How to Install Fiber Cement Siding

Installing Fiber Cement Siding is not as hard as you think!

The proper way to install fiber cement siding intimidates a lot of homeowners. Simply put, it is not as complicated as you might think. Installing fiber cement siding is distinctly different than installing wood siding. While how to install fiber cement siding can vary depending on the manufacturer, there are some standard steps you can take to ensure a final result you are happy with.

Before show you how to install fiber cement siding, let’s talk about safety first: 

  1. Make sure to wear safety glasses
  2. Use ear protection
  3. Always cut siding outside. Using a circular saw creates a lot of dust. Dust can lead to lung diseases.
  4. Therefore, wear a NIOSH approved N-95 dust mask or respirator

When you/we order materials, make sure you:

  1. Inspect siding for any damages upon arrival
  2. Don’t store on the ground. Make sure it’s laid out flat on a strong foundation
  3. Of course, do not let it get wet
  4. Support the siding along its long side when cutting

Before starting this project, cover the walls with plywood, foam, or oriented strand board. Cover the sheathing with house wrap or felt paper and chalk lines to mark the location of any studs. There are a few ways to cut the siding. Whether you use a circular saw, fiber cement shears, a jigsaw, or the method of scoring; make sure to take this step seriously. One wrong cut can cost you a lot of dollars as replacement materials can balloon your budget.

Fastening the siding

Depending on how you are nailing the siding, you will have to determine what type of nails to use. Use siding nails for face nailing and roofing nails for face nailing. Be sure to use stainless steel nails or hot dipped galvanized nails too! Once fastened securely, install the inside and outside corners of the trim.

Installing your fiber cement siding

Fiber cement siding should be installed a certain grade level of the house with a certain gap between horizontal surfaces like decks, steps, or adjacent roofs. Be sure to flash above doors and windows leaving a small gap between the flashing and the fiber cement siding. Start by placing a wide strip above the bottom of the first row to provide a nice angle for the fiber cement. Nail the first row of siding into the studs. Leave a small gap at the corner boards for caulking. Center the joints over studs unless you are using special off stud joiners. Loosely butt the joints together and make sure the felt overhangs the previous row of siding to prevent water damage repair from being needed down the road.

To properly finish the install, paint the fiber cement siding as soon as you finish the install. Clean and dry the siding before painting. Beforehand, caulk joints and ends with latex caulking. Finally, prime siding and any exposed cuts.

Are you still a bit intimidated?! Think you’ll need an expert to help you through this process?

While installing fiber cement siding can save budget, we always recommend vinyl siding installation.

Want to know why? Give us a call!

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Community Exteriors, Inc.

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