2020 Fiber Cement Siding Cost and Pros and Cons

Fiber Cement as a siding option continues to be quite a popular choice. A review of U.S. Census data for new single-family houses sold in America shows Fiber Cement garners nearly a quarter of all siding materials.

Brick, Wood and Vinyl are on a downward trend while Fiber Cement continues to gain in popularity. Stucco is, perhaps surprisingly, the #1 siding option in America where its popularity in the Western portion of the U.S. is enormous, but so is Fiber Cement in that region. The two materials combined account for a whooping 92% of the overall market out west.

Fiber Cement is commonly referred to as James Hardie, which is the company that originally created this plank board. It’s also called Cement Board, as the materials are made of cement, wood pulp, clay and sand. Fiber Cement is relatively heavy, quite sturdy and will easily last 50 years or longer, while its surface usually needs repainting every 20 to 40 years.

Pricing Information – Part 1

Due to its weight, Fiber Cement routinely requires two workers to install each piece. For this reason, along with the idea that waste adds great expense to the project, the material is not well suited for DIY installation.

There are essentially four styles of Fiber Cement: lap siding is the most common, shake and shingle, vertical panels, and artisan lap, which equals architectural grade of lap siding.

Fiber Cement lap siding costs $9.50 to $15.50 per sq. ft. installed. Other styles usually exceed $12.50 per sq. ft. installed. When going with the lap siding style, the overall project cost for installing cement board on a typical two bedroom American home will between $19,000 to $31,000, depending on project specifics and your home’s location.

As there are numerous factors that can impact the total cost, we will help explain those below, but first let’s break down the costs based on the following example. Note: this is a ballpark estimate example based on the national average cost of materials and job tasks.

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Cedar Shingles & Shakes Roofing Costs, Plus Pros & Cons

Between $10,500 and $12,500 is the low end price range for a small, 16 squares cedar shingles or shakes roof, fully installed. Which of course depends on a number of factors, so let’s get right into that.

via Inspirational Village

By the square, which equals 100 sq. ft., the price for wood shingles installed is between $700 to $1,000 or $7.00 to $10.00 per sq. ft. This includes materials and permits, professional installation, and warranty, but doesn’t include the cost of removing and disposing of the old roof, which would be between $1.00 and $2.00 extra per square foot, depending on the number of existing layers of shingles and ease (or difficulty) of removal and disposal.

If going with cedar shakes instead, the price increases up to $800 to $1,250 per square or $8.00 to $12.50 per sq. ft. installed.

If going with bargain priced materials, the costs can come significantly down, but the value or how long it lasts will also go down.

Home Depot sells bundles at about $50, where 4 bundles are enough to cover a square, thus $200. — This doesn’t take into account the other materials that go into a roofing job, such as fasteners, underlayment, flashing, tools and and supplies, etc., but it does let you know that if you go the DIY route (not something we would recommend), your total upfront cost could be reduced significantly.

What A Cedar Shake and Shingle Roofing Entails

First, let’s differentiate between the two similar products. Shake means split with an axe, shingle means cut with a saw. It’s that simple.

Obviously shake came first, historically. Both are used today, while shake is generally considered the premium product between the two.

Cedar shakes tend to be thicker (up to 3/4th on an inch in thickness) than wood shingles (up to 1/2 inch thick), and hence also more expensive. With the advent of shingle mills in the early 19th century, came the ability to mass produce the wood material, along with possibility to access it in several locations.

Besides thickness, there is also variation in shape, width, texture and eventually treatment and color. Royalty and Perfection. These terms refer to length, with Perfection referencing an 18 inch wide shingle and Royalty attributed to 24 inch wide shingles. Shape tends to be rectangular, especially as it relates to material for roofing.

As cedar shakes are also used for siding, the shape may vary, with how the butt-end (lower side of the shake) appears, as in whether it is rounded, straight, or even a bit wavy.

Did you know? Wood shake material of higher quality is often used for roofing, whereas cedar siding projects tend to use lower quality shakes.

Being that these wood shakes are on the upper portion of the house, the need or even purpose for anything uniquely shaped is not necessary.

Wood shake is the material that is routinely synonymous with cedar, but that’s not the only grain of wood used in shakes. There’s white and red cedar, along with California redwood, which are the primary wood choices in North America. Outside the US, pine may be the primary choice for shakes.

