fiber cement siding: what it is and why i want it

house1We’ve been noticing large-plank fiber cement siding on houses around our neighborhood and we just love it. It’s modern looking and, according to our sources, it will last forever. Sounds like quite a step up from what we have now: painted wooden boards that were allowed to blister and flake before we bought our house, greatly reducing their longevity. A friend snapped the photo of a house in progress above, which resembles the shape of our house somewhat. I realize the above might be a bit too industrial for some, but with plantings completed I think the look is rather cool. We can’t afford to make any big changes to our house right now, so for the time being we’ll just keep slapping paint on it. In the meantime, though, I asked two friends — Steve, an architect, and Bo, an interior designer — to tell me more. Here’s what they had to say. –Mary T.

house2PS I also want the metal roofing, but that’s a different post.
Click to get info from experts on fiber cement siding!

Who makes fiber cement siding?
Steve: Lots of companies. HardiePanel, HardieShingle.

Bo: Everyone called the entire category HardiePlank at first because they popularized it, like Xerox or Band-Aids. The most popular is by James Hardie. The coolest is by Ceraclad, which is made by Panasonic. video at Nichiha.


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Once you spray or paint it with ANYTHING, you will need to renew that treatment periodically. Left untreated, it will last decades.
The only caveat is that the cedar needs to be solid... i.e, not some cedar veneer on waferboard.
as it happens, I just had some minor work done on my house today. I had it built in 1984, with 5/8" T&G cedar siding, UNTREATED.
A couple boards had come loose, mostly because I had the roof replaced a few years ago, and the roofers loosened some boards to get the flashing behind them and didnt nail them back in well

Hitachi Hitachi NV65AH 2-1/2-Inch Coil Siding Nailer
Home Improvement (Hitachi)
  • Hitachi 2-1/2-inch coil siding nailer operates at 70-120 psi; accepts plastic and wire collated nails
  • Tool free depth of drive adjustment; air deflector pivots 360 degrees; no-mar nose cap
  • Anodized aluminum and comfortable rubber grip
  • Includes safety glasses and 2 hex bar wrenches
  • 10-1/2-by-5-1/6-by-11-13/16-inches; 5-pounds; 1-year warranty
  • Comes with a 5-year limited warranty
  • Depth of drive adjustment to countersink or flush drive nails
  • Drives wire and plastic sheet collated nails for added flexibility
  • Long lasting rubber grip for added comfort
  • Plastic shield deflects wire collation for added safety

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  2. Cedar Siding Labor Cost
  3. Cedar Siding Treatment
  4. Vinyl siding VS Fiber cement
  5. Metal siding underlayment