Fiber Cement Siding

JTI Siding contractors specialize in the installation of fiber cement siding. Fiber cement, also known as masonite siding, offers a similar look to masonry, stucco, or wood siding at a lower cost. Hence, this siding material has become a popular choice for many homeowners.

This type of siding gets its name from two of the main ingredients that go into making it: Portland cement and cellulose fiber. These materials are combined with sand, water, and usually some proprietary additives particular to the manufacturer to form a tough, durable, and stable cladding material. Fiber cement siding is low-maintenance, strong, non-flammable, and termite-resistant. This siding material is available in a range of styles and textures. Furthermore, you may consider factory painting or finishes to achieve a custom look for the exterior of your house. Fiber cement siding offers a look that is closer to real wood when compared with traditional vinyl siding, but not as close as that of veneer log siding. So, if you want a wood-like appearance without the price and with better protection, then fiber cement siding is your choice.

What is Fiber Cement Siding?

fiber cement siding fayetteville arkansasFiber-cement is a category of siding that is made up of three basic ingredients and there are about a half-dozen manufacturers in the United States who use the same basic mixture of sand, cement, and cellulose. This mixture is autoclaved or fused under high temperatures. The designs and colors are added before it is baked and sometimes it may have a finishing coat referred to as colorfast. It comes out as thin, hardened shingles or planks of various sizes.

Siding materials vary depending on the manufacturers who may use a thicker or thinner fiber as well as differing amounts of ingredients in the mixture. These differences are important and can be specific to environments. You will need to check with your siding installation company to find which type is best for your area.

Some manufacturers only sell it with the primer coat and some sell it both with the primer coat and also with the color pre-applied so you do not need to paint your home after the installation. It is important to note that if you decide to install fiber cement siding covered only with the primer coat, you have to paint it within 90 days or you will void the manufacturer’s warranty. The other major consideration is that after it’s been painted it must also be caulked and sealed. Neglecting that will void the manufactures warranty also. Often, it’s best to have your fiber cement siding installed pre-painted as the installation company can caulk and seal it as they go, ensuring you receive the twenty-five-year warranty. This will increase the cost of your project upfront, but after you pay painters and have the installation company come back to caulk and seal, it is usually cheaper to install the product already painted.

Fiber cement is a sustainable product because of its long life and durable nature.  It has a high density, and its compressed fiber cement has excellent strength, ductility, hardness. In addition, it’s impact resistant and has a very high fracture tolerance. These properties coupled with superb freeze-thaw characteristics and resistance to fungi, mold, and bacteria make fiber cement an excellent choice with which to side the outside or your home.  These mostly maintenance-free materials combined with a well-ventilated installation and proper house wrap contribute to increased heating and cooling efficiency.

Another important thing to consider about fiber-cement siding that impacts its cost is the fact that it cannot be manufactured on a small or medium scale.  You will not find a small, local fiber-cement company in your local industrial area.  It’s a large-scale, energy-intensive process that requires companies with large amounts of capital to build factories large enough to manufacture large quantities of fiber cement siding.  You will not find a fiber cement company whose revenue is under a billion dollars.

Pros and const of fiber cement siding

Pros

  • Beauty – Aesthetically pleasing to the eye, authentic woodgrain textures and hardy finishes combined with unlimited color make fiber cement siding one of the most popular siding choices in Fayetteville and Fort Smith, Arkansas. If you’re wanting to create a unique look for your home, fiber cement siding should be a serious contender in your consideration.
  • Durability – Fiber cement siding is very durable and is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, like snow, ice, heat, and freezing temperatures, without deteriorating.
  • Low Maintenance – similar to vinyl siding, fiber cement requires almost no maintenance.
  • Energy Efficiency – When Fiber cement siding is used with weather barriers and insulation, fiber cement siding will increase the energy efficiency of your house.
  • Green Product – The U.S. Green Building Council has acknowledged that fiber cement siding is a green product due to its durability and sustainability. It also has a class 1A fire rating.
  • Insect Resilient – Fiber cement siding is resistant to wood-boring insects.
  • Lengthy Warranty – Many manufacturers offer a 50-year manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Low Home Insurance Premiums – Many insurance companies offer homeowners lower premiums for homes that have fiber cement siding installed because of the many benefits of fiber cement siding.
  • Designs – the woodgrain look is very similar to wood lap siding. It’s not as close as fiber cement log wood siding but, when compared to vinyl, it has a much closer look to the real wood. It can be surprising how its imprinted wood designs imitate wood-grain so incredibly well.
  • Paintable –  It can be painted, giving a range of color choices that is almost limitless.Resale Value –  Fiber-cement will increases your home’s resale value more than vinyl siding will.
  • Storm Resistance – Fiber cement siding beats vinyl siding in every measurement for storm resistance. It can handle higher wind speeds and larger and faster falling hail and is less susceptible to the effects of extreme heat or cold spells.

