If you’re planning to install new house siding, you’re probably thinking about vinyl, aluminum, or wood siding. While these cladding options do come with some advantages, you can take your home’s exterior to the next level with composite exterior siding panels.
New on the house siding market, composite siding offers the best of both worlds: practicality and style.
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What Are Composite Siding Panels?
Composite exterior siding is a modern type of wall cladding that’s made in the form of panels, shingles, and clapboards.
There are two main types of composite exterior siding – engineered wood siding and fiber cement siding.
These two exterior siding materials have taken the home remodeling industry by storm, commonly used in commercial and residential applications.
Even though these two types of exterior siding are manufactured using completely different materials, they’re made to last much longer than other types of siding.
Engineered wood siding, or composite wood siding, is an improved version of traditional natural wood siding.
Composite wood siding combines the structure and appearance of wood siding and the durability and low maintenance of vinyl siding.
The engineered design provides this type of siding with unbeatable toughness and longevity.
Composite wood siding is made from scrap wood that’s compressed into planks or panels.
Fiber cement siding is a long-lasting, solid, and weather-resistant type of exterior wall siding, which is made by mixing cement, cellulose fiber, and wood pulp.
Fiber cement siding, such as James Hardie, can give your home a premium appearance, and it can even be made to resemble other materials, such as wood, brick, and stone.
Fiber cement siding is available in panels, planks, and shingles.
Average Cost Of Composite House Siding
The average total cost of composite siding depends on many factors, including the quality, type, and manufacturer of the panels.
|Composite Siding Cost||Engineered Wood Siding||Fiber Cement Siding|
|Price Range||$5,101 to $12,226||$3,492 to $21,400|
|Cost per Square Foot||$3.80 to $6.17||$4.27 to $10.70|
|1,500 Square Feet||$5,700 to $9,255||$6,405 to $16,050|
|2,000 Square Feet||$7,600 to $12,340||$6,405 to $21,400|
|2,500 Square Feet||$9,500 to $16,750||$10,675 to $21,400|
Installing engineered wood siding panels cost an average of $8,660 for a 2,000-square-foot house. The same amount of natural wood panels amounts to $13,181 for 2,000 square feet of coverage.
Composite wood siding panels for smaller projects can cost $5,101, while more labor-intensive and complicated projects can be as expensive as $12,226 on average.
Pro Tip: The exact price depends on the size and shape of your home, the type of composite wood panels, the complexity of the installation, the location of your home, and several other factors.
When it comes to fiber cement exterior siding panels, it’s slightly more expensive than composite wood siding panels.
The average total cost of installing fiber cement siding panels is $10,900 for a 2,000-square-foot home.
You can expect to pay around $3,492 on composite fiber cement siding panels for low-end, small-scale projects, while high-end, large-scale projects can amount to as much as $21,400.
You can use our Siding Cost Calculator to estimate the cost of installing new siding on your house.
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Composite Siding Cost Breakdown
If you’re considering installing composite wood or fiber cement siding panels on your home, you can calculate how much the entire project will cost based on your house’s square footage.
The cost of composite wood siding panels varies from $3.80 to $6.17 per square foot.
If you need composite wood siding panels for a 1,500-square-foot house, you’ll need between $5,700 to $9,255 for the installation.
For larger houses with 2,000 square feet, the composite wood siding panels would total from $7,600 to $12,340.
Homeowners who have a 2,500-square-feet house would need to set aside between $9,500 and $16,750 for the composite wood siding panels.
When it comes to fiber cement siding, one square foot of siding costs $4.27 to $10.70 on average.
If you live in a 1,500-square-foot-house, installing fiber cement siding panels would cost between $6,405 and $16,050.
The total fiber cement siding panels’ price is somewhere around $6,405 to $21,400 for a 2,000-square-foot house.
If your house has 2,500 square feet, expect to pay between $10,675 and $21,400 to install fiber cement siding panels.
Is Composite Siding Sustainable?
Now that we’ve covered how much installing composite paneling will cost, let’s talk about some of the advantages.
The great thing about composite wood siding panels is that they’re sustainable and eco-friendly.
In fact, composite panels are the most environmentally-sustainable panels you’ll find on the market.
What also makes composite siding a highly sustainable option is its long lifespan. If properly maintained, you’ll have your siding for the next 30 years before it needs to be replaced.
Did you know? Composite wood siding is made from materials that are left from the timber industry, such as sawdust, wood shavings, wood flakes, and other hardwood and softwood fibers. Moreover, the engineered wood planks are treated with zinc-borate, making them resistant to termites and other insects.
Fiber cement siding panels are made from recycled materials, so it’s a resource-free solution.
Composite siding can be manufactured from other recycled materials, like plastic. This practice minimizes production waste, thus reducing carbon emissions.
Composite Siding Durability
One of the most important advantages of composite siding is durability.
This siding cutting-edge technology, so durability and performance are their strong suits.
Even though engineered wood is made from scrap wood, it’s resistant to insects and rot.
Fiber cement siding, such as Allura, on the other hand, can withstand fire, moisture, and extreme weather conditions. It’s virtually indestructible.
Both these types of composite siding are completely waterproof, so you needn’t worry about moisture damage on the walls or inside your home.
Composite Panels Warranty
The warranty you’ll receive for the composite siding panels depends on the manufacturer.
You can find composite wood siding with a 50-year warranty.
In terms of fiber cement siding, the majority of manufacturers offer a warranty period of 30 to 50 years.
It’s important to get a good warranty in case of installation issues or product malfunctions. The warranty can depend on the type and quality of house siding you opt for.
Also, note that some warranties are transferrable, which means they are still valid for the next homeowner who moves in.
