Siding Comparison

When it comes to choosing the right replacement siding for your home, there is much more to consider than simply how it looks. Siding is your home’s protection against wind, rain and other harsh elements.

Depending on the location of your home, your siding could bring you years of joy or years of headaches. If your home is in a windy location, such as atop a hill not sheltered by trees or other structures, a more substantial siding such a fiber cement siding might be the best choice for you. If your home is in a shaded, more damp area, you should consider a maintenance-free siding that can easily be power-washed.

Below is a simple siding comparison citing some of the features of vinyl siding, insulated siding, fiber cement siding and cedar siding to help you make the right replacement siding choice for your home.


Vinyl Siding Questions

  • What is vinyl siding?

    Vinyl siding was introduced in the 1950’s as an alternative to aluminum siding. It is the most frequently used siding option in the United States today. Vinyl siding consists of two layers, the top layer or capstock and a second layer known as the substrate. These layers primarily consist of polyvinyl chloride and resin. The top layer uses a titanium dioxide for both coloration and protection against UV light damage. The second layer contains limestone to facilitate the manufacturing process and decrease costs. Vinyl siding available in a variety of colors and can mimic architectural details that were once made of other siding materials.

  • Does vinyl siding require any maintenance?

    Vinyl siding requires little if any maintenance, never needs to be painted, and if damaged can be easily replaced. To maintain a fresh appearance vinyl siding should be washed at least once a year.

  • Is vinyl siding durable/weather resistant?

    Vinyl siding is manufactured to last a very long time. Warranties for vinyl siding can range from 20-40 years depending on the thickness with many manufacturers now offering lifetime warranties that can be transferred to the next owner. Vinyl siding is resistant to heat, cold, and moisture and is certified to withstand winds up to 110 miles per hour.

  • How much does vinyl siding cost?

    Vinyl siding is the most affordable siding option on the market. The value added advantages of vinyl include its low total installed cost – lower than all other materials because vinyl siding goes up faster and doesn’t need painting. Also, on average, homeowners who remodel with vinyl will recoup nearly 80% on the cost of the installation thus increasing the value of the home.


Fiber Cement Siding Questions

  • What is fiber cement siding and how is it made?

    Fiber cement siding is made from cement, wood fiber (cellulose), sand and other components. Fiber cement siding can be manufactured to have the realistic appearance of wood, stucco or masonry. In appearance, fiber cement siding most often consists of overlapping horizontal boards imitating wooden siding, clapboard and shingles.

  • How long does fiber cement siding last?

    Fiber cement siding is said to be more durable than wood, but does require some maintenance. It is termite resistant, water resistant, non-combustible and can be warranted for as long as 50 years. Some fiber cement siding may be required to be painted every 4-5 years depending on the top coat applied.

  • Is fiber cement siding environmentally friendly?

    Fiber cement is known as a sustainable or green alternative to traditional vinyl or aluminum siding. With its overall durability and low maintenance requirements fiber cement siding offers little if any waste. Also some manufacturers are now using fiber cement siding made from recycled materials. Is fiber cement siding appropriate for all climates? Manufacturers emphasize that fiber cement is appropriate for all climates. Fiber cement siding is water and rot resistant making it ideal for hot and humid climates. It also has excellent weathering characteristics, strength and impact resistance making it a great choice for more harsh climates.

  • Why would I want fiber cement siding on my home?
    • Fiber cement siding looks terrific. It looks just like wood down to the grain.
    • It comes in a wide variety of colors, textures and patterns.
    • Since fiber cement siding is installed with insulation right over your existing exterior, it adds insulating properties and can significantly lower your utility costs. With our system, you’ll significantly increase both sound and thermal insulation properties and save money on heating and cooling costs.
    • It will never buckle, crack and warp the way normal siding does.
  • Why should I have fiber cement siding instead of normal siding?
    • So each piece is a perfect fit
    • Creates a more weather-proofed house
    • Much more attractive than other siding materials
    • Won’t blow off like other siding
    • Won’t buckle like other siding
  • Is it more expensive to install fiber cement siding than it is to paint?

    Initially, yes. But you only have to install it once. You repaint every few years. Your fiber cement siding will more than pay for itself over time in the money you’ll save on repainting and on utility bills, and if you sell your home, fiber cement siding can increase the selling price.

  • How long will fiber cement siding last?

    For as long as your home is standing. In fact, our manufacturer warranties it for a lifetime. The warranty is even transferable when you sell your home. We also guarantee the insulation.

  • What accessories are available?

