When it comes to siding, CertainTeed and James Hardie are both some of the most trusted and popular brands in the nation. While both manufacture premium synthetic siding, each brand and product provides its own unique benefits.
CertainTeed is known for its high quality vinyl siding while James Hardie is the leading brand for fiber cement siding. While both vinyl and fiber cement fall into the category of synthetic siding, they differ in a variety of ways. While neither product is better than the other, it’s important to consider the differences and choose the right product for your home.
Similarities - James Hardie vs. CertainTeed
The most prominent similarity between these two brands is their synthetic siding options. As the name suggests, synthetic siding is made from a combination of non-wood materials. Synthetic siding offers a variety of benefits, especially when it comes to upkeep and maintenance.
Durability and ease of maintenance
Unlike siding made from natural products, such as wood, synthetic materials are extremely resistant to harsh weather and aging. Synthetic materials won’t rot, warp, or chip and are unaffected by the effects of moisture or pests such as termites. All of these factors combined create a siding that is low maintenance and long-lasting, which is perfect for homeowners looking for a great value product.
Variety of color options
Additionally, both CertainTeed and James Hardie offer products with a wide range of pre-painted color options. All siding options across both brands offer at least 20 color options, which is ideal for customers aiming to achieve a specific look. If the perfect color isn’t available, both brands of siding can be painted after installation. This also allows homeowners the option of changing the color of their siding in the years following.
Differences - James Hardie vs. CertainTeed
CertainTeed produces vinyl siding, which is made of PVC, or polyvinyl chloride. This is an extremely popular siding material, as it makes up 30% of all exterior cladding on new and existing homes. James Hardie siding is made of fiber cement, which is composed of cellulose fibers, sand and cement. These elements combine to create an extremely durable product.
Both brands produce extremely durable and weather resistant siding. While both are mold, insect and rot repellant, James Hardie siding is also completely fire resistant. CertainTeed siding is only fire repellant, meaning it can warp and melt under high heat.
The brands also differ slightly in terms of the lifespan of their products. CertainTeed siding typically lasts between 20 to 40 years, while James Hardie siding can last over 50 years. The lifespan of the product also depends greatly on how well the product is maintained. Additionally, James Hardie offers a 30-year warranty on its products.
Due to their synthetic nature, both brands of siding require relatively little maintenance. CertainTeed bakes the color into the siding, meaning it will never require new coats of paint in the future as it cannot chip or fade. James Hardie siding may require a new coat of paint every 5 to 10 years to retain the vibrant color of the shingles. It is often easier to complete any needed future repairs on CertainTeed shingles, due to the lighter material, as compared to James Hardie siding.
James Hardie and CertainTeed siding vary slightly in terms of appearance. James Hardie shingles imitate the appearance of wood more accurately than CertainTeed shingles. This is due to the fact that James Hardie siding is 5 times thicker than most vinyl siding, allowing for deeper grooves and detailing.
Consumers will likely notice that James Hardie and CertainTeed differ quite a bit in terms of price. CertainTeed siding installation starts at about $700 per 100 square feet, whereas James Hardie siding installation starts at around $1,400 per 100 square feet. However, while James Hardie is more expensive, it is also a smart investment. James Hardie siding often has a longer lifespan, can increase the resale value of homes, and can lower insurance premiums.
About James Hardie and CertainTeed
About CertainTeed Siding
Founded in 1904, CertainTeed manufactures premium vinyl siding products that require limited maintenance. The following are some of CertainTeed’s most popular products:
- Recreates the appearance of natural cedar shingle siding
- Manufacturing process creates blended color throughout shingle, not just on surface
- 30 color options
- Typically installed from $1,000 per 100 square feet
- Best choice for those looking for value and a premium product
- 24 color options
- Typically installed from $700 per 100 square feet
- Recreates look of natural cedar without the need for regular maintenance
- Available in clapboard and dutchlap style
- 41 color options with coordinating trim
- Typically installed from $750 per 100 square feet
- Doesn’t require new coats of paint in the future
- Simpler installation than fiber cement siding, therefore labor costs are more affordable
- Mold, insect and rot resistant
- Future repairs are easy due to lighter material
- Usually lasts between 20-40 years
- More color options than James Hardie
- PermaColor Technology forms a protective surface on siding to ensure color retention and prevent fading
- Affordable, yet premium options
- Not quite as realistic of a wood look compared to fiber cement siding, as the shingles are not quite as thick
- Siding is fire retardant, but not fire resistant
About James Hardie Siding
Fiber cement siding has been around for over a century, as it was patented in 1901 and put into use in the 1970s. Nowadays, fiber cement siding is nearly synonymous with the James Hardie brand, as they almost exclusively focus on producing this variety of siding. The following are JamesHardie’s most popular siding options:
- Has been installed on more than 5.5 million homes across the country
- Lap siding, which imitates the look of cedar planks
- Available in Smooth and Select Cedarmill finishes
- 25 color options
- Typically installed from $1,400 per 100 square feet
- Detailed imitation of cedar shingles
- Available in Straight Edge or Staggered finishes
- 25 color options
- Typically installed from $1,500 per 100 square feet
- Can withstand rough and extreme weather, including being fire resistant
- Doesn’t retain moisture, so cannot rot or swell
- Defends against most insects and repels termites
- Can last for over 50 years
- 5 times thicker than most vinyl siding
- 30 year warranty
- ColorPlus® technology
- Bakes in multiple coats of color onto the board, and finished with UV resistant coat
- Comes with 15-year limited warranty
- Can need a coat of paint every 5-10 years to remain vibrant
- More expensive, but has high resale value
Both CertainTeed and James Hardie siding are fantastic options for residing your home. Still curious about which product is right for you? Call us at 888.392.4236 to speak with a HireHaven expert or tell us about your project at HireHaven.com.