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James Hardie® Fiber Cement Siding -VS- Vinyl Siding

When planning to update your home’s siding, there are many factors to think about during the planning stage. One of the main items is to decide what type of material to use. In this article, we’ll discuss how two of the common siding materials stack up against one another; James Hardie fiber cement siding vs. vinyl siding. For purposes of comparison, we’ve chosen 4 categories to compare the 2 products:

  1. Durability
  2. Maintenance
  3. Style Options
  4. Cost


Durability is an essential factor in deciding on the type of material to use when residing in your home. In the first durability aspect, we are going to compare the thickness of the two products. James Hardie siding is five times the thickness of vinyl siding. Due to the added depth, James Hardie Siding is a much more durable material. It can stand up to the weather, resisting damage from rain, wind, freezing temperatures, and hail. Vinyl siding lets water in at its termination points, can blow off during strong winds, and can crack and dent during hail storms.

How Do They Stand Up To High Heat

How does vinyl compare to James Hardie when it does to heat? James Hardie siding is noncombustible and resists extreme heat and with not melt or warp. Vinyl siding is very vulnerable to heat damage and will easily warp or melt even from the sun’s rays. James Hardie siding is constructed to withstand the brutal northwest weather. Because James Hardie siding is noncombustible, it is also the safer option; even when exposed to direct flames, it will not ignite.


Maintenance is also a critical factor to think about when deciding on a siding material. Vinyl siding fades over time and needs to be power washed and scrubbed yearly. James Hardie’s ColorPlus® Technology has the color baked in, so it will not fade and requires less overall maintenance. It is backed by James Hardie’s ColorPlus 15-year limited warranty that covers paint and labor costs.

Style Options

It’s your home, and you want it to look the way you dreamed it would, so options are essential. With vinyl, you have very minimal choices. Due to vinyl’s intense heat vulnerabilities, you have to go with light colors only and can only use expensive vinyl safe paints. James Hardie has endless style options and color themes. They offer lap siding, vertical siding, board and batten, Stucco “look-a-like” panel siding, T1-11 “look-a-like” panel siding, faux brick siding, shingle siding, and much more!


On initial installation cost comparisons, vinyl siding is a cheaper option than James Hardie. When you factor in the low cost of maintenance, increased home value, and the 15-year limited warranty—James Hardie Siding is the better long term choice.


In summary, the clear winner is James Hardie. If you live in a wet climate, like Oregon and Washington, it is by far and away from the best choice for homeowners looking to replace their siding. If you live in California, James Hardie Siding will keep your family safe from wildfires too. Vinyl siding is not a good option for wet climates because it wasn’t designed to handle large amounts of rain. And, because it can melt and warp in the hot sun, it’s definitely not something you want if you live in an area prone to wildfires.

What To Do If I Need My James Hardie Siding Repaired?

All of our installers are James Hardie Factory Trained. They are experienced carpenters who have been repairing and installing James Hardie materials for a long time. Give SFW Construction a call today if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.

What To Do If I Need My Vinyl Siding Repaired?

Even though we don’t recommend vinyl siding and no longer do installations, it doesn’t mean we won’t repair your vinyl siding. Vinyl siding used to be very popular and is still on many homes. Too many siding contractors will say you need to “rip and replace it.” Rip and replace may not be in your budget, and we understand. Call us to schedule a repair.