James Hardie vs. Vinyl Siding: Which Is Right for Your Home?

Deciding which siding material to install on your home can feel overwhelming. But with some basic knowledge about two popular options, the right long-term fit for your property will surface. Will Hardie’s durability and stylish options be the ideal choice for your exterior, or does budget-friendly, low-maintenance vinyl align more consistently with your vision?

Read on and discover the facts about how Hardie siding and trim stacks up against premium vinyl siding

Get the Facts about Long-Lasting Hardie Siding and Premium Vinyl so You Can Choose the Best Fit for Your Needs

Aesthetics

  • Premium vinyl siding – With a wide range of colors and styles to choose from, vinyl offers a broad spectrum of customization options. Choose the color you love because, as the saying goes, “When it’s vinyl, it’s final.” Vinyl doesn’t need to be painted, so make sure you love the color you choose! 
  • Hardie siding and trim products – Hardie siding comes in timeless horizontal lap siding, contemporary vertical siding, or a shake siding that mimics the authentic look of cedar shake. Combine vertical panels with Hardie® Trim and create the trendy board-and-batten look, perfect for your farmhouse design or contemporary homes. Hardie siding is so thick (3/8” thick) it can mimic the look of wood, but it doesn’t require the tedious maintenance wood needs, so homeowners prefer it over wood. 

Maintenance

  • Premium vinyl siding – Dirt and debris cling to vinyl siding pretty readily, so you will need to wash it more frequently than other materials. When vinyl dents or becomes damaged due to harsh storms or high winds, it’s best to replace any broken panels rather than try to repair them. 
  • Hardie siding and trim products – Grab your garden hose and a nylon brush and simply wash your siding down a couple of times a year to keep dirt and debris from building up on it. Re-caulk around windows and doors if caulking starts to deteriorate. And if you installed factory-painted ColorPlus® siding, you won’t have to paint it for 15 years! In contrast, other siding materials—such as wood—may need to be repainted every 6-8 years to keep them sealed against moisture intrusion. 

Long-Term Value

  • Premium vinyl siding – Vinyl siding can be susceptible to storm damage, and may become brittle in freezing temperatures. It tends to discolor over time due to the sun’s UV rays. But it is rot and insect resistant, which contributes to its longevity. Known to last up to 30 years, vinyl siding is a smart investment particularly for rental property owners and first-time home buyers. It may show signs of wear after 10-15 years, but its attractive price point continues to appeal to homeowners. 
  • Hardie siding and trim products – Known to last up to 50 years when it is installed properly by a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor (like us!) and maintained well over its lifespan, Hardie siding is tough to beat when it comes to long-term value. It is mold and pest resistant, fire resistant, and weather resistant, making it a sound long-term investment. 

Makeup 

  • Premium vinyl siding – Made from PVC, a polymer of vinyl chloride, this versatile, rigid synthetic plastic is a common siding solution in the U.S. 
  • Hardie siding and trim products – Made of cement, sand, cellulose fibers, and a proprietary blend, Hardie siding and trim products are the most popular fiber cement manufacturer in America.  

Initial Investment

  • Premium vinyl siding – One of the most attractive benefits to vinyl siding is its affordability. Vinyl makes re-siding more feasible for many, giving them ample opportunity to refresh their home with a much-needed upgrade. 
  • Hardie siding and trim products – Hardie siding is a more significant initial investment than vinyl, but it pays off for years (decades!) to come. Lasting up to 50 years, and with a transferable, non-prorated 30-year warranty, this resilient siding choice is an excellent investment. 
James Hardie siding installed on a home.

Fade Resistance 

  • Premium vinyl siding – Siding is exposed to the elements 24/7 and to harsh UV rays each day, causing vinyl to fade over the years. Sometimes fading can occur at different rates and create color inconsistencies, so choosing a lighter color of vinyl siding is recommended to minimize noticeable color changes. 
  • Hardie siding and trim products – Hardie’s ColorPlus® Technology ensures your siding will look fabulous for 15 years. Its factory finish resists fading, so it will have a uniform appearance over the years (and eventually need repainting). 

Installation Practices

  • Premium vinyl siding – Vinyl siding is lightweight and easy to install, making it a favorite for DIY installations. However, if this siding isn’t installed properly, it can lead to leaks, cracked siding, and buckling, so it’s best to leave its installation to the pros. It doesn’t require caulking or painting once it is fitted to your home, so installation time is pretty quick compared to other siding materials. 
  • Hardie siding and trim products – This well engineered siding is thick, heavy, and requires a team of professionals trained by James Hardie to install it in order for its 30-year transferable warranty to be honored. It may take longer to install than other siding materials, but the installation time is certainly worth it considering it may be the last siding you’ll ever have to buy! 

Get Gorgeous New Siding for Your Home Installed by Our Experienced Team

Siding gives your home its distinct look, and it’s important to choose the best fit for your long-term needs. Now that you know the basics, our experienced team at Bluff City Exteriors is ready to serve you by installing your choice of siding with perfection so you can enjoy its beauty and safeguard your home from the elements. 

At Bluff City Exteriors, we install durable Hardie siding and premium vinyl siding, ensuring your satisfaction every step of the way. Discover how our siding services can unlock the full potential of your exterior with stunning, long-lasting, low-maintenance siding.