Another misconception is that fiber cement is more difficult to install. “As long as contractors are using the right blade, it cuts just as easily as wood. It cuts and goes up like wood without much waste,” Panchal says.
CertainTeed updates its installation manuals once a year. “We recommend our contractors and builders pick up new install manuals every year,” Brandt says. “As soon as we update installation [guidelines], it’s available immediately online.”
The biggest misconception about vinyl siding, according to Hughes, is a lack of product knowledge within the industry. “The technology today is very different. Early on, there were some issues with color loss and getting brittle, but those were overcome decades ago,” he says. “The product has done nothing but improve.”
Regardless of style, geographic location or a home’s value, both vinyl or fiber cement siding can be used. “[Fiber cement] is chosen for townhouses, multiunit and high-end homes,” says Darrin Haugan, senior vice president, Nichiha, which makes fiber cement.
Typical fiber cement offerings include cedar, smooth, stucco and grooved 8-in.-on-center textures, Haugan adds. Nichiha’s clip system can replicate anything — brick, stone or blocks. “Ninety-nine point nine-five percent of demand is for the normal style — it’s a unique audience that wants the specific look of the more diverse selection of fiber cement styles,” he says.