When property owners decide to invest in a home improvement, they want to make certain the return of investment is worthwhile. New siding consistently ranks among the top renovations that deliver great bang for your buck. But does that necessarily mean that a high-quality product such as James Hardie Siding will increase home value? And, if so, what distinguishes this type from others on the market today. It’s essential for Chicagoland residents to be able to make informed decisions about home improvement investments. By answering the following question, you may discover that James Hardie Siding ranks among the best products to beautify and increase home value.
This building material is a fiber cement siding invented by James Hardie Building Products more than 30 years ago. Homeowners who install this industry-leading brand are tapping into a product with decades of cutting-edge innovation behind it.
Fiber cement siding is comprised of wood pulp, fly ash (or silica sand), water, and Portland cement. The Portland cement typically includes clay, limestone, and iron, which bind all of the elements together into a highly durable siding material. The material can be purchased in a wide variety of colors and finishes that mirror natural wood and others. Many homeowners select the siding with painted or stained finishes. Others opt to paint or stain the siding after installation.
The long lengths generally reduce end-to-end seams, and James Hardie Siding does not overlap like vinyl. This also minimizes unsightly gaps and protrusions associated with vinyl and other materials. A local contractor uses rustproof stainless steel nails, and the minor joints are caulked to create smooth and continuous lines that run the length of your home.
The use of fiber cement siding reportedly increased from 9 percent to 20 percent in new single-family home construction from 2005 to 2018. Construction sector experts predict a steady increase of more than 5 percent by 2024. The popularity has largely been driven by improved aesthetics, durability, and the product’s ability to increase home value. A comparison with other commonly used siding materials highlights these and other differences.
· Cedar Shingles: This traditional siding material is well known for its pleasing appearance. But the drawbacks of cedar shingles are primary reasons why fiber cement continues to increase in market share. Cedar shingles are usually more expensive and require far more ongoing maintenance. Perhaps the top reason to consider James Hardie Siding over cedar shingles involves the hidden cost. Shingles must be regularly stained and sealed at the homeowner’s expense.
· Vinyl Siding: Plenty of homeowners invested in vinyl siding only to second-guess that decision later. Vinyl ranks among the least expensive siding options, for good reason. Although it comes in wide-reaching color options, it’s made of plastic and typically fails to deliver a robust appearance. Plastics are not considered an environmentally sustainable building material. The products are also usually thin, prone to warping, cracking, chipping, and present less-than-favorable overlaps. By contrast, Hardie Siding is durable, eliminates overlapping, and is accepted as sustainable.
· Clapboard: Ranked among the more expensive siding materials, clapboard generally gives homeowners the classic lines and appearance they desire. Clapboard is a wood product installed similarly to fiber cement materials. Lengths are butted against each other, and one layer is set on top of another. James Hardie Siding mirrors the ambiance of this wood material but doesn’t include the negatives. These include the hidden cost of regular staining (or painting), sealing, and increased maintenance. Homeowners usually pay less upfront for fiber cement siding and don’t incur many of these hidden costs on the backend.
· Shiplap: This material is similar to tongue-and-groove flooring. The interlocking boards can create a seamless barrier against moisture penetrations. In many ways, shiplap is a less expensive way to create a natural wood exterior. Shiplap can be comparably cheaper to clapboard because it employs softwoods such as pine rather than cedar. This fact makes it less durable, require greater maintenance, and likely to suffer other deficiencies.
It’s also essential for homeowners to know that wood materials such as cedar shingles, shiplap, and clapboard may invite pests such as carpenter ants, termites, and woodpeckers, among others. Unlike fiber cement siding, they can absorb water and deteriorate quickly. Wood materials, as well as vinyl, fail to provide top-tier fire protection. In worst-case scenarios, moisture penetrations can spur mold growths that put the health of loved ones at risk without families realizing it.
Those are some of the less-known reasons why James Hardie Siding outpaces other materials to increase home value. However, decision-makers must also consider the hard data associated with return on investment.
According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, homeowners enjoy a return on investment in the area of 76 percent on house siding investments. This ranks among the best among home improvement projects. Such upgrades typically run in the price range of a kitchen remodel. The National Association of Home Builders indicates that fiber cement materials can increase your ROI to 83 percent.
The conventional reasoning is that products such as James Hardie Siding deliver a quality appearance. Cement fiber offers better ROI than vinyl materials, making them a better option to increase home value. They generally cost less than wood materials upfront, and homeowners don’t incur risks or hidden expenses later. Looking through the initial investment lens, the benefits of fiber cement appear to outweigh others. But there’s also another way of thinking about this home improvement investment.
Consider, for a moment, that you decide to stick with outdated or failing siding and put your home on the market. A real estate professional will be quick to tell you that unattractive siding creates diminishing returns. Not only will your house not garner an ROI from new siding, but its market value will also tick down. Lack of curbside appeal usually means fewer offers at or near list price. Installing James Hardie Siding will not only help increase home value. It will also help prevent values from declining.
If you are a Chicagoland resident considering a home improvement investment, contact Bak Brothers, your locally trusted contractor, about installing James Hardie Siding.