The top two engineered lap siding brands are the defending champion HardiePlank fiber cement and the up-and-coming contender LP SmartSide engineered wood siding.
This guide covers the HardiePlank vs. LP SmartSide comparison from all angles that matter to a homeowner – Looks, durability, cost of materials and installation, and more. We’ll uncover the differences between the two to help you decide which one fits your project requirements better.
Expect to pay about $10.00 per square foot to install LP SmartSide siding. For HardiePlank siding, your costs will about $11.00 per square foot installed.
Note: LP’s SmartSide relative cost advantage is due to slightly lower material and installation costs thanks to its lighter weight.
The possible cost range is broad, however, based on factors spelled out below. This table breaks down costs for these two leading siding alternatives to natural wood.
Material Cost per sq.ft.
$2.00 – $4.00
$1.85 – $3.75
Installation Cost per sq.ft.
$5.50 – $10.00
$3.50 – $9.00
Total Cost Range per sq.ft.
$7.50 – $14.00
$5.35 – $12.75
Average Cost per sq.ft.
$8.65 – $10.50
Cost to Value Recouped
83% – 86%
82% – 87%
As you can see in the table above, these are comparably priced materials, so unless you’re watching pennies very closely, this probably won’t be the deciding factor.
While vinyl siding is among the two most popular options of siding in America, fiber cement siding continues to grow in market share. In a heads up comparison between the two, they both have strong and weak points.
According to JamesHardie.com, fiber cement wins in a landslide over vinyl. But let’s take a more neutral approach to this ongoing battle.
Top Comparison Factors
There are several factors to consider in what makes for quality siding. Some are weighted stronger than other considerations, but it’s up to you to decide what you value most. Here are the factors that are often considered most important.
The bottom line, or total cost of siding installed, is often the chief consideration for most homeowners. Vinyl is well known as the most economical siding available.
The basic, hollow-back, version costs just $3.50 to $7.00 per sq. ft. to install. Premium vinyl or insulated foam-back vinyl will run $6.00 to $10.00+ per sq. ft. installed.
Expect to pay between $8.50 to $13.00 per sq. ft. for the installation of standard fiber cement siding.
For a typical American home, the average total cost can range from $8,000 and $20,000 for standard vinyl siding. — Compare that to fiber cement which on the same home will cost between $14,000 and $26,000 for full installation.
Total Cost Verdict: based strictly on which option is more budget friendly, vinyl would be a clear winner.