Fiber cement siding is composed primarily of cement, wood pulp and sand. It is extremely fire-resistant and virtually impervious to termites, carpenter ants and rot. Since the 1980s, fiber cement siding has become almost synonymous with the product manufactured by James Hardie Industries. Although James Hardie pioneered the asbestos-free version of fiber cement siding that is used today, other manufacturers have produced their own versions. However, most siding professionals still consider Hardie’s products to be the best fiber cement siding on the market.
Fiber Cement & James Hardie Cost
There are several factors that can influence the cost of fiber cement siding, including the brand, style and color. According to HomeAdvisor.com, for materials only, shingles can cost as much as $8 each, but planks are usually less than $5 per square foot. In the Austin area, the typical cost to install fiber cement siding ranges from $7,815 to $13,144; the low end is approximately $5,000 and the high end is about $16,800. A good “rule of thumb” estimate is that fiber cement siding will cost approximately $10 per square foot, including materials and installation.
When considering only James Hardie products, the cost averages between $3 and $4 per square foot for the material only. When installed by a reputable professional, the costs range between $5 and $12 per square foot. Although this might sound expensive, it is important to remember that fiber cement siding will likely last a lifetime with very little maintenance.
Why You Need Professional Installation
The installation of fiber cement siding is not a job that is suitable for the average homeowner or novice contractor. You need to hire a reliable contractor with experience in the installation of fiber cement siding and who possesses the specialized equipment needed to ensure quality results.
• The tools required can be quite costly, and most homeowners will have little use for them after the siding is installed. Cutting tools can be as much as $1,150 although some types are available for less than $300. Replacement blades can cost up to $100 each. Powerful nail guns provide consistent pressure and reduce the possibility of damaging the siding; suitable nail guns are seldom priced below $100, and many of them cost as much as $200.
• Planks of fiber cement siding are heavy, weighing approximately 2.5 pounds per square foot. Each plank is typically 12 feet long, so it is difficult or impossible for one person to maneuver the plank into position and hold it in place while attaching it.
• Until the planks are securely fastened in place, they need to be handled carefully. Mishandling can result in cracked, chipped or broken planks.
• Cutting fiber cement siding can generate silica dust, so high-quality protective devices for the eyes, nose and mouth are essential.
• Improper installation can result in gaps or spaces that allow moisture to penetrate and promote the growth of mold in wall voids or inside the structure.
• The actual siding is just one component contributing to quality results. Professional installers know when weather barriers are needed to keep moisture out of the interior, and they know how to install them properly. Fiber cement fascia, soffits and trim pieces are also available.
Alpha Roofing Industries is an Austin roofing contractor and we have the experience and equipment to ensure that your fiber cement siding is installed correctly. We are an award-winning company known for our professionalism, the exceptional quality of our work and our ethics. In addition to siding, we also install asphalt shingles, skylights, flashing, roof replacement, and we offer roof and chimney repairs as well. If you have more questions about Fiber Cement & James Hardie Cost or would like to request a free quote, call us at (512) 777-1086 or fill out the online form.