Remodeling during a recession

The top 3 Fiber Cement Brands Compared

What is Fiber Cement siding?

Originally invented in the early 1900s, the science behind fiber cement was further refined in the 1990s.  The mixture of wood fiber, sand and cement produces the most durable siding on the market.  It is fireproof, rot-proof, requires less upkeep, and is more resistant to the elements than other siding options.  Fiber cement siding also is known for its’ amazing wood-like aesthetics, which can boost a home’s value in most markets.

Where is Fiber Cement popular?

Fiber cement rocketed to popularity in the 1990s when it was refined by James Hardie, the leading maufactuer of fiber cement siding products.  Much like gasoline for cars, James Hardie created unique fiber cement products for each major climate zone in the United States.  For example, fiber cement produced for Minnesota are manufactured to withstand the temperature swings the state is known for.  This has allowed it to become extermely popular with homeowners that were looking for durable siding that could enhance curb appeal and improve home values.  Since it is not as inexpensive as vinyl siding, it is more common for fiber cement to be found on homes in the mid to high-end price range, including many neighborhoods in the Minneapolis metro area. 

The top 3 Fiber Cement brands

  1. James Hardie: HardiePlank
  2.  GAF WeatherSide
  3.  Allura

1. James Hardie: HardiePlank

Because they were the first manufacturer to exclusively carry fiber cement products, James Hardie has become synonymous with all things fiber cement.  Their specially-manufactured fiber cement for the Minnesota climate has made them the go-to supplier for quality siding throughout the Twin Cities.  James Hardie also carries the largest color selection and product types, including shingles, panks, soffit, trim and panels.  James Hardie only carries fiber cement products, therefore their competitors are constantly attempting to match their quality and price. 

Pricing:  James Hardie siding is priced at or below the other competitors on this list.  

2. GAF WeatherSide

GAF has carved out a market with their consumer line of fiber cement shingles, which can be readily purchased at big box retailers, such as Home Depot.  Their approach was to make a product that caters to the ambitious DIYer.  The shingles are also marketed by GAF to be easily replaced when needed, which is a benefit for homeowners seeking to tackle this type of project.

Pricing: GAF pricing fluctuates, but is usually close to James Hardie pricing, but you will need to take into account the costs of additional installation supplies and time.

3. Allura

Allura is a newer brand to the fiber cement industry, but they have quickly added a full range of products that compete directly with industry leader James Hardie.  The caveat is that Allura’s product is significantly thicker and heavier, making it a more difficult siding product to install.  Additionally, their product line only carries 20 color variations, making the choices a bit more limited than found at industry leader James Hardie, which boasts an extensive color line, including  their popular Dream Collection of siding colors.

Pricing: Allura’s pricing usually runs 20% or more than James Hardie and is usually in more limited supply.

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