How Much Does it Cost to Install Fiber Cement Siding?
$3,675 - $19,275
Fiber cement siding costs anywhere from $2.45 to $12.85 per square foot to install. If you were to replace siding on the average 1,500 sq. foot home, you could expect to pay between $3,675 on the low end and $19,275 on the high end in total installation costs. Replacement costs can vary based on your home’s size, local labor rates, your home’s design, and a few other factors.
Fiber cement siding installations are quickly becoming one of the most popular and lucrative home improvement projects for several reasons. Firstly, it is a budget-friendly type of siding, while still offering superior durability and weather-proof qualities. Fiber cement can protect homes in virtually any climate from the elements. In fact, it is one of the most weather-proof types of siding on the market today. Not to mention, it can cost as low as $2.45 per square foot and it looks great once installed. This type of siding comes in a variety of styles and colors and is known for boosting a home’s curb appeal.
Secondly, fiber cement siding installations yield a strong return on investment for today’s homeowners. According to the 2021 Cost vs. Value report, fiber cement siding installations came in fourth place for earning the highest resale value for homeowners out of any home improvement project. Homeowners have the potential to recoup as much as 69.4% of the costs spent on a fiber cement siding installation in home resale value. This is the strongest return on investment of any other siding type.
How Much Does Fiber Cement Siding Cost?
On average, fiber cement siding costs between $2.45 and $12.85 per square foot of siding installed. In terms of cost, it is considered a low- to mid-range type of siding with a high return on investment potential, as it lasts 30 to 50 years or more.
In order to estimate the cost of your siding project accurately as possible, use the Modernize Siding Cost Calculator. You will be able to view a close estimate of your siding project cost, as well as compare a fiber cement installation with other siding types.
Types of Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement board is most often made of cellulose fiber, cement, sand, and water. Typically, it is manufactured to imitate the look of wood, but fiber cement siding is actually more durable because of its resistance to moisture, pests, and fire.
Fiber cement siding comes in quite a few types that are popular amongst homeowners. The main five types of fiber cement siding include:
Fiber cement also comes in a variety of styles including lap, plank, vertical, shake, curved-shake, and in a variety of geometric patterns. This type of siding is also available in a wide variety of textures and colors. New fiber cement siding can also convincingly imitate the look of natural fieldstone, stacked flagstone, or brick at a fraction of the cost.
1. Fiber Cement Shingles
Fiber cement shingles and shakes come in a quite a few shapes and sizes with different colors and stains. Typically, you will find that they come in 4, 8, and 12-foot strips of shingles or individual shingles prior to installation. Shingles typically have a wood-grain texture with either a straight or staggered design.
Fiber Cement Shingles
Fiber cement shingles create an elegant exterior appearance for your home and are often designed to appear like natural wood or cedar
Can be painted, stained, or finished
Can mimic real wood siding
Straight or staggered designs
Average Costs per sq. ft:
$2 - $9
Fiber cement shingles can be finished in a variety of ways depending on the color and look you are going for. You can even finish your shingles to look like natural wood or cedar siding if you prefer. Fiber cement shingles and shakes vary in cost from as little as $2 per square foot to $9 per square foot to install.
2. Fiber Cement Clapboards
Another option for types of fiber cement siding are clapboards, also known as lap siding. Clapboards are a form of fiber cement boards, and typically come in horizontal lap style boards. They are quick to install and can be painted or stained to achieve the color and appearance you are going for. Finishes for clapboards include smooth, wood grain, and rough sawn textures.
Fiber Cement Clapboard
Fiber cement clapboard usually comes in a horizontal lap style. It is quick, easy, and affordable to install.
Can be painted or stained
Standard board length of 12 feet
5/6 inch to 5/8 inch thick
Suitable for any climate
Average Costs per sq. ft:
$2 - $5.25
Fiber cement clapboards are typically 5/6 inch to 5/8 inch thick, and the standard length is 12 feet. They are suitable for a wide variety of climates, from the Northeast to the Southwest. You can expect fiber cement clapboard to cost between just $2 and $5.25 on average to install.
3. Fiber Cement Panels
Fiber cement panels can come in stone, brick or stucco material options. This allows homeowners to get the look of higher end siding like natural stone or brick without having to pay the hefty price tag.
Fiber Cement Panels
Fiber cement panels can be made to mimic high end siding types such as stucco, brick, or natural stone.
5/6 inch to 5/8 inch thick
Looks great with decorative trim
Average Costs per sq. ft:
$5 - $13
When opting for fiber cement panels, you can choose to cover the joints with a trim or leave them as is. Panels typically come in sizes of 5/6 inches to 5/8 inches thick. Keep in mind that because fiber cement panels often mimic high end siding, they are usually more costly to install compared to shingle and clapboard alternatives. Be sure to ask your siding contractor about the best fiber cement panels for your climate and style preferences.
Fiber Cement vs. Vinyl Siding
While they are similar in many ways, fiber cement is a different type of siding than vinyl. In terms of composition, fiber cement is made of cellulose fiber, cement, sand, and water. Vinyl siding, on the other hand, is made of PVC, which is a durable type of plastic.
