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Short of building a new home from the ground up, nothing changes the look and feel of your home quite like new siding. In Nashville, two of the most popular siding options include cement fiberboard (also known as James Hardie board) and vinyl siding. New siding is a great way to add color and increase the value, energy efficiency, and aesthetics of your home.

What You Need to Know about Vinyl Siding

Although cement fiber board is making quite the push in the Nashville market, vinyl siding remains the most popular option for most homeowners. Vinyl siding is affordable, versatile, and virtually maintenance-free. Homeowners with an advanced degree in “do-it-yourself” can even install vinyl siding without the help of a professional contractor. However, mistakes can be very costly! Improperly installed siding is not only unsightly but can lead to serious leaks and structural damage. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and, when in doubt, consider hiring a professional.

Historically, many homeowners have been turned off by the “fake” plastic look of low-quality or obsolete vinyl siding products. However, recent advancements in vinyl siding technology and production have improved both the material’s aesthetic qualities and energy efficiency. New insulated vinyl siding delivers excellent value by reducing energy consumption and increasing the interior comfort of your home.

And thanks to the addition of insulation to premium vinyl siding, manufacturers are able to produce siding with a larger reveal, to better mimic the look of real wood planks and fiber cement siding. Not only is modern vinyl better looking than it’s ever been, but for older homes with walls that aren’t true as new, vinyl siding can be “floated” to mask wavy or uneven walls. The rigidity of cement board may exacerbate these imperfections.

Because it’s lightweight, vinyl is easier and cheaper to install than other siding options. Once you’ve settled on a color, however, you’re committed!

What You Need to Know about Hardie Board Siding

Hardie Board (also known as cement board or fiber-cement board) or is a great option for the modern homeowner who craves the classic look of wood, masonry, or stucco, but requires a low-maintenance alternative. James Hardie siding is available as lap siding, vertical shingle, or plank siding. It looks as natural on new construction as it does on historic East Nashville Craftsman cottages.

Less expensive than wood, Hardie siding is extremely durable and comes with a 30-year warranty. Although the siding generally needs to be repainted every 5-10 years, many homeowners enjoy the opportunity to change the appearance of their home with a coat or two of paint.

The material really shines in the face of adversity. The experts at HomeAdvisor write, “Whether you’re looking for a siding material that can withstand the next Katrina or one that can fend off the next summer hailstorm without sustaining damage, cement board siding is a proven commodity in the weather department.”

Hardie Board is less environmentally damaging than vinyl, offers excellent protection against fire, and is termite resistant. Unlike vinyl, which expands and contracts according to the weather conditions, Hardie Board is stable throughout the seasons. Heavier than its vinyl counterpart, cement-fiber siding is slight more expensive and is more costly to install.

For consultation and siding quote, contact Stratton Exteriors,