Siding: Your Best Return on Investment in 2014

Friday March 07, 2014 at 8:27 pm

As it turns out, re-siding your house with fiber cement siding is your best return on investment project forecasted this year. “How can they forecast the rest of the year, when we haven’t even hit the peak of summer yet?” The answer to that question is simple: Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value research has listed it as the top “bang for your buck” project the past 8 consecutive years.

Now let’s preface this before going any further…your kitchen and bathrooms are important aspects of your home too, but none of that matters if your house is falling apart on the outside! Regardless of whether you’re planning on living in your home for the next 30 years or are looking to sell, there are many great reasons why a re-siding project simply makes sense.

One of the biggest benefits of having new siding installed on your house is the huge curb appeal affect it adds. You may have a beautiful house on the inside, but a potential buyer may be turned away due to the appearance of the outside. In Micheal E. Gerber’s book,” The E-Myth”, he states that a person will buy something within the first 10 or 15 seconds of the first impression. Hold the phone for a moment, 10 or 15 seconds is longer than it takes for most people to park their car in the driveway! The goal of selling your house is, selling your house, the first impression is critical!

“In fact, ignorance to what’s getting behind your siding will end up costing you more in the long run, hands down”.

From a practical standpoint, NOT knowing what’s happening under your current siding doesn’t mean that “ignorance is bliss.” In fact, ignorance to what’s getting behind your siding will end up costing you more in the long run, hands down. The LP siding of the 1990s is still hanging around these parts, much of it is in dire need of full replacement. It’s not uncommon to have an additional 10-20% or more added to the total of a re-siding project, if major water issues have been ignored for long periods of time. The amount of damage that is caused to the plywood, studs, insulation, and sometimes electrical work is a chore to repair when it’s been rotting away for years.

Although there are many types of fiber cement siding, James Hardie™ tends to rise to the top of the conversation. Many of our clients request it by name because that’s the name that is nearly synonymous with fiber cement siding products. The attributes of this siding are really incredible and I’ll share a quick story about an experience I had with it a few years back…

We were re-siding a house and I had a pressure washer come and take care of some cleaning for the homeowner. Of course the loud annoying “lawn mower” engine sound was nearly overbearing, so I took a piece of Hardie panel and laid it against the pressure washer’s muffler to divert some of the sound away. The siding remained there for a couple of hours. Once the pressure washer’s work was done, he came over to turn off his machine and pulled back the piece of siding. The muffler had been pushing out fire hot exhaust onto the piece of siding and the siding didn’t combust into flames. As a matter of fact, aside from some slight discoloration of the factory applied primer, I couldn’t see any visible damage to the piece. Unfortunately, the plastic shroud around the muffler housing wasn’t so lucky, the siding deflected the heat and melted a portion of it! That is some serious durability!

What are some options for fiber cement products?

Here’s some help… A standard version of James Hardie siding is called Cemplank™, which carries a 25 yr. limited transferable warranty, which can be transferred one time to another party. This product is an extremely cost effective option for lap siding and comes in a standard 7” reveal, which is suitable for most home’s aesthetical needs. James Hardie products are made from a mixture of sand, cement, cellulose wood fibers, and water…an extremely durable combination! A step up from Cemplank™ is the HZ10 (a regional specific siding) James Hardie siding product line. This comes with an additional 5 year warranty, rounding it up to a 30 yr. limited transferable warranty. These come in a variety of lap reveals (5”,6”, 7”, and other custom sizes), panels, shakes, soffit, and trim products. Hardie has done a great job at creating a wide enough variety of products that you can literally have your entire exterior covered with fiber cement products. If you think about it, how many times do you see rotten wood corner boards and soffits in our area? Additionally, they offer a ColorPlus™ pre painted option that has baked on factory paint finishes that carry a 15 yr. warranty.

Something worth mentioning is that James Hardie products come in a variety of textures ranging from smooth, cedarmill (wood texture), and stucco finishes. Lastly, James Hardie products hold a 70% share of the siding market and are available at most lumber supply locations.

Remember to give Chumley Construction a call, e mail, or visit "Get A Quote" to schedule your free siding estimate today!


You can view these product lines at the following web site locations:

Interested in seeing how fiber cement siding is manufactured?

Check out this “How it’s Made” video on James Hardie Siding!

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