Siding protects your home from the elements, doesn’t have to be painted and is durable. But some types, like cedar siding, are higher maintenance than others. What if you could have the look and feel of wood siding without the disadvantages? Fiber cement siding or Hardie board is an attractive alternative.
What is it Made Of?
Fiber cement siding is a composite material made by combining wood fibers with other substances like cement, sand, clay and crushed stone. The variety, combination and concentration of elements create the desired appearance, texture, durability and strength of the fiber cement. It is manufactured in sheets of boards, planks or shingles in varying thicknesses.
There are several other advantages to choosing fiber cement siding for your home. These include:
- uniformity – the appearance of grains of natural wood products vary from tree to tree
- durability – isn’t prone to warping, splitting or rotting
- doesn’t expand and contract as much as wood siding or aluminum siding
- available in a range of colors and textures including stucco and cedar siding
- resistant to fire, wind, water and insects
- stable in constantly changing weather conditions
- holds paint well; few reported incidents of peeling or blistering
- low maintenance
As with any kind of siding material, some disadvantages of fiber cement siding or Hardie board are:
- costs more than vinyl siding, aluminum siding and some types of wood siding
- is heavier than most of kinds of siding
- installations can be more complicated due to its heaviness and tendency to be brittle when cutting
- typically installed by professionals only due to health concerns caused by dust
Right for Your Home?
Knowing the pros and cons can sometimes confuse the issue. How can you tell if fiber cement siding is right for your home? Things to consider that might help you to make a final decision are:
- if you want your new siding to be a do-it-yourself project, another kind of siding material might be a better choice
- the budget of your siding project
- where you live and how much rainfall you get
- architectural style and size of your home
- the ambiance you want your home exterior to have (cottage, Craftsman, modern, etc.)