I see a lot of what I think is fiber cement siding in my area and I get the impression that it’s generally considered superior to vinyl siding from reading online. But I can’t find a really solid reason, or at least not one that sounds relevant to me, for why it’s better.
The biggest reason I see is that vinyl is ugly or doesn’t look like wood. That seems highly subjective. If it’s the cheaper stuff and it’s hung poorly then sure but that’s true of anything. I’m fine with white so it won’t fade. If it gets hit by a rock flung by a lawn mower, you might get a hole in your vinyl siding but the fiber cement would still get a dent. Vinyl will melt or burn and fiber cement won’t but I’m not in a forest fire area and my neighbors’ houses are far from mine.
Vinyl is easy to put on or replace, doesn’t really deteriorate as far as I can tell if it’s decent quality, and you don’t have to paint it or caulk it. Biggest problem is finding panels that match if you have to replace some. It’s not 100% water tight but it breaths and dries. Fiber cement has to be painted and caulked periodically. If you don’t keep the water out, fiber cement will absorb water and swell and that can’t be good for what’s underneath. I’m having trouble trusting hardieplank for siding same as hardieboard for tile substrate because it wicks up water readily.
Am I missing something important? Is fiber cement siding great for non-subjective reasons and worth the extra expense and effort or is it a fad?