When it comes to needing new siding, there are two elements you simply can’t compromise on, aesthetics and performance. The way your home looks and its ability to last give it value and make it a comfortable and joyful place to live.
So, when you are replacing old, worn-down shake siding, you’ll want to ensure you are making a good investment while not stripping your home of the wonderful character that makes it charming and beautiful.
What Wood Shake Style Siding Brings to a Home
Wood shakes are a great way to make your home’s exterior stand out. They aren’t your typical panel siding option, yet they also bring a traditional and complex look to your home.
They are commonly used home styles such as Cape Cod, Craftsman, Colonial, and Ranch homes which all benefit from the rustic and textural elements shakes provide. The hand-hewn visuals create a more casual yet traditional style for a home, and the lack of a straight-line siding is far more visually appealing.
Wood shakes can be used as a singular siding option, but they really pair well with other forms of siding to create dimensional designs and visual interest.
Wood Shake Siding Vs. Fiber Cement
Cedar shakes are a high-end siding option, as far as wood is concerned. Cedar is more likely to resist insects and the weather than other forms of wood siding, and it brings a beautiful coloring in its raw form. However, it is a far different material than fiber cement.
Fiber cement is composed of cellulose fibers, silica sand, and Portland cement, which makes it an extremely durable product. It is manufactured to look like cedar wood, with imitating grains that give the appearance of real wood while not having as many of the susceptibility issues.
Let’s take a closer look at the performance of these sidings to see why HardieShakes® are such a worthwhile investment.
A Closer Comparison of Performance
It’s important to understand how the look and performance of wood and fiber cement differ to aid in the decision-making process.
- Fire Resistance— Cedar shakes and shingles are wood, which is fuel for a fire. They easily combust or add fuel to an already existing flame. Alternatively, fiber cement is inflammable. Its makeup keeps it from combusting, and it will not become food for an already present fire.
- Maintenance— Perhaps one of the biggest downsides to cedar shakes is the level of maintenance required. Shakes in and of themselves create many ridges and grains that make cleaning and maintaining the product more difficult. Not to mention, wood needs to be painted and sealed every year to two years for better performance.
James Hardie developed its ColorPlus Technology, which is a factory painted, baked-on color process that creates a longer-lasting, fade resistant color, which is less likely to chip or flake. This lessens the need for touch-up painting, and keeps our home looking vibrant.
- Appearance— True wood is a highly sought-after look. Vinyl, Masonite, and even Hardie siding seek to imitate the appearance of real wood. James Hardie does an impeccable job of mimicking the cozy and traditional nature of wood planks, while providing a durability cedar cannot. The only downside to Hardie Shakes is that the natural cedar color cannot be achieved through the product.
- Durability— While cedar has greater antimicrobial properties than most other types of wood, it cannot fully hide from rot. And to keep rot and deterioration at bay, a great deal of maintenance is needed. Fiber cement on the other hand is completely moisture resistant and will not rot or warp.
- Expense— Simply put, fiber cement is a more affordable siding option than cedar. As a premium wood option, cedar comes with a hefty price tag. On the other hand, you can garner all the immaculate benefits of Hardie siding while also remaining budget-savvy.
- Sustainability— While cedar is a sustainable product, think about where it comes from—cedar trees. However, fiber cement is made of silica sand (which is an abundant natural resource), Portland cement, and cellulose fibers that are derived from recycled wood. James Hardie has continually been a winner of the Green Builder Media’s Readers’ Choice Awards for sustainable siding.
Learn more about Hardie siding in our “Ultimate Hardie Board and Fiber Cement Siding Guide”
What If I Want Something New?
Hardie siding doesn’t just compete and even outperform cedar shake siding in many areas, it is also a beautiful product that, when installed correctly, can make your home look its best.
Whether you love the look of the current wood shakes on your home or you want to change your home’s façade, Hardie siding has you covered. With hundreds of color options and a variety of siding styles to choose from, you can curate your exterior to look exactly the way you want. Or you can simply achieve the same shake look you currently have in a much sturdier product.
You can mix and match siding styles to create a tailored and impactful exterior. And don’t forget to pair HardieTrim and HardieSoffit with your siding selection to deliver overall exterior protection.
The Right Installation Makes All the Difference
Hardie siding can virtually outperform any other siding option available—as long as it is not installed improperly. To maintain proper performance of the product, a trained professional should complete the installation.
Our Stateline Exteriors team is an award-winning James Hardie siding contractor. We are a part of the James Hardie Preferred contractor alliance to guarantee that your siding installation is done properly the first time. With the right installation and products covering your home, you can have confidence in your space and love the way it looks.
Learn more about how our team can properly install Fiber Cement Siding on your home.