Two of the best known fiber cement brands are Hardie board siding and Certainteed®. Each company has been around a long time, and each has its fans. I’ve used both in my 20+ years of home remodeling, and here I’ll compare both brands so that you can better evaluate your house siding options.
Hardie Board Siding Doesn’t Shrink
Hardiplank® contains no fly ash, which sets it apart. Fly ash is a byproduct from burning coal, and for some reason most fiber cement manufacturers use it in their formula. This is why I’ve consistently seen brands other than Hardie shrink up to a quarter of an inch after installation, usually between 1-6 months later. However, in all my years I’ve never seen Hardie siding shrink. This is one of the biggest reasons why I chose it for my own home.
Hardie Has a Better Reputation in Fiber Cement
Hardie plank has become synonymous with fiber cement siding ever since they invented the technology in the 1980’s. Ever since then, they’ve invested massive amounts of money into R&D every year in order to keep their formula the best in the market. The company also only does fiber cement siding. Hardie board siding doesn’t come in any other form of house siding. Their customer service is also excellent as they are known for following through on their warranties.
Certainteed has had a harder time staying the good graces of consumers as far as fiber cement siding is concerned. The company was sued in 2013 for claims that its fiber cement products were defective and failed to perform as promised. They settled for $103.9 million. Since then, they’ve supposedly made a number of improvements to their formula, though apparently they’re still using fly ash.
Hardie Warranty vs Certainteed
Hardie offers a 30 year limited warranty on its products. It’s a great deal if you use a certified installer like Custom Home Exteriors. This will ensure that you follow the requirements of the warranty.
Certainteed offers a 50 year limited warranty on its vinyl siding that’s prorated. This means its coverage drops by 10% after 5 years and then by 10% every 2 years until year 14. After that, its total coverage is 10%. On its fiber cement products, the story is more vague. As I write this, Certainteed has almost no information on their website about their fiber cement siding warranties.
Whichever siding you choose, remember that the warranties on each require exact adherence to the manufacturer’s guidelines, as well as a certified installer. CHE will go so far as to give you a book at the end of your installation detailing every warranty you’re entitled to from your home exterior remodel and how to comply in order to keep them.
The Cost of Installing Hardie vs Certainteed
Because of the assured quality of Hardie board siding, it costs more on average to get it on your home. The average Hardie plank installation costs $10 per square foot, which is on the higher end. In contrast, Certainteed fiber cement usually costs between $5 to $10 per square foot to install.
Certainteed Makes Vinyl Siding
As I previously mentioned, Hardie board siding is fiber cement only. However, Certainteed makes a number of vinyl products, and in my experience they are great. The company claims it makes the best vinyl siding in the industry, and it’s not a baseless boast. They offer the largest color palette in the industry and a wide variety of styles, textures, and widths. In my opinion, they all look fantastic.
I personally feel that Hardie siding is a safer bet than Certainteed when it comes to fiber cement. However, I firmly believe in Certainteed’s vinyl siding products. If you want more information, call my team for a consultation. We’ll help you figure out which house siding is right for you.