Vinyl Siding vs. Fiber Cement


When it comes to protecting your Waunakee-area home from harsh weather conditions, windborne debris, and anything else Mother Nature can throw at it, you can’t underestimate the importance of durable home siding. Sure, you also want your siding to look great, and make your home the most eye-catching one on the block, but siding is so much more than just a cosmetic feature. In the following article, we examine two of the most common types of home siding—vinyl and fiber cement—to help those of you considering replacement siding decide which type may be best for your home.

Vinyl Siding vs. Fiber Cement

Vinyl Siding

There are a number of reasons why vinyl siding is the most popular type of siding on homes throughout the United States. For starters, it is very affordable as far as siding goes. While other types of siding such as wood shakes, fiber cement, and stone (both real and faux) can be on the more expensive end of the siding spectrum, from an initial investment standpoint, vinyl siding is among the most economical. It’s also easy to install, which will cut down on the labor costs and also translate into a lower overall cost for you.

Vinyl siding is also incredibly low maintenance. Unlike wood siding, which requires painting, sanding, and caulking over time, most vinyl siding is fade-proof, meaning it will keep its brilliant color year after year, What’s more, it will require only the occasional wash with some soapy water and a garden hose to keep looking brand new.

Vinyl siding can also be a more energy-efficient option if you choose the insulated kind. Both vinyl and fiber cement siding will keep your home sealed tightly against air and water infiltration, but heat transfer through either medium is inevitable. However, insulated vinyl siding can dramatically reduce the transmission of heat into and out of your home, helping you and your family stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Fiber Cement Siding

Known colloquially as “Hardie plank” or “Hardie board” because its most well-known manufacturer is James Hardie®, fiber cement siding has been gaining a lot of ground in recent decades. As a composite blend of cement and cellulose fibers (wood pulp), fiber cement does a wonderful job of mimicking the look of natural wood, leading many homeowners to consider it a more attractive option than vinyl. During installation, fiber cement siding is actually nailed to your home, which helps it stay firmly in place for years.

Unlike vinyl siding, fiber cement siding must be painted from time to time. However, some homeowners find this quality to be more liberating than burdensome. If you get tired of your home’s color and want to change it up, you can easily repaint your fiber cement siding (or hire somebody to do it), whereas with vinyl siding, once you choose a color, you’re pretty much locked in for the long haul. Another great quality of fiber cement siding is that it is flame retardant. While vinyl siding tends to melt in the face of high heat, and wood siding will ignite rather quickly, fiber cement has a Class A fire rating, making it among the most flame-resistant house cladding materials on the market. This is a particularly attractive feature if you live in an area that is prone to wildfires. While fiber cement siding may require more of an initial financial investment, many homeowners find that it pays for itself many times over in terms of beauty, durability, safety, and flexibility.

Get Started Today

To learn more about vinyl siding, fiber cement siding, or other home cladding materials, contact Frey Construction today. We’ve proudly been serving residents of the Waunakee, Wisconsin, area since 1995 and would love to help you select the best replacement siding for your home.