cement, sand, and cellulose looks the most like real wood. Fiber-cement siding is insect-proof, but water can damage it during freezes and thaws. Whether primed or pre-painted, fiber cement must be refinished periodically, though less often than wood.


woodAlthough wood shingles and clapboard offer traditional charm, they’re very expensive. Wood is resistant to impact, but it can warp, twist, and burn. And it’s vulnerable to rot, insects, and woodpeckers. Wood can be finished or left natural, and it’s available primed or painted. If it’s painted or stained, it requires periodic refinishing.

When installing siding, there are some features to consider that can enhance the appearance and durability. Here are the siding features to consider.

Deep profile

On clapboard-style vinyl, a profile that’s raised an inch or more deepens shadow lines, making the siding look more like wood. It’s also likely to be more rigid and less wavy when installed.

Double-hem nailing area

The best vinyl siding has a double-layer mounting hem, which provides stronger attachment and better resistance to high winds than does a single-layer hem.

Extra-long panels

Some vinyl siding comes in 16-foot or longer lengths to reduce the number of seams on long, unbroken walls.


For fiber cement, consider whether the added color choices and cost savings of painting it yourself outweigh the longer durability of a factory finish.

Foam backing

Besides making vinyl siding more rigid, foam backing adds insulation.

Staff Writer (2013 October) Siding buying guide. Retrieved on September 5, 2014 from Consumerreports.org

Financing Options

Revolving Line Of Credit * Special Financing Where Available * Make Monthly Credit Card Payments Over Time * Easy-To-Use Online Account Management And Bill Payment Options

Your Trust Matters To Us