Your Opinion Please

We’re down to making the final material choices for our house, and we are having a really hard time deciding on the kind of siding we should use. We were originally set on fiber cement, but are now reconsidering cedar.
The benefits of the fiber cement include fire, rot and insect resistance, 30% recycled content (fly ash), and low maintenance. Cedar is esthetically pleasing, renewable, locally sourced, and also rot resistant, but may require slightly more maintenance. Cost is about the same for both.
Has anyone out there had any good or bad experiences with either of these materials? The houses on my mom’s street are all sided with cedar lap and shake siding that is almost 100 years old, so it’s obviously a durable product, and I definitely like that it’s traditional in this area.
Our deadline is Wednesday afternoon – please help!

19 thoughts on “Your Opinion Please”

  • it has to be cedar! we live in the uk in a cedar shingle house (quite rare here) which was built in 1936. vaarious bits have been renewed when we have done building work and not one shingle has ever been rotten.

    the roof is also cedarwood shingle and before we had the house it was renewed. our neighbour’s (the other half of what was once all one house) roof hasn’t been touched and is still waterproof although they have a lot of moss on it which i would guess would trap damp. the roof has a shallow slope so the water lands in the moss and sits there. with the proviso that you need to keep an eye on the roof i would not hesitate to recommend cedarwood. and it smells beautiful – there is something very nuturing about our house!

    i will try and send you a picture but i’m not sure if your e-mail address is on the blog.

  • Joker – You’ve inspired me to finally add an email address to my sidebar. I look forward to seing that photo!
    I’m reassured to hear that you’ve never had any rot.

    Malva – Thank you for your vote!

  • Hi cheryl–i’ve built 2 houses in rural areas with cedar and yes it is beautiful, but concerns with climate change and forest fires on the increase would make me choose cement/fibre siding now–friends have just built a house in the country using cement/fibre and it is beautidul and durable and fire proof!!

  • Is the fiber cement like Hardy Plank? If so, it has a very natural look, very much like cedar siding. I know people who have it who are really happy with their decision, especially since they are in a damper climate. My parents have cedar siding and it is definitely more maintenance. Would you get a discount on house insurance having a fire resistant siding? I know sometimes they do that here. Just another consideration.

  • I’d go with the cedar, of course! Our home is made of cedar logs. It’s about 40 years old and there are no signs of rot. The appeal of wood is timeless. If all it means is a little more maintenance, and it’s traditional to the area – go for it! These are tough decisions, but it will be perfect no matter what you choose. I’m so excited for you guys!

  • Looking at the link, it seems there are pics showing the cement/fiber to look somewhat similar to the cedar? is this correct? I would go with the cement/fiber since you are set on amongst trees. Although cedar is beautiful and the scent wonderful, look at safety in this day and age.
    my vote is cement/fiber.

  • I’m going to have to go with the fiber stuff, as I think it would be better insurance wise. Also, cedar seems to be high maintenance. Finally, while I love love love the look of new cedar, I actually don’t care much for the grey it fades to (and I’ve seen it do so unevenly based on how much direct sunlight it receives). If the fiber is of uniform colour (and can be virtually any colour you want) seems to me it’s an easier choice.

  • Well, you have probably made your decision already, but I am not one to pass up an opportunity to give my opinion ;-). For us, it would be the fibre cement. The reason: we get so busy starting new projects and living a crazy life, that maintenance on things doesn’t always come first. It is a thorn in my side that my husband and I are both negligent in that area, but it is something we have to work with (and work on). That is why we got the metal roof this summer. That is why I am working so hard on my garden and yard to make it as maintenance free as possible. In the mean time it still looks unkempt because it isn’t finished. Oh well, there is always next year.

  • I would prefer the fiber cement too.You can change the coloure if you want it and I think this material is living much more years longer as cedar wood and maybe more waterproof.

  • I think I will not be much help as I like both products. The cedar can last a very long time depending on your climate and it is natural. I know a contractor who installs the cement product and he feels it is a superior product. It certainly is fireproof, and it looks so natural. The neighborhood where my inlaws live has a lot of new homes sided with the cement and they are beautiful. They fooled me. I actually had to touch the siding to tell if it was wood or not.

  • The problem with cedar is that it’s the old-growth that is so durable. It used to be that a cedar shake roof would last you at least 30 years. We have problems already with ours at 15 years, in part because the younger cedar trees they’re using are more twisted. If you can get truly straight siding, I’d go for it. Our next roof will be composite.

    Fiberboard can have its own issues, like the LP siding problems 10-15 years ago. Make certain if you go this way that you get something known to be reliable!

  • IWe live in a cluster of wood shingle-sided houses 15 miles from town. They look nice, but they’re all going to be re-done with cement fiber siding because of fire concerns.


  • Hi

    Wondering if I could draw your attention to the international Bloggers Day of Action on Burma this Thursday 4 October. All bloggers possible are asked if they could please feature what is happening in Burma in some way on that day. Thank you.

  • We put the hardy board on our house when we built almost five years ago. I’m very happy with the product. I hung most of the siding myself using a coil roofing nailer and had no unpleasant surprises. It holds its color real well, almost no fade. Even on the sunny side of the house. The only thing I would have done different would be using a solid corner board instead of the aluminum trim package. The aluminum looks ok but it does look rather cheap. My best friends house is beautifully sided with cedar. He complains constantly about the woodpeckers, but he complains alot about everything…

I would love to hear from you!

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