Fiber cement siding is a premium siding option produced by several manufacturers, although James Hardie is one of the most well-known in the industry. While fiber cement siding superficially resembles vinyl siding, there are numerous reasons why this material typically costs more and occupies a more premium space in the residential siding market.
If you're building a new home or re-siding your existing home, fiber cement is an option worth considering. Although it won't be appropriate for every home or every budget, fiber cement may be a great choice for you. Consider these three reasons why this siding material may be a perfect upgrade from traditional vinyl siding.
1. More Aesthetic Customization Options
Although fiber cement siding and vinyl siding often look relatively similar from a distance, the differences tend to be more apparent as you get closer. Fiber options typically have more pronounced textures with less of the "plastic" appearance that's common on many vinyl siding options. Manufacturers also offer fiber cement siding in numerous styles.
If you're looking for a way to make your house stand out, fiber cement siding can be an excellent alternative to vinyl. You'll get to enjoy siding with a more premium look and feel that doesn't require the more arduous maintenance of wood, brick, stucco, or similar materials. With the right color and texture choices, your neighbors may even think you paid for a much more expensive siding option.
2. Heavier, More Durable Construction
If you've ever owned a home with vinyl siding, you know that most vinyl can feel relatively flimsy. While thicker grades of vinyl are available, these tend to cost more and can degrade much of the price difference between vinyl and fiber cement. On the other hand, fiber cement siding uses a denser material that's more durable and can withstand more abuse.
This heavier construction can also translate into a higher R-value, which measures the material's ability to act as a thermal insulator. While your home's siding is far from the most important part of its insulating envelope, it can be an important contributor. The higher R-value of fiber cement can potentially make a small but meaningful difference in your home's heating and cooling.
3. Better Fire Protection
Vinyl siding is among the worst siding materials available for fire resistance. On the other hand, fiber cement siding typically comes with a Class A fire rating. This higher rating has several advantages, including the ability to stop firing from spreading quickly from the surrounding area to your home. This higher rating can help give you more time to evacuate or even prevent severe damage from small fires.
While the higher cost of fiber cement siding means it's not as popular as vinyl, the cost of this material will be worthwhile for many homeowners. If you have a siding project looming on the horizon, it's well worth considering the advantages of this premium material.
Contact a local siding service to learn more about James Hardie home siding.