Primary factors to consider: maintenance costs, safety concerns, critters.
COMBUSTIBILITY– There’s no denying wood burns. There’s also no doubt that cement doesn’t burn. So for good reason, James Hardie fiber cement siding is eligible for insurance discounts and cedar isn’t.
AESTHETIC VALUE– Nothing looks like natural cedar than cedar. This advantage disappears after a year or two of being exposed to weather, woodpeckers, insects, and a natural tendency to dry out. Being incredibly durable, James Hardie siding continues to look great year after year.
PESTS– You never see termites, carpenter ants, and woodpeckers eating or pecking away at a cement sidewalk. If you talk to owners of cedar-sided homes they can tell where to find them. Hardie siding not only is impervious to wood eating insects, but isn’t affected by Chicagoland’s pesky woodpeckers.
ENDURANCE– Hardie is dimensionally stable and is able to hold up over time whereas cedar has a natural tendency to cut, warp, split, expand, contract, and have knot holes pop out. Also, due to its dimensional stability, the finish on Hardie comes with a labor and material warranty.
UNIFORMITY- Dwindling availability of quality old-growth forest supply can result in inconsistent surfaces, cracks, knots, and other imperfections. James Hardie fiber cement comes in consistent thickness boards with factory edges that won’t swell.
CONSUMER PERCEPTION– Both products are considered high-end with two significant differences. Cedar is considering high maintenance where Hardie is not. Secondly, James Hardie siding is listed as the number one Return on Investment by Remodelers’ Magazine four years in a row!