Fiber Cement Siding: Worth the Investment?

A property’s exterior says a lot about it, and investing in the right siding can help attract buyers and help a home sell quickly. That’s good news whether you’re selling your own home or flipping a house to sell.

But which siding material should you choose? If your goal is to make your property look more attractive while increasing its resale value, fiber cement could make a lot of sense.

Fiber cement vs. other siding

A few key ingredients go into fiber cement siding:

  • Water
  • Wood pulp
  • Fly ash or silica sand as filler
  • Portland cement

Fiber cement is a popular siding option for a few reasons. First, fiber cement is extremely durable, and if installed correctly, it’s designed to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Fiber cement also looks great. Often, it mimics the look of painted wood, only it doesn’t require nearly the same level of maintenance as wood siding, which can rot over time. Wood is also subject to termite damage, whereas fiber cement is not.

The one thing fiber cement doesn’t always do the best job of, however, is insulate. In that regard, you may be better off with vinyl siding. But from an aesthetic standpoint, you might feel fiber cement offers a more natural look than vinyl.

What’s the cost to install fiber cement siding?

The average cost to install fiber cement siding is $19,700, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). That’s definitely more expensive than vinyl siding, which costs $15,800 on average.

On the other hand, with fiber cement siding, you’ll get a better return on investment. The NAR reports that those who install fiber cement add $15,000 of resale value as a result, which means they recoup 76% of their investment. With vinyl siding, the cost recovery is just $10,000, which means 63% of that investment is recouped.

Should you install fiber cement siding?

Fiber cement siding looks attractive and has a relatively high cost recovery value. If your existing siding is worn and needs to be replaced or you’re completely flipping or building a house from scratch that needs siding, it’s worth looking at fiber cement, as it may offer more aesthetic appeal than vinyl.

That said, if you’re thinking of installing fiber cement siding for a home you plan to live in yourself, you should know there will be more maintenance involved. With vinyl siding, you’ll usually just power-wash your exterior once or twice a year to keep it clean. Fiber cement siding, however, may need to be recaulked or repainted every few years, so make sure you’re up for that level of maintenance (or have the means to outsource it) before moving forward. In addition to that, prepare to power-wash your fiber cement siding once or twice a year the same way you would vinyl siding.

The bottom line

All told, fiber cement could be a great addition to your home, one that contributes to its curb appeal for many years to come. The fact that it could add resale value is certainly something to factor into your decision.

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