Fiber Cement Siding Costs, Brand Comparisons, and Considerations
Last Updated: October 04, 2023
Reviewed By: Ryan Maguire
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Fiber cement siding (also known as cement board) is designed to imitate the look of natural wood, but is more durable and versatile than the real thing, making it an attractive wood alternative that provides excellent value. To learn more about cement fiber siding and how much it costs to install, continue reading.
Fiber Cement Siding Costs #
Fiber cement is a composite exterior siding made from sand, cement and cellulose fibers. Here is a detailed breakdown of fiber cement siding costs:
Fiber Cement Siding Materials
- Basic planks - $2-3 per sq ft
- Premium planks - $4-7 per sq ft
- Shingles or panels - $3-5 per sq ft
- Trims and accessories - $0.50-2 per linear ft
- Remove old siding - $1-3 per sq ft
- Install new siding - $3-5 per sq ft
- Paint or seal siding - $1-2 per sq ft
Other Project Costs
- Dump fees for old siding - $500-1500
- Building permit - $100-500
- Supplementary materials (flashing, sealants) - $1-2 per sq ft
Total Fiber Cement Siding Cost
- Small house (1,500 sq ft) - $9,000 to $18,000
- Large house (3,000 sq ft) - $15,000 to $36,000
In summary, expect to pay $7 to $12 per sq ft installed for fiber cement siding. The total cost for an average home is $10,000 to $25,000. Premium products, extensive tear-off work, and larger homes cost more.
The main factors impacting fiber cement pricing are the siding style and thickness, amount of prep work needed, and overall square footage.
Top Fiber Cement Siding Brands Compared #
|Brand||Cost per sq ft||Warranty||Thickness|
|James Hardie||$4-$8||30 years||0.25"-0.5"|
The top fiber cement siding brands range from about $3 to $9 per square foot. James Hardie, CertainTeed, and Nichiha are premium brands costing $5-9/sq ft. Allura and GAF are quality, mid-priced options. Key differences are warranties from 30-50 years and thickness from 0.25 inches up to 0.5 inches. All offer a variety of styles and colors.
Fiber Cement Siding Cost Examples #
Here are some real-life examples of fiber cement siding installation costs:
A homeowner in Missouri paid $16,500 to reside their 2,000 sq ft home with James Hardie fiber cement lap siding, including tear-off of old siding, dump fees, materials, and professional installation.
A couple in Oregon spent $11,800 to install Allura fiber cement shake siding on their 1,600 sq ft craftsman-style house. They saved on labor by removing the old siding themselves.
A family in Florida paid $24,000 to reside their large 2-story colonial house (2,800 sq ft) with thicker 0.5" CertainTeed fiber cement panels and trim.
A DIYer in California installed Nichiha fiber cement vertical siding on their 1,000 sq ft bungalow for $5,500 in materials only. It took them 6 weekends to self-install the new siding.
A historic homeowner in New York paid $32,000 to reside their 2,400 sq ft Victorian home using custom profile James Hardie fiber cement siding that matched the original wood details.
As you can see, fiber cement siding installation costs range from $5,000 for DIY materials up to $30,000+ for large professional jobs with premium materials. Most projects cost $15,000 to $25,000 on average.
Fiber Cement Siding: How it Works #
While versions of fiber cement have been in use for more than 100 years, the material as it known today has only been around since the 1980s. Prior to then, fiber cement often contained asbestos fibers for added strength.
Modern fiber cement siding is a mixture of cement, sand and cellulose fibers. These materials are bonded through a high-temperature steam curing process, resulting in exceptional strength. Cement fiber siding is made in layers, with the outermost surface bearing a wood grain imprint. It is available in horizontal boards, shingles, and sheets.
The strength of fiber cement does not come without a tradeoff, as it weighs almost twice as much as wood. Coupled with the fact that cutting it produces significant dust, installing fiber cement siding is more labor intensive, and improper installation can result in moisture problems. To avoid them, only work with experienced and qualified contractors.
The Benefits of Fiber Cement Siding #
Although not yet as popular as other wood alternatives such as vinyl and metal, fiber cement is becoming more and more popular for reasons that include the following:
- Durability: Cement fiber siding, when properly installed, doesn't warp, fade or buckle like vinyl siding, another popular wood alternative. And unlike metal siding fiber cement won't dent or rust. It also termite, water, and won't burn.
- Value: Fiber cement, in addition to costing less than real wood, is often backed by a warrantee of up to 50 years and requires less maintenance than wood over the years. Cement board also holds paint better than wood and may only need to be repainted every 15 years or so.
- Beauty: Available in a wide range of designs, finishes, and colors, cement fiber siding provides the natural beauty of wood without all of the hassles.
- Eco-Friendly: Compared to vinyl, which contains chemical components which can be harmful to humans and the environment, fiber cement is made from safe, non-toxic materials. The long life of fiber cement siding also contributes to its status as one of the most green building products available.
Fiber Cement Siding FAQs #
Here are some frequently asked questions about installing fiber cement siding:
How much does fiber cement siding cost installed?
On average, expect to pay $7-12 per sq ft for both materials and professional fiber cement siding installation. Total costs for an average home are $10,000 - $25,000.
What thickness of fiber cement siding is best?
Thicker siding is more durable and impact resistant. 0.25" siding is standard, while 0.312-0.5" provides extra strength.
What are the pros and cons of fiber cement siding?
Pros are durability, fire and insect resistance, long warranty, low maintenance. Cons are higher upfront cost, prone to cracking if not installed correctly.
How long does fiber cement siding last?
Properly installed and cared for fiber cement siding will last 30-50 years or more. Look for warranties of 30+ years.
What kind of maintenance does fiber cement siding require?
Occasional cleaning, repainting every 7-15 years, re-caulking gaps, and watching for cracks, damage, or water issues.
How long does it take to install fiber cement siding?
Fiber cement siding installation takes 2-4 days for an average single story home. Larger homes can take 1-2 weeks.
What colors and styles are available?
Fiber cement comes in traditional lap, shingle, vertical board and batten, and panel styles. Most brands offer dozens of color options.
Video: Will it Burn? Fiber Cement vs. the Rest | Siding Comparison #
Watch the video to compare fiber cement vs other siding options: