Here’s How to Compare Fiber Cement Siding vs. Vinyl
At Xtreme Exteriors, we’ve seen that when it comes to getting the perfect look for your home’s exterior, it all comes down to choosing the right siding. While other options are available, two of the most common choices for siding in the U.S. are vinyl and fiber cement, such as the products made by James Hardie.
As a homeowner, it can be difficult to discern which type of siding product is right for your needs. After all, while they’re in the same product category, in many ways fiber cement and vinyl siding couldn’t be more different.
So in today’s blog post, we’re making a direct comparison of fiber cement siding vs. vinyl to help you evaluate which is the right choice for your home. We’ll look at three of the biggest considerations and weigh in on each. Let’s get started.
Fiber Cement Dominates for Durability
While it’s always important for your home to look its best, the primary function of siding is to protect your home against the outside elements. Along with your roof, your siding plays a vital role in regulating your home’s temperature, resisting damage, and keeping moisture at bay.
When it comes to durability and performance against the outside elements, fiber cement is far and away the best siding option. Fiber cement siding is resistant to fire, hail and impact damage, warping, and melting, to name just a few types of damage. Vinyl, on the other hand, is much more vulnerable to damage across the board, particularly to storm damage and warping.
For the best protection, fiber cement is the clear winner over vinyl siding.
The Look of Fiber Cement Is Tough to Beat
Of course, it’s also important for your siding to provide curb appeal while protecting your home, and many homeowners call on siding installation services to rejuvenate their home’s appearance. Both fiber cement and vinyl siding have their perks in this regard, as each of these materials is readily available in various colors, styles, and textures.
Overall, though, fiber cement is generally superior vs. vinyl siding when it comes to appearances. This is both due to the appearance fiber cement gives at installation—a better wood look, less visible seams, and no visible fasteners—as well as the longevity of its appearance.
A primary disadvantage of vinyl siding is that the colors tend to fade significantly over time. Fiber cement siding, on the other hand, maintains its vibrant appearance for much longer, meaning your home will keep the same curb appeal long after your siding is installed.
Vinyl Carries a Lower Upfront Cost
With such a clear winner in terms of both durability and appearance, you may be wondering why vinyl remains the most common siding material for homes in the U.S. The primary answer is its affordability, and vinyl siding is generally less costly upfront to install than fiber cement options. While exact costs vary, fiber cement may be around 50% more expensive to install.
However, upfront cost is not the only factor that should be considered, and the durability and longevity of these materials are crucial to consider. Since fiber cement is more durable, it lasts longer than vinyl and incurs fewer repair and maintenance costs over the life of the siding. And while insulated vinyl siding and fiber cement are comparable in terms of energy savings, uninsulated vinyl is much less energy efficient, resulting in higher heating and cooling expenses.
In addition, you won’t necessarily need decades to get the full value from fiber cement (or vinyl) siding. Both vinyl and fiber cement siding replacements perform very well in terms of cost vs. resale value. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2023 report, a vinyl siding replacement recouped about 94.7% of the cost on average, while fiber cement recouped 88.5%.
Fiber Cement vs. Vinyl Siding: Final Verdict
In the end, every home is different, and so is every homeowner’s budget and needs. At Xtreme Exteriors, we highly recommend fiber cement siding to our customers due to its superior performance in terms of durability and appearance, as well as the potential long-term cost benefits that can help make up for the greater initial expense.
In addition, we also provide financing options to help alleviate the upfront cost of siding installation projects, making fiber cement an even more accessible choice. That said, we recommend discussing options with your siding experts before making a final decision. Our team has unmatched experience in siding installation and we can help you evaluate fiber cement vs. vinyl siding to choose the right product for your home.
Reach out today to get started or find an Xtreme Exteriors location near you:
Image courtesy: James Hardie