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Vinyl Siding vs. Hardie Board: Which One Is Right For You?

If you’re considering new siding for your home, you may be wondering what the best option is. 

There are a lot of choices out there, but two of the most popular are vinyl siding and Hardie board. 

So, which is the better option?

Let’s take a look at vinyl siding vs. Hardie board to see which one comes out on top.

Blue vinyl siding for home

Pros and Cons of Vinyl Siding vs. Hardie Board

Aspect Vinyl Siding Hardie Board
  • Lower cost per square foot
  • Easy and lightweight installation
  • Low maintenance
  • Wide range of colors and styles
  • Good insulation properties
  • High durability and longevity
  • Resistant to weather, pests, and fire
  • Superior appearance resembling wood
  • Can be painted or pre-finished
  • Excellent insulation properties
  • Not as durable as other materials
  • Prone to fading and damage from weather
  • Less authentic appearance compared to natural materials
  • Limited design flexibility
  • Higher initial cost per square foot
  • Heavier and more challenging to install
  • Requires professional installation
  • Potential for moisture-related issues

An Overview of Vinyl Siding and Hardie Board

Have you ever heard the terms “vinyl siding” or “Hardie board” but weren’t sure what they meant? 

In the world of home remodeling, these two materials are becoming increasingly popular. 

Let’s dive into what vinyl siding and Hardie board are so that you can make an informed decision on which one best fits your needs.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is a synthetic material made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It was invented in the 1950s as a cheaper alternative to wood siding and has since become one of the most popular forms of exterior siding for homes across Canada. 

Vinyl is lightweight and easy to install, making it a great choice for DIYers. It also requires very little maintenance, making it an attractive option for homeowners looking to minimize their upkeep costs.

The main drawback of vinyl siding is that it isn’t as durable as other materials like brick or stone. It can fade over time and be damaged by hail or strong winds. 

Additionally, some people find its appearance too artificial-looking compared to natural materials like wood or stone.

Hardie Board

Hardie board is a brand of fiber cement siding created by James Hardie Industries in Australia in the early 1980s. 

Hardie board is made from a combination of cellulose fibers and cement, unlike vinyl siding, making it incredibly durable and resistant to wear and tear from weathering. It also provides excellent insulation for homes during extreme temperatures, helping homeowners save money on energy costs throughout the year.

While Hardie board has many advantages over traditional vinyl siding, it also comes with a few drawbacks. For starters, it is much heavier than the vinyl, so installation can be more challenging and expensive if professional assistance is required. 

Additionally, due to its cement composition, Hardie board tends to be more expensive than other types of exterior siding available on the market today.

Hardie siding for a white house in the countryside

Vinyl Siding vs. Hardie Board: Which is Best for Your Climate?

Are you considering replacing the siding on your home and deciding between vinyl siding and Hardie board? 

Both are popular options, but there are a few key factors to keep in mind when making your decision. 

One of the most important factors is climate; some materials may not be suitable for certain climates. Let’s take a look at how climate can affect the performance of vinyl siding and Hardie board.

Vinyl Siding in Cold Climates

Vinyl siding is an affordable option that’s easy to install, and it’s generally quite durable. However, in cold climates, it may not be the best choice. That’s because vinyl isn’t as resistant to extreme temperatures or moisture as other materials. 

In fact, if temperatures drop too low—below zero degrees Fahrenheit—vinyl can become brittle and even crack or break off in chunks. It also has a tendency to warp or sag due to ice dams forming on its surface. 

If you live in a cold climate, you may want to consider alternatives such as Hardie board instead of vinyl siding.

Hardie Board in Hot Climates

Hardie board is made from cement fibers that have been bonded together with Portland cement and water-resistant resins. 

This makes it incredibly durable and weather-resistant, making it perfect for hot climates where intense sunlight can cause other materials to fade over time. The material is also fire-resistant, so it won’t catch fire easily like wood or vinyl siding might if exposed to flames from nearby fires or heaters. 

Plus, Hardie board comes pre-painted in an array of colors that won’t fade over time as paint applied directly onto wood or vinyl siding will eventually do. 

And if you ever need to make repairs or replace sections of your Hardie board installation, all you need is a few specialized tools and some extra pieces of Hardie board—no painting necessary!

Hardie board on a second story with railing

Comparing the Costs of Vinyl Siding vs. Hardie Board

When selecting a siding material for your home, cost plays a pivotal role in your decision-making process. This section delves into the cost comparison between vinyl siding and Hardie board, shedding light on the financial considerations associated with each option.

Cost Comparison: Vinyl Siding vs. Hardie Board

Vinyl Siding Hardie Board
Average Cost per Square Foot $2 - $7 $8 - $12
Affordability ✔️
Durability ✖️ ✔️
Longevity ✖️ ✔️
Maintenance ✔️ ✔️
Installation Complexity ✔️ ✔️
Aesthetic Customization ✔️ ✔️

Note: Check with local suppliers for current pricing and availability.

Vinyl Siding Cost

Vinyl siding stands out as an economical choice for homeowners aiming to enhance their property’s exterior.

With a price range of $2 to $7 per square foot, vinyl siding offers affordability compared to pricier alternatives like brick or stone.

Its lightweight composition eliminates the need for additional structural support during installation, contributing to cost savings. The variety of colors available also allows for aesthetic customization without straining your budget.

Hardie Board Cost

On the other hand, Hardie board, crafted from fiber cement, presents a higher upfront cost compared to vinyl siding.

The price hovers around $8 to $12 per square foot. This higher cost is attributed to the durability and enhanced lifespan that Hardie board offers.

Its ability to withstand extreme conditions, resist fire and insects, and require fewer repairs over time can potentially offset the initial investment.

Advantages of Vinyl Siding and Hardie Board

In the realm of home exterior options, both vinyl siding and Hardie board offer unique advantages that cater to different preferences and needs. This section highlights the distinctive benefits of each siding material to help you make an informed choice for your home.

Advantages of Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding holds a prominent place among homeowners seeking a cost-effective and visually appealing exterior solution. Here are its notable advantages:
Vinyl siding color samples

Advantages of Hardie Board

Hardie board, composed of fiber cement, stands as a robust and durable siding option. Its unique advantages include:
james hardie siding on home

Vinyl Siding Vs. Hardie Board FAQs

Hardie Board, also known as fiber cement siding, is primarily composed of a mixture of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers. This combination results in a highly durable and weather-resistant material.

The choice between Hardie Board and vinyl siding depends on your priorities.

Hardie Board offers exceptional durability and weather resistance, making it suitable for challenging climates.

Vinyl siding, on the other hand, is cost-effective and easy to maintain. Deciding which is better depends on your preferences for longevity, aesthetics, and budget.

No, Hardie Board and vinyl siding are distinct materials. Hardie Board is fiber cement siding, while vinyl siding is made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) resin. They differ in terms of composition, appearance, and characteristics.
Yes, typically Hardie Board tends to be more expensive than vinyl siding. The cost difference is attributed to the durability and longevity offered by Hardie Board. While it has a higher initial cost, it often requires fewer repairs over time, potentially balancing out the investment.

The best siding for a house depends on various factors such as your budget, desired aesthetic, local climate, and maintenance preferences.

Hardie Board is excellent for durability and weather resistance, while vinyl siding is known for its affordability and low maintenance. It’s best to consider your priorities and consult with professionals to determine the optimal choice for your specific needs.

Hardie Board can positively impact home value due to its durability, visual appeal, and reputation as a premium siding material.

Potential buyers often recognize its quality and longevity, which can contribute to increased perceived value. However, the impact on home value can vary depending on the overall real estate market, location, and other factors.


There are many things to consider when you’re trying to decide which type of siding is right for your home. 

Weigh the pros and cons of each option and think about what’s important to you in terms of aesthetics, durability, and maintenance. If you need help making a decision or want more information about our vinyl siding and Hardie Board offerings, get in touch with us

We’d be happy to chat with you about your options and help you find the perfect solution for your home.