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FIber Cement or Vinyl: Which Siding is Right for You?

FIber Cement or Vinyl: Which Siding is Right for You?

If you own property, you have likely spent some time thinking about which siding is the best option for your home or commercial building.  There is a common misconception that all siding is fundamentally the same.  Though the different types of siding serve a similar purpose, there are merits to each type. 

Vinyl siding and fiber cement siding are two popular options, and both offer benefits that make them worth considering.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is optimal for those looking to save money yet also enjoy reliable performance.  Primarily comprised of the sturdy plastic material known as PVC, vinyl siding is securely connected to the exterior of the home in a manner that permits it to contract and expand in accordance with temperature fluctuations.  The affordable price and improvement in quality over the last several years make it easy to see why U.S. Census Bureau data indicates vinyl is the most popular siding material. 

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement is comprised of a mixture of cement and wood pulp.  This combination of materials is joined together to create long boards/shingles attached to the side of the home with nails.  Fiber cement siding is optimal for those who are willing to invest more up front for an aesthetic similar to conventional wood siding.

What About Durability?

Fiber cement and vinyl siding are quite durable, especially when compared to wood.  While fiber cement has the potential to absorb water that leads to the rotting of the home beneath the walls, vinyl siding is likely to prove a bit more durable.  Vinyl siding is highly flexible, making it less vulnerable to cracking and chipping. 

Which Looks Better?

The answer depends on the style of your home and your personal preference.  Fiber cement siding boards are available as either long plank boards, square shingles, staggered shingles or half-round shingles.  Fiber cement can either be stained or painted, meaning you can change the color of your home at any time without replacing the siding.  

If you are looking for decorative siding, vinyl siding is ideal for you.  Whether you seek a contemporary façade or would like to maintain the aesthetic of an older home, vinyl will get the job done right.  From Dutch lap panel designs to board and batten, clapboard and beyond, you’ll find options to suit most homes. 

Energy Efficiency

Both fiber cement and vinyl siding are fairly thin, meaning they are not the best insulators.  However, both are available with insulation that greatly improves the energy efficiency of your Virginia Beach area home.


If maintenance is your primary concern, you will find fiber cement siding takes a bit more work in terms of caulking and painting.  Vinyl siding does not require any type of extra work prior to or following installation.  Fiber cement siding must be painted from time to time as it will fade after exposure to the elements.  Furthermore, fiber cement siding joints require caulking to prevent water from moving inward.  Alternatively, vinyl siding merely requires occasional spray cleaning with the hose along with soapy water to look and function as expected.

Both vinyl and fiber cement siding are excellent choices. Still can’t decide which is right for you? Contact the pros at Bayview Exteriors, LLC. Our siding specialists will answer any questions you may have and help you choose the siding that fits your needs and your budget. Call 757.461.1300 or fill out our online contact form to get started.

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