Pros and Cons of Cement Board Siding

cement board siding overview

Cement board siding offers exceptional durability against harsh weather and requires low maintenance. It provides a variety of design options to achieve desired aesthetics. However, installation can be labor-intensive with specialized tools needed, and mistakes can impact longevity. The heavy material requires careful handling and installation steps like cutting, fastening, sealing, and painting. While it comes with a higher upfront cost, the long-term benefits, including minimal maintenance and durability, can outweigh the initial expenses. Consider the pros and cons of cement board siding to make an informed decision for your property.


  • Exceptional durability against harsh weather conditions and rot, with minimal maintenance needs.
  • Offers a wide range of design options for various aesthetic styles.
  • Labor-intensive installation process with specialized tools required.
  • Higher upfront cost, but long-term benefits justify the initial expense.
  • Mistakes during installation can impact effectiveness and longevity.


Cement board siding is renowned for its exceptional durability, making it a popular choice among homeowners seeking long-lasting exterior cladding options. This type of siding is composed of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers, creating a robust material that can withstand harsh weather conditions, including high winds, heavy rain, and extreme temperatures. Due to its durability, cement board siding is highly resistant to rotting, warping, and insect damage, providing homeowners with a low-maintenance and long-term solution for their homes.

One of the key factors contributing to cement board siding's durability is its resistance to moisture. Unlike traditional wood siding, cement board does not absorb water, preventing issues such as mold growth and decay. Additionally, cement board siding is fire-resistant, offering an extra layer of protection for homes in areas prone to wildfires.

Low Maintenance

When considering cement board siding, the low maintenance aspect is a significant advantage.

Cement board is durable and requires minimal upkeep, saving homeowners time and money in the long run.

Its resistance to elements like moisture, pests, and UV rays guarantees that it maintains its appearance without constant maintenance.

Durability of Cement Board

With its exceptional durability, cement board siding requires minimal maintenance to keep it looking pristine over time. Cement board is engineered to withstand the elements and resist damage from moisture, rot, pests, and fire. This durability guarantees that the siding maintains its structural integrity and aesthetic appeal for many years, reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacements.

Unlike other siding materials that may warp, crack, or fade over time, cement board is known for its long-lasting performance. It does not expand or contract with fluctuations in temperature, helping to prevent cracks and gaps that can lead to water infiltration and deterioration.

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Additionally, cement board is resistant to mold and mildew growth, contributing to a healthier indoor environment and prolonging the lifespan of the siding.

Resistance to Elements

The exceptional resistance of cement board siding to various elements results in low maintenance requirements, making it a practical choice for homeowners seeking long-lasting durability. Cement board siding is highly resistant to elements such as moisture, mold, rot, and pests, which are common culprits for causing damage to traditional wood siding. This resistance to elements means that homeowners can enjoy a siding material that requires minimal upkeep over time.

In regions with harsh weather conditions, such as extreme heat, cold, wind, or rain, cement board siding stands strong, maintaining its integrity and appearance. Unlike other siding materials that may warp, crack, or fade over time when exposed to the elements, cement board siding remains stable and durable, providing long-term protection for the home.

Additionally, the low maintenance requirements of cement board siding translate to cost savings for homeowners. With minimal need for repairs or replacements due to elemental damage, homeowners can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their siding will maintain its quality and aesthetics for years to come.

Design Options

Various design options are available for cement board siding, allowing homeowners to achieve a wide range of aesthetic styles for their homes. When considering cement board siding for your house, you can choose from the following design options:

  • Texture: Cement boards are available in smooth, wood-grain, or stucco textures, offering versatility in creating different looks for your home.
  • Color: A wide array of colors is available for cement board siding, enabling homeowners to match their preferred color scheme or achieve a specific aesthetic.
  • Profiles: Different profiles such as lap siding, vertical panels, shingle panels, and architectural panels provide various design possibilities to suit different architectural styles.
  • Trim Options: Complementing trim pieces are available to add dimension and visual interest to the siding, enhancing the overall look of the home.

These design options allow homeowners to customize the appearance of their homes while benefiting from the durability and low maintenance of cement board siding.

Weather Resistance

Boasting exceptional durability, cement board siding demonstrates remarkable resistance to harsh weather conditions, making it a reliable choice for protecting homes against the elements.

Cement board siding is specifically engineered to withstand various weather challenges such as heavy rain, snow, high winds, and extreme temperatures. Unlike wood siding that may warp, rot, or become damaged over time due to weather exposure, cement board siding remains stable and intact, providing long-lasting protection for homes.

One of the key factors contributing to cement board siding's weather resistance is its non-porous nature. This characteristic prevents water absorption, which can lead to mold, mildew, and deterioration of the siding material.

Additionally, cement board siding is resistant to fire, making it a suitable choice for areas prone to wildfires or those seeking added fire protection for their homes.

