Cost Comparison of James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding vs. Vinyl Siding

    

Cost Comparison of James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding vs. Vinyl Siding

Some homeowners may believe that siding is siding, that whatever suffices, and the most inexpensive option is the best route. However, the choice is rarely that simple. Short-term savings might not add up to long-term cost-effectiveness, and ultimately, you may not be happy with what you settled on for your home.

Vinyl siding is the usual choice for homeowners. Make no mistake, when installed by a trustworthy and qualified contractor, it is a solid option that offers many benefits, such as architectural styling, energy efficiency, durability, and affordability.

An impressive alternative is James Hardie fiber cement siding. Fiber cement consists of a mixture of cellulose fibers, sand, and cement, and James Hardie is the leading manufacturer of this type of siding material. Below, we present a cost comparison between James Hardie siding and traditional vinyl siding; the results may surprise you.

Upfront Materials Cost

The pure sticker price for James Hardie siding is more expensive than most vinyl options. For homeowners with a limited immediate budget, vinyl won’t disappoint, especially when installed by an experienced contractor.

Advantage: Vinyl siding

Installation Costs

Though more expensive to purchase, fiber cement siding is often less expensive to install. Moreover, a certified James Hardie contractor can complete the job sooner without experiencing issues that less experienced installers may encounter.

Advantage: James Hardie siding

Durability

Many vinyl options aren’t shabby on the durability front, but they don’t quite compare to James Hardie siding. Fiber cement offers excellent impact resistance and better resists warping and shrinking—it can withstand the elements and still look as good as the day it was installed.

Advantage: James Hardie siding


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Maintenance Costs

Because vinyl isn’t as durable, maintenance efforts will cost more, in terms of effort and money, in the long run. James Hardie siding is practically maintenance-free; a simple power wash keeps it clean, and any paint added on is less likely to chip or peel.

Advantage: James Hardie siding

Warranty

James Hardie offers a 30-year, non-prorated warranty on its fiber cement siding. No vinyl option out there offers as good a guarantee.

Advantage: James Hardie siding

Color

By choosing James Hardie’s ColorPlus Technology, long-lasting color (along with UV protection) is built into the siding so you don't have to worry about fading or peeling. Vinyl siding doesn’t offer this feature—you will be paying for painting and repainting as the years pass. Even James Hardie customers who prefer to paint their siding realize benefits over vinyl. The former siding is primed and ready for painting upon installation, and as already mentioned, paint lasts longer on fiber cement than other materials.

Advantage: James Hardie siding

Fire Protection

Hopefully, this cost benefit is one you will never realize: Fiber cement siding is non-combustible and more fire-resistant than vinyl. If a fire does break out, the former doesn't provide fuel to blaze, thereby possibly lessening the damage to your home. Simply put, fiber cement is an extra safety precaution for not only your house, but also the occupants within.

Advantage: James Hardie siding

Home Value

Any new siding improves the value of your home, but James Hardie siding provides that boost for decades after installation. The look of fiber cement is classy and sturdy—something potential homebuyers definitely notice. Its practical benefits also increase value; most buyers prefer to purchase a home and not worry about having to paint or replace the siding. New siding is an investment, and James Hardie siding simply offers the best return.

Advantage: James Hardie siding

Choosing the Best Siding

These comparisons indicate the cost of materials isn’t the only consideration when choosing between vinyl and fiber cement siding. Think about the long term, and talk to an expert siding contractor when making a decision.

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About The Author

Ben Matthews is a managing partner at BRAX Roofing, a multi-faceted company that focuses on residential and commercial roofing throughout Maryland and Washington DC. Having obtained the highest certifications in roofing from leading manufacturers around the country, Ben takes pride in providing BRAX Roofing customers with top-quality exterior home improvement service and expertise.