The Pros and Cons of Brick vs. Fiber Cement Siding

It’s officially Spring, wherever you are, and an exciting time for new homebuyers! Along with the anticipation and emotion you feel in the moment when planning your new home, there are also long-term implications to some of the decisions you will make in the process. We’d like to help you make a great investment – building a home that holds its value versus one that eats away at your time and pocket book.

When it comes down to squeezing all of your desires into your new home budget, it’s tempting to take shortcuts on big items. For the moment, let’s categorize interior finishes as ‘temporary’ and exterior finishes as ‘permanent’. The ‘temporary’ finishes you can and will change, but the exterior or ‘permanent’ finishes you cannot (at best, not without great expense). So become educated and choose wisely, because your home’s exterior finish determines the performance, longevity and value of your home.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of two popular exteriors – brick and fiber cement siding:

It seems that proper installation is a persistent problem with fiber cement siding. And, it can be costly to correct common problems such as improper clearances and improper attachment if this requires starting from scratch and reinstalling. Here is a third party article from an industry expert on how and why this is such a challenge for builders – not the least of which is that some homeowners don’t like how the proper installation looks, so they change it!

A smart choice involves choosing an exterior that stands up over the years and doesn’t require costly repairs and maintenance. Brick looks as good after 20 years as it does on move-in day. That’s just one reason why brick homes generally have higher resale value. And, the great news is that brick is truly affordable. The initial cost of brick is only slightly more than fiber cement siding. Here are some comparative costs for a few major cities:


Now, when you also consider the ONGOING SAVINGS that a brick home offers on maintenance, insurance, energy bills (and more) against the COSTS related to a problematic or high maintenance product, the value proposition is pretty clear.

Speaking of looks, many people consider brick to be just a traditional option – and this can be why they look for different exterior materials. But there’s no need to opt-out of a quality brick exterior, even if you prefer a modern look. Here is just one example of a contemporary look! And, we have dozens of light colored brick to choose from too. Check out this modern brick Pinterest board.

We encourage you to do adequate research on your exterior options and not to sacrifice on this critical feature. For more information on comparing different exteriors, you can review our Brick Ideas Brochure.

Keep in mind: try not to build uncertainty into your future!

* Listed pricing is for 2,266 sq. ft. of exterior wall space for a 2-story home including product and typical installation and is based on data by RSMeans | The Gordian Group, Installed Cost of Residential Siding, Comparative Study; 2017.

**Includes added cost of $1.56/sq. ft. for paints and coatings.