Vinyl vs. Fiber Cement Siding Materials: A Comparison

Two most popular siding materials for homeowners are fiber cement and vinyl. Choosing the right material for your home requires considering multiple factors. This allows you to make an informed decision that will benefit you the most. 

Thus, Lakefront, a Chicago-based roofing material supply company, will help you decide which of these two siding materials to go for. We’ll make a comparison of fiber cement and vinyl based on different factors that matter. 

Siding Materials Overview: Vinyl And Fiber Cement

Vinyl is primarily made out of PVC which is a stiff plastic material. It is affixed securely in a way that allows it to contract and expand depending on the temperature. According to a report by Research and Markets, vinyl accounts for the largest share in terms of siding materials. It is very popular in the single-family housing market. 

On the other hand, Fiber Cement is composed of Portland cement coupled with wood pulp. It is designed into shingles or long boards and is attached to homes using nails. The previously-stated report by Research and Markets projects an increase in the use of fiber cement due to its durability. Its appearance, which nearly mimics high-quality materials, make it a popular choice among homeowners as well. 

A Comparison Of Fiber Cement And Vinyl Using Various Factors

Below are the different factors you have to take into account when choosing between Fiber Cement and Vinyl siding materials. 

Energy Efficiency of the Two Siding Materials

If you use fiber cement and vinyl without other materials, they are poor insulators. However, both siding materials are great for preventing elements from seeping inside your house.

In terms of energy efficiency, vinyl is better compared to fiber cement. This is due to the fact that vinyl comes with an insulated version which improves its R-value. This helps to keep houses cool during summer. Plus, it’s lightweight making it easy to transport from the manufacturing facility to your home making it an eco-friendly material. 


These exterior cladding materials are more durable compared to wood. Again, in this matter, vinyl sidings take the lead because it doesn’t absorb water like fiber cements do. The latter is very rigid allowing it to easily crack during and after installation. In addition, because fiber cement absorbs water, it can cause the walls underneath to rot. 


With regards to maintenance, vinyl siding beats fiber cement outright. Unless you go for pre-painted fiber cement, you have to caulk and paint it every now and then. Vinyl siding, on the other hand, doesn’t require additional maintenance after installation. In the long-run fiber cement requires you to ensure that joints are caulked properly to avoid encroachment of water. 


When choosing siding materials, you have to take aesthetics into consideration. Fiber cement boards come in long planks, squares, and even half-round shapes. These are usually stained or painted where you can stain it any color you wish. Pre-painted fiber cement boards are also available removing the tedious process of having to paint them. 

Vinyl siding materials have a variety of aesthetically-pleasing options. These range from pulling off an antique look to showcasing a modern-designed home. It is available in shingles, planks, clapboard, Dutch lap, and board and batten, among others.


Over its lifetime, vinyl costs less compared to fiber cement siding material. The same goes for maintenance costs. In addition, insulated vinyl sidings tend to recoup more when selling your house after years of use. 

To Top It All Off

In terms of siding materials, it is clear that vinyl sidings are better compared to fiber cement. This conclusion takes into account energy efficiency, durability, maintenance, aesthetic options, and cost. As you consider all these important elements, you will probably choose vinyl sidings for your home. 

Remember that siding materials shelter you against harmful elements. Thus, you must select the right options not only for your home but for your loved ones as well.  

Lakefront Roofing & Siding Supply

We are a roofing and siding company in Chicago, IL, offering top-quality siding materials in Chicago. Lakefront Supply also handle both commercial and residential jobs. Please see below for some of the major siding products we have in-stock.

  • James Hardie

    • 7 ¼ Cedarmill and 4×10 panels
    • Hardie Trim
    • Hardie Siding Trim Coil (all colors) and Hardie Siding Trim Caulk (all colors)
    • Hardie Cutting Tools
    • Fiber Cement Coil Nails
    • Hardie Screws (up to 3 ½”)
    • Every Fastener for Every Situation
  • Hand Brakes – TAPCO “PRO 19”, “PRO 14”, and the “WINDY”

  • Miratek Trim

  • Tamlyn Extruded Aluminum Trim
  • ET&F Fastening System

    • Panel fastening system (designed for nailing Hardie panels into steel up to 14 GA thickness)
    • Model 510 Gun
    • AGS – 100 Pins In Stock 1 ½”, 2”, 2 ½”
  • Diablo Cutting Blades (full line of blades and saw blades)

  • Polar Fanfold in stock ¼”, ⅜”, ½”

  • Benjamin Obdyke Slicker/Hydrogap/Flat Wrap/UV ( All in Stock)

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    Lakefront Roofing and Siding Supply
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    (773) 509-0400
    2950 N. Western Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60618

    Monday, 6:30AM–4PM
    Tuesday, 6:30AM–4PM
    Wednesday, 6:30AM–4PM
    Thursday, 6:30AM–4PM
    Friday, 6:30AM–4PM
    Saturday, 6:30AM–12PM
    Sunday, Closed