How much of your fiber cement cost is labor?

How much of your fiber cement cost is labor?

If you're thinking about installing fiber cement siding on your home, you may be wavering between doing the work yourself and having the project done turnkey. In the construction industry, a turnkey job is one in which a contractor supplies all labor and materials to complete the installation--the only time you break a sweat is writing the check when the project is complete.

Your total fiber cement cost: how it breaks down

Many siding contractors give lump sum estimates for prospective projects that have labor, materials, overhead and profit all added together. You can ask for a breakdown, but in most cases they are still going to have their overhead and profit added to the materials, labor or, perhaps, split between both. The one method of getting a pretty good idea of how much you might save by doing the project yourself is figuring up how much siding the job is going to take. Fiber cement siding is measured in units known as squares--each square being the amount of siding it takes to cover 100 square feet of wall area.

If you figure up the exterior wall area of your home that is receiving siding and get a price per square from a distributor, you should have a pretty good idea of how much the actual fiber cement cost might be. Don't forget to subtract out window and door openings, and you should add a waste factor of about 10 percent to the total siding quantity. While very approximate, these might be some general guidelines:

  1. Fiber cement costs average about $130-$160 per square
  2. Installation labor should average about $150-$170 per square
  3. Jobsite conditions can increase the labor costs

When deciding between a contractor or doing the work yourself, take into account how much your time is worth and how long you think it will take for you to complete the project. Then multiply the time you think it's going to take by two for a more accurate time estimate.

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