Pros And Cons Of Composite Siding
Composite panels come with various advantages.
Both types of composite siding are made to imitate the appearance of natural wood.
They’re also resistant to UV light, fading, and stains.
Fiber cement siding offers unmatched durability, and it’s completely resistant to fire and heat. It’s also resistant to rot, insects, and moisture damage. Not to mention that it has low maintenance requirements.
Both composite wood and fiber cement siding panels come in various styles, especially the latter option, which offers a wide selection of colors.
Engineered wood siding, such as LP Smartside, can be ordered pre-primed and pre-finished for faster installation. Additionally, installing composite wood panels is much easier than natural wood planks since they’re lightweight.
Composite siding panels have few cons. The biggest disadvantage of fiber cement siding would be the price. Some types of fiber cement siding cost more than others.
For instance, if you want your fiber cement walls to look like natural brick or stone, it will cost one or two dollars more per square foot.
Fiber cement siding is also heavy, so it’s harder to install than composite wood or, let’s say, vinyl siding. That’s why fiber cement siding is more expensive than the other options.
The Latest Advancements In Composite Siding
Composite exteriors has revolutionized the wall siding industry.
Fiber siding panels can be made to look like brick, stone, or stucco.
So, not only can fiber siding panels be made to imitate natural wood siding, but they can also replace expensive natural stone or brick siding.
In addition, they’re available in various designs, such as panels, planks, shakes, shingles, and trims.
Did you know? You should never install natural wood siding directly on the ground or in areas where it can come in direct contact with moisture. However, if you opt for composite wood siding, you won’t have to worry about this.
Are Composite Wood Siding Panels Durable?
With regular and proper maintenance, your composite wood siding can last up to 30 years.
To prolong its lifespan as much as possible, you’ll need to clean it regularly and paint it every five years. Repainting, staining, and varnishing helps retain its moisture resistance. This is especially important if you live in an area where it rains a lot.
If it’s properly maintained, composite wood siding panels can last for 30 years. When you compare vinyl siding, which lasts for 20 to 40 years, getting composite wood siding pays off much more.
The durability of composite wood siding can depend on the thickness of the panels. They’re covered with a coat of resin, which helps reinforce the composite materials.
Once installed, composite wood panels won’t bend, warp, or crack.
Are Composite Siding Panels Better Than Vinyl?
Many homeowners are conflicted between composite siding panels and vinyl siding.
On the up side, good quality vinyl siding, such as CertainTeed offers durability, low maintenance, and ease of installation. While vinyl is the most popular type of house siding, it doesn’t mean it’s the best.
While composite wood siding is made as a budget-friendly alternative to natural wood, fiber cement siding is made as an improved version of vinyl siding.
Vinyl siding might not be suitable for all weather conditions, and it’s sensitive to excess UV light. It can also crack if it’s exposed to cold weather for too long. Additionally, even though it has some degree of fire protection, vinyl siding is not 100 percent fireproof.
On the other hand, fiber cement siding is much more long-lasting, resilient, and weatherproof than vinyl. It’s also completely fire-resistant.
Note that fiber cement siding is more expensive than vinyl siding, which is $2.85 to $11.40 per square foot.
Are Composite Siding Panels Cheaper Than Wood?
Even though composite exterior siding panels are made to have more quality than wood, their prices are comparable.
More often than not, composite wood panels are more cost-effective than natural wood.
Wood siding is the most affordable type of house siding you can find, with the average price varying from $2.10 to $6.30 per square foot. Compared to wood siding, engineered wood siding is around $3.80 to $6.17 per square foot.
One of the reasons composite wood siding can be more affordable than traditional wood siding is that it’s not as heavy.
Since less wood is required for the manufacturing process, engineered wood is more lightweight and, thus, easier to install. It’s also more cost-effective because it’s made from cheaper composite wood materials.
Keep in mind that composite siding can be more affordable than certain types of wood siding, like cedar siding, which is $4.75 to $9.50 per square foot installed.
Are Composite Siding Panels The Same As Hardie Board?
Hardie Board siding is a type of fiber cement siding. It’s manufactured by James Hardie, one of the most popular siding companies in the U.S.
Hardie Board siding is also the most popular type of cement siding. It offers outstanding durability, low maintenance requirements, fire resistance, and ease of installation.
Hardie Boards are also highly customizable and available in a wide selection of colors, designs, and styles.
Installing Hardie Boards on your home can give it an eye-catching curb appeal and a serious return on investment.
Did you know? The reason Hardie Boards are so durable and have high quality is that they’re made from organic materials, such as wood pulp.
On average, Hardie Board siding costs $10 per square foot. So, for a 2,000-square-foot house, a Hardie Board siding installation would cost $20,000 on average. While this may seem like a lot of money, once you install Hardie Boards on your house, you won’t have to replace them for another 30 years.
Is Composite House Siding Worth It?
Whether you go with engineer wood panels or fiber cement siding for your home, installing composite exterior panels is always worth it.
It doesn’t matter if you plan to stay in the house for the rest of your life or sell it somewhere down the line. Composite siding will pay off either way.
If you want to sell your house in the future, this home improvement project will provide you with a great return on investment.
Composite wood siding can last for 30 years, while fiber cement siding can last for up to 50 years if it’s properly maintained.
What’s more, if you choose composite siding for your house, you won’t have to sacrifice style. This installation will make your home look brand new, and it will increase your curb appeal.
The Best Of Both Worlds
Composite siding is the newest type of house siding, combining the strong points of all siding materials made so far.
More and more homeowners are choosing engineered wood siding and fiber cement siding for their homes.
Composite panels are eco-friendly, low-maintenance, and they can withstand almost anything.
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