Fiber cement vs. vinyl siding: costs of ownership

Although there are some aesthetic differences between fiber cement and vinyl siding, both types of exterior siding are long-lasting and require very little maintenance.

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Unlike natural wood siding, both fiber cement and vinyl siding resist water damage and are unaffected by insects and termites. Most brands of fiber cement and vinyl siding come with manufacturers' warranties, but you should compare the specifics of each siding's warranty before you select one to purchase.

Initial cost and installation

It some cases, fiber cement siding can cost more than vinyl siding and will usually require more time and man power to install on your home. In other cases, premium styles of vinyl siding, such as vinyl shakes and shingles, can cost more than a simple fiber cement lap siding. It is important to detail the exact style and brand of siding you want when comparing installation bids.

Long term maintenance

Most premium brands of vinyl siding never need to be painted, while even the best fiber cement siding will likely need to be refinished after a while. This means that you need to consider the costs of eventually repainting your entire house when choosing between the two popular styles of exterior house siding.

Both fiber cement and vinyl siding should be cleaned every year or so, but a homeowner can accomplish this in a single day with just a garden hose and some mild detergent. When cleaning your home's vinyl siding, look for any damaged siding panels that may need to be repaired.

Fiber cement siding is not as susceptible to cracking as vinyl siding, but every few years you may need to reapply caulking at the joints and seams to prevent rain water from getting behind the siding boards.


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