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Fiber Cement Siding & Exterior Trims

Alternatives to wood siding and exterior trim are becoming popular because of their improved durability and competitive costs. Fiber-Cement Siding, Fiber-Cement trim, Cellular PVC trim, and Recycled Wood/Composite trim are all more durable than wood, and require little maintenance.

Fiber-Cement Siding

Fiber-cement siding is composed of cement, sand, and cellulose fiber that has been autoclaved (cured with pressurized steam) to increase its strength and dimensional stability. It is a durable alternative to hardy-boardwood, termite resistant, non-combustible, and warranted to last 50 years. The installed costs of fiber-cement are less than traditional masonry or synthetic stucco, equal to or less than hardboard siding, and more than vinyl siding.

Like wood siding, fiber-cement siding is installed over studs or exterior wall sheathing with an appropriate water-resistant barrier, using galvanized nails or screws that penetrate into wall studs. The fiber cement planks should be cut with a blade designed specifically for fiber-cement dust reduction, such as Hitachi's Hardiblade or Dewalt's PCD Fiber Cement Blade. Alternatively, snapper shears or a guillotine-type cutter can also be used. For finishing, fiber-cement products come either primed or unprimed.

Cellular PVC Trim

Cellular PVC is a solid, extruded plastic that has the working characteristics of wood and is used for interior trim, exterior trim, and paneling as well as windows and doors, blinds, and furniture. Cellular PVC keeps its shape and never needs painting.

Recycled Wood/Composite Trim

Recycled wood/plastic composite lumber is one of the prime uses for recycled plastic trash bags and waste wood fibers. Manufacturers claim that products produced with recycled wood/plastic lumber are more durable than conventional preservative-treated lumber, and more rigid than 100-percent plastic recycled lumber. These products contain no toxic chemicals such as those used in conventional treated lumber.

Fiber-Cement Trim

Like fiber-cement siding, fiber-cement trim is more durable than wood. Fiber-cement is composed of cement, sand, and cellulose fiber. The fiber is added to reinforce the concrete and to prevent cracking. Fiber-cement trim comes in a variety of colors, thicknesses, and grain patterns for corners, columns, windows, rakes, and friezes.

Content updated on 8/4/2006

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