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Is the Permit Process Difficult?
What is an Altermative To Traditional Siding.
Do I Need To Hire An Interior Designer?
What Is The Best Material Choice For Counter Tops?

What is an Altermative To Traditional Siding.

Many of our homeowners have been looking for an alternative to traditional wood sidings for a long time. In Southeastern PA if you move away from wood siding your choices have been largely limited to vinyl siding. Unfortunately, this option never really gave the homeowner the same “wood” look and feel that they wanted. There was a very strong demand for a better alternative, and the industry responded with the creation of fiber cement siding.

In the mid-1980s, one company pioneered the development of fiber cement technology, James Hardie. They began designing a wide range of fiber cement building products that made use of the benefits that came from the product’s durability, versatility and strength. Fiber cement continues to be the best-received wood siding replacement alternative today.

Dean Rittenhouse and I first started using fiber cement in 2002. We were impressed by the apparent durability of the product. In 2003 we built an addition in West Chester that was entirely sided in fiber cement. What impressed us was that we could work with the material as if it were wood. This was when it really clicked for us that the product was not only attractive in appearance, but is a superior product in many ways.

Fiber cement siding is asbestos free, and composed of a mix of sand, cellulose fiber, and cement blended with waxes and resins. This mixture is then autoclaved, that is to say it is subjected to highly pressurized steam that presses it into its final form. This auto cleaning provides exceptional strength and dimensional stability to the finished product. In the construction industry fiber cement siding is considered to be the strongest available siding alternative. It will never crack, mold, or de laminate; and unlike wood it will never rot or be subject to termite infestations.

Fiber cement siding is also a favorite among homeowners because it is available in many different styles, it is currently available in a traditional clapboard look with siding exposures from 4” to 8”, board and batten (think a barn) and also a beaded version. Fiber cement needs to be painted and we will typically have it prefinished in a factory and then our painter’s site applies a final coat after it is installed.

Early adopters of fiber cement have been truly impressed by its value and options – and they are really talking about it! In a study conducted by Cleveland-based Freedonia Group published in September 2006, it was predicted that fiber cement “will post among the fastest gains through 2010, surpassing wood and brick in usage.” Find out more about replacing your current siding with fiber cement by contacting Rittenhouse Builders.

– George Metzler