Cedar and Fiber Cement Siding: which is right for you?

If it’s time to replace the siding on your home, you might be wondering if you should stick with cedar or go with fiber cement siding. While both will give you that traditional shingle or clap board look, there are differences between them.  Let’s take a look at these two typical types of siding so you can decide which works best for you.

Cedar Siding

This type of siding is usually made from either White Cedar or Western Red Cedar. It can be stained, oil treated, painted, or just left alone to weather naturally.  While it can be made into “shakes” or shingles, bevel, or overlap styles, you can get a fresh, seamless look or a more rural look using a process called board and batten.

With proper care, cedar siding can last for many years. This means that you should seal or paint the wood to provide maximum protection from the elements. On average, you will need to reseal or stain the shingles every three years, or scrape and repaint them every five years. Cedar siding should also be treated at regular intervals with a flame retardant to ensure it protects the home in the event of a fire.

Cedar siding can be vulnerable to woodpeckers. Besides being unsightly, the tiny holes they make allow insects and moisture to get behind the shingles, secretly causing damage that can’t be seen until it’s too late.

While initially appearing to be the inexpensive choice over fiber cement siding, the cost of upkeep and maintenance can make the price of cedar higher over the years than fiber cement siding.

Fiber Cement Siding

In the infographic, Allura shows some fast facts about fiber cement siding. Fiber cement siding is a synthetic product that is compressed to make tile or slabs. You can buy it primed and ready to paint or pre-painted at the factory. This type of siding is almost indistinguishable from painted cedar shingles, and many people cannot tell the difference without actually touching it.

Perhaps one of the best things about this type of siding is that, in most cases, it will not require repainting for as long as 25 years.  This not only saves labor, but money in painting costs. Fiber cement siding is also virtually fireproof, meaning that it will not have to be treated with flame retardants.  This is perhaps why most historic buildings in the US are now using fiber cement siding to replace hardwood siding. For those who live in hot and/or humid climates, fiber cement siding would eliminate any worry about rot, warped boards, or moisture. It’s also been noted that woodpeckers have no taste for this type of siding!

Take a look at the infographic below to see the pros and cons of both types and to help you make the most informed choice about which is right for you.


Post contributed by guest blogger Matt Lee of Allura USA.

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