If you’re looking to replace the siding on your home, you’ll want to invest in a material that looks great, has low maintenance, and, most importantly, lasts for a very long time. So how long does fiber cement siding last?
Fiber cement siding is usually guaranteed by manufacturers to last for 30 years. Outside studies have concluded that fiber cement siding may last upwards of 100 years or longer. In order to achieve maximum longevity, fiber cement siding must be properly installed and regularly maintained.
In this post, we’ll look at the benefits of fiber cement siding, how long it lasts compared to other materials, and other important factors you must consider with this material, such as return on investment.
Structural and finish warranties
Fiber cement siding is a durable and long-lasting material that is a popular choice for exterior sidings and, due to its qualities, often comes with warranties that are far better than any other material on the market.
Fiber cement is made from a mixture of sand, cement, glass, and cellulose fiber. These create a material that is not only durable but resistant to insects, fire, moisture, and UV light. Unlike some other types of siding, fiber cement does not rot, fade, or peel, and it can easily be pressure washed regularly to remove dirt.
Because it’s such a robust material, manufacturers often provide warranties of around thirty years for fiber cement siding. The siding boards are guaranteed to last for that period of time so long as they are correctly installed and well-maintained.
However, the paint finish on the boards doesn’t come under that warranty but has a separate one of its own. This is because the finish is generally put on the boards in the factory and not by the manufacturers themselves. The finish is usually guaranteed to be free from peeling, chipping, or fading for around ten years.
Fiber cement siding may last 100 years or longer
Manufacturer’s warranties are not the only way to determine how long fiber cement siding should last. There have been several studies conducted by organizations such as the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors and the National Association of Home Builders.
As a result of their studies, both organizations claim that fiber cement siding may last for up to 100 years or possibly longer, providing it is properly installed and maintained.
If you choose to install fiber cement siding on your home, the good news is that you are unlikely to ever need to replace it, which makes it a great option when compared to other exterior siding materials.
Comparing longevity with alternative siding materials
The huge longevity benefits of fiber cement siding are demonstrated when compared with the other materials that are commonly used for sidings on homes.
Wood sidings require a lot of regular maintenance. The finish on wood siding generally needs to be sanded off and reapplied every three years.
Not only that, but wood siding boards need to be checked regularly for any signs of rot or warping as this could quickly result in the entire siding board needing to be replaced. Rotting, warping, and swelling can often happen when the caulk around a door or window has failed.
Aluminum siding fairs better than wood as it generally lasts between 20 and 40 years before needing to be replaced. However, it still requires maintenance as sunlight can cause the color of the finish to fade, which leads to the paint flaking and rubbing off. Therefore, it will often require repainting in order to maintain the original color.
How long vinyl siding lasts really depends on the quality of the material used. Cheaper vinyl siding materials may crack in cold weather or blister and swell in the hot sun, which requires them to be replaced approximately every seven to eight years.
Vinyl that is of a better quality lasts much longer and can often last for approximately 20 years before needing to be replaced; however, it still needs regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. Boards can sometimes need rehanging if any have fallen off and any cracks that occur must be repaired immediately.
Long term choice
With the exception of brick or stone, fiber cement is easily the most durable and long-lasting material that you could choose.
Adding to the benefits of its longevity, fiber cement siding is also available in many different styles and can be painted in pretty much any color you like, meaning there’s always going to be something to suit your needs.
The aesthetics of a house is often an important factor when choosing home siding, so it’s important to choose a material that will last a long time without needing a great deal of maintenance.
Fiber cement certainly ticks all the boxes, making it a great choice for your home. With its reinforced structure and external appearance of natural wood grain, it not only looks the part but will also not need to be replaced any time soon so long as it is looked after properly.
General pricing guidelines
Inevitably, there is going to be a downside to fiber cement, and in this case, it is the cost. Fiber cement siding boards can be quite expensive, often costing two or three times as much as vinyl or aluminum siding.
Although the actual cost of fiber cement is quite similar to that of wood and insulated vinyl siding, it is much more than standard vinyl siding. The cost of installing the fiber cement is also higher as it takes a lot of manpower to do the job.
The brand, style and finish, and the installation costs can have a massive impact on the price. Fiber cement usually costs between $5.00 and $13.50 for every square foot installed.
Between the price of installation and the cost of the materials themselves, it generally costs between $6,000 and $20,500 to have fiber cement siding installed on your home.
Therefore, if you are planning on selling your home in the next few years, then it might be a good idea to choose a different siding material as the costs will outweigh the benefits.
Return on investment in fiber cement siding
Although it can be expensive to install, fiber cement siding can be a good investment in the long run. A report in 2019 showed that a fiber cement siding replacement could recoup around 75% of its cost, which is far better than replacement windows, a replacement roof, or a new bathroom.
However, it’s important to remember that those figures do not take into account the cost of regular maintenance. Although the finish on fiber cement siding is guaranteed for around 10 years, it will eventually require new caulking and to be repainted.
The cost of repainting fiber cement siding can be anything between $3,000 and $6,000, which certainly isn’t cheap. The job of repainting can often be deciding factor with fiber cement siding, so make sure to take it into account.