Fiber Cement Siding Cost Range
The cost of installing fiber cement siding is generally between $3.00 to $15.85 per square foot installed. The cost varies based on a number of factors which include the size of the project, the difficulty of installation, the color and type of siding finish you choose.
The average cost to install fiber cement siding on a home is $9.35/sq. ft. when a siding contractor is hired. DIY installation begins at about $3.00 per square foot for materials.
Overview of Fiber Cement Siding
The current generation of fiber cement siding is good-looking and durable material. Most is formed to mimic genuine wood siding in horizontal and vertical planks. But your options have expanded to fiber cement siding that looks like wood shingles and shakes, stucco, ledgestone brick veneer and even ribbed steel siding.
Trim boards, corners, fascia and soffit made from fiber cement complete the project. Factor finishes last a decade or more, and then siding will require a fresh coat of paint every 4-8 years depending on your climate.
This Costimate, or cost estimate, explores fiber cement price for materials and installation labor. Cost factors help you determine where in the price range your costs will fall. In general, the cost of fiber cement siding is higher than aluminum siding price but less than most wood siding.
Estimates from respected pricing sites are included plus real fiber cement costs from homeowners. If you choose fiber cement – or whatever siding type you choose – please consider returning to Costimates to share your project cost for the benefit of other readers.
Fiber Cement Siding Cost Factors
The range of pricing from $3.00 to more than $12.00 per square foot is wide. What will your siding costs be? Understanding these factors will assist as you prepare your own ballpark fiber cement siding cost estimate.
- Who Installs the Siding – Cutting labor charges out of the project significantly lowers total cost. Is DIY fiber cement siding installation a good idea? That topic is discussed below.
- Siding Quality – Cheap fiber cement is thinner and is backed by a shorter warranty. Prices start below $3.00 per square foot for the total material package for inexpensive brands. Premium brands like Aspyre by James Hardie cost closer to $5.00. Quality siding is thicker, made with improved strengthening agents and rich pigmentation.
- Plank/Piece Size – Large planks cost less per square foot than short planks, and installation goes quicker, so total cost is slightly lower than for 12×24 panels and similar.
- Pre-primed or Prefinished – All fiber cement is primed at the factory. Adding a factory finish boosts cost by up to $1.00 per square foot but is recommended due to the much better durability of a factory coating compared with paint applied after installation. Plus, $1.00 per square foot is about the cost of DIY house painting. If you hire a painter, your cost will be at least double that.
- Color – Siding prefinished in rich, darker colors cost a little more than lighter colors of the same brand and series.
- Old Siding Removal – In siding replacement jobs, expect $1.50-$2.50 to be added to the estimate if old siding must be removed. It is also recommended that new house wrap or moisture-resistant barrier be added when you replace the siding. Tip: If you’re handy and can do it safely, you can remove the siding yourself for just the price of renting a dumpster.
- The Home’s Size and Shape – As you can imagine it takes more time to side a multi-story home, one with lots of corners or features like dormers, porches and pillars that will be sided. Labor cost goes up with complexity. Material waste often increases too.
Siding and Installation Supplies Cost Details
If you hire a pro, they’ll take exact measurements to determine the amount of material needed. But for your own estimate, here are the basics
- Measure the length x the width of rectangular wall sections and add them together
- For gables, use the formula for the are of a triangle – LxHx1/2
Pro tip: If you don’t want to climb a ladder to reach the gable peak, measure the height of existing siding pieces. Then count the number of rows in the gable. For example, if the siding is 8” high and there are 14 pieces, the height of the gable triangle is 8 x 14 / 12 = 9.33 feet.
After determining the home’s square footage of exterior surface, measure windows and doors, total them up and subtract that number from the total. For each, measure height x width and divide by 144 to determine square feet of the window or door.
Pro tip: W x L / 144 can also be used to determine how many square feet of coverage you get with a plank.
Keep in mind that some fiber cement siding is lapped siding, so you’ll need to know how much exposure each plank has. A lap siding plank 16 feet, or 192”, that is 7.5” wide might have 5” of exposure. So in terms of coverage, the equation is 192 x 5 / 144 = 6.67 square feet for each 16’ plank.
Add 10% to the material to cover waste caused when trimming leaves leftover pieces too small to be used anywhere.
Here are retail costs for materials. Labor cost to install fiber cement siding is discussed below.