Color options are essentially without limit as any paint or stain can be applied, but typically a clear stain is used due to the natural beauty associated with the material. What is more common is how the wood is treated.

Chemically treated wood will last longer than if it is not treated. Often it is laced with fire retardants to overcome an inherent, albeit, natural design flaw. Or treated to prevent algae and insect infestation. Such treatments can have the material last a good 30 years, or longer.

Value and Cost Further Explored

The rustic charm of wood shake is arguably its most alluring value. While there are metallic, and stone tile products that can come close in matching it’s appearance, none really compare to the authentic beauty of natural wood.

Added thickness in the material means better insulation of the home’s uppermost layer. But the real value is in how it holds up to wind. Asphalt shingles top out at 130 mph for wind uplift resistance, whereas cedar shakes can withstand speeds up to 245 mph. It is also impact resistant, or more so than most other materials with exception of stone.

While the product isn’t requiring special tools or skills to install, it can be quite labor intensive due to the multi-layering, general thickness and moderate heaviness of the material. For a 1,600 sq. ft. roof (which is equal to a small home), the total installation cost averages between 10,500 and $12,500 on the low end of the pricing spectrum.

If using premium materials, or a licensed and insured contractor, or having a complex roof with multiple slope angles, then the price goes up. Unless the home is unusually large, you can expect to not exceed $20,000 for a cedar shake roof, but a fair average is $10,500 to $14,500.

via ASCH Roofing

A roof in general will see a recouped value of 70%, although that is based on the most popular sloped roofing product, asphalt shingle. It goes up from there, and given that cedar shake has allure and better than average durability, it is likely closer to 75% or even 80% ROI.

This assumes the shakes or shingles are in good condition, and that they are well maintained. Which brings us to a significant drawback.

If not paying for premium, read as properly treated material, then the product will probably last 20 years, or less, if you are located in the area with heavy precipitation or much moisture, such Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. If properly cared for, and inspected annually, a cedar shake roof could last as long as 30 or even 40 years.

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Deck Cost, Plus Pros and Cons of Building a New Deck in 2020

An exterior deck is an addition to your home. Most room additions are considered “building up” while a deck is “building out.” Even with fine quality materials, decks are generally less than half the cost of an interior addition.

A deck often serves the purpose of providing an area to relax, cook, dine, and entertain guests. A deck is similar to a patio in several ways, but the main distinction is that a deck is usually elevated, and made of wood or composite materials, while patios are at a ground level and are often made of stone or cement.

via CederbergKitchens.com

Decks can be attached to your home or detached. Either way, a building permit is generally required for this type of upgrade, which means a site plan would benefit the project and/or be required as part of the permitting process.

Planning for a new deck construction helps ascertain costs, materials and layout that you’ll go with. Let’s overview the costs, the price breakdown and advantages along with disadvantages of an exterior deck.

Cost

Building a deck is labor intensive and takes experienced contractors between one and three weeks to complete the job. While a handy person might be tempted to go the DIY route, it is not recommended. Decks must be ultra sturdy. All floor boards benefit from being exactly even. Modern decks make room for electricity and plumbing that are well-hidden.

Pricing is done on a square footage basis. And the price range can be wide, between $4.50 and $25 per sq. ft. for materials alone. A professional crew will usually charge $5.50 to $15+ per sq. ft. for all the warrantied labor involved.

While a professionally installed deck can cost as little as $10.00 per sq. ft. for materials and labor, the real world average cost is actually closer to $25.00 to $35 per sq. ft., depending on the project scope, choice of materials, contractor doing the work, and local real estate values. If you are looking to save on costs, then the best advice is to lower the overall size of your deck.

On average, homeowners tend to spend between $8,000 and $12,000 for a new deck installation. But what is it that makes for an average deck? Deck sizes vary and depend significantly on elements unique to the property. Generally though, homeowners want one of three type of decks:

  • small decks – under 200 sq. ft. – for relaxation mainly
  • medium size decks – 200 to 500 sq. ft. – for dining, relaxing and entertaining a small group of friends
  • large decks – more than 500 sq. ft. – may be multi-level – for cooking, dining, relaxing and entertaining larger group of friends

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