Fiber cement vs. vinyl: siding popularity

Climate, maintenance and cost affect your decision to choose the right siding material for your home, but when you're down to two choices -- fiber cement vs. vinyl -- it can be helpful to know which type of siding material new-home builders are currently choosing.

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Of all the new family homes sold in 2010, 36 percent had vinyl siding, making vinyl siding three times more popular than fiber cement siding, according to a June 2011 report from the Vinyl Siding Institute based on 2010 Census Bureau data.

Vinyl siding has been the most popular type of siding for 16 years and fiber cement has had 12 percent of the market for the past three years.

The geography of popularity

However, vinyl isn't the most popular everywhere. In the western United States, 19,000 new homes were built with fiber cement siding, making it the second most popular choice after stucco. In the southern states, vinyl siding is second to brick. In both the Northeast and Midwest, no other type of siding comes even close to catching up with vinyl.

Cost of fiber cement and vinyl siding

The popularity of both fiber cement and vinyl siding may be attributed to the low installed cost per square compared to other types of siding:

  1. Stone: $1,726
  2. Brick: $957
  3. Wood: $595
  4. Stucco: $421
  5. Fiber cement: $289
  6. Vinyl siding: $186

Also, a home's sales price plays a part in siding popularity. Vinyl keeps the top spot for houses priced at $499,000 or less, but was as equally popular as fiber cement siding on houses selling for $750,000 or more.



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