Advantages & Disadvantages of Fiber Cement Siding

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Siding is a vital part of a home's exterior.
Siding is a vital part of a home's exterior. (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Casey Serin)

Fiber cement siding is an exterior option more homeowners are turning to, as it is now on about 12 to 15 percent of all homes, but installation problems may be a deterrent to choosing this product.

Appearance

Fiber cement is designed to look just like wood siding, although it provides more options, such as different textures, profiles and colors. It also holds paint well, allowing for customization.

Cost

Typically, fiber cement siding starts at $5,000 per 1,250 exterior square feet, making it cheaper than wood ($7,000 to $10,000) but more expensive than vinyl ($3,000 to $4,000) and aluminum ($3,000 to $4,500).

Installation

Installation is not a simple process, and many problems can occur, as fiber cement is much heavier than wood. It also will not cover problems with underlying frames like wood does.

Durability

Unlike wood, fiber cement is not susceptible to termites or water, and it is not combustible. Unlike aluminum or vinyl, it can withstand extreme cold temperatures without showing any effects, making it a very durable option.

Maintenance

Maintaining fiber cement siding is very easy, as the material is not prone to warping, fading or buckling over time.

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