- $1.15 – $2.25 per square foot | Primed Fiber Cement Planks and Panels
- $1.90 – $2.85 per square foot | Pre-finished Fiber Cement Planks and Panels
- $2.25 – $5.00 per square foot | Shingle and Shake Panels
- $1.80 – $3.75 per square foot | Fiber Cement Fascia, Soffit and Trim Boards
Nails, screws and other fasteners, flashing and caulk are typically included in installation cost. If you DIY, expect to pay less than $1.00 per square foot for installation supplies.
About Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement is chosen for its appealing looks, durability of 30-50 years and because it is impervious to fire, insects and woodpeckers – pests that spell trouble for wood. It handles hail and wind-driven debris better than vinyl and aluminum siding.
It is considered a green building material because it comes from sustainable sources including the use of some recycled wood fiber. And fiber cement can be recycled.
In the name, the fiber is wood pulp coated for resistance to moisture. The cement is Portland cement mixed with limestone, silica sand and, in some products, fly ash and clay.
The wet cement is pressed into boards. Before fully cured, two or more boards are fused together to achieve the desired thickness. Surfaces are embossed with woodgrain, a smooth or stucco texture using rollers. Shake, shingle, stone and brick styles are made with molds.
Once the fiber cement has been baked to cure and harden, it is cut to various lengths and widths. Each piece is primed on all six sides. Some is finished at the factory too, so your buying option is primed or prefinished fiber cement.
As noted, a factory finish is more durable than paint applied after installation and it costs less too. The only potential problem is finding a fiber cement color you’re happy with. Most manufacturers make 8 to 20 or more color options. Custom colors are available for special order and a higher cost from some brands.
Top Fiber Cement Siding Brands
Here are your options and their relative prices:
- James Hardie
- GAF Weatherside
- Woodtone is a finish company that applies coatings to James Hardie and Allura fiber cement
- Aspyre by James Hardie
James Hardie, Allura and GAF are sold at big box stores like Home Depot and Menards.
Other brands are purchased through wholesale accounts with building supply stores. They’re available only through siding contractors and home remodelers who have accounts with the wholesale distributors.
Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time
Permits and Inspection Cost
- $0 | No permit is needed when siding a home if the home is not structurally changed
Labor Costs and Installation Time
Fiber cement siding takes a little longer to install than vinyl siding and aluminum siding. It’s similar to wood siding in how long it takes.
The main reason installation goes slower is that cutting is more difficult.
Smaller remodeling and siding companies often offer more competitive estimates. One of the reasons is that they have less overhead than large contractors.
The cost factors listed above impact price as well.
- $3.25 – $4.85 per square foot | Small Fiber Cement Siding Contractor
- $3.50 – $5.50 per square foot | Large Siding Contractors
The best approach to finding a qualified and experienced installer at a fair price is to get fiber cement installation estimates from several contractors. Let them know they are competing for the work, and learn about their company history and – importantly – the experience of the crew that will install siding on your home.
Siding Installation Time
Here are typical times for a 4-person crew. A 2-person crew would take roughly twice as long. DIY will take significantly longer until you get comfortable with the techniques needed.
- Up to 1 Day | Remove Old Siding (if needed)
- 1 -1.5 Days | Repairs, if needed, to the home’s sheathing
- Up to 1 Day | House Wrap Replacement (if needed)
- 2-3 Days | Siding Installation on Homes up to 1,200 square feet
- 4-6 Days | Siding Installation on Homes up to 2,500 square feet
Exterior and Home Siding Related Projects
Are You a Pro Siding Installer?
If so, head over to our Costimates Pro’s page, and help us make this page better and more accurate for both our visitors and your future customers.
DIY or Hire a Pro?
While most homeowners hire pros to install fiber cement siding, doing it yourself is an option for those with good carpentry skills and attention to detail.
The best approach is to read the installation guide for the product you’re considering. Some brands provide video tutorials that are very useful. This video from Allura covers important do’s and don’ts while this one gets into installation techniques.
Follow the installation instructions exactly. Failing to follow them might cause you to install the fiber cement in an improper way. This will shorten the lifespan of the siding and it might also void the fiber cement siding warranty.
Pro Tip: Fiber cement siding must be installed with an airgap behind it that allows drainage. Learn what type is required for the product you choose, and again, follow installation instructions carefully to protect your home from moisture damage and to keep the siding warranty in effect.
Compare Costs from Leading Resources
- HomeGuide: $6 - $13, Per Square Foot Installed
- Fixr: $6 - $13, Per Square Foot, Including Installation
- HomeWyse: $8.50 - $14, Per Square Foot Installed
- HomeAdvisor: $5 - $14, Per Square Foot, Including Labor and Materials
- Porch: $5.75 - $9.80, Per Sqft Installed