Primed or prefinished fiber cement: cost considerations

Primed or prefinished fiber cement: cost considerations

One of the advantages of choosing fiber cement for your home is that the product features some of the best qualities of both wood and vinyl siding. Fiber cement can provide years of low maintenance protection like vinyl, but also offers the opportunity to create your own unique exterior color scheme just as most wood sidings. The siding is available from many manufacturers either primed and ready for paint or prefinished in a color that should last many years. How does each choice affect your total fiber cement cost?

What's your total fiber cement cost?

The total cost of installing fiber cement normally consists of two or three elements: purchasing the materials, installation labor, and--if the siding needs to be painted--the costs associated with painting. Installation labor is usually the same regardless of whether the material is primed or prefinished. Material costs and the price of labor for painting the exterior of your home make up the difference. The two examples that follow are based on approximate prices for 100 square feet--what is commonly called a siding square--of James Hardie Hardiplank fiber cement siding:

  • Primed 6 1/4"-by-12' smooth: $114 for the siding and $75 for two coats of exterior latex paint for a total of $189 per square without installation costs
  • ColorPlus 6 1/4"-by-12' smooth: $163 for the siding--no painting required for at least 15 years based on James Hardie's limited warranty on their ColorPlus technology

So which is the best fiber cement siding option for your home? Well, unless you want more choices than the 20 or so colors offered by James Hardie and other manufacturers, prefinished might be the best option when you consider the total cost.


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