Installation Challenges

Installing cement board siding can be a labor-intensive process, requiring careful attention to detail. Specialized tools are necessary for cutting and securing the heavy material.

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Due to its weight and specific installation requirements, there is a potential for mistakes that could impact the overall effectiveness and longevity of the siding.

Labor-Intensive Process

With its intricate installation requirements, cement board siding poses significant labor challenges for contractors. The labor-intensive process involved in installing cement board siding can lead to increased time and costs for construction projects.

Here are some key labor challenges that contractors may face when working with cement board siding:

  • Heavy Material: Cement board siding is heavier than other siding materials, requiring more effort to handle and install.
  • Special Cutting: Cutting cement board requires specialized tools and techniques to guarantee precise fitting, adding to the labor intensity of the process.
  • Multiple Steps: The installation process of cement board siding involves several steps such as cutting, fastening, sealing, and painting, increasing the labor hours required.
  • Team Coordination: Proper coordination among team members is essential when installing cement board siding to ensure efficiency and accuracy, adding another layer of complexity to the labor-intensive process.

Specialized Tools Required

The installation of cement board siding presents challenges due to the necessity of utilizing specialized tools. Unlike other types of siding materials, such as vinyl or wood, cement board siding requires specific tools to guarantee proper installation and a professional finish.

Some of the specialized tools needed for installing cement board siding include a circular saw equipped with a diamond-tipped blade for cutting the dense material, a carbide-tipped scoring knife for making precise cuts, and a pneumatic nail gun designed to penetrate the tough surface of the cement boards.

Additionally, installing cement board siding may also require tools such as a jigsaw for cutting curves or intricate shapes, a carbide-tipped hole saw for creating openings for fixtures, and a straight edge for making accurate measurements and cuts. These specialized tools not only make the installation process more efficient but also help prevent common mistakes that can occur when using improper equipment.

Having access to the right tools is essential for ensuring a successful cement board siding installation.

Potential for Mistakes

Mistakes during the installation of cement board siding can arise from the complexity of working with this specialized material and the precise tools required for a successful application. The potential for errors can lead to costly rework and impact the overall aesthetic and durability of the siding.

Some common challenges and mistakes include:

  • Incorrect Cutting: Improper measurements or using the wrong tools for cutting can result in ill-fitting pieces that compromise the integrity of the siding.
  • Improper Fastening: Using the incorrect fasteners or failing to follow the manufacturer's guidelines for spacing and placement can lead to loose or unevenly installed siding panels.
  • Moisture Management: Inadequate sealing around joints, corners, and penetrations can allow moisture infiltration, leading to mold, rot, and structural damage over time.
  • Inadequate Support: Failing to provide sufficient backing support or not installing the siding on a flat surface can cause warping, buckling, or sagging of the boards.

Cost Considerations

Consideration of the cost of cement board siding is essential for budget-conscious homeowners looking to invest in a durable and long-lasting exterior cladding option. While cement board siding tends to have a higher upfront cost compared to other siding materials such as vinyl or wood, its longevity and minimal maintenance requirements can result in cost savings in the long run.

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The average cost of cement board siding typically ranges from $6 to $13 per square foot, including installation. Additional factors that can affect the overall cost include the size and layout of the property, the complexity of the installation process, and any additional features such as trim or accents.

Moreover, homeowners should also consider the potential savings on maintenance and repairs over time with cement board siding. Unlike wood siding that may require frequent repainting or repairs due to rotting or insect damage, cement board siding is resistant to rot, fire, pests, and harsh weather conditions, reducing the need for costly maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cement Board Siding Environmentally Friendly?

Cement board siding is considered environmentally friendly due to its durability and low maintenance requirements, which reduce the need for frequent replacements. Additionally, it is fire-resistant and can be recycled, making it a sustainable choice.

Can Cement Board Siding Be Painted or Stained?

Yes, cement board siding can be painted or stained. This allows homeowners to customize the appearance of their exterior while still benefiting from the durability and low maintenance of cement board siding.

How Does Cement Board Siding Perform in Humid Climates?

Cement board siding performs well in humid climates due to its resistance to moisture and mold. Its durability and low maintenance make it a suitable option for regions with high humidity levels, providing long-lasting protection for homes.

Does Cement Board Siding Attract Pests Like Termites?

Cement board siding is not attractive to pests like termites due to its composition. The lack of organic material in cement board makes it resistant to insect infestations, providing homeowners with peace of mind against potential pest damage.

Can Cement Board Siding Be Easily Repaired if Damaged?

Cement board siding can be easily repaired if damaged by replacing individual boards or sections. This allows for targeted repairs without needing to replace the entire siding, providing a cost-effective solution for homeowners.


To sum up, cement board siding offers durability, low maintenance, design options, and weather resistance.

However, installation challenges and cost considerations should be taken into account when choosing this type of siding for a property.

Overall, weighing the pros and cons of cement board siding is essential in determining if it is the right choice for a construction project.