Fiber Cement Siding Costs
Fiber cement siding costs should run you somewhere between $5 and $10 per square foot, fully installed. So this would include the cost of the panels, all of the additional materials and the cost of the labor or installation. Fiber cement is typically more expensive than vinyl siding costs, but less expensive than a very heavy and labor intensive material like brick siding.
Fiber Cement Siding Basics
Fiber cement is made in a factory using a combination of sand, cement and cellulose fibers. In the early days, the boards were made with asbestos, which proved to be quite harmful and was therefore replaced with cellulose filaments. During the manufacturing process, the boards are treated with a pressurized steam, which creates a crack resistant and more durable panel. It's probably safe to say that the boards themselves are more durable than vinyl boards, but also more expensive.
Unlike vinyl, fiber cement boards must be primed (which they often are at the factory) and then painted on the job site. This step will certainly add to the project bid price. Some homeowners like the ability to paint the boards for the flexibility it provides them in changing the color of their home every so often. Others find the added expense not worth the flexibility that this feature provides.
Cost Of Fiber Cement Boards
The cost of fiber cement panels will vary by manufacturer, length of board, number of boards and whether the boards were primed and/or painted at the factory. In general, boards will run from $.75 to $2.50 per square foot. Here are some real world examples of fiber cement panel cost per square foot.
Retail Cost: $0.70 per square foot
Nichiha Sierra Premium
Retail Cost: $1.60 per square foot
HardiePlank Select Cedarmill
Retail Cost: $2.00 per square foot
Additional Cost For Materials
Siding projects require a ton of additional materials besides just the fiber cement boards. Just a handful of these items include nails, starter courses, housewrap sheathing, j channels and soffits. These additional materials are difficult to estimate because each project is so varied in its requirements. The average cost of these materials is $1 to $2 per square foot.
Cost Of Installation
The cost of installation will typically range from $2 to $5 per square foot, which is quite a bit more than vinyl or foam backed vinyl siding cost. One of the reasons is the weight of the boards, which are considerably heavier than vinyl or engineered wood boards. This requires more labor, which in turn is more expensive. In addition, fiber cement boards are also more difficult to cut and require a specialized tool for the job.