    Accessories include trim, such as corner posts and fascia; soffit, the panels that go under you eaves; gable vents and fixture mounts; J-channel, which is installed around the windows. All accessories are available in colors to match your fiber cement siding, Or choose accessories in complementary colors to give your home a more distinctive look. Accessories are carefully crafted to make the installation on your home look professional, while offering you the low maintenance cost of fiber cement.

  • Will fiber cement siding look as good years from now as it does now?

    Fiber cement siding is designed to give your home a beautiful look that endures. Durable construction means that our fiber cement siding will stand up to the elements, no matter what type of climate. Over the years, you won’t have to worry about additional upkeep costs because fiber cement siding won’t rot, peel, warp or harbor insects like wood.

  • Is fiber cement siding a good investment?

    When compared to wood, brick or stucco, fiber cement siding is an economical alternative that’s growing in popularity around the country for home of all sizes and styles. Since it requires little maintenance to keep its good looks, fiber cement siding can also increase your homes real-estate value. Should you decide to sell you home after you have purchased new fiber cement siding, you can expect to recoup about 73 percent of the total job cost.

  • What surfaces can you side over?

    We can typically side over existing wood and tile surfaces. If the home has existing vinyl or metal siding (either steel or aluminum), we will remove that material before residing the house with new fiber cement siding. If your home has Box siding (siding in 12 foot sections), we can remove it and replace it with fiber cement siding.

  • How long does it take to install fiber cement siding?

    This question has many variables that affect the answer. How flat the ground is, as well as the amount of surrounding landscape greatly affect prep time. The number of stories of the house, as well if the existing siding must be removed also dictates the time on the job. One of the most significant factors is how “cut up” a job is. “Cut up” refers to how many corners, windows, gables, offset areas, and tie-ins must be negotiated. And we can never forget Mother Nature. Rain and especially windy days can stop production.

  • Are there different grades of siding?

    Yes. The most common difference in grades is based on thickness of the panel itself. The thicker the panel, the more premium it is often considered. More fiber cement siding generally (not always) equates to a stiffer panel that will hang straighter, and be more impact resistant. Panel design is a crucial factor as well as thickness. There are other differences in siding as well, such as color selection and availability, styles and profiles, and warranties.

  • What home exteriors projects should be done first?

    We suggest working from the top down. As well, we prefer to work so that when one project is finished, it allows the next project in line to go smoother. The roof is always recommended to be done first, not only because it is at the top, but it also tends to be the messiest. Windows and doors should follow. After this, we can do the fiber cement siding, soffit and fascia. Finally we can finish up with the gutters.


Insulated Siding Questions

  • What is insulated siding?

    Insulated siding is essentially vinyl siding with rigid foam insulation that is laminated or permanently attached to the panel. Insulated siding is installed on the exterior of a structure and helps reduce energy loss through framing or other building materials.

  • Does insulated siding make a home more energy efficient/green?

    Described by developers as “green building”, insulated siding may be used to make homes more environmentally friendly. By reducing energy consumption, insulated siding can reduce air pollution. According to manufacturers, insulated siding is manufactured to last more than 50 years potentially reducing landfill contributions. Some products also include an organic, non-toxic termite and insect repellent. In addition to reducing energy consumption insulated siding is breathable, allowing water vapor to escape, which can provide protection against mold, rot and mildew and help maintain healthy indoor air quality.

  • What does it cost to install insulated siding?

    Not all insulated vinyl siding is created equal. The higher the insulated vinyl siding grade, the more colors, styles and options are available. However, the key driver in determining the price of the siding is still the size of the home. On average, insulated vinyl siding will cost 20-30% more per square foot than traditional vinyl siding.

  • Is insulated siding more durable than traditional vinyl siding?

    Insulated vinyl siding is manufactured to withstand harsh weather conditions and will not buckle under impact of any sort very easily. The rigid foam laminated on the back of the panels allow insulated siding to be set symmetrically which helps the panels not cave in at the joints. Much the same as traditional vinyl siding, insulated siding requires little if any maintenance and never needs painting.


We are the “TOP DOG”
Top Dog Siding is a home remodeling company specializing in siding, roofing, window and door installation. Owned and operated since 1995 by Michael Hinton, we proudly serve the Raleigh/Smithfield and surrounding areas such as Middlesex, Princeton, Clayton and Zebulon. Whether you are looking to beautify your home, increase your home’s resale value, save money and energy or reduce bills, Top Dog Siding continues to bring you the best offers, the best products and the best customer service year after year.