Cons

  • Costs – Fiber cement siding is without a doubt more expensive than vinyl siding. It is usually about 25% to 50% more expensive than vinyl siding. It’s harder to manufacture and, because there are only a few manufacturers, the price remains high. Also, it must be shipped in and this adds to the price.
  • Paintable – Some homeowners like the fact that they never have to paint vinyl, but this is not true of fiber cement. Fiber cement needs to be painted. In fact, we recommend that it gets painted every five to ten years at least. Exterior painting is difficult and expensive.
  • Breakable – although fiber-cement if more durable than vinyl siding, it is a brittle product that will crack if you apply enough pressure or if you exert enough force through impact. Because it is a thin layer of cement, it won’t bend or warp, but this means if you apply enough pressure, it will break or shatter.
  • Not a DIY Project –  Fiber cement siding is very difficult to install. This not only adds to the cost, but it means it is not a do-it-yourself project. Fiber cement siding is heavy and hard to work with. When it is cut, the particles that are put into the air are very hazardous to your health, so it’s important that anyone cutting fiber cement siding wear the proper protective breathing gear.

Fiber Cement Siding Profiles

As with all types of siding, fiber cement siding is also available in different styles and textures. Below are some of the different types of fiber cement siding options for your home:

  • Shingle Fiber Cement Siding is made in individual shakes cut in 4-foot, 8-foot, or 12-foot strips with either woodgrain or hand-split textures. It’s also made in straight or staggered shingles to give your home a particular style. It’s also available in different shapes and sizes. It can be bought primed, factory-painted, or stained-finish. Some homeowners opt to use it only on dormers or as decorative pieces that highlight different areas on your home.
  • Panel Fiber Cement Siding is available in large sheets, most often in a 5/16-inch thickness. You can choose from a variety of different textures that will all give very different looks to your home. This gives you more options from a design point of view. Panel fiber cements offer an affordable and modern finish to the outside of your home. Also, you can choose smooth panels that have the appearance of stucco but offer the protection of fiber cement siding.
  • Lap Fiber Cement Siding, often called clapboard, installs very much like vinyl siding in a row-by-row manner. The planks can be bought in different finishes such as a smooth surface or a woodgrain surface. Most fiber cement clapboards are 5/6 inch thick. However, they can also be bought in 5/8-inch thickness. Lap fiber cement is the most popular style of fiber cement siding as it looks the most like wood in appearance (excepting, of course, the log-home style of fiber cement siding).

SIDING MANUFACTURERs

There are several manufacturers of fiber cement siding, and although they each have their own product lines and design features, most fiber cement products are similar. The common thread among all of these companies is that, beyond any particular proprietary additives, their products all share the same base ingredients. Further, all fiber cement siding makers use common product classification. In other words, you’ll find they all manufacture planks and panels along with various trim details. The most well-known fiber cement siding manufacturers are:

  • Cemplank
  • CertainTeed
  • GAF
  • James Hardie
  • MaxiTile
  • Nichiha

THE BOTTOM LINE

You’ve read a lot about fiber cement siding: common types of fiber cement materials, its benefits, drawbacks, and other important considerations. It’s a lot to digest. At JTI Siding, we get it. That’s why our team’s mission is to be an expert resource for you. We want to guide you through the process of choosing what type of siding is best for you. It’s a huge investment, and we want to give you the options, advice, and insight you need to handle the process confidently.

JTI Siding serves customers throughout the Northeast Arkansas:

Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, Rogers and Springdale