Choosing the right type of siding for your home is not a decision that should be rushed. Many factors must be weighed before a decision is reached. Cost, material, durability, color, finish, and appearance are just a few considerations. Home renovations should bring value to your home and be worth the investment.

Brick homes have been a durable standard in the building industry for years. As newer home siding options became available, homeowners chose other siding materials such as fiber cement siding.  Brick and fiber cement siding are some of the most durable materials used in the construction of homes.

What Is Fiber Cement Siding?

fiber cement siding

Fiber cement is made of water, sand, Portland cement, and wood pulp or fiber. When mixed, it creates a durable material that can be molded into different textures.  The water is used to dissolve the wood fibers, activate the cement, and help it harden.

Wood pulp keeps the fiber cement siding planks flexible. Sand is mixed in to give the cement a thicker texture. The cement binds all of the ingredients together. Once a slurry has formed, the mixture is put into molds that form planks.  The molds are dried and durable boards are created.

How Fiber Cement and Brick Compare

Some of the biggest selling points with both types of siding are that they are durable and require only slight maintenance throughout the years. While a brick exterior is a great feature to have with a wide variety of benefits, there are still some potential drawbacks.

1. Aesthetics. 

There are many fiber cement siding colors available to coordinate with your home’s exterior color palette. Fiber cement siding gives the appearance of wood and comes in a variety of styles. It comes pre-painted and can significantly improve the curb appeal of your home. Fiber cement planks can also be made with no texture providing a smooth modern look. Some of the style options include:

  • Shake and Curved Shake
  • Vertical Plank
  • Brick
  • Stone

Bricks do come in a variety of colors, but not nearly the choices offered with fiber cement siding. A brick’s color depends on its composition and the temperature at which it was made.  Bricks come from a mix of clay and shale, so your color options are limited.

2. Installation

Fiber cement siding is easier to install than brick. To ensure that the product lasts as long as it should and looks great throughout its lifespan, your siding contractor must follow the installation instructions. That’s why you should always choose a James Hardie preferred contractor to ensure proper installation and avoid negating the warranty.

When choosing a James Hardie Elite Preferred contractor, you are choosing a certified team that provides excellent installation of a superior product. Selecting a reputable, professional contractor to install your siding means protecting one of your greatest investments as a homeowner.

The contractor preferred status gives you peace of mind knowing that your home lies in well-qualified and highly trained hands. It also saves you the time it would take to research contractors with good reputations among other customers.

Brick siding can be difficult to install, even with professional help. Laying brick is a specialty trade. While bricks are extremely durable building materials, the mortar used to stick them together, which is referred to as pointing, can become an issue.

Pointing isn’t as durable as the brick and can wear out over time due to the elements. Repointing involves gouging out the old mortar wherever you find damage and installing new mortar. It’s a time-consuming process.

The major issue with repointing brick is matching colors. The new mortar color will be hard to match with the old faded mortar,  so if you don’t repoint the entire home, the difference will be very obvious.

3. Costs

Brick is generally more expensive than most other siding types, including fiber cement siding, stucco, metal, or wood. This is due to the amount of time involved in brick siding installation. The bricks themselves are reasonably priced, but the labor costs can be very high.

4. Remodeling Your Home

If you wanted to remodel your home at some point it would be easier to do if you have fiber cement siding.  For a room addition, the siding can easily be matched to the rest of the home, making it blend seamlessly with the old part of the home.

Brick, on the other hand, is more difficult to match. Brick is a natural material made from a mixture of shale and clay with some color added. It will be hard to find a brick that matches exactly unless they were all made from the same batch.

The James Hardie Brand

As one of its most exposed features, your choice of siding has a huge impact on the energy efficiency, noise insulation, and weather resistance of your home. However, just because your exterior siding has to be incredibly tough, doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish too. For customized elegance combined with unmatched durability, the best choice is James Hardie siding.

When it comes to James Hardie fiber cement siding, there is a long list of benefits for every homeowner. Here’s why Hardie siding is the #1 choice among homeowners today.

  • Longevity: James Hardie fiber cement siding is completely rot and insect resistant. This material is so strong and reliable that it comes with a 30-year warranty against warping, rotting, cracking, and other common types of damage.
  • Appearance: HardiePlank siding mimics the look and feel of real wood while at the same time eliminating the heavy-duty upkeep and high price tag of wood. It can be made to mimic wood lap boards, cedar shingles, and wood shake siding. Color options are virtually unlimited. You have the option to match any home decor or architecture. These colors are accompanied by a 15-year warranty on the finish.
  • Fire Resistance: James Hardie fiber cement siding is 90 percent sand and cement which makes it fire-resistant.  Unlike vinyl, which will melt or burn with enough heat, Hardie siding is non-combustible and fire rated. Many insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners who have fiber cement siding.
  • Storm Resistance: James Hardie siding is thicker than even the premium lines of most other vinyl siding companies to offer greater impact and wind resistance. Whether you’re looking for a siding material that can withstand the whirling tornados and fend off hailstorms without sustaining damage, fiber cement siding is a proven commodity in the weather department.

It’s not hard to understand why James Hardie fiber cement siding is the most popular brand among homeowners in the U.S. Not only is fiber cement siding practically indestructible, it’s easy to clean and cheaper to maintain than other siding materials.

Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your Siding

Along with your roof, your siding is critical to protecting your home from the elements and protecting the integrity of your home. The following are signs that it may be time to replace your siding:

  • Rotting: If you have wood siding, look for sections that have begun to crumble. This is a sign that moisture has penetrated your siding. If left untreated, the rot will lead to further decay.
  • Warping: Examine your home from multiple angles to check if there are portions of your siding that are no longer flat. Serious damage may be present underneath the surface.
  • Cracking:  Visible cracks on any siding material create entry points for moisture and pests. You may want to consult a professional to inspect the severity of your cracks to determine if total siding replacement is necessary.
  • High Energy Bills: A surge in your monthly utility bills may indicate that air is passing through your home. If you don’t find leaks in windows or doors, your siding is the most likely culprit.
  • Interior Moisture: If you find traces of moisture, mold, or mildew inside of your house, be sure to investigate the condition in the same area on the exterior.

The Preferred Siding Installer

There are many siding options on the market such as wood, stone, brick, or stucco. If you are searching for a durable material that lasts for years, is aesthetically pleasing, increases the value of your home, and is fire-resistant, fiber cement siding is what you need. It complements traditional or modern exterior home designs.

At Banner Construction, our knowledgeable team offers years of construction experience We provide full-service solutions for exterior construction and renovations. Quality work can protect your home for years, which is why the quality of your contractor matters.

We would love to discuss your needs and bring the vision for your home to fruition. From the first phone call to the final inspection, we strive to make it an easy process.

Not only do we offer an experienced team, but we’ve also partnered with the best brands like James Hardie, to ensure top-notch materials and results. This combination of experienced installation and durable materials makes it possible for us to offer incredible guarantees to our clients.