Concrete Siding Installation Tips and Material Cost

Why Concrete Siding is the Best Option

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Siding installation. Tim Matsui / Getty Images

What is Concrete Siding

Concrete siding or fiber cement siding sometimes cannot be distinguished from wood siding. This type of siding offers several advantages over other types of siding and will add value and elegance to your project. Concrete siding also know as Hardie plank siding, due to its inventor,  can be a great alternative to vinyl and wood siding.

How to Manage Concrete Siding

Concrete siding are straight boards heavier than wood siding and although flexible, Hardie plank needs to be handled with care otherwise, it might get damaged.

The installation of concrete siding is a task that should be completed by at least two workers unless we are dealing with small siding pieces. Manufacturers of concrete siding offer Installation guidelines to help during the cutting and handling process, especially when managing cement siding when it is wet. Special tools and additional labor are required to cut the siding adding cost to your projects, so consider this during the bid process

Is Concrete Siding the Best Solution for my Project?

Fiber cement siding is a cost effective material that will simulate and can replace wood siding.  This type of siding requires little to no maintenance, free of termite and provide fire protection as well. One of the most important attributes of the fiber cement siding is that it can withstand variations in weather conditions, such as snow, ice, heat and freezing temperature without decaying. One of the greatest advantages of concrete siding is that unlike wood or vinyl siding, requires little to no maintenance, so there is no need to clean and wash constantly.

Fiber cement siding can also be combined with weather barriers and insulation to increase the level of energy efficiency of the building on which the siding will be installed. The product has also been recognized by the US Green Building Council for its durability and sustainability.  There are other important points that should be highlighted:

  • Hardie plank siding is not affected by localized heat, that normally melts or damages vinyl siding
  • Concrete siding holds paint 
  • Insurance companies will offer lower premiums due to the durability and strength of the concrete siding
  • Manufacturers offer pre-painted siding that facilitates its installation. If it has not been painted yet, the cement siding must be washed and allowed to dry before painting it
  • Siding should be painted no later than 90 days after it has been installed
  • Fiber cement trim board is available in varying sizes
  • Concrete siding has the sane durability of cement
  • This type of siding usually offers a class 1A fire rating
  • It is impervious to wood-boring insects, does not rot, and is resistant to deterioration from salt and ultraviolet rays
  • Hardi plank boards are a very economic option ranging between 95 cents to about $8.25 per square foot uninstalled
  • For painted siding add $1 per sq ft
  • Most companies warranty their product for 50-years, which is proof of its durability

Concrete Siding Installation

Fiber cement siding should be installed once it is thoroughly dry unless some shrinkage might occur. Concrete siding must be kept dry at all times before installing it, so it is important to identify a storage for the siding that will not be installed during the workday.

Here are a few tips to help you during the installation process:

  • When installing fiber cement sidings do not overdrive fasteners into the siding.
  • Choose corrosion-resistant nails, stainless steel nails are the best ones, but they might be somewhat expensive. Round-head nails will provide optimum results.
  • Caulk all joints to prevent moisture from damaging the board 
  • The bottom siding row shall be installed 6 inches above grade to reduce moisture absorption
  • Verify that all fasteners are installed properly and driven into the framing members.
  • Fiber-cement lap siding should be joined by a stud.
  • Always make sure to leave a small gap between the siding and the edge of the wood casings and corner boards allowing the wood to move when needed.

Concrete Siding Cons

Although concrete siding has many advantages it might present some drawbacks too.

For example, installation and handling costs are higher when compared to vinyl siding. As a matter of fact, you will have at least twice the workers installing fiber cement siding than if you were to use vinyl siding.