Siding 101: Fiber Cement Siding

Blending pleasing aesthetics with durability and low maintenance, fiber cement siding is an appealing option for contractors and homeowners. Let’s dig deeper into why this siding solution has such a sterling reputation.


Fiber cement siding has been at the disposal of siding contractors for years, but only recently has its sustainability, low maintenance, and attractiveness gained mass recognition. And when you couple these qualities with the fact that fiber cement siding lasts a lifetime once installed, it’s clear why today’s homeowner prizes such a solution.

Architectural Upside

When you choose fiber cement siding as your exterior siding of choice, you’re getting a siding solution that offers a diverse range of designs. These include curved-shake, geometric patterns, vertical, shake, plank, and lap. An equally diverse suite of colors and textures are available too: whether you want to mimic a brick, stacked flagstone, wood, or natural fieldstone façade, fiber cement siding is up to the challenge.


Fiber cement siding is manufactured from various sustainable materials, including fly ash (a waste element of coal combustion) and wood fiber from curated forests. Of course, opinions vary regarding which natural components make the best fiber cement siding. James Hardie, the company that founded fiber cement four decades ago and is the category leader, uses water, sand, and cellulose fibers in its James Hardie siding products. However, the company doesn’t use fly ash, with the opinion that it comprises product durability.

Despite the different manufacturing approaches present among the leading fiber cement siding companies, one thing they all have in common is a commitment to sustainability in their processes: for example, recycling 100% of leftover scrap material, reusing 95% of the water used in factories, and sourcing 90% – 100% of materials from regional suppliers.

Strong ROI

Given that fiber cement siding requires professional siding installation, the solution’s upfront cost can be expensive. However, homeowners can expect a fantastic ROI (return on investment), given that fiber cement siding lasts for 50+ years and requires minimal regular maintenance. In fact, refinishing work is usually required once every 15 years. So aside from the initial investment, a homeowner’s ongoing costs are minimal.

Maintenance and Longevity

The best fiber cement siding products (i.e. those delivered by James Hardie, Nichiha, CertainTeed, and others) are highly resistant to noise pollution, bad weather, and insects. These products are also certified by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and in many cases the fiber cement siding options available today exceed the ASTM’s standards. With this in mind, it’s common for a manufacturer’s warranty to range from 30 years – 50 years.

Fiber Cement Siding vs. Wood Siding and Vinyl Siding

The talented exterior siding contractors at U.S. Exterior by Seidel are well-versed in all types of siding, so we’re qualified to draw comparisons between fiber cement siding and two other popular solutions: wood siding and vinyl siding. All three have their advantages, so we recommend looking at it this way: if budget is most important, vinyl is the best choice. If curb appeal is vital, choose wood. But if you want a balanced mix of low-maintenance, high durability, and attractiveness, you can’t go wrong with fiber cement siding.


U.S. Exterior By Seidel | 741 Hastings Lane | Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

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