Cedar Siding vs. Fiber Cement Siding

Cedar Siding vs. Fiber Cement Siding

When considering possibilities for new siding on your home, many questions may occur to you about which options are best suited for your needs. Among the various possibilities, two of the most popular siding options are cedar siding and fiber cement siding.

Fiber cement siding is a synthetic material made up of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers. It can be shaped into shingles or siding planks. Because of its material make-up, fiber cement siding is extremely durable. This makes it a popular option for new home construction.

Cedar is a natural hardwood, usually red or white. It is a popular choice for new home construction because it is one of the most durable woods available and is native to the United States. Cedar siding is usually produced in the form of shakes, horizontal lap panels, or shingles.

Appearance and Styling

Cedar siding has a number of aesthetic benefits. It can be stained and painted without covering up the beautiful natural wood grains. It comes in a variety of styles from bevel, shingles, shakes, and lap siding. Because of its versatility, cedar siding can be made to look either modern or rustic depending on your personal style.

Fiber cement siding is also quite aesthetically versatile. It can be ordered pre-painted to ease installation or primed and painted for a fully custom appearance. You can use fiber cement siding to create a variety of unique looks, including clapboard, board-and-batten, shingles, and lap siding. One of the best parts of fiber cement siding’s appearance is that it is designed to believably mimic the appearance of natural wood grains. It can also be designed to present a rustic or modernized finished look.


Keeping your budget in mind can help you decide what type of siding is best suited for you. One factor to consider is that neither fiber cement siding nor cedar wood are the least costly roofing materials available. However, while something like vinyl siding is far less expensive, it is also much less aesthetically appealing. Vinyl siding also lasts far shorter time than either cedar or fiber cement.

Fiber cement is usually a few dollars cheaper per square foot than cedar wood. However, fiber cement requires additional labor during installation due to its increased weight (and consequent durability). Cedar siding is more expensive to maintain than fiber cement since it requires more frequent treatments and paint applications.

Maintenance and Durability

Since cedar siding is wood, it is more susceptible to damage from bad weather. Fiber cement is built to be durable under adverse weather conditions. Cedar is also susceptible to woodpeckers, termites, carpenter ants, and other pests that can wreak havoc on wood products.

Cedar siding needs a new coat of paint or a new stain treatment every three to five years. Fiber cement, on the other hand, can last for a number of years without being repainted. The only maintenance generally required for fiber cement is a periodic wash with a garden hose. This cuts down on time, effort, and cost associated with your siding.

Safety Comparison

Cedar burns much more easily than fiber cement since it is natural wood. This is especially a concern if the cedar wood has not been treated to make it more fire-resistant. Fiber cement is non-combustible, meaning it will not melt or burn when subjected to high temperatures or open flame. Cedar can also rot when damaged by water, further complicating repairs. Fiber cement, being synthetic, will not.


Cedar siding is a beautiful option that is difficult to replicate aesthetically, but it also needs more careful and frequent maintenance than fiber cement. Fiber cement is less expensive to initially install and costs less in time, effort, and cash to maintain over its life span. Whatever your decision is, make sure to find a reputable roofing company near you that can help guide you through the selection process.


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