If you’re preparing to replace the siding on your house, it’s likely you’ve already encountered cement board siding. Cement board, also known as fiber cement, has become one of the most popular siding choices in recent years. While it has only been in existence for a few decades, fiber cement shingles now covers about 15% of homes. This burst in popularity is for good reason, as cement board combines some of the best qualities of other siding materials, such as vinyl and wood siding into one product. James Hardie is the brand that is most synonymous with fiber cement products, but there are other brands that manufacture this type of siding as well.
Before embarking on a siding project, it’s important to learn about your siding options. This cement board siding guide will help you form the right decision for your project.
About Fiber Cement Siding
Understanding the composition of cement board siding is integral to deciding if it’s the right material for your house. Cement board is composed of a mix of Portland cement, fly ash (or silica sand), wood pulp and water. Each ingredient serves an important role in creating a durable siding. The wood pulp is responsible for the flexibility of the shingles, while the water dissolves the pulp and hardens the cement. The fly ash or silica sand, depending on the product, serves as a filler. Finally, the cement binds all of the ingredients together into a long-lasting shingle.
Fiber cement is often favored due to its impressive combination of benefits. Cement board siding is visually appealing and can often accurately imitate the appearance of wood. However, unlike wood, it is low maintenance and durable. This is due to its rot, fire and pest resistant nature that protect it from damage. To top it all off, fiber cement is often quite affordable in comparison to other siding products, such as wood or stone.
Fiber cement products are often offered in two styles: planks and shingles. The main distinction between the two is appearance, as referenced by their names.
Fiber cement planks are the most popular of the two styles. This lap siding style creates an elegant look on any home and often imitates the appearance of wood planks. Fiber cement planks are versatile and a good fit on virtually every home style. This style is available with the HardieBoard product.
Cement board shingles, or shakes, often imitate the look of cedar shingles, adding immense curb appeal to any home. This style of cement board siding is a good for Cape Cods and cottage-style houses. Additionally, some homeowners choose to use shingles as an accent to plank siding. This style is available with the HardieShingle product.
Most cement board siding brands offer a variety of finish options. Many cement board products are available in either a smooth or cedar finish. The smooth texture creates a sleek and elegant look while the cedar finish gives the appearance of wood siding.
In terms of color, fiber cement can either be painted or stained. Many manufacturers bake the color into the product, creating a long lasting and fade resistant finish. Cement board siding is often offered in a wide variety of colors, which allows you to pick the perfect color for your house. Additionally, the product can be painted to achieve a specific look or to change color in the future.
Pros and ConsPros
- Can withstand rough and extreme weather, including being fire resistant
- Doesn’t retain moisture, so cannot rot or swell
- Resists expanding and contracting
- Defends against most insects and repels termites
- Can last for over 50 years
- 5 times thicker than most vinyl siding
- Typically include 30-year warranty
- Can need a coat of paint every 5-10 years to remain vibrant
- More expensive, but has a high resale value
The brand that you will hear most commonly referenced in relation to cement board siding is James Hardie. James Hardie is the largest producer of this siding material and almost exclusively focuses on manufacturing cement board products. Their two most popular products are HardieShingle and HardiePlank. Both products are available in 25 colors and include ColorPlus technology to protect them from fading.
Fiber Cement Siding Cost
HardieShingle installed starting from about $1,700 per 100 sq ft
Hardie Plank installed starting from about $1,400 per 100 sq ft
Cement board siding is a smart investment for any home. Given the vast number of benefits over other siding materials, it’s no surprise that many homeowners choose to reside their houses with cement board. Additionally, many fiber cement products are offered in a wide variety of styles, so that you can create the perfect look for your house. Fiber cement shingles are perfect for homeowners looking for a siding material that is not only elegant and visually appealing, but also requires little maintenance to remain long-lasting.
Speak to an expert about your fiber cement siding options at 888.392.4236 or visit HireHaven.com. Our experts are ready to help you with your project and answer any questions you may have.