Category Archives: House Siding

LP SmartSide Siding vs. Fiber Cement HardiePlank Siding: Cost, Pros and Cons, ROI 2017-2018

The top two engineered lap siding brands are the defending champion HardiePlank fiber cement and the up-and-coming contender LP SmartSide engineered wood siding. This guide covers the HardiePlank vs. LP SmartSide comparison from all angles that matter to a homeowner – Looks, durability, cost of materials and installation, and more. We’ll uncover the differences between the two and explain which one fits your project requirements better.

LP SmartSide Siding

via Upside to SmartSide

Note: This guide assumes a basic knowledge of fiber cement siding. If you’d like to back up a step, our extensive list of consumer guides on this material can be found by searching for Fiber Cement.

Let’s get to the subject at hand: HardiePlank vs. LP SmartSide siding:

Material Composition

Both materials are engineered rather than naturally occurring.

HardiePlank Construction: The James Hardie company blends cement, fine sand, wood fibers and water to form HardiePlank siding. The cement gives it strength and impact resistance, while the fibers hold the cement together to prevent cracking. The materials are naturally resistant to rot and insects.

LP SmartSide Construction: LP Building Products makes SmartSide siding from wood strands that have been coated with wax for moisture resistance and bonded with resin and other binders.

Zinc-borate SmartGuard solution is added to protect against rot and insect infestation. The coated fibers are compressed for hardness and durability. Planks are finished with a resin-saturated overlay.

Appearance Comparison

These are very attractive siding products made in a range of options.

HardiePlank appearance: There are four series of HardiePlank siding. They are Cedarmill plain and beaded and Smooth plain and beaded. The cedar-style siding has an open-grain finish. Each of the series is available in more than 15 colors, and all are applied with Hardie’s baked-on ColorPlus technology. HardieTrim boards are often used to complete the installation.

via James Hardie

LP SmartSide appearance: This siding if manufactured in six different styles. They are Cedar Texture lap, Cedar Texture shakes, 12” bold double-lap and triple-lap profiles, 16” double/triple/quad profiles, Colonial beaded and Smooth.

LP SmartSide Siding on a house in winter settings

LP has a unique program of selling unfinished siding to qualified prefinishers that put a finish coat on the material for retail sale. As a result, LP SmartSide lap siding is available in dozens of colors. Some of the LP Preferred prefinishers are Diamond Kote, Coastal Coatings, PSPI and Northwest Factory Finishes. Primed LP SmartSide is available at a lower cost and is ready for you to paint.

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Cedar Shake Siding Cost and Pros and Cons 2017

Western Red Cedar trees are well known for their great heights, huge trunk diameters and in turn being decay resistant. All this makes for one of the more durable home siding options with unmatched natural beauty.

Cost Basics

The average cost to install cedar shake siding ranges from $6.50 to $13.50 per square foot. You can expect to pay between $16,600 and $25,500 for a contractor to install new cedar shake siding on a typical house. Add an extra $1,000 to $3,000 if needing your old siding removed and disposed of.

Install Roof Shingles

$7,500
Average price
Install Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
Install Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

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Stylistic Considerations and Pricing Factors

Western Red Cedar

Besides Western Red Cedar, Northern White Cedar provides the lumber that are transformed, by sawmills, into shake. It used to be shakes were axe cut by hand and shingles were the lumber that went the route of saw mill cutting. Not anymore. For the most part, all cedar shakes are produced using power equipment.

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Vinyl Siding Cost vs. Fiber Cement in 2017

You have just spotted the first telltale signs of peeling paint from your house’s wood siding. It won’t be long now until the dreaded house painting becomes a must-do. Unless, 2017 is the year you finally re-skin the house in vinyl siding.

Vinyl siding – actually polyvinyl chloride plastic resin that is heated and extruded into sheets – has only been around for about 50 years and was developed as a cheaper alternative to aluminum siding back in the 1950s. Its reputation for “cheap” was honestly earned as the plasticized siding was susceptible to cracking and sagging. Colors were limited and those colors faded. Even well-cared for vinyl siding looked like… vinyl siding.

But in recent years, the two most important components of vinyl siding – the quality of materials and the expertise of installation – have made giant leaps forward. Today about one-third of new American homes are built with maintenance-free (almost) vinyl installed as cladding. Vinyl has been rated in various surveys to last anywhere from 60 to 100 years so this will likely be the last investment you make in your house’s siding. So how much will it cost to cast those paint brushes aside and put new vinyl siding on your house?

vinyl siding on a cape style home Vinyl Siding on a Cape Cod style home installed by Siding & Windows Group


The short answer is anywhere from $3.50 to $7.50 per square foot installed, or around $350 to $750 per square (100 square feet) installed, on average. This can translate to a total cost of $7,000 to $15,000 for an average two-story house. The mid-range vinyl siding installation cost for a typical home in the US was between $9,694 and $12,130 according to the Hanley Wood Remodeling Costs report for 2015. With that being said, your total cost for a new vinyl siding job will be dependent on a couple of factors; primarily the grade of materials being used, the quality of installation, and of course your geographic location. Let’s explore this further.

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