James Hardie vs. Allura Fiber Cement Siding Cost 2017-2018

James Hardie brought HardiePlank fiber cement siding to the world in the 1980s and was unchallenged as the market leader for nearly a decade.

Deep Ocean, HardiePlank lap siding, HardieShingle staggered edge panel siding

Once homeowners realized that fiber cement siding is a legitimate alternative to wood siding, without some of the wood’s hassles, the demand for fiber cement has increased and spurred competition among brands.

Allura fiber cement siding is a top challenger to HardiePlank. Our comparison guide is a one-stop pricing and pros and cons reference for homeowners:

  • Prices for materials including soffit, trim and accessories for both brands
  • Installation costs — Total Cost Installed (Materials, Labor, Warranty) Per Sq. ft.
  • Examples of Total Job Costs to Expect to Install Fiber Cement on A Typical House
  • Expected Return on Investment (ROI) or Cost to Value Return
  • Allura vs. HardiePlank Pros and Cons — Product Styles and Options Compared Side by Side
  • Alternative Fiber Cement and Engineered Wood Siding Brands

Allura Fiber Cement vs. HardiePlank Lap Siding

Allura was originally made by CertainTeed under another name. That explains the marketing strategy behind it.

Rather than come in at a lower cost to compete with HardiePlank, Allura is marketed as premium building material that is worth paying more for.

Allura’s 50-year warranty vs. HardiePlank’s 30-year warranty gives that claim credibility.

Allura vs. James Hardie Pricing

Here is a breakdown of costs for plank siding and shingle/shake siding plus accessories and installation for both brands.

The range of costs for each line is due to differences in product pricing and the variety of sellers. Examples of complete materials and installation pricing for typical homes are found below:

Allura prices per square foot:

HardiePlank fiber cement siding prices per square foot:

  • HardiePlank siding planks and panels: $1.15-$2.00
  • HardieShingle shingle/shake siding: $3.35-$5.00
  • HardieSoffit and trim: $1.75-$3.25
  • Average total cost for James Hardie siding materials and installation supplies: $3.35

Did you Know?

HardiePlank makes a premium fiber cement product called Artisan Luxury fiber cement lap siding.

Hardie artisan lap siding

It is available in limited areas and in a limited range of colors and styles. It is 5/8” thick, twice as thick as 5/16” standard HardiePlank and Allura siding. The cost is $6.00-$9.00 per square foot for the siding and trim. Installed costs range from $14-$20 per square foot.

Pro Tip:

James Hardie uses a slightly different formulation for products sold in climates where freezing is possible. Additives protect the material from freeze/thaw expansion and contraction cycles that can cause cement to crack.

Products for northern climates are labeled HZ5. Southern-climate and West Coast materials are labeled HZ10. Not surprisingly, this is called the HardieZone System.

The look, feel and performance of the boards are the same. If you’re buying locally, the seller should only have products appropriate for your climate, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Total Cost to Install (Materials, Labor, Permitting, and Warranty):

Allura costs slightly more to install because it is heavier and thicker. Fiber cement installation cost has become more competitive in recent years as more siding contractors become familiar with fiber cement and offer installation.

Expect to pay $7.00-$11.50 per square foot for the installation based on the level of expertise of the installing crew and the complexity of the job.

All fiber cement manufacturers recommend installation by a licensed siding contractor using a crew that is experienced installing its products.

You can always find cheaper installation in the $6.50-$7.50 per square foot installed range, but your results might suffer.

  • Average fiber cement total installation cost: $8.00-$9.50 per square foot

Did you know? If installing house wrap is part of your home siding project, the installed cost of house wrap will be $1.15 to $1.50 per square foot based on the installation factors discussed above. — This cost is normally included as part of total cost in all professional and warrantied high-end installations

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Vinyl Siding vs. Stucco Cost Plus Pros & Cons 2017-2018

The #1 siding material versus the #2 siding material in America. Think you know which is #1 already? Don’t be so quick with that guess.

Comparing Stucco and Vinyl – Top Factors

While both siding materials offer great variation of styles and profiles, each has two primary applications. For vinyl that includes hollow-back (non-insulated) and foam-back (insulated) siding.

Likewise, for stucco, it is usually applied in a single coat (less insulation) or in three coats (greater insulation).

Cost Factor

Cost is generally a determining factor for most homeowners. Insulated vinyl siding is more expensive (at $5.00 to $10.00 per sq. ft. installed) than non-insulated (at $3.50 to $7.00 per sq. ft. installed).

Yet, the high-end insulated vinyl costs about the same as the low end of Stucco (at $6.00 to $10.00 per sq. ft. installed).

Stucco, on average, goes as high as $14.00 per sq. ft. installed. Being more budget-friendly is a significant reason why vinyl is such a popular siding option.

Durability Factor

Durability is the measure of how tough the siding material is and how well it will hold up over time. Both materials score well. With vinyl, the thickness of the siding matters significantly. — This doesn’t include foam-back, but rather it is about the thickness of material itself.

The mid-range options are .042 to .046 inches, while top of the line is .055 or higher. Compare this to a single coat of stucco which hovers around a half inch, or about 10 times the thickness of vinyl. 😉

Both materials are fairly tough. Vinyl can withstand wind speeds up to 110 mph, while Stucco can handle wind gusts up to 130 mph. Vinyl gets mixed results on resistance to hail damage.

Obviously, thicker siding means more resistance, but even top of the line is susceptible to some damage. Stucco offers better impact resistance, though large enough pieces of hail or other materials could lead to cracks.

Assuming proper installation and avoidance of disasters, both materials will last more than 50 years. With care, vinyl last between 40 and 75 years before needing replacement.

Stucco can last 60 to 100 years before it needs replacing, thus making if the more durable option.

Insulation Factor

Comparing the less insulated versions of either is not all that fair, though surprisingly vinyl would win.

Stucco gets .20 per inch R-value, or the standard for measuring insulation. The single coat, half inch is going to be fairly low, while hollow-back vinyl comes in around .60.

The triple coat of stucco raises the R-value to, at most .75. While that is decent, it is not even in the same ball park as the 1.75 R-value that foam-back vinyl achieves. 😉

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