If you’re researching materials for your upcoming siding replacement, your search may have led you to two popular options—vinyl and fiber cement.
While these materials both have their unique advantages, vinyl siding has recently lost its competitive edge in the market—having the most affordable price.
Discover how James Hardie fiber cement siding offers the best value for your home with its industry-leading durability, attractive styles, low-maintenance composition, and more!
What’s the Difference Between Vinyl and Fiber Cement Siding?
Vinyl siding is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin. It’s offered in various colors and styles and is loved by homeowners for its affordability and easy installation.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding is engineered from a durable blend of cement, sand, water, and cellulose fibers and is well-known for its wood-like appearance, durability, and longevity. James Hardie® is North America’s #1 siding brand and is the leading manufacturer of fiber cement siding across the country.
Reasons Hardie Fiber Cement Is Superior to Vinyl Siding
When choosing the perfect siding for your replacement, it’s important to weigh the benefits and disadvantages of each product to make the best investment for your home.
Compare the unique qualities of vinyl and fiber cement siding below to determine which siding offers the biggest “bang for your buck!”.
Vinyl: Vinyl siding looks great for a few years but is prone to cracking, peeling, or warping in extreme temperatures. It’s more likely to suffer from water damage than fiber cement siding, and it only lasts for about ten years before showing considerable signs of wear and tear.
Fiber Cement: Fiber cement siding is resistant to pests, mold, rot, and extreme weather fluctuations. In fact, the HardieZone® System ensures your siding is engineered to endure the unique conditions of your climate, like snowstorms, powerful winds, and humidity.
Vinyl: Vinyl is prone to warping or melting when exposed to heat sources, like a barbecue grill or bonfire situated too closely to your exterior. When exposed to flames, vinyl siding will melt and expose your home’s internal walls and studs, allowing the fire to spread.
Fiber Cement: Fiber cement siding will not ignite when exposed to a direct flame and will not contribute fuel to a fire. With a Class A fire rating, Hardie siding is one of the most fire-resistant siding products on the market and is recognized for its durability by fire departments nationwide.
Vinyl: Though vinyl siding comes in dozens of colors, styles, and designs, the boards are thinner and cannot achieve the deep texture and authentic wood-grain appearance of fiber cement panels. Additionally, vinyl siding fades more quickly and shows dents, dirt, and debris more readily than fiber cement siding.
Fiber Cement: If you’re looking for the authentic look of wood siding without the high-maintenance hassle, fiber cement is the perfect option. The thick, textured boards mimic wood, and they’re offered in numerous styles—including HardiePlank®, HardiePanel®, and HardieShingle®. James Hardie also manufactures boards with ColorPlus® Technology—gorgeous baked-on shades guaranteed to last for decades.
Vinyl: Though vinyl siding is easy to clean, it’s more likely to suffer damage from harsh weather conditions. You’ll likely end up paying more in maintenance and repair costs over the shorter lifespan of your vinyl siding than you will over the entire lifespan of your fiber cement.
Fiber Cement: Since fiber cement siding is entirely pest resistant and weatherproof, it’s effortless to care for. Simply wash the surface with a garden hose and clean your siding with a soft cloth one to two times per year, and you’re all set!
Vinyl: Vinyl is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic that releases hazardous chemicals in the air, both when manufactured and when processed in landfills. Additionally, many recycling facilities will not recycle this material, which adds to your carbon footprint.
Fiber Cement: Fiber cement siding is made from natural materials, like wood and sand. Though it cannot be recycled, it lasts longer than vinyl siding, produces less waste, and doesn’t emit hazardous chemicals in the air when manufactured, like vinyl.
Wait—What About the Cost?
For years, the most significant competitive edge vinyl had over fiber cement siding was the affordable cost of materials and installation. However, in 2022, the cost of vinyl siding is almost identical to the cost of fiber cement siding in the Indianapolis area—making price a relatively insignificant factor in your decision making.
When cost is removed from the equation, it’s easy to see how the extreme durability, attractive appearance, and low-maintenance upkeep of fiber cement outweigh vinyl siding!
Secure the Best Value for Your Home When You Install James Hardie Siding
When you’re ready to discover all the fabulous options, features, and styles available to you before your James Hardie siding installation—we’ve got you covered.
JD Hostetter is an Elite Preferred James Hardie Contractor. During your installation, we will make sure that your siding is installed precisely to the manufacturer’s high standards so you can enjoy the benefits of your long-lasting warranty.
Learn more about the benefits of James Hardie fiber cement siding to discover what makes this homeowner-approved material such a worthwhile investment!