No one product suits everyone. Which siding — fiber cement or vinyl — is right for your home? Only you can decide on the right siding, but having a little background knowledge can help. 

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding mixes natural materials (cellulose, Portland cement, silica sand, and water) to make a tough, durable, precision-made product. Benefits include:

  • Durability
  • Longevity
  • Easy and infrequent maintenance
  • Resistance to rot, insects, rodents, fire, and wind
  • An easily paintable surface
  • A wide variety of surface textures
  • Affordability 

Fiber cement siding lasts for decades. Only in later years will you need to think about repainting its resilient, strong surface. 

Environmentally, manufacturing of fiber cement siding is less harmful to our Iowa air, water and land than production of vinyl siding, which is made with petroleum. 

If you plan to remain in your Des Moines-area home for decades, fiber cement siding is a wise choice

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is a good economical alternative if your plans do not include a lengthy stay in your home. Comparatively speaking, it is inexpensive to purchase and install, it installs quickly, and it never needs painting. 

Some of vinyl siding’s benefits and downsides include:

  • Low maintenance and easy cleaning (never pressure wash it; use a soft brush and a garden hose)
  • Availability in a very wide range of colors
  • Available in several textures for different possible looks to your Des Moines-area home
  • For some homeowners, it lowers home value
  • Vinyl siding by itself is not energy efficient
  • Vinyl siding can warp and deform in strong sunlight

Vinyl siding may need to be replaced every 15 to 20 years, which is at the low end of fiber cement siding’s typical long lifespan. Color fastness on vinyl siding depends on the price point of the material you choose, with thinner and lower quality siding tending to fade quickly. 

You need siding but are planning to move in a few years? Vinyl siding is a smart, financially sound option. 


More important than the siding — durable fiber cement siding or economical vinyl siding — is the selection of a skilled installer. Select your contractor carefully and even the most modestly priced vinyl siding will look good on your Des Moines home. Of course, beautiful James Hardie fiber cement siding will look great, too. 

Des Moines homeowners with tough questions about siding can turn to us at VanWeelden Company. Contact us today to learn more about fiber cement or vinyl siding.