Fiber cement siding is also known to be one of – if not the most – durable and weather-resistant siding types. While vinyl is also weather-resistant, fiber cement typically outlasts vinyl in lifespan. While vinyl siding can show signs of aging within 10 to 15 years, fiber cement can last 30 to 50 years or more.
In terms of designs and styles, fiber cement and vinyl have a lot in common. They both come in horizontal lap, vertical, board and batten, Dutch lap and many other styles. They also both can be made to mimic other types of siding, such as real wood, natural stone, and brick.
Can Fiber Cement Siding be Installed DIY?
Fiber cement siding installations are definitely not a DIY project. The installation process for fiber cement panels includes extensive prep work, the use of sophisticated tools and carpentry techniques, fastening siding, installing trim, and finishing with painting and caulking.
While it is possible to install fiber cement siding yourself, if you do not have prior experience, the cost and time needed to complete the installation could rise very quickly. Oftentimes, homeowners who attempt to install fiber cement board DIY end up having to spend more on repairs down the road. Hence, hiring a professional installer to complete the job is highly recommended.
Fiber Cement Siding Maintenance Tips
A large part of the appeal of fiber cement siding is that with relatively low maintenance, your siding could last the lifetime of your home.
Taking advantage of siding warranties is a great way to keep your fiber cement in the best condition for the longest time possible. Most manufacturers offer a 30 to 50 year warranty. Refinishing is typically required within 15 years of installation in order to maintain your warranty as well as the look and effectiveness of your siding.
Keep in mind that there are also contractor warranties for siding installations, which protects you against the contractor’s workmanship during the installation process. Before starting an installation, be sure to review all of the available warranties to you. It is best to choose a siding brand that offers a 30 to 50 year limited warranty.
How to Clean Fiber Cement Board
It is recommended that you clean your fiber cement siding at least once every 6 to 12 months. Based on the geographic location of your home, you may need to clean your siding more frequently to remove dirt, dust, mold, and debris that can build up over time. Before you begin cleaning your siding, make sure that you have the proper safety gear. This includes protective eyewear and gloves to prevent any respiratory problems from particles or debris that come off of the siding, like dust, mold, or mildew. Be sure to protect nearby landscaping as well with a tarp.
To clean your siding, simply use a soft brush to clean the surface and release any dirt or debris. Follow by rinsing off your siding with a garden hose. To remove oil or grease, it is recommended to use dish detergent and a wet cloth, followed by a good rinse from your garden hose.
Be aware that if you live in a warm, humid environment, your siding may be at risk for mold. Slight mold is not cause for concern, though. Simply treat as any other debris, wipe clean with soapy water, and rinse with your hose. For added protection against mold, add a diluted mildew cleaner to your cleaning routine.
Is Fiber Cement Siding Eco-Friendly?
Because fiber cement siding will last the lifetime of your home, it is a preferable option to wood siding and other types that need to be replaced more often. Generally, the more often siding needs to be replaced, the more waste accumulates in local landfills and the more manufacturing and transportation emissions to create new siding product.
Many fiber cement manufacturers are becoming more eco-friendly with a commitment to using locally sourced material, recapturing water used in their facilities, and recycling 100% of the scrap created during the production process. If reducing your family’s environmental footprint is important to you, make sure to investigate the sustainability practices of various fiber cement siding brands before purchasing.
In terms of energy-efficiency, the good news is that new siding installations help decrease the amount of air that moves in and out of your home. This in turn helps to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Investing in energy efficient windows and quality roofing and/or attic insulation can also significantly decrease your monthly energy bills.
Finding a Siding Professional
When looking for a contractor, look to get 3 to 5 estimates on the project prior to committing to a contractor. Estimates are free, and you may find that prices vary widely between various contractors.
Pro tip:If you can wait until late fall or early winter, you may experience some discounts as this is typically a slower time for contractors.
Modernize can help you find local contractors in your area offering the best pricing on fiber cement siding. Use our network of quality contractors to compare 3 to 5 quotes and choose the best professional for the job.
How long does fiber cement siding last?
When properly maintained and cleaned regularly, fiber cement siding can last 30 to 50 years or even more. Many homeowners never have to replace fiber cement siding during their total lifetime living in the home. Be sure to clean the siding at least once per year and take advantage of your siding warranties to keep fiber cement in the best condition possible.
What styles does fiber cement siding come in?
Fiber cement siding offers one of the widest ranges of options when it comes to styles and designs. Styles for fiber cement include classic options such as horizontal lap and Dutch lap, as well as trendy options like board and batten, vertical planks, and straight or staggered shingles. Textures include smooth, rough sawn, and even those resembling brick, wood, or stucco.
How often should I clean fiber cement siding?
Fiber cement siding, while low maintenance, should be cleaned once every 6 to 12 months. The good news is that you can clean this type of siding using DIY methods - a soft bristle brush, dish detergent, and a garden hose. When cleaning your siding routinely, be sure to inspect for mold and mildew build-up as well as any cracks or broken joints. Recaulk any gaps or cracks, and clean out your gutters, to prevent moisture damage. Always call a professional if you detect major siding damage.