Should You Consider DIY Installation to Lower Your Fiber Cement Cost?


Fiber cement is a siding of choice for homeowners who want a durable, environmentally friendly product for their homes. While the product is competitively priced - fiber cement siding can be one third to one half the cost of real wood siding - approximately half of the fiber cement cost will lie in siding installation.

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Should you install the siding yourself to cut costs? Consider the following points as you choose between DIY and professional siding installation:

  1. While lighter than wood, fiber cement is heavier than vinyl and can be somewhat fragile prior to installation. Care must be taken not to break the panels.
  2. Cutting fiber cement is more difficult than cutting wood. You may need to invest in special tools, such as pneumatic or handheld shears, a circular saw with dust-reducing capabilities, or a miter saw with a diamond tip.
  3. As fiber cement is cut, silica dust releases into the air, making it especially important to wear a mask and reduce dust while cutting, if possible.
  4. Consider the perils of incorrect installation. Improperly installed siding can result in warped planks, moisture problems, and a void of the warranty on your product.

On the other hand, if you are a skilled builder, willing to pay careful attention to the manufacturer's installation instructions, and ready to put the time and labor into the job, then DIY installation could be an effective way to lower your fiber cement cost.

Weigh your options carefully. If you have any doubt as to your abilities, consider hiring a professional. The Portland Cement Association recommends that you look for a contractor experienced in fiber cement siding installation, ask for references, and look at jobs your contractor has completed.

 

 

Sources
Tech Brief 15 - Fiber Cement Siding • http://www.cement.orghttp://www.cement.org/homes/brief15.asp • Portland Cement Association,
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