Hardieplank vs. Vinyl Siding: Comparing Design, Price, Durability, and More

Choosing a siding replacement option for your home might seem difficult. With so many siding options to choose from, all of which boast an array of characteristics, how do you know which is right for your home?

If you’re located in the Pacific Northwest, hardieplank is the obvious siding choice.

When considering durability, combustibility, maintenance, and more, hardieplank is the clear frontrunner every time.

Learn about HardiePlank vs. vinyl siding and why HardiePlank stands out as the premium product for siding.

Table of Contents

  • What Is Better Vinyl Siding or Hardie Board?
  • Hardie Board vs. Vinyl Siding: Design Differences
  • HardiePlank vs. Vinyl Siding: Durability Differences
  • HardiePlank vs. Vinyl: Comparing Combustibility
  • Is HardiePlank More Expensive Than Vinyl? Comparing the Cost
  • Ready For An Estimate? Contact Lifetime Remodeling Systems For A Free In-Home Consultation

What Is Better Vinyl Siding or Hardie Board?

Vinyl siding was originally created as an alternative to aluminum siding. While it does stand up well compared to aluminum, when comparing Hardie Board vs. vinyl siding, HardiePlank is a clear front runner. 

People might lean towards vinyl siding because it is the cheaper option, but cheaper is not better when it comes to choosing siding for your home. 

As we explore the differences between HardiePlank and vinyl siding, it will become clear that HardiePlank is a premium product.

Hardie Board vs. Vinyl Siding: Design Differences

Curb Appeal

Sometimes, curb appeal is half the battle when trying to sell your home. 

Utilizing a superior siding option on your home, like HardiePlank, can help make your home seem more appealing on the outside.

Consumer reports show that new siding can offer a relatively high return on investment (ROI). In the Pacific Northwest, a non-combustible siding option on a home may increase resale value — providing around a 77.6% ROI.

HardiePlank Siding

HardiePlank siding has a wide range of siding design options, allowing homeowners to customize as much as possible. With a variety of textures, colors, and layout options available, HardiePlank is a superior siding option for your home.

Vinyl Siding

When choosing vinyl siding, homeowners are confined to a basic lap-siding look for their home. 

Vinyl lap siding typically has no backing behind its thin plastic. Not only does it appear cheaper from the road, but it’s not as durable as HardiePlank and often experiences cracks.

Homeowners are also limited to layout designs with vinyl plank because it cannot be installed in other patterns. If you’re looking for an aesthetically clean installation, you won’t get that with vinyl siding.

Lifetime Remodeling Systems is the only siding contractor in the Portland Metro area to focus on providing siding design and installation services. Our in-house design team utilizes HOVER technology to aid our clients with their exterior design options, providing photorealistic renders of the before and after design prior to construction.


Thicker siding typically means better quality. 

Thicker siding options tend to:

  • Hold stronger in extreme weather 
  • Resist minor fading from sun exposure 
  • Last longer
  • Provide more insulation
  • Provide more protection
  • Require less maintenance

HardiePlank Siding

Compared to vinyl siding, HardiePlank’s fiber cement material is significantly thicker, averaging between .312 and .25 inches thick.

The thickness of HardiePlank — often 5x as thick as vinyl siding — aids in its ability to easily face the elements and resist damage from weather.

Vinyl Siding

As a requirement, vinyl siding must be at least 0.035 inches thick but can average up to 0.46 inches. 

Although 0.4 inches onwards is considered “durable” for vinyl siding, when compared to HardiePlank, vinyl siding is very thin, making it more susceptible to damage from high winds, temperature extremes, and other weather.

Color Options

Choosing a siding option might be limited if your heart is set on a specific color.

Some siding options are only available in certain shades, but choosing HardiePlank siding opens the door to abundant possibilities for color options.

HardiePlank Siding

HardiePlank siding allows for much variety when choosing the color of your home’s exterior. 

Your siding and trim can come primed and ready to paint or already finished in the color of your choice. Instead of painting HardiePlank siding, a pre-finished process that involves baking the color onto the product is done to allow for a vibrant and long-lasting color. 

This process is more resistant to:

  • Chipping
  • Peeling
  • Cracking; and
  • Fading

Lifetime Remodeling Systems offers a Benjamin Moore Color Consultant at no extra cost to ensure that our client’s personal styles, trends, and home architectural needs are met when choosing the color of your siding.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is also available in many colors, but after hours and hours of UV exposure, the color begins to fade. This makes for an inconsistent coloring on your home’s exterior often making it appear blotchy and faded from the curbside.

If necessary, vinyl siding can be repainted. It’s recommended to choose neutral and timeless colors for vinyl siding that will better stand the test of time. 

Consider colors like:

  • White
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Gray
  • Brown

Realistic Features

Choosing a siding option that appears durable and realistic from a distance can help increase curb appeal and provide a pleasing aesthetic.

HardiePlank Siding

Although curb appeal is subjective, an eye-catching curb appeal is important and can increase the resale value of your home. 

HardiePlank is thick and easily imitates an authentic wood look but provides more benefits for your home than wood (and other) siding. 

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding can appear to have a wood-like texture from a distance, but vinyl siding is too thin to have the embossing and deep lines of wood to be mistaken as wood siding. 

HardiePlank vs. Vinyl Siding: Durability Differences

HardiePlank is considered to be the best option for siding in the Pacific Northwest. Because this area experiences moisture, rain, wind, snow, and fluctuating temperatures, a highly durable siding option will better maintain its structural integrity over time.

When considering insects and animals, both HardiePlank and vinyl siding experience minimal destruction — mostly carpenter ants and termites. Termites are interested in the organic materials found in building elements, like wood studs, sawdust, and wood shavings which may be difficult to avoid despite your siding choice. 


How both HardiePlank and vinyl siding are made plays a large part in how durable they are and the maintenance required to keep them both in good condition.

HardiePlank Siding

HardiePlank is considered to be a durable and long-lasting siding option. It does not typically face damage from birds or insects and has minimal maintenance, making it a great option for many homeowners.

Because HardiePlank is made of concrete, it has an increased chance of cracking upon being struck, however, it will not warp or melt from the heat.

Despite many weather elements, HardiePlank maintains its beauty and aesthetic. It is also resistant to moisture damage and insect infestation.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is considered to be less durable than HardiePlank — something like a lawnmower or shovel can easily cause damage. It is also more prone to cracking from cold temperatures and warping from warmer temperatures.

Unlike HardiePlank, vinyl siding is more flexible, so it is less likely to break or crack when bent.

Many objects and elements can compromise the appearance of vinyl siding, including:

  • Lawnmowers or weed eaters
  • Rocks and debris
  • Extreme weather
  • Dirt 
  • Insect secretion stains
  • Mold, mildew, and algae

Conversely, vinyl siding maintains its beauty while resisting damage from insects, moisture, extreme heat, and fire.


Maintenance is often a big factor when choosing which siding is best for your home.

Many people weigh the idea of paying more for siding upfront and having minimal maintenance to deal with or using a cheaper siding option that requires more frequent maintenance. 

HardiePlank Siding

Hardie board is a low-maintenance siding option, unlike many other types of siding. 

  • It does not require regular painting.
  • It is resistant to fading.
  • It is resistant to peeling.
  • It does not need regular touch-ups or repairs.

HardiePlank is easy to clean by rinsing with a garden hose twice a year. A non-abrasive brush can help get any dirt off of the siding. Do not power wash Hardie board siding to prevent damage.

With regular maintenance