Fiber-cement siding is made from a mix of wood pulp and cement that’s formed into long boards or shingles. It’s attached to your home directly with nails.
Vinyl siding is made primarily from PVC, a rigid plastic material, and is securely affixed to your home’s exterior in a manner that allows it to expand and contract with changing temperatures.
Both fiber-cement and vinyl siding have come a long way from their origins.
Fiber-Cement Siding Style Options
It’s possible to buy fiber-cement boards as half-round, staggered, or square shingles as well as in long plank boards. It can be painted or stained, which means you can make it any color you’d like, and it’s also now possible to buy prepainted fiber cement siding in a range of colors so that you can eliminate this step.
Vinyl Siding Style Options
Vinyl siding offers a greater variety of decorative options, from maintaining the appearance of a historic home to creating a clean and modern facade. In fact, no other siding option offers such a range of styles and colors, including shingle and plank looks akin to fiber-cement and also a variety of panel designs. Among the most popular vinyl siding products are those with a grain-finished surface that mimics real wood, or those that look like cedar shake shingles. Certain vinyl siding panels can even be hung vertically for a unique and eye-catching look.
In Morristown, the cost of vinyl siding is around $600 per 100 square feet, while fiber cement can cost around $750 for the same area.
On their own, both vinyl and fiber-cement siding are relatively thin products that aren’t particularly good insulators, despite both being effective at keeping the elements away from your home. Where vinyl siding takes the lead is in an insulated version, in which a layer of foam adheres between the siding and the walls of your home. This type of vinyl increases the insulating ability of the walls through a process known as thermal bridging. Insulated siding also helps keep your house cool in summer by preventing the sun’s heat from toasting the walls of your house.
In addition to the energy benefits you can get for your home from vinyl siding, it’s also a lightweight product. This means that it doesn’t take as much fuel to move the siding from its manufacturing facilities to your house, which ups the material’s eco-friendly factor.
When fiber cement is installed, it needs to be caulked and painted, which can be an expensive and repetitive task. Vinyl siding, in comparison, needs no additional work before or after installation. Over time, you’ll need to paint fiber-cement siding periodically due to natural fading. Vinyl siding, on the other hand, needs little more than a periodic spray cleaning with your garden hose and some soapy water to retain its vibrant look.
Both vinyl siding and fiber cement are very durable exterior options. Vinyl siding, however, takes the edge because fiber cement has been known to absorb water, which can cause it to rot. Due to the flexibility of vinyl siding, it’s also virtually impervious to chips and cracks. Not so for fiber cement, which is so rigid that it can easily crack both during the installation process and after it’s installed on your home. Vinyl siding is the only exterior with a product certification program administered by an independent, accredited quality-control agency that ensures products and colors meet or exceed the industry standard for performance.
When you’ve decided which type of siding is right for your Morristown home, or if you’re in need of a professional opinion, call the roofing experts at Ballantine Home Improvement today to help you take the next step in siding installation!