Vinyl Vs Cement Fiber Siding

 
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Old 05-11-2007, 12:15 AM   #1
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Vinyl Vs Cement Fiber Siding


What are the pros and cons of vinyl vs fiber cement siding - cost, maintenance, fading, durability, etc?

Also, I've heard of a simulated stucco siding - what is it called? I think I've read some pretty significant knocks on it but cant remember what it was. We generally use the real thing here in the high country.

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Old 05-11-2007, 12:28 AM   #2
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Re: Vinyl Vs Cement Fiber Siding


Well one is cost. Cement board lap siding is much more labor intensive then vinyl. I think it has alot to do with the sub you live in. If all the house are vinyl then go with that. Some sub. don't allow vinyl so you will see cement board or cedar.

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Old 05-11-2007, 08:30 PM   #3
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Re: Vinyl Vs Cement Fiber Siding


The "simulated" stucco , called synthetic stucco genericly, is a finish applied to a styrofoam board for the substrate. The problems were major deterioration of wood structure due to moisture behind the product. Most of these problems are not actually due to the product itself, but to faulty installation technicques. Since the white beadboard type of foam is used, and this foam is very absorbant, proper detailing for sealing the edges of the board, and sealing at penetrations is vital.
The product is correctly referred to as EIFS.. exterior insulating finish system

Last edited by troubleseeker; 05-11-2007 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 05-11-2007, 08:45 PM   #4
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Re: Vinyl Vs Cement Fiber Siding


Cement Fiber Siding is great stuff,but its more expensive,longer to install,and must be maintained (paint).But its life span i've been told could last almost 100 years if taken care of.
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:15 PM   #5
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Re: Vinyl Vs Cement Fiber Siding


If you / your customer can afford it, fiber cement is the way to go. Personally, I think when you see a house with vinyl siding, it looks like a house with vinyl siding - if you know what I mean. Cement connotes quality. Is IS expensive - maybe three times the cost? But it lasts, is fire retardant, tough, and looks great (subjective). Gotta use the shears to cut it though.
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Old 06-10-2007, 12:31 PM   #6
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Re: Vinyl Vs Cement Fiber Siding


Also fiber board (Hardi Boards) are generally historically approved... Check your local area though for the neighborhood hysterical restoration commitee

Defenitely different tools are needed for the fiber board.

Ditto that fiber board looks way better than vinyl!
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:46 PM   #7
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Re: Vinyl Vs Cement Fiber Siding


I have to say that cement siding sucks to install. It may last longer cause it wont rot and the bugs wont eat it, but it takes more time to put on. The stuff makes a ton of dust that you're not supposed to breathe and when you cut it you can't escape it. Next opportunity I would happily decline to install that stuff again.
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:58 PM   #8
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Re: Vinyl Vs Cement Fiber Siding


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Originally Posted by In_Mexifornia View Post
I have to say that cement siding sucks to install. It may last longer cause it wont rot and the bugs wont eat it, but it takes more time to put on. The stuff makes a ton of dust that you're not supposed to breathe and when you cut it you can't escape it. Next opportunity I would happily decline to install that stuff again.

I'll second this except I will install it if the price is right. I believe that you can buy it pre-painted now?
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:13 PM   #9
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Re: Vinyl Vs Cement Fiber Siding


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Originally Posted by In_Mexifornia View Post
I have to say that cement siding sucks to install. It may last longer cause it wont rot and the bugs wont eat it, but it takes more time to put on. The stuff makes a ton of dust that you're not supposed to breathe and when you cut it you can't escape it. Next opportunity I would happily decline to install that stuff again.
We install fiber cement almost exclusively. I agree, it's a PITA... but after a few big projects we've gotten a decent system....nothing beats the speed of vinyl, but I hate the look.

We also use the nippers. For a decent look you have to mark and cut the piece upside down. The manufacturer suggests expansion room like an 1/8" I think, but we've been cutting a little long and flexing the piece in. In some places after five seasons of Upstate New York weather we haven't had any corners blow out. There's a decent abrasive sabersaw blade, and a palm sander does a good job to shorten a piece a little....yeah, its a PITA, takes some getting used to!
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:04 AM   #10
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Re: Vinyl Vs Cement Fiber Siding


Personally I only like the cement siding it's self, I don't care for any of their trim out materials. I'd probably use cedar for corners, vinyl soffit and alum facia...

Oh yeah, and nothing over a 4" lap when hiding the nails...
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Old 07-03-2007, 12:19 AM   #11
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Re: Vinyl Vs Cement Fiber Siding


If I were siding on my own home it would be fiber cement. Any competent carpenter that can side with wood can install fiber cement siding, as the procedure is almost the same.

First fiber cement is not difficult to work with, but a few different tools make the job much easier. First cutting the siding is best done with cement shears that are made for the job. With shears the cut is fast, smooth and dust is at a minimum. The siding can also be cut by scoring with a carbide tool and snapped. Although more dust will be produced, a saw equipped with a carbide or diamond blade can be used to cut the material in a conventional manner or gang cut the material several boards at a time. A housed blade like on the Makita fiber cement saw will help keep down the dust.

Stainless steel spacing gauges placed on the lower edge of a plank makes quick work of spacing the siding courses and holding the plank in place while it is nailed. A pneumatic nailer with a nail depth adjustment is the fastest way to attach the siding.

The cement siding does have to be painted, but the material holds the paint better and many time longer than wood. Sunlight, water or insects don’t bother it as it wears like concrete. It can be broken, but it would take and impact that would be far more damaging to most other siding products.

Vinyl in my opinion is prone to more problems. As a HUD inspector I seldom see a proper installation of vinyl siding. Because vinyl has a very high expansive coefficient, vinyl material on a wall surface is in constant motion. It can expand and contract as much as one inch on a standard wall application. Because of this expansion the material must be installed properly and as we say in Texas, “this is the fly in the buttermilk”. I have seen countless vinyl siding jobs that leak or buckle because of improper installation. Unfortunately the underlying structure is usually damaged before the owner is aware of a problem.

Unless the vinyl material is of high quality, most appears not to be, our Texas sun quickly pulls color out of the material and makes it brittle. Vinyl can be easily broken by impact or by hail. Once broken finding a pattern match can be difficult, matching color almost impossible. At that point many owners chose to paint the vinyl siding, so where is the savings?

The only reason I would consider vinyl is if I were siding a round structure where other siding material would be more difficult to bend.

I am sure others will disagree with my opinion, but workers in new construction seldom get top see how products fair in the upcoming years after they have left the job.
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Old 07-05-2007, 08:41 PM   #12
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Re: Vinyl Vs Cement Fiber Siding


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Originally Posted by dougchips View Post
I'll second this except I will install it if the price is right. I believe that you can buy it pre-painted now?
Yeah, you can get it prepainted, but you have to buy a case of color matched caulking. You have to be really careful with it cause it scratches pretty easily. After installing the prepainted and seeing the results, I think the siding looks better if you paint it after rather then using the prepainted.

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