If you want to achieve a natural look for your cabin, wood siding is ideal. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Raw wood materials are expensive. Plus, you have to maintain authentic wooden siding to keep the surface looking fresh. Increased need for pest control and rotting are just a couple of the challenges of using authentic wood siding. Additionally, maintaining wood siding can get expensive.
So, should you give up on your dream of owning a beautiful wood cabin?
No. You still have an option.
Fiber Cement Siding
Created from a mixture of cement, sand, wood pulp, and cellulose strands, fiber cement siding is the answer to your wood siding woes. For the past decade, this material has gained popularity as an alternative to natural wood. Compared to vinyl siding, it is five times thicker and sturdier.
With its consistent texture, fiber cement can realistically reproduce the look of wood minus the inconveniences that come with it. Hence the name, wood-look siding.
However, it does have its fair share of disadvantages. For you to better weigh your options, here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons.
Pros of a Wood-Look Siding
The best thing about fiber cement siding is its ability to be easily modified. Aside from the wide variety of base colors, you can paint it however you like. That’s how you will achieve the wood-like look you’re aiming for. If you want something pleasant to the eyes, go for the same shade as birch wood. For a darker ambiance, go with a mahogany tint. If you want an antique feel, you can use sepia paint. The possibilities are endless.
It Does Not Affect the Environment
Since it is synthetic, you might be expecting fiber cement to have drastic effects on nature. Surprisingly, it is neither harmful nor friendly to the environment but is relatively neutral. The use of this siding does not release poisonous wastes when discarded. Unlike its cousin, PVC siding, which releases toxic fumes when disposed of, fiber cement is an entirely safe option for your cabin and its surroundings.
Cleaning fiber cement is an easy process. You don’t have to comply with those expensive measures that authentic wood requires. All you need is a garden hose and a long-handled soft bristle brush. This type of siding only needs cleaning once or twice every quarter at most. You can rub away tough stains using a soft cloth along with soap and water.
Maximum Durability that can Last a Lifetime
Unless a hurricane or other natural disaster strikes, fiber cement siding can last for decades. Thanks to the industry-grade ingredients engineered into the material, its durability is off the charts. Alternating hot and cold weather will not cause it to crack. You don’t have to worry about mold formation or wood-boring insects. It is proven to survive hailstorms and blizzards.
Cons of a Wood-Look Siding
Materials and Labor are Expensive
Manufacturers of fiber cement siding do not sell their products in individual or small lots. They only offer it in bulk to industry-qualified local retailers or contractors. That means you have to buy it from them and it will cost a lot more. The additional fees charged by the middleman will increase the final price.
In addition to that, you also need to consider the labor costs as the installation is best left to the professionals. But if you want to cut on the costs, you can do it yourself. Just make sure to study the process beforehand because it is rather complicated.
You Need to Repaint It After a While
Unlike vinyl or aluminum siding, fiber cement color fades with time. Although this isn’t entirely a massive disadvantage since a proper paint job can last for more or less ten years. It’s advisable to hire a professional. Doing it yourself can work, but note that there are various factors to consider to do it correctly.
You Can’t Recycle It
Fiber cement siding does not degrade. Unfortunately, there are existing recycling options for disposing of it in an environmentally-friendly manner. The only way to dispose of it is to throw it in the landfill.
As stated earlier, you won’t get your hands on this material without a valid supplier. When considering fiber cement siding, it’s best to check with local suppliers to see what they have in stock or can readily order from manufacturers on your behalf.
In general, fiber cement siding is of better quality than vinyl siding but at a higher price. However, it’s cheaper and more durable than real wood siding. With the suitable materials and sufficient budget, a magnificent wood-look cabin that can withstand weather elements is not a far-off dream.