When it comes time to replace your home’s siding, the choices can be a little overwhelming. Should you stick with cedar or go with fiber cement? Is one really better than the other? What about the costs? Is fiber cement siding really more durable?
These are good questions that every homeowner should consider. Let’s take a look at the differences between these two types of siding so you can make an informed decision.
Durability and Maintenance
While cedar has been the gold standard for years, it is not perfect. While cedar is less apt to attract insects than other types of hardwoods, but if it is not primed carefully or not caulked properly, it can absorb moisture, which leads to rot. While insects might not care too much for cedar, however, other wildlife finds it attractive, including woodpeckers, squirrels, and raccoons.
Cedar will need to be painted or have a flame retardant applied every few years. It can also be damaged by hail or flying debris, such as tree branches in a storm, which means repainting or replacing the shingles, depending on the damage.
In the infographic below, Allura USA shows some quick facts about fiber cement siding. Fiber cement siding, unlike cedar siding, needs almost no maintenance, other than an occasional hosing down to remove dirt or dust. It does not need painting or sanding, usually for the life of the product, which is about 25 years. This type of siding is insect proof, is not attractive to wildlife, does not warp or become saturated with water, and is virtually fireproof.
Curb appeal is important to every homeowner and is perhaps one of the main reasons people choose siding to begin with.
Cedar siding will need priming on all sides before installation and before being painted. If the siding should get damaged by hail or other objects, it will need to be sanded, and repainted. Fiber cement siding will need none of that. It looks exactly like painted cedar and can be bought in shingles or planks. Since fiber cement siding never flakes, peels, warps, or stains, you don’t have to worry about repainting it.
When you factor in the maintenance costs of painting and flame retardant that cedar needs, the cost is virtually the same for both types of siding.