Friday, October 2, 2009

Fiber-Cement Siding Compared to Vinyl Siding

In the world of remodeling the exterior of your home, there are several things to consider when comparing fiber-cement siding to vinyl siding.

Disguising the Problem

Vinyl siding is sometimes used as a cover-up to be placed over the old damaged cladding. The current problems may still exist. Sometimes it may be improperly installed. This invites insects and moisture to build up behind the panels, and may even go through the structure of the home.


Vinyl facing may melt or burn if it too close to a heat source such as your grill or a close by fire. The flammability of the cladding is such a concern that some counties/districts are starting to educate homeowners about its natural flammability.

Fiber-cement facing is non-combustible when exposed to significant amount of heat or flame. It has been appreciated for this safety feature. It is also approved for fire-rated structure.

All colors fade from the sun and there are several options that you can do to replace vinyl cladding. You can install a replacement piece and try to find the matching color of your original siding. You can also replace all the cladding again if you can't find the matching color. You may also paint the facing, but keep in mind this type of facing is made to expand and contract which will cause the paint to chip and peel over time.

Fiber-cement facing can be painted any color that you desire. It will also remain longer than with wood. It won't crack and peel as quickly as vinyl.


Always look at the warranty before your purchase. Look closely at the "Life-Time" to see how many years the warranty really covers and also what is covered. Check the "Normal Weathering" section to see what their definition is of normal weathering.

Fiber-cement facing may be found to have a 50 year transferable limited product warranty, and a 15 year finish warranty. This warranty is good for even the most sever climates.

Poor Quality and Aesthetics

Vinyl siding may not look as natural as wood. It has overlapping seams and fake wood grains that try to copy the appearance of wood.

Fiber-cement siding has the beauty of real wood with the ability to be painted any color and not have the chipping and peeling of vinyl or wood. There are no overlapping seams to take away from the natural appearance it will lend to the home.

Weather Resistant

Fiber-cement cladding is a very durable product that can even withstand the most severe climates. It will not go brittle in the cold or be damaged by flying debris like the other type of cladding is known to do.

The great amount of thickness that accompanies fiber-cement cladding adds to the products strength that provides impact resistance from wind or hail.

The finest vinyl siding is only 5/100th inch thick.

These are several things you need to consider when investing in the exterior of your home. In the long run, having fiber-cement siding is aesthetically and financially more sound than having vinyl siding which is an inferior product.

Mr. Oliver is a marketing agent of Blue Ridge Exteriors. The siding contractor provides James Hardie Siding throughout the Richmond Virginia area. For more information on their James Hardie Siding please visit their website.

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