Siding is one of the most ancient building techniques known to man. And we’ve certainly come a long way from the old split log siding, and entered into today’s modern cementious fiberboard technology. But don’t dismiss wood for its antiquated uses; it’s still a big contender with cementious fiberboard. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so making the right decision can be difficult at best. Use this guide to help you become an informed consumer so you can choose the right siding for your home.
The Benefits of Wood
Classic and solid, wood is the all-time favorite for siding materials around the globe. It is a sustainable building material that can be grown nearly anywhere in the world. It can be milled into many different shapes and styles creating every style of siding lap possible. Once wood siding has been primed and sealed, it can last for a lifetime with annual maintenance and upkeep.
The big problem with wood siding—as with any wood product is decay. Because wood was once a living organism, it must be preserved using chemicals that prevent woods natural decaying process. If annual (and some cases bi-annual) maintenance isn’t preformed, wood begins to rot, making it susceptible to termites, fungus or mold. Wood siding can easily become a maintenance headache if not properly maintained.
The Benefits of Fiber Cement Siding
Made from concrete and cellulose fibers, this siding choice is made to last a lifetime. And because it’s concrete, it’s completely protected from rot, decay, insects and fire. As a liquid product in its initial phase, it can be molded into any shape or style, allowing fiber cement board to mimic any type of wood grain, pattern or materials surface.
Fiber cement siding board also easily accepts any paints, stains or sealants you apply to it. And since it is installed so similar to wood products, labor prices remain about the same. Overall, materials costs are greater than wood, but because less maintenance is needed, long term savings are generated, keeping costs only slightly higher than wood siding.
Fiber Cements Disadvantages
Just because fiber cement siding lasts longer than wood, doesn’t mean the paint will. Without an initial coat of quality log-term exterior paint, cement siding will have to be maintained just as often as a painted wood siding. Paint IS the only solution for fiber cement siding unlike wood which can be sealed with a clear coat, allowing the true beauty of wood show. With the addition of high dollar paints, the price of cement fiber siding increases even more, making it a poor choice for those with a tight budget.
Key Hiring Tips
From large to small projects, before you select any contractor be sure to take the time to properly screen them. The time it takes now to screen a contractor will help ensure success for your home improvement project and avoid problems down the road.