Whether you are having a new home built, renovating an older home or having an addition constructed, one of the most important decisions you will likely need to make is to choose the type of siding you prefer. Fiber cement siding and wood siding are both excellent options, but each type has advantages and disadvantages. Comparing the differences between the two types of siding can help you make the choice that is just right for your unique property.
Austin – Wood Siding vs. Fiber Cement
Fiber cement siding does not cost substantially more than quality vinyl siding. However, wood siding is almost always the most expensive option. Depending on the type of wood you choose, wood siding can cost up to twice as much as fiber cement siding.
Wood siding requires a substantial amount of maintenance to keep it healthy and beautiful for decades. For example, wood siding must be protected against water damage with new paint, stain or sealant every five years or so. About all you need to do to maintain your fiber cement siding is to hose it down occasionally and repaint it if the color fades; many homeowners find that fiber cement only needs repainting every 10 to 15 years.
Until you get very close, you probably will not be able to tell the difference between fiber cement and wood siding. Fiber cement mimics the look of painted wood siding and can be produced in the same styles, including clapboard, shingle and lapboard styles. However, if you want “raw” siding that allows the color and grain of the natural wood to be visible, you will need to choose wood siding. If you have a historic home with old-style window surrounds or heavy timber framing, fiber cement, which is just slightly thinner than wood siding, may not provide an authentic profile around the doors and windows. However, many architectural review boards allow fiber cement siding when renovating a historic home.
Of the two sidings, wood is the more vulnerable. It must be protected against termites, dry rot, woodpeckers, carpenter ants and hard impacts. Fiber cement resists all of these potential sources of damage. Fiber cement is also more resistant to fire than wood siding, which could reduce the amount you pay for your home’s insurance.
When given extremely proactive care and maintenance, wood siding can have a life spanning many decades. If maintenance and repairs are neglected, however, the life will be shortened dramatically. Fiber cement siding will last as long as or longer than wood siding without the need for constant care.
Both types of siding are environmentally friendly. Wood is a renewable material; most of the carbon footprint involved with wood siding comes from transporting lumber that is not locally grown. Fiber cement siding has a slight edge when it comes to being eco-friendly; it contains primarily sustainable products such as clay, wood pulp and sand.
Neither type of siding is an appropriate do-it-yourself project, so you should hire a professional to install your siding. Furthermore, you should choose a contractor with experience in the type and style of siding that you want.
Not every contractor has the specialized tools and experience to install siding properly. At Alpha Roofing, we have the knowledge, skill and tools to install fiber cement siding as well as wood siding. We are an award-winning company providing a wide range of services, including siding, skylight and metal roofing systems, asphalt shingle installation and roof repairs. For storm damage in the Austin area, if you are experiencing hail or wind damage, we are here to help! We are known for exceptional workmanship, superior customer service and reasonable prices. If you would like to request a free quote, call (512) 777-1086 or complete the online form.