Category Archives: House Siding

Vinyl Siding Cost vs. Fiber Cement & LP SmartSide 2019

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, 2019 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 metal siding back in the 1950s.

Vinyl’s reputation for “cheap” was honestly earned as plasticized siding was susceptible to cracking and sagging. Colors were limited and those colors faded. Even well-cared for vinyl siding looked like… well… 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.

What to Expect in Terms of Costs?

So how much will it cost to cast those paint brushes aside and put new vinyl siding on your house?

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.

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

In a remodeling contractor survey done by Hanley Wood, the mid-range vinyl siding cost for a typical home (1,250 sq. ft. of siding installed) in the US was about $16,000 according to the Hanley Wood Remodeling Costs report for 2019.

The survey also reports an average cost-to-value return (average percentage of cost recouped at the time of resale) of about 76% for a new vinyl siding job.

That being said, your total cost for a new vinyl siding job will depend on a couple of factors; primarily the grade of materials (low-end, mid-range, or high-end), the quality of installation, and of course your home’s geographic location, accessibility, level of difficulty, etc. Let’s explore this further:

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Fiber Cement Siding Cost 2019: HardiePlank Installation Cost per Sq.Ft.

In recent years, fiber cement siding has emerged as a viable and attractive alternative to the less-costly and more common vinyl siding.

Hardieplank fiber cement lap siding on a house

In this guide, we’ll explore the costs and pros and cons of fiber cement siding for residential retrofits in 2019.

Cost

On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $6.00 to $11.50 per square foot or $600 to $1,150 per square to install fiber cement siding on a typical house. A square is equal to 100 square feet.

The cost of professional installation will include all the necessary materials, labor, permitting, debris removal and disposal, and warranty.

That being said, a typical fiber cement siding job (such as new HardiePlank or Allura lap siding) on average will cost between $12,500 to $25,000 to complete.

The actual price for the job will vary with the size of the house, overall level of job difficulty, accessibility, and location. All things being equal, booming metro areas will be pricier than remote rural areas.

Note: On residential retrofits and exterior remodeling projects, a typical fiber cement siding installation will involve the removal and disposal of existing siding, thus adding an additional cost to the project.

Pro Tip: All fiber cement siding installations should include a weather-resistant barrier to allow the building to breathe and help prevent mold and mildew growth.

Example of a Typical Job Estimate

For instance, at an average cost of $800.00 per square (100 square feet), it will cost about $16,000 to install about 2,000 sq. ft. or 20 squares of fiber cement siding on a typical two-story house.

fiber-cement-siding-on-a-large-house

Did you know? Fiber cement siding installation costs are similar to wood siding and engineered wood composite siding, but are more expensive than vinyl.

Your home’s location and the company you choose to hire will have a major influence on the total cost of your project.

Material Costs

The price for fiber cement siding will vary depending on thickness of the panels – from 7/16 of an inch to one inch and the finish and styling chosen. Fiber cement siding such as HardiePlank® Lap Siding is sold in panels and traditional clapboards. Clapboards range from 4 inches to 12 inches wide. A standard length is 12 feet. The finish can be smooth, wood-grained or rough-sawn.

Fiber cement can also be shaped like siding shakes and shingles that are produced in strips or individual pieces. For instance, HardieShingle® siding is designed to replicate the look of cedar shingle siding often installed on Cape Cod-style homes, relaxed cottages, or ranch-style homes in a wooded setting.

Styles can include wood-grain and hand-split in 4-, 8- and 12-foot strips that are set in straight or staggered courses. Fiber cement in any configuration can be custom-fabricated for climate specificity.

Expect to pay from $150 per square (100 square feet) to $300 per square in material costs.

Installation Costs

Hardie Plank Fiber Cement Siding on a Cottage style home

Installation will cost between $300 and $850 per square (100 sq. ft.) depending on the complexity of the job, your location, and the company you choose to hire.

Fiber cement siding is heavy – about 2.5 pounds per square foot – and delicate. It is also flexible.

Did you Know? Carrying fiber cement siding around a job site is a two-man job so it will not crack and panels should always be transported vertically and not horizontally to again guard against cracking.

Toss in specialized tools and fasteners, unique cutting requirements and an expertise in not over-driving the fasteners into the studs, and the installation of fiber cement siding becomes a job best saved for professional installers.

ROI and Recouped Value

fiber-cement-siding-on-gambrel-house

Last year, fiber cement siding installations resulted in an average of 80% to 85% in recouped value (cost-to-value return at a resale), making it one of the best-valued exterior remodeling upgrades of the year.

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LP SmartSide Siding vs. Fiber Cement HardiePlank Siding Cost 2019

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.

LP SmartSide Siding

via Upside to SmartSide

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.

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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