Primary factors to consider: value, safety concerns, long-term look & performance.
COMBUSTIBILITY– Vinyl not only burns, but releases toxic fumes when it does. While James Hardie fiber cement siding is eligible for insurance discounts, vinyl siding does not.
AESTHETIC VALUE– Vinyl siding is thin gauged (less than .050 of an inch) and, despite exhaustive efforts, does not replicate cedar. Hardie offers the beauty and warmth of cedar and comes in a 5/16” thickness which offers a beautiful shadow line.
COLOR– The color of vinyl siding cannot be changed once installed and colors fade at different rates, especially on different sides of the house. Hardie ColorPlus comes with 15-year finish warranty and will stay consistently beautiful for years.
ENDURANCE– Vinyl is thin and has a tendency to warp and lose its shape. It will also “oil can” if nailed too tight to the wall and therefore must float on the wall surface when installed. Hardie is dimensionally stable and maintains its shape and look and is nailed tight to the wall studs for long-lasting performance.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT– Vinyl is a fossil fuel product which makes it environmentally unfriendly. It also creates environmental issues when disposed. Hardie is environmentally neutral and is considered a sustainable product.
CONSUMER PERCEPTION– Vinyl is typically perceived to be a cheap product whereas Hardie is the choice of those homeowners looking for a quality exterior that will withstand time and weather.