How I Came to Love Construction

Wood Versus Cement Siding

by Wade Black

As with most things, both wood and cement siding have advantages and disadvantages. Which one you choose for your home depends on personal tastes, styles, and opinions. Cost and maintenance also play a fairly sizable role in the decision.

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding is a man-made product pressed together to form shingles/planks, board-and-batten, or clapboard. It can be painted after installation, but it can also be purchased primed and painted. Various finishes mimic wood grain, ranging from a rustic rough look to a smooth finish to achieve a more modern appearance. However, this smooth finish can look too even to be mistaken for wood.

Cedar Siding

Cedar siding is a good siding commonly made from Western Red Cedar but is also available in White Cedar. It can also be applied in traditional shakes/shingles or from horizontal lap panels, lap siding, and bevel. For a more modern appearance, tongue-and-groove panels can be used.

It can be purchased untreated, treated with stain or oil. It may also be primed and painted. Cedar produces a more natural appearance than fiber cement because the stain will reveal the wood's natural color. White Cedar has a very weathered look which some find appealing.


Cedar siding can cost $5 to $7 per square foot whereas fiber cement is usually $3 to $4 per square foot. It is, however important to consider the cost of maintaining each type of siding in order to have a true understanding of the cost. Cement siding is slightly more economical because it requires less maintenance thanks to its durability.


In approximately three to five years, cedar siding will need to be re-stained or painted. Technically, it is every three years that it needs to be re-stained and every five years that the paint needs to be scraped and replaced. You may also have to replace or repair some of the panels or shingles before the painting can begin. The most important thing to remember with any type of wood, including cedar, must be properly maintained or it will rot and wither.

Cedar is a good choice because it resists pest and rot better than other woods. Unfortunately, it is vulnerable to holes drilled by woodpeckers that may allow insects or moisture to enter.

Fiber cement requires an occasional washing with a water hose making it the best choice for low maintenance. The durable structure makes it resistant to the pesky woodpeckers, termites, or other pests. The cement content makes it a good choice to resist warping, rotting, or cracking and can withstand snow, hurricane-force winds, hot sun, or other harmful elements. Many builders have claimed it will not chip or fade for 15 years.

With the above information to consider, you should have no trouble deciding what siding is best for you and your needs. Contact a siding installation company, such as Stark Siding Inc, for more information.