Fiber Cement Panel System: A Comprehensive Homeowners’ Guide With 2023 Reviews

fiber cement siding home

A fiber cement panel system is the go-to solution for building durable and zero-maintenance homes

With an ever-increasing demand for solid yet aesthetically pleasing homes, a fiber cement panel system has come to become a mainstay of modern construction. 

Introduced to the market some four decades ago, fiber cement sidings or panels have been around for a long time. And interestingly, the basic qualities of these panels haven’t changed much in these many years. 

So you’re sure to wonder why there’s much interest in these building materials now. 

While there are a lot of factors that have driven the demand for a fiber cement board SIP, it is primarily spurred by the rising prices of traditional building materials. 

You see, from wood to vinyl to bricks and stones, just about every construction material has become expensive lately. And, this is only likely to be on further rise. 

Nevertheless, fiber cement panels are still very much cost-efficient compared to other materials. Add to it the fact that these SIPs are lighter, more sturdy, disaster-resistant, elegant, and long-lasting too. 

As such, it isn’t surprising that these home siding panels are so much in demand. 

Now you might well be making up your mind on building your new home with these fiber cement SIPs panels. And if so, then you’re at the right place, as we’ve created a detailed guide on these building materials. So let’s dive right in and have a look. 

What exactly is a fiber cement panel system? 

Fiber Cement Panel System

Before we get into the details of a fiber cement SIP board, it’s important we understand what it is precisely. 

Simply speaking, these SIP panels are made with a mix of four ingredients, namely Portland cement, wood pulp or cellulose fibers, fly ash, and water. 

This combination, more so the wood pulp, makes for a highly flexible and strong material for home construction panels, unlike regular concrete, which is rather rigid and breakable. And that’s exactly why fiber cement materials like the ProTEC cement board can be easily designed and shaped in a thousand different patterns. 

Also, the materials used in manufacturing these panels are naturally insulating, meaning you can expect excellent natural insulation. 

Not to mention, they’re a healthy alternative for home buildings thanks to their 100 percent natural composition, and they can also stand strong during extreme weather events. 

Are fiber cement boards eco-friendly? 

Yes absolutely. 

In fact, one of the many reasons why homeowners switch to fiber cement is because they’re a highly sustainable construction material, as opposed to conventional materials. 

For instance, even though wood-based cellulose fiber is one of the main components for these SIP boards, they’re extracted from sustainably sourced timber. That’s because the manufacturers either source the wood pulp from areas under sustainable forestry or from recycled timber. 

Similarly, the use of fly ash instead of regular sand is yet another ecologically sound move since the former is a coal byproduct that gets recycled in the process. 

But what about the environmental damage at the end of their service life? 

Well, firstly, fiber cement panel systems are entirely recyclable, which means you need not dump them off. You can rather sell them off at your local recycling plant, where they’ll make new building materials. 

Secondly, the fiber cement sidings are biodegradable too, as no VOCs or toxic elements are used during the manufacturing process. Meaning even if they end up in landfills, they’ll cause zero environmental pollution or damage. 

It can’t get any more eco-friendly, can it? 

How long can a cement fiber panel last you? 

fiber cement sips panels home

When it comes to longevity, fiber cement panels are one of the few longest-lasting building materials you’ll come across on the market. 

To be precise, each of the exterior and interior cement board panels will easily last for up to 50 years with minimal to zero wear and tear. And that goes for fiber cement materials from all major manufacturers. 

So don’t be shocked when we say that fiber cement sidings are backed by warranties ranging anywhere between 30 and 50 years. 

And what about maintenance? 

Talking about maintenance, fiber cement boards need the least upkeep and servicing throughout their lifespan. So much so that you’ll hardly need to spend any time repairing or fixing them, something rarely seen in home wall panels. 

And if you’re curious, here are a few things that reduce maintenance requirements on fiber cement board SIP: 

  • First, fiber cement boards hold paint much better than traditional materials such as wood or vinyl, meaning you need not repaint them very often. And as per some estimates, you need to repaint fiber cement only after every 10 to 15 years. 
  • Second, despite the fact that fiber cement materials are made using wood pulp, you won’t find common wood problems like mold and insect infestation on them. That’s because fiber cement is naturally insect resistant and thus does not rot. So you don’t have to add an additional rot-resistant coating and watch out for insect-related damages. 
  • Third, fiber cement sidings also resist long-term damage resulting from the sun’s ultraviolet rays and humid coastal climates, among others. And that means there’s no need to spend extra bucks on a weather protection coating for your wall. 

That’s impressive for sure, isn’t it? 

What is the cost of a whole house fiber cement panel system? 

Fiber cement SIP panels or sidings are truly the most budget-friendly solution for building your home. That’s because the total cost of buying these siding boards plus the cost of installation labor is way less than the traditional wall panels. 

In fact, if Forbes magazine estimates are any suggestion, you can expect an average fiber cement siding cost of $13,000. And the per square feet cost for the same can be anywhere between $5 and $14. 

Now, compare it with the average per square foot cost of wood wall panels that start from $12 and go up to $33, and you can see the difference. 

And while you should factor in an additional cost of $5 per square foot for installation labor, you can easily recover this amount. 


As we saw earlier, not only does a properly installed fiber cement board SIP call for zero maintenance, but it also lasts you for half a century. Meaning you stand to save big over time. 

On top of that, you can also opt for DIY installation and save the installation costs entirely. 

Is DIY a good option for fiber cement siding? 

DIY fiber cement sidng

DIY home buildings are one of the newest housing trends and for good reasons. After all, apart from saving on expensive labor costs, building something by yourself also brings you great satisfaction. 

And if you’ve made up your mind on installing fiber cement SIP board panels by yourself, we must say it’s a clever idea. That’s because fiber cement is highly DIY friendly, especially when compared to some conventional building materials. 

For instance, just like prefabricated vinyl planks, you can get exterior and interior cement board sizing precisely to your requirement. As such, you need not be bogged down by measuring and cutting the boards before installation. 

Also, while fiber cement is more bulky than materials like vinyl, it’s still way lighter than sidings made from hardwood. So you don’t need another person to assist you with the installation. 

However, there’s a catch with fiber cement installation that DIYers should be aware of. 

You see, cutting a fiber cement board is much more difficult than cutting through a wood plank. And you’ll need sophisticated machinery to make a cut or two, notwithstanding the size. 

So we suggest you have the exact measurements of your home’s sidings handy before buying the panels. 

Similarly, the cement board should be completely dry before you install it, as wet or moist boards tend to shrink after installation. 

What are the design and decor options available with fiber cement? 

Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the first batch of fiber cement sidings came about, there were not many designs available. And this was one of the reasons why they didn’t become very popular for building homes and other structures back then. 

Nevertheless, that’s not the case anymore, as contemporary fiber cement sidings are available in hundreds of different designs, shapes, colors, and patterns. 

In fact, you’ll be surprised to know that some manufacturers even design their fiber cement panels to replicate traditional building materials. 

For instance, you can find fiber boards that look exactly like hardwood panels, stone and brick walls, etc. So you can still hold on to old-school home design and elegance while switching to eco-friendly building materials

Furthermore, there are endless custom colors and patterns that you can choose from for your fiber cement board. 

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

You may also want to read – Accessory Dwelling Units: A Complete Guide For 2023

Can fiber cement panel system stand extreme weather? 

fiber cement sip board for impact-resistant homes

Yes, it can. 

A fiber cement panel system is one of the sturdiest materials for home construction. And with the right installation, you can rest assured of protection against the worst of weather events. 

Here’s how a cement fiber panel stands up in different regions and respective local weather: 

  • First of all, for coastal climates like that of Florida, walls made with fiber cement can stand highly humid and sunny weather. Also, SIPs like the ProTEC cement board are apt for hurricane-prone regions like coastal Florida since they can stand heavy wind speeds of more than 130 MPH. 
  • Second, fiber cement is also a great building material for dry and wildfire-prone areas since they’re non-combustible and come with a fire rating of 15 minutes or more. 
  • Third, for colder climates in northern states, this is the perfect alternative to vinyl and wood sidings. That’s because fiber cement doesn’t crack or buckle in the face of yearly freeze and thaw cycles. 
  • Fourth, for the southern states with high sun exposure and insect-prone climate, fiber cement SIPs panels offer a natural solution. 

Simply speaking, fiber cement boards and panels are apt for all climates and weather conditions. 

What are the leading fiber cement brands on the market in 2023?

Fiber cement SIP panels are so popular that almost every other construction materials manufacturer makes them. However, it goes without saying that not all of them provide you with top-notch quality. 

So here are some of the best fiber cement brands reviewed and verified by our experts: 

#1. James Hardie Industries

One of the pioneers in fiber cement technologies, James Hardie Industries, was the first to introduce fiber cement sidings in the country. So no wonder why they top the list of best manufacturers in every major survey and review. 

James Hardie offers the widest variety of fiber cement materials, including sidings, shingles, and more. Also, they offer building materials tailored for every region and climate condition. 

#2. ProTEC

Sold by the name ProTEC cement board SIP, ProTEC manufactures the best-in-class fiber cement SIP panels on the market. 

Just like ProTEC’s other home building materials, their fiber cement sidings are also designed with resilience in mind. So you can expect qualities such as impact-resistance, fire-proofing, etc., apart from excellent aesthetics. 

#3. American Fiber Cement Corporation

While the American Fiber Cement Corporation manufactures mostly for big-ticket commercial projects, the features of their fiber cement products are hard to overlook. 

For instance, apart from the extensive design choices, they also offer futuristic components such as concealed attachments, thus helping build innovative homes and buildings. 

#4. GAF

Also known as General Aniline and Film, GAF is known for some of the finest construction materials. And that also goes for their fiber cement sidings. 

The best thing about the fiber cement boards from GAF is their creative design appeals that closely replicate natural stones, wood, bricks, etc. 


As you can see, a fiber cement panel system is the one-stop solution for building a sustainable home that is durable and impact resistant too. 

And the fact that all major fiber cement materials meet the standards of the American Society for Testing Materials means you can rest assured of the best quality. 

Looking for one such fiber cement building solution for your new home? 

You can get in touch with us!

At Eco-$mart Inc, we have top-of-the-line fiber cement SIP panels made with 100 percent eco-friendly materials. Also, from roofing to flooring to interior finish to HVACs, we have ecologically sound building materials for every aspect of your home construction. 

In short, we’ve got all your construction requirements covered. 



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