How to Decide Between Vinyl and Fiber Cement Siding

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When it’s time to replace the siding on your home, it can be difficult to decide what siding option to choose.  There are many options to choose from, but a couple of most popular choices are vinyl, and fiber cement.  While both are viable options, depending on your needs, one option make more sense for you than the other. Take a look at our guide to help you decide which option is best for you!

Energy Efficiency

When it comes to energy efficiency, vinyl tends to be a better option because it tends to come with an extra layer of insulation that fiber cement does have.


As far as durability goes, both are viable options.  Fiber cement can be a bit more brittle and absorb more moisture than vinyl, but it is a heavier material that stands up well when installed by a professional contractor. While vinyl is less prone to cracking in theory, it becomes quite brittle during the colder months, and it is very thin, which can make it easier to crack than fiber cement under certain circumstances. Fiber cement also has the advantage of being fire resistant, which makes it a particularly good option in arid environments. While both have their drawbacks, they’re both generally reliable options, with fiber cement slightly edging out vinyl in durability.

Which Option is Greener?

If Eco-friendliness is a big concern for you, fiber cement is by far the best option.  While vinyl siding requires the use of fossil fuels to create it, fiber cement is made from far more sustainable materials, making it the better option.


In regards to aesthetics, fiber cement edges out vinyl siding.  Fiber Cement is far more customizable than vinyl, with the ability to mimic textures like wood siding.  It also comes in a variety of color options, and can even be painted, and while vinyl siding can be painted too, the paint is far more likely to chip and flake away.  If aesthetics are a main concern of yours, Fiber Cement is likely the right choice.


Vinyl siding has the clear advantage in this category.  While fiber cement needs to be repainted and recaulked every few years to keep it in good condition, vinyl will not.  When it comes to cleaning vinyl siding, it can be as simple as grabbing the hose and spraying it clean


Finally, we discuss the cost.  Vinyl siding is most certainly the cheaper option.  It is both cheaper to manufacture, and install, because while fiber cement is harder to work with and requires special training, any contractor that can install siding will be able to install vinyl siding.  It is the more standard option here and its price point reflects that.

Overall, it is hard to say that one siding option is definitively better than the other.  They both offer clear advantages over their competitor, but there are also drawbacks for each option.  The best way to decide which option is right for your home is to sit down with your contractor and discuss your expectations and needs and have them walk you through the process.  After all, installing siding is their job!

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