Installing siding is a great way to protect your home’s exterior. While many homeowners naturally want an attractive look, there are other factors to consider. Durability, cost, and maintenance are all key factors to weigh up when choosing a material that looks good and performs well.
Two of the most popular siding materials are vinyl and fiber cement, and each has pros and cons. Let’s explore the fiber cement vs. vinyl siding debate to help you choose the best option for your needs and budget before you embark on a house siding project.
What Is Fiber Cement Siding?
Fiber cement siding is created by combining wood pulp and Portland cement to produce a robust and durable material. You can purchase fiber cement siding as boards or shingles. Contractors install this type of siding by nailing it to your home’s exterior.
What Is Vinyl Siding?
Vinyl siding is made from a type of plastic called PVC. It’s lighter than cement fiber, making it easier and quicker to transport and install. You can purchase vinyl siding in a wide range of colors, textures, and finishes.
Vinyl Siding vs. Fiber Cement: A Detailed Breakdown of Siding Choices
Before making a choice between these siding options, it’s important to consider the entire picture. You should also answer questions such as, “Is fiber cement more expensive than vinyl siding?”
Style and Appearance
If you want the broadest possible range of choice regarding color and finish, vinyl siding is the clear winner. An unparalleled number of styles are available, including Dutch lap and clapboard. You can also purchase textured vinyl siding panels that give the appearance of wood grain without the hefty price tag of wood.
Fewer types of cement fiber panels are available, although some companies now produce colored panels. However, a key advantage of cement fiber is that you can paint or stain it yourself, allowing you to customize the color to your taste.
When it comes to durability, vinyl and fiber cement siding are both superior to wood. However, fiber cement siding can absorb water and doesn’t protect your home’s exterior from rot as well as vinyl siding. Vinyl siding is also less likely to crack or chip because of its flexibility.
On the other hand, you can expect a longer total lifespan from fiber cement if you maintain it properly. You can expect fiber cement panels to last for around 50 years compared to 20 years for vinyl siding.
Vinyl siding is significantly more straightforward to maintain than fiber cement panels. In fact, you only need to give it a quick spray down with a hose and the occasional scrub with soapy water to keep it in good condition.
Meanwhile, fiber cement siding is more prone to fading, so you’ll need to paint it periodically to keep it looking its best. It also requires recaulking to prevent water from seeping between the panels.
Vinyl Siding vs. Fiber Cement: Which Is Cheaper?
Generally, vinyl siding is significantly cheaper to purchase and install than fiber cement. Expect to spend between $4.15 and $15.25 per square foot, including installation, for vinyl siding. You’ll usually pay towards the top of the scale if you want insulated panels.
Meanwhile, cement fiber panels usually cost between $4 and $7 per square foot for materials, while installation labor costs between $6 and $13 per square foot. The overall price per square foot is between $10 and $20.
If you decide that affordable, durable vinyl siding is right for your home, the team at Thompson Creek is ready to help. Contact us today to learn more about our siding installation services.