Fiber cement siding is an extremely durable material made from cement, sand and cellulose fiber. It is made to look like about any other form of siding or cladding you can imagine. You can create many different looks with fiber cement siding.
Fiber cement is probably one of the most durable types of exterior siding available. It is insect proof because it offers no food source for termites or other bugs. It is water resistant, fire proof and is not prone to splitting or cracking. Fiber cement siding does need to be painted, but is also available pre painted in a very wide variety of colors. It is also nearly maintenance free. All that is required is an occasional washing down with a garden hose or pressure washer to keep it clean.
It does not require any of the more involved maintenance that other types of siding may require. The siding itself will last well beyond 50 years which is what most reputable companies will warrantee it for. The finish however is normally only guaranteed for about 10 years, so you may have to repaint the siding once or twice in your lifetime, but other than that, it will remain nearly maintenance free.
Fiber cement siding generally costs anywhere from $1.10 a square foot to $2 a square foot depending on the brand and quality of the style you choose. Vinyl siding is by far the most used siding in new construction today, so we compared the costs.
Fiber cement siding compares well to the prices of vinyl siding. The average cost of vinyl siding is about $1.60 a square foot, so fiber cement siding will not cost more for materials. It is a lot heavier and may require two people to handle each sheet driving the cost of installing it up only slightly.
Many companies package each piece individually to better protect them and make them easier to handle. Most fiber cement siding comes in 8 !/4 inch by 12 ft. sections that are usually 5/16th of an inch thick. The cost per piece is around $7 to $9. Many times they have minimum orders set at 250 pieces.
How is Fiber Cement Siding Installed?
Fiber cement siding is installed similar to the way wood cladding is done. The common siding size is 8 & 1/4 inches by 12 feet. The pieces should overlap one another by at least an inch and a half (1 ½ inches).
Galvanized, corrosion resistant nails should be used. The siding gets nailed along the top edge into each stud with one nail at each stud. The piece installed above will hide the nails of the previously nailed piece.
Nail heads need to be flush with the siding’s surface. Sinking the nail heads will reduce the siding’s strength and should never be done. If you are attaching fiber cement siding to metal studs instead of wood studs, use C- drill screws for exposed fastening and C- wing screws for hidden fastening.
In areas where studs are not available, you will have to nail directly into the fiber board of the house. That is why a good thick fiber board should be used because there are always areas where a stud cannot be reached to nail the siding into.