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Siding: Alternatives to Wood

The classic choice for siding on a home is wood. Whether it is clapboards or shingles, wood is the popular material choice. There are alternatives to wood that can still give your home that timeless look. The most popular is vinyl siding. But another choice growing quickly in popularity is fiber cement board. A common product name for fiber cement board is Hardiplank.

Either vinyl siding or fiber cement board offer many style options to mimic the texture of wood. Both can be found in a shingle pattern or arranged like clapboard siding. The texture of vinyl siding can be made to look just like wood. Fiber cement board is cast to have the same texture as wood but also has a smooth side. They are both similar in that they come painted or a solid color and the fastening is hidden, so there is no need to paint after installation. But they are different in many ways.

Fiber cement board is considered the environmentally friendly choice. It is made from cement so it doesn't involve plastic/oil like vinyl or deforestation like wood. The paint is guaranteed for 15+ years, so maintenance is low. It is more expensive than wood to install since it is not as easy to cut and much heavier, but doesn't require painting. Vinyl is final, as they say. It is cheapest in cost and labor to install. It will last a long time with no maintenance.

Either option can be the right choice for you. The biggest advantage to vinyl or fiber cement board is low maintenance compared to wood.

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