Choosing the right siding for your home isn’t necessarily easy. It’s a huge investment, and you’ll have to consider multiple factors, like appearance, maintenance, affordability, and durability – among others. You’re likely aware of options like wood and vinyl siding, but have you considered fiber cement?
With wood, vinyl, brick, and other conventional siding varieties, you might not be able to find the right combination of appearance and durability – but fiber cement siding from James Hardie offers some of the best options.
James Hardie Siding: A Breakdown
Stone masonry is one of the best performers in terms of durability. It resists rot, fire, and termites, as well as inclement weather. On the other hand, painted wood is one of the most aesthetically versatile and attractive siding types. Stone and brick are other popular contenders in terms of appearance. HardiePlank lap siding from James Hardie combines performance with a beautiful, versatile appearance.
According to This Old House, around 15 percent of new homes use this type of siding for its many good qualities – not to mention that it’s also been featured on a number of TV specials about new home construction!
HardiePlank and other fiber cement sidings break down into just four ingredients. First is wood pulp, which makes it flexible and resilient. Next, Portland cement – a combination of iron, clay, and limestone – binds all the ingredients together. Fly ash or silica sand is used as filler. Finally, water dissolves the wood pulp and causes the cement to activate and harden.
Vinyl, Wood and More: How It All Compares
What, precisely, makes fiber cement siding superior to other materials? Its simple ingredients create a strong, durable substance that prevents flaking, fading, and other damages that other materials incur. Here’s how it all breaks down.
- Vinyl. This material is extremely affordable, which is probably the main reason it’s so popular. With a wide array of colors to choose from, homeowners can choose the right shade to blend in with the other neighborhood homes.
Unfortunately, its cheapness shows. Vinyl looks like plastic, and it’s minimally durable – especially in the face of heavy use or inclement weather. It cracks easily, requiring regular maintenance and even replacement.
- Wood. Once, wood was the most popular of siding materials. It’s gone a bit out of style, but its attractive, textured appearance and superior durability make it the default choice for cottages, bungalows, and other small dwellings.
However, wood siding – whether in clapboards or shingles – requires serious maintenance. Because it’s highly flammable and susceptible to temperature changes, it’ll need regular weather and flame retardant treatments in addition to frequent repainting.
Not only does wood warp and change size depending on temperature and moisture in the air, but it also provides poor resistance against critters and insects – leaving your home susceptible to infestations if you’re not careful.
- Brick. Popular in cottage, Colonial, and ranch-style homes, brick has a combination of attractive, high-end appearance and excellent durability. The individual bricks are made from fired clay and are sealed with mortar – a labor-intensive process that can seriously hike up installation costs. Another downside is that brick conducts heat pretty significantly, so it’s a nightmare in the summer unless you crank up the A/C (and your cooling bill).
- Stone. Stone and stone veneer are both popular siding options, providing a classy but still natural appearance to a home. Gorgeous granite and limestone are popular options. The appearance is high-end and the weather resistance is superior to many other types of siding.
However, stone siding has the downside of being severely expensive to install. Additionally, you’ll have to continually treat, clean, and inspect it, making maintenance a chore. It requires annual attention to ensure it hasn’t caved in, which could cause damage to the home’s infrastructure.
- Fiber cement. One of the most eco-friendly siding options, fiber cement is a material with a number of benefits. It’s priced competitively against stucco and other high-end siding materials, but its superior qualities make it last longer than any of its competitors. Resistant to many common hazards like insects, mold, and fire, fiber cement is ideal in any climate.
A highly durable material, fiber cement also requires little maintenance and lasts a long time – another eco-friendly feature. To achieve a strikingly wood-like appearance, choose a wood-grained finish; smooth finishes are also available. Choose from clapboard, vertical wall panels and more.
Versatile in color as well, you can have fiber cement siding primed and painted prior to building – which usually carries a 25-year (or longer) warranty. If you’d like to change the color later, fiber cement holds water-based acrylic paints like a charm. Unlike wood, it expands and contracts so minimally, you’re unlikely to encounter peeling or blistering in your paint, allowing it to last longer.
Why Choose James Hardie?
In the fiber cement industry, James Hardie siding is at the top of its field. Options like HardiePlank siding are especially popular here in Michigan because they maintain their original beauty almost indefinitely. You’ll spend less significantly less time and money on maintenance. If painting isn’t for you, we offer ColorPlus technology for permanent baked-on color that won’t age. You’ll enjoy beautiful, vibrant color for years to come.
At John McCarter Construction, James Hardie siding is our brand of choice due to its uniquely formulated climate protection. Using Engineered for Climate® technology, this siding will allow you to cut down on your heating and cooling bills and stay protected from snow, ice, wind, and extreme temperatures – a common occurrence here in Michigan.
It also resists water damage and absorption, keeping problems like cracking, swelling, and mold at bay. On the other end, James Hardie siding is resistant to fire as well, which is why firefighters across the nation recommend this material. It’s clearly the best choice to protect your family and your home.
Choose John McCarter Construction
The advantages of James Hardie fiber cement siding are undeniable. If you’re building a home or simply replacing the siding on an existing building, John McCarter Construction is the exterior siding installation and renovation contractor of choice for families and businesses throughout Michigan. Contact us today to learn more about how you can invest in protecting your home, family, and assets – while also lowering heating and cooling costs – with new siding, windows, and more.