When it comes to siding a home, you have many different choices. From brick and stucco to stone and wood, the choices can seem endless. But if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, with Siding & Windows Group, and want a material that’s durable and aesthetically pleasing, fiber cement siding should be at the top of your list.
What is Fiber Cement Siding?
You’ve certainly heard the term before, but do you know what fiber cement siding is? It typically includes just four ingredients, which makes it simple and resilient. In most cases, the four ingredients are water, wood pulp, fly ash, and Portland cement.
The water dissolves the wood pulp and helps to activate and harden the cement, while the cement (usually made of limestone, iron, and clay) binds all of the ingredients together. The fly ash acts as a sort of filler – though some manufacturers use silica sand instead. The presence of the wood pulp ensures ample flexibility and strength.
Outside of natural materials like brick and stone, you’d be hard pressed to find a more durable and eco-friendly solution on the market.
4 Reasons to Choose James Hardie Siding
James Hardie is known as the leading brand in fiber cement siding. This is due to a number of factors, each of which is directly tied to the company’s commitment to innovation. James Hardie has spent more than $100 million in R&D over the past 30 years and the manufacturer claims their technological advancements put their siding a whopping five generations ahead of the competition.
But when it comes to the array of other siding choices – including brick, stucco, stone, wood, vinyl, etc. – what makes James Hardie fiber cement siding the smart choice? Let’s check out a few of the key points.
“The real benefit to fiber cement siding’s longevity comes when you compare it to other siding materials,” explains one siding industry expert. “Wood siding, for example, requires its finish to be scraped, sanded, and reapplied every three years. In addition, you need to keep an eye out for swelling, warping, or rotting boards, which could happen at any time, particularly if the caulking around a window or door were to fail. Because wood damage can spread quickly, anything not caught on time could mean a complete siding replacement as well.”
But it doesn’t just outperform wood. Aluminum siding only has a lifespan of 20 to 40 years, while vinyl generally needs to be replaced after roughly 20 years. Stucco also tends to deteriorate much faster. The only siding material that fiber cement doesn’t outlast is natural stone and brick, which should be expected.
There are tremendous variances in the cost of different siding materials. A lot depends on location and the cost of installation. So, in order to accurately measure the cost-effectiveness of one material over another, you have to remove installation from the picture and just look at the cost of the material. When you do this, it becomes clear that fiber cement is the clear winner.
“Fiber-cement siding is affordable, typically costing between $1.25 and $2 per square foot,” home design expert Mary Sauer says. “Homeowners who choose to sell their home in the future can expect [to] recoup 79 percent of the initial cost their siding.”
For comparison’s sake, vinyl siding comes in at $0.65 to $2.00 per square foot, wood siding at $2.50 to $8.00 per square foot, stucco siding at $6.00 to $9.00 per square foot, stone siding at $4.00 to $18.00 per square foot, aluminum siding at $2.50 to $5.00 per square foot, and brick siding at $4.00 to $6.00 per square foot.
From a purely aesthetic viewpoint, James Hardie fiber cement siding just looks good! There are dozens of different colors to choose from, a variety of textures, and a smooth appearance that looks much better than vinyl (which homeowners sometimes make the mistake of choosing over fiber cement).
If you’re looking to customize your home, but can’t afford to invest in expensive materials like stone and brick, fiber cement is by far the best option. You can create a unique and eye catching look that’s sure to add value to your home.
4. Ease of Maintenance
If you’re looking for siding that’s durable and easy to maintain, look no further than fiber cement. Maintenance is essentially a non-issue and you have very little to worry about.
“Fiber cement siding will not rot, is capable of withstanding damaging effects of salt spray and ultraviolet rays, and cannot be penetrated by birds or insects,” Portland Cement Association notes. “Once installed, the product stands up to bumps and direct impacts, unlike some other siding materials. Fiber cement siding does not become brittle in freezing conditions or melt in the presence of heat sources such as barbeque grills, unlike vinyl siding.”
If you do end up having to clean you fiber cement siding, all it takes is a hose, some mild cleaning solution, and a soft micro-fiber cloth or scrub. Dirt and other materials wash right off and you’ll never have to worry about major stains and other issues. How’s that for a low maintenance siding?
Let Siding & Windows Group Do the Heavy Lifting
When it comes to a project as significant and all-encompassing as your home’s siding, you want to be extra cautious in determining who you let work on this important task. Choosing one contractor over another could mean the difference between success and failure.
At Siding & Windows Group, we’ve been in business for over 30 years and are known as one of the premier siding contractors in the Chicago and Northshore area. Not only do we offer professional installation and courteous service, but we are also proud to back up our work with a lifetime warranty on labor – the most comprehensive warranty in the industry.
If you’re interested in learning more about our siding services, please contact us today to get a free estimate! We’d be happy to tell you more about our other home improvement services as well.