Choosing the best cladding material for your home involves many considerations, the most common of which are durability, maintenance, energy efficiency, and cost. Two of the most popular siding choices today are vinyl and fiber cement.
The Characteristics of Fiber Cement & Vinyl
In recent years, fiber cement has taken some market share from vinyl siding, which remains the preferred choice for exterior siding. Fiber cement is made from a mix of wood fiber and Portland cement, then formed into planks or shingles and cured at high temperatures. Many homeowners prefer the wide reveal, woodgrain appearance and sturdy feel of fiber cement siding in comparison to vinyl.
Vinyl is manufactured from PVC, a strong plastic resin that is not affected by moisture. Its color is part of vinyl’s composition. This means that vinyl cannot rot and requires almost no maintenance. Vinyl siding is lightweight and easier to install than fiber cement products, which usually translates to lower labor cost for the homeowner.
Fiber cement is highly durable – James Hardie® fiber cement siding is warranted to last 30 years with proper maintenance – but must be protected from moisture with paint. Although it holds paint better than wood, expect to repaint fiber cement an average of every 10 years. If adding to your home’s energy efficiency is important, insulated vinyl siding is the way to go. Manufacturers have introduced foam backed insulated vinyl siding such as Mill Run™ from Crane®. This type of vinyl siding has a layer of foam adhered to the back to increase the R-value of the walls.
When compared by cost, fiber cement is more expensive to install than vinyl siding, but in some instances – especially with insulated vinyl siding – the cost can be very similar. To learn more about the pros, cons, and costs of these types of siding, call Callen at (414) 765-2585. We install a full line of siding materials, including James Hardie fiber cement siding and trim, Mill Run insulated vinyl siding, Mastic vinyl siding, and CertainTeed polymeric decorative siding.
Callen is the exterior remodeling company Lake Country homeowners have trusted since 1986!