Fiber Cement vs. Aluminum Siding: How They Stack Up
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Fiber Cement vs. Aluminum Siding: How They Stack Up

James Hardie siding replacement on a home by John McCarter Construction.

If you own an older home in the Michigan area, chances are good that your siding may be made of metal! Homes built between the 1940s and the 1970s often have aluminum siding on their exteriors, as it was a highly popular building product during those decades.

But no material lasts forever. If your home is in need of new siding, changing out the old aluminum with top-performing James Hardie siding can make sense in a lot of ways. Here’s a closer look at what makes fiber cement so popular as a replacement for aluminum

What Makes James Hardie Siding So Popular for Replacing Aluminum?

If you’re weighing the choice of aluminum siding or fiber cement, these questions can help you get a clearer understanding of what you’re getting with each material.

Which has better curb appeal? 

Your siding is crucial to that must-have curb appeal your home deserves. When you’re getting a siding replacement, insist on a material that gives you the look and feel you want. While aluminum and other metals have improved in their style over the years, they still don’t mimic natural wood as well as Hardie Board can.

Aluminum siding offers many color choices, but when it comes to versatility, nothing outdoes Hardie siding. Hardie lets you choose either pre-primed boards—which can be painted any color you like—or a selection of popular, factory-infused colors that are warrantied to stay vibrant for 15 years.

Winner: Hardie siding for its impressive customizability

Which will last longer? 

Both aluminum and fiber cement siding boards deliver long-lasting performance that homeowners appreciate. Unlike wood (which needs constant maintenance) and vinyl (which fades and isn’t as long-lasting), metal and fiber cement do well at standing up to weather and time.

However, fiber cement siding has some advantages over aluminum in terms of longevity. Hardie Board holds its color better over the years, and it’s engineered to fit your home’s specific climate. For Michigan’s wet, cold, snowy winters, Hardie’s HZ5 product line provides impressive durability while keeping its charming look.

Winner: Hardie for its unique engineering for weather resistance

Which is easier to care for? 

Aluminum siding is known for being a “set it and forget it” type of material. Once installed, you won’t have to perform constant upkeep. Beyond cleaning it once a year, you won’t have to do too much to it. However, it can be dented by flying debris, which can make it look worn.

Fiber cement siding is also easy to maintain. With Hardie’s unique ColorPlus technology, the shade of your choice can be infused in a controlled factory setting—and it’s warrantied for up to 15 years. After that, though, you’ll need to paint it. Beyond that, all you’ll need to do is gently rinse it once a year and check its caulking.

Winner: Aluminum, but just slightly as fiber cement is also low-maintenance

Which gives you a better return on your investment? 

When you think about new siding, it’s important to balance factors such as affordability and your budget with the long-term value of your siding choice. While aluminum’s price tends to cost a little less per square foot to install and can last as much as 30-40 years, it also can easily dent when struck by hail and debris. It can even be dislodged during strong winds.

James Hardie is warrantied for 30 years, but often lasts 50 years or more because it’s so durable. And it resists dents, cracks, and other damage. Even though it costs a little more upfront to install, it delivers strong, lasting value that can’t be beaten. Plus, home buyers appreciate Hardie’s lasting performance, which can boost your house’s value. 

Winner: Hardie siding for its long-term value

Upgrade Your Exterior with Gorgeous Hardie Siding Installed by Local Experts

When you’re ready to install new siding to boost your home’s style and durability, look for a material that provides the best blend of traits that meet your goals. As a local, experienced siding installation team, John McCarter Construction can guide you in finding the right siding fit for your property. Learn more about James Hardie siding—and why we recommend it for Michigan homeowners.