With the evolution of engineered and synthetic siding materials, homeowners are presented with more durable alternatives to traditional wood siding. In this blog post we will cover two of our favorite wood siding alternatives, fiber cement siding and engineered wood siding.
Before we get into the comparison, let’s take a look at what makes up these two materials.
What is Fiber Cement Siding?
Fiber Cement Siding is a unique blend of water, wood pulp, fly ash, and cement. The wood pulp improves the flexibility and resilience of the siding, the fly ash acts as a filler, and the cement binds all of the ingredients. The water dissolves the wood pulp, and activates and hardens the cement for the final product.
What are the Benefits of Fiber Cement Siding?
Fiber Cement Siding is built to withstand extreme weather conditions, and maintains its color and structure better than almost any other material. It is also resistant to insects like termites that can be destructive to traditional siding materials. Most fiber cement sidings come with a long-term warranty, which can help offset the initial investment.
Multiple Style and Installation Options
Unlike most siding options, fiber cement siding offers you lots of installation options to bring different looks to your home. Lap siding, shingles, and panels that can be installed for a board and batten look are just a few of the unique ways your home can be customized with fiber cement siding. There are also different textures to choose from, from stucco to realistic wood grain patterns.
What is Engineered Wood Siding?
Engineered wood is typically made of treated wood strands or fibers that are combined with adhesive resins to create a composite material. Special water-resistant waxes and zinc borate are also added to resist decay even in the harshest conditions. We use LP Smartside engineered wood siding and they have a great guide on their site that outlines the intricacies of engineered wood siding.
What are the Benefits of Engineered Wood Siding?
Low Installation Costs
Engineered wood is installed in the same way as traditional wood siding. Unlike fiber cement siding, it does not require special tools to install. LP Smartside comes in longer boards so there are less seams which can speed up the installation process. It also contains little to no silica dust, making installation not only easier but safer.
Engineered wood is often tested in extreme hot and cold scenarios, and the process in which it is built protects it from insect and fungal decay. The resins and waxes used to bind the fibers together also give it a protective layer that prevents damage from hail, wayward baseballs, and other impact based damage. Engineered wood siding also requires little maintenance and comes with long-term warranty making it a smart choice for homeowners.
Fiber Cement Siding Vs. Engineered Wood Siding
Fiber cement and engineered wood siding are both durable and attractive options, so how do you choose the right material for your home? When we are working with our clients we like to ask a few questions to decide which siding material would best fit their home.
How Severe is the Weather Around Your Home?
The weather conditions of your hometown should play a huge role in your decision. If you live in an area with salt in the air or heavy storms, fiber cement siding may be your best bet. It was developed to withstand extreme weather conditions, and resists warping from moisture and salt exposure.
Engineered wood siding also holds up very well in a variety of climates. It is equipped to withstand all types of weather, including wind, hail, and moisture which suits most homeowners, especially with its warranty.
What is Your Siding Budget?
Another important factor to consider when comparing fiber cement and engineered wood siding is your budget. While both options are more affordable than traditional wood siding, concrete fiber will cost you a little more per square foot than engineered wood. The cost of concrete fiber siding ranges from $5-$13.50 per square foot, while engineered wood siding comes in at $3.50-$8 per square foot.
Both fiber cement and engineered wood siding are beautiful options that provide the look of traditional wood with added durability. At E&E, we work closely with our clients to ensure that their home renovation needs are met and exceeded. Take a look at some of our previous siding projects to learn more about our process, and contact us for a complimentary quote!