vs. Wood, OSB & Cedar Siding

Are you looking to replace the siding on your home, or perhaps you are in the process of building a new home, and want to choose the very best when it comes to siding.  When you think of siding, you may think of vinyl siding and other materials. James Hardie Siding, however, is becoming increasingly popular. It is made to last, and is tougher than most of the elements.  It is also really a beautiful option.

What is James Hardie Siding?

James Hardie makes their siding out of fiber cement.  It is designed with durability, quality and aesthetics in mind.  James Hardie products always come out on top when compared to other siding choices.  They have been in business for over 30 years now, and have been perfecting their fiber cement formula over the decades.  They have invested millions of dollars into making sure that they have the best formula on the market. This makes them America’s most popular brand when it comes to siding.  

A lot of siding materials, including OSB and Cedar, have a tendency to be damaged by harsh weather conditions depending on your local climate.  The good news is that James Hardie siding has been Engineered for Climate, meaning that the siding is designed for the particular area. This helps you to rest assured in knowing that your siding is going to stand the test of time.  

LP SmartSide, OSB and Cedar Options Explained

LP SmartSide is designed by Louisiana Pacific.  It has been around since the late 1990’s, and has had some problems over the years.  Their first design, which was the Oriented Strand Board, or OSB, was prone to rotting, swelling and losing its paint.  This was not something that people wanted, due to the fact that it didn’t last very long.

They did make some changes when it comes to the OSB siding, by coating the fibers in zinc to ensure that they are more durable.  This has made OSB siding more durable than before. Essentially, these siding materials are man made, or engineered, to be like wood. Cedar, however, is a real wood option, but the problem with this is that it tends to rot, sag, swell, warp and chip over time.  


The Difference Between James Hardie Siding and OSB or Cedar Siding

There are a lot of differences between James Hardie siding and OSB or Cedar siding.  First, James Hardie’s siding is a fiber cement, while the others are types of wood, or wood like particles.  Wood has a tendency to warp over time, or need to be repainted. With James Hardie’s collection, they will not warp, sag, or chip and crack over time.  This is because the material is superior.

Woods also have a tendency to mold over time, especially in areas that stay moist.  James Hardie’s siding does not really have any sort of issues with mold. It is also less likely to go up in flames if there were a fire.  Wood burns, as we all know. This is another reason why you may opt for the James Hardie collection.

Even engineered woods, like OSB, have a tendency to buckle and expand under pressure of the elements.  While engineered wood may look and feel a lot like regular wood, and it may be able to pass off for it, it is definitely not weatherproof.  It can still absorb water, causing swelling and other changes.

The Aesthetic Difference Between the Two

Wooden siding does look great.  It gives that old fashioned look to a home.  While it does look really good, and really does have a simple element of charm, the problem is that it probably won’t keep that fresh clean look over the years.  The paint will chip, the wood will crack or warp, things will happen. Sure, you can seal the wood, but that doesn’t protect it forever.

James Hardie’s siding is designed to look great for years to come.  As long as you keep it clean, it can look like brand new siding for decades.  This is because of the durability of the design of their collection. This is something to keep in mind as you select the siding for your home.  It isn’t cheap, so you want to make sure that you are making the most of your investment.


What to Expect Price Wise

James Hardie siding is not cheap, by any means.  The truth is that you really get what you pay for.  Wooden, LP, or OSB siding may be a little less expensive to install, but you have to think about how much longer the fiber cement siding is designed to last.  This means that you are investing for a longer term.

You will have to pay for both the materials and the labor.  Fiber cement siding by James Hardie is not a DIY project. You will need to have a contractor that has experience working with this type of material, as there are some differences when it comes to installation.  The installation cost is going to vary depending on your geographic location, as well as other factor.

As you can see, it is difficult to say just how much of a price difference you are looking at between the options.  Cedar siding costs more to keep up, because you have to treat it and paint it. It may cost more materials wise, but less for installation.  It really does somewhat even itself out. You may spend about the same over the lifetime of the siding, so really just consider which one you like the most.  

The Advantages of Cedar Siding

First, let’s look a the benefits of choosing cedar siding.  It has a lot of options when it comes to color, because you can essentially paint it any color you desire.  You can also still see the wood grain, even after it has been painted. You can get it in a variety of styles as well, and can achieve both rustic and modern looks with it.  Aesthetically, it is very versatile.

Cedar is also one of the strongest types of wood, which is why it is one of the most commonly chosen options for wooden siding.  Even though it is strong, it is not without risk when it comes to damage from the elements, or from pests.


The Advantages of James Hardie Siding

James Hardie’s collection is also very versatile aesthetically.  You can get them in pre-painted colors that never have to be repainted.  You can also have them primed and painted to give a more customized feel.  It has just about every aesthetic benefit as cedar siding, even down to the wood grain look.  

The key is to understand that James Hardie siding has a variety of other benefits, that go far beyond the aesthetics.  First of all, it is not prone to pests, such as termites. Termites often target wooden siding, such as cedar. It is also not prone to molding, which wood is one of the worst materials when it comes to the potential to mold.  

It is easy to see that James Hardie siding has more advantages than most of the other types of siding on the market, which is probably why it remains at the top in popularity.  

Choosing the Right Siding for Your Home  

If you are still trying to decide which siding is right for your home, discuss your options with a contractor.  At Hatch Homes, we are willing to answer any questions that you may have regarding your new siding purchase. We can help you to determine which siding will work best based on the climate, the location of your home, and the aesthetic look you are trying to achieve.  Our contractors have years of experience dealing with siding installation, including fiber cement siding by James Hardie.

There are really a lot of great advantages for choosing James Hardie’s siding, but the truth is that it is really only going to offer the best performance if it is installed correctly.  In fact, if the products are not installed the right way, the warranty may even be null and void. For something that comes with such a lengthy warranty, and costs such a pretty penny, you will want to ensure that everything is done correctly.  

Too often, there are improper clearances or improper attachments made with the installation.  This can be avoided by hiring a contractor who really knows what they are doing. Don’t try to hire someone who is working with fiber cement siding for the first time.  Look at some previous projects, and ask as many questions as you need to ensure that you are hiring the right contractor for the job.

Give us a call today at Hatch Homes.  We will be happy to discuss all of your options with you and help you to determine which type of siding is going to be the best option for your home.  Whether you are just trying to remodel and change the siding, or you are designing a new construction home, we are happy to help.