Durable, Low Maintenance Siding For Your Best Exterior

Often touted as the ideal balance of cost-efficiency and durability, fiber cement siding stands as a prime choice for many homeowners and contractors. More than just a protective layer, it is a comprehensive solution for exterior cladding that offers aesthetic appeal and remarkable longevity. Manufacturing fiber cement siding involves a complex process of combining cement, sand, and cellulose fibers. These materials undergo autoclaving, a high-pressure steam curing method that yields a robust, weather-resistant product capable of withstanding extreme elements.

In terms of fiber cement siding providers, one name stands out in the fiber cement industry: James HardieTM. Renowned for its commitment to quality and innovation, James HardieTM has earned a reputation as a trusted manufacturer of exceptional siding products. Not only are their products durable and resilient, but they are also aesthetically pleasing. With timeless elegance, fiber cement siding can seamlessly complement any architectural design. When it comes to fiber cement siding, James HardieTM stands as the preferred choice for many, upholding the highest standards of durability, aesthetics, and value.

Characteristics Of Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding is a versatile, durable option for exterior siding. Available in various styles and sizes, it offers great resiliency, aesthetic appeal, and longevity. While the installation process may be more labor-intensive, the end result — a beautiful, tough, and low-maintenance façade — is well worth the effort. With brands like James HardieTM leading the way, fiber cement siding’s popularity continues to grow among homeowners and builders alike. Let’s explore the unique characteristics of fiber cement siding to understand why it’s a popular choice.

Variety Of Styles And Sizes

Fiber cement siding is offered in a wide array of styles and sizes, suitable for any architectural design. The styles include the traditional lap siding, vertical panels, and shingle-like shakes, each available in different textures like smooth, wood grain, or stucco to suit your preferred aesthetic. As for sizes, fiber cement boards are typically found in plank formats with profiles ranging from 4 to 11 inches, mirroring the dimensions of vinyl siding, but can also come in the form of shingles or sheet forms. This vast array of styles and sizes empowers homeowners and builders to find the perfect fit for their unique project needs.


The cost of fiber cement siding can vary based on numerous factors, including the brand, quality, and the size and shape of your home. This price includes both the cost of the material itself and the labor involved in its installation. However, remember that the price can vary considerably depending on your circumstances. For instance, custom orders involving unique colors or finishes may carry a higher price tag. While the upfront cost might seem high, the long lifespan and durability of fiber cement siding make it a cost-effective choice in the long run.

Durability And Maintenance

Fiber cement siding is known for durability and easy maintenance, making it a preferred choice for homeowners seeking long-lasting, low-care exterior solutions. It has the durability of cement, offering inherent resistance to fire, insects, rot, and damage from salt and sunlight. It also has impact resistance, safeguarding your home from potential environmental hazards. This siding option is available in both pre-painted and unpainted forms. Pre-painted options offer a low-maintenance solution, requiring no additional painting for at least 15 years, while unpainted versions may need a fresh coat of paint within five to ten years. Maintenance is straightforward and inexpensive, requiring a simple wash with mild dish soap and water every six to twelve months to maintain its fresh and appealing appearance.


The installation process of fiber cement siding, while doable, accounts for a significant portion of the total cost – about half, in fact. It’s worth noting that fiber cement siding’s substantial weight can make the installation process somewhat demanding. Despite the possibility of self-installation for those with budget constraints, the complexity of the task and the delicate nature of the materials often warrant professional installation. The expertise of professionals helps to avoid damage to the siding during installation and ensures it’s correctly affixed to provide maximum performance and longevity.

Benefits Of Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding’s long-lasting durability, resistance to various environmental threats, minimal maintenance needs, and contribution to energy efficiency make it a smart investment for homeowners. With aesthetic charm and an impressive lifespan, fiber cement siding is a well-rounded, reliable choice for your home’s exterior, offering both visual appeal and protection. The benefits are boundless, including:


The rot-resistant nature of fiber cement siding is a notable advantage that enhances its appeal among homeowners. Unlike wood siding, fiber cement does not succumb to damage from moisture and humidity, ensuring its structural integrity and appearance remain intact over time. This resistance to water damage means that it effectively withstands rot and decay that plagues other siding materials. Over the years, this can save homeowners repair and replacement costs, contributing to fiber cement siding’s reputation as a cost-effective and durable choice. 

Insect And Animal Resistance

Yet another advantage of fiber cement siding is its resistance to animals and insects. Unlike wood siding, which can be quite appealing to creatures like termites, carpenter ants, beetles, and woodpeckers, fiber cement siding is practically inedible. These pests cannot break down or consume this material, meaning your siding is safe from the costly damage they can cause. This level of protection is particularly beneficial in regions where these pests are prevalent, providing homeowners with peace of mind and a significant reduction in potential repair and replacement costs.


Fiber cement siding is a commendable replacement for asbestos siding, which, while also fire-resistant, comes with significant health hazards. Unlike other materials that are vulnerable to fire, fiber cement siding boasts excellent fireproof properties. This inherent fire resistance stems from its composition, primarily cement, which is not combustible. The siding’s ability to withstand high temperatures without catching fire or suffering significant damage makes it a much safer choice for home exteriors. Particularly in areas prone to wildfires, this fireproof quality provides an invaluable layer of protection, potentially saving homes from devastating fire damage.

No Repainting Needed

An enticing advantage of fiber cement siding is that it does not necessitate frequent repainting. If homeowners opt for a fresh coat of paint, they should anticipate a possible repaint every five to 10 years. However, left in its natural state, the finish of fiber cement siding has endured for over 15 years. This longevity in maintaining its vibrant appearance not only adds to the visual appeal of your house but also saves homeowners the time, effort, and expense of regular repainting. Thus, fiber cement siding presents an appealing, low-maintenance choice for those desiring a lasting, attractive exterior for their home.


An often overlooked benefit of fiber cement siding is its insulating properties. This inherent insulation doesn’t just enhance your home’s comfort; it can also contribute to lower energy bills. For homeowners living in extreme climates, the extra insulation offered by fiber cement siding can make a difference, creating a more energy-efficient home that’s as kind to the wallet as it is to the environment. This subtle but impactful benefit further solidifies fiber cement siding’s position as a strong contender for smart, sustainable home exterior solutions.

Vinyl vs. Fiber Cement Siding

Choosing the right siding for your home impacts not only the aesthetics of your property but also its durability, energy efficiency, and maintenance requirements. Both vinyl and fiber cement materials have their unique advantages, leaving the ultimate decision up to the suitability of your specific needs and circumstances. Let’s delve into the key variables that differentiate these two options, including cost, weight, durability, insulation, and installation demands, to help you make the most informed choice for your home.


While the initial costs of vinyl siding are typically lower due to less expensive materials, fiber cement siding often provides a better return on investment in the long run. The upfront costs of fiber cement siding can be higher, factoring in both materials and labor, but homeowners can expect to recoup a significant portion of this investment when selling their homes. Therefore, if you’re considering long-term financial benefits, fiber cement siding could be an economically sound choice despite its higher initial investment.


In terms of weight, fiber cement siding is significantly heavier than vinyl siding due to its dense composition. This robust, solid material stands firm against inclement weather and provides an extra layer of insulation to homes. On the other hand, vinyl siding is lightweight and hollow, making it easier to handle and install. However, its lightness also implies less impact resistance and insulation compared to fiber cement siding. While the choice between the two ultimately depends on homeowners’ specific needs and circumstances, it’s crucial to take into account the difference in weight and its implications on durability, insulation, and installation requirements.


When it comes to durability, fiber cement siding takes the lead over vinyl siding. Fiber cement is recognized for its sturdy nature, capable of withstanding harsh conditions and resisting common threats that can compromise the structural integrity of a home, such as fire and termite damage. While vinyl siding can endure normal weather conditions, it is more prone to cracking or damage from impacts such as by lawnmowers or pressure washers. The only weakness comes not from the cement itself but errors in the handling and installation. That’s why it’s imperative that you work with a quality servicer.


Due to its thickness and density, fiber cement siding provides an extra layer of insulation, helping maintain a steady indoor temperature and potentially reducing energy costs, especially in extreme climates. On the other hand, while vinyl siding is not as insulating due to its hollow and lightweight nature, its design allows for the easy addition of extra insulation. This means homeowners can customize the insulation level to meet their specific needs, something that isn’t easily achievable with fiber cement siding.


Due to the heavy and solid nature of fiber cement siding, it requires a certain level of skill and experience to install appropriately. However, its toughness can contribute to long-lasting stability once installed. On the contrary, vinyl siding, being lightweight and relatively straightforward to cut and fit, can be easier for the home improvement enthusiast to handle. It snaps into place onto pre-installed channels making it less complicated for repairs. However, even vinyl siding installation demands a level of expertise for a seamless fit and finish. To look their best, both will require the skills of expert flooring installers, so make sure you are working with a professional who understands the materials you are working with and can produce the results you deserve.

James Hardie® Planks From Blue Ridge Exteriors

Fiber cement siding is a resilient, aesthetically pleasing option that stands out for its durability and low maintenance properties. Its key characteristics, including its ability to resist fire and termite damage, make it a great option that can withstand harsh weather conditions with relative ease. While it may require a more significant initial investment and professional installation due to its weight and density, the long-term benefits and durability often outweigh these factors. Ultimately, the choice between fiber cement siding and vinyl siding should reflect a homeowner’s specific needs, preferences, and long-term plans for their home.

Blue Ridge Exteriors is your go-to company in Richmond, Virginia, for installing high-quality James Hardie® fiber cement siding. As a locally owned, experienced company, we have the expertise to ensure a professional and efficient siding installation for your home. Our specialization in Hardie® Plank fiber cement siding installation reflects our commitment to providing durable, low-maintenance, and attractive siding solutions. So, if you’re considering fiber cement siding for your Richmond home, trust in the proven expertise of Blue Ridge Exteriors.