Most experienced homeowners have a desire to upgrade their homes; it might be to get the house ready to sell, for peripheral benefits like energy savings, or simply for the aesthetic appeal of “something new.” In any case, some upgrades and installations are easily wiser investments than others, and replacing the siding of your home is one of the most cost-effective investments you can make.
Replacing siding isn’t a straightforward deal, however. There are many different types of siding to choose from, and hundreds of styles to consider. Fiber-cement siding, for example, is one of the most popular modern forms of siding, due to its aesthetic appeal and high durability—but compared to vinyl siding, it’s somewhat more expensive. Knowing that siding replacement is one of the highest-ROI strategies you can pursue, is fiber-cement siding worth the extra money?
How Much Does Fiber-Cement Siding Cost?
First, let’s take a look at how much fiber-cement siding actually costs. As you might imagine, that depends on a lot of variables, such as the size and scope of your project, and where you currently live. On average, fiber-cement siding costs about $10 per square foot for the raw materials, and the cost of installation runs in the thousands. Ultimately, depending on the size of your home, you can expect to pay anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $10,000 or more for a project. Compared to vinyl, whose material cost is roughly half of vinyl-cement and whose installation is easier, this seems quite expensive.
Why does it cost so much compared to options like vinyl siding? This is partly motivated by the process of how it’s made, and partly motivated by the degree of difficulty in the installation process. Fiber-cement siding is a specialized blend of different materials, including sand, cement, and cellulose fibers. Fiber-cement siding is especially heavy, so it demands a larger crew for the installation and a more intensive fastening process. It’s also highly difficult to cut, requiring professional expertise and making it more difficult to work with, especially for abnormal or custom projects.
The ROI Factor
Knowing the cost, let’s take a look at some of the practical monetary advantages that fiber-cement siding can offer.
- Home resale value. Siding replacement in general, depending on the previous state of your home can return about 80 percent of your expenses in terms of the resale value of your home. If you assume your installation project costs about $10,000, you can expect to recoup $8,000 of that cost when it comes time to sell your home. This may be a few months from now or a few decades from now, but either way, you’ll see that money come back to you. As long as you maintain a long-term perspective, you can think of yourself as only “actually” paying $2,000 for the installation.
- Repainting and maintenance. Fiber-cement siding also doesn’t require any ongoing maintenance or repainting (though it is possible to repaint if you choose so at a later time). Vinyl siding, on the other hand, requires touch-up paint jobs and occasional fixes from time to time. Over the course of many years, this ramps up vinyl siding’s initially attractive price point to something more comparable to an initially expensive material. For this reason, fiber-cement siding can oftentimes wind up being the more affordable choice in the long-term.
- Damage prevention. Fiber-cement siding is also useful when it comes to preventing the sides of your home (and your home itself) from taking damage from exterior forces. These are highly variable in nature, and fiber-cement siding is naturally resistant to most of them. For example, this type of siding resists damage from insects like termites, which could otherwise compromise the integrity of your home. It’s technically flammable, but fire resistant, so your home is better protected against flame damage. It’s also highly weather-resistant, helping it stand up to harsh weather conditions like wind and hail, which could rip apart or beat up most other types of siding.
- Insulation. Fiber-cement siding is thicker and denser than most other types of siding, making it an all-around better insulator. It prevents more air from escaping the home, and is therefore better at maximizing the potential efficiency of your heating and cooling units. Over time, with fiber-cement siding, you’ll pay less in your utility bills.
- Durability. You also need to consider the durability of fiber-cement siding. Due to its composite nature and tough strength, it has one of the longest lifespans of any type of siding, with some brands like James Hardie siding committing to warranties of 50 years or more. In all likelihood, your fiber-cement siding will be the last siding replacement your home will ever need. That means paying for the extra expenses up front will help you avoid paying for another form of siding replacement in the next several years. Admittedly, this value depends on how long you plan to own your home. If you’re trying to sell your house as soon as possible, this long-term benefit probably won’t kick in.
Collectively, these benefits can more than make up for the amount of money you invested in the installation to begin with. Home resale value accounts for 80 percent of the investment alone, and the other four can (under the right conditions) make up for the other 20 percent.
The Bottom Line
Every home is different, and every homeowner will have different goals. For some, like those staying in a house for a long time, fiber-cement siding holds immense practical value and an innate personal appeal, but for others, looking to move in the next few years and hating the look of fiber-cement, another option may be better. For the most part, fiber-cement siding is one of the best types of siding you can buy—both for its practicality and its long-term ROI—but the decision is ultimately up to you.
If you’re interested in learning more about fiber-cement siding, or if you’re ready to get a quote, contact Precision Contracting Services to get started today!