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Fiber-Cement Siding

A durable exterior cladding material

Fiber cement siding has the look of wood without all the maintenance.

For homeowners that want the look of wood but don’t want the hassles and costs associated with it, fiber-cement siding may be a satisfactory alternative. This product is available from several manufacturers in a variety of textures that are said to provide the appearance of wood. Fiber-cement siding should be more durable than wood -- it is termite-resistant, water-resistant, non-combustible, and warranted to last 50 years.

Fiber-cement siding is composed of cement, sand, and cellulose fiber that has been autoclaved (cured with pressurized steam) to increase its strength and dimensional stability. The fiber is added as reinforcement to prevent cracking. The planks come in 5¼" to 12" widths and 5/16" and 7/16" thickness.


The cost of fiber cement siding is more than vinyl and less than stucco and wood siding, making it an affordable and durable product.

Quality and Durability

Because it is not susceptible to rot and infestation, fiber cement siding offers a long lasting alternative to typical exterior wall cladding.


Products are commercially available. Check your nearest building supply store or contact the companies below for location of nearest distributor.

The color can be surface-applied in the factory. Paint warranties of up to 25 years are available from some manufacturers. There are restrictions on blind nailing products with greater widths due to wind uplift. Face nailing can be used with all products, but staples cannot be used. Excessive dust creation while cutting may require additional control methods. Please consult manufacturer's recommended practices and installation instructions.

The installed costs of fiber-cement are reported to be less than traditional masonry or synthetic stucco, equal to or less than hardboard siding, and more than vinyl siding.

Unless top coat is applied in the factory, siding may need to be painted every four or five years.

Fiber-cement siding products are recognized as exterior cladding by the International Code Council (ICC) Evaluation Service. Information on Evaluation Service Legacy Reports can be obtained by contacting ICC at their web site (

Bruce Davis Construction: Washington Square, La Plata, Maryland

Carl Franklin Homes: The Vista at Kensington Park, Dallas, Texas

MADE Project: Bowie, Maryland

Oakwood Homes: Green Valley Ranch. Denver, Colorado

Like wood siding, fiber-cement siding is installed over studs or exterior wall sheathing with an appropriate weather-resistant barrier (WRB), using galvanized nails or screws that penetrate into wall studs. The fiber cement planks should be cut with a blade designed specifically for fiber-cement dust reduction, such as Hitachi's Hardiblade or Dewalt's PCD Fiber Cement Blade. Alternatively, snapper shears, or a guillotine-type cutter can be used. For finishing, fiber-cement products come either primed or unprimed. However, priming and painting in the factory are recommended. An alkaline-resistant primer is required, and manufacturers generally recommend using a 100% Acrylic topcoat.

Some manufacturers warrant the siding for up to 50 years.

Manufacturers emphasize that fiber-cement siding is appropriate for hot and humid climates because it is resistant to rot, fungus, and termite infestation. They also state that it has excellent weathering characteristics, strength, and impact resistance.

Disclaimer: The information on the system, product or material presented herein is provided for informational purposes only. The technical descriptions, details, requirements, and limitations expressed do not constitute an endorsement, approval, or acceptance of the subject matter by the NAHB Research Center. There are no warranties, either expressed or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of this information. Full reproduction, without modification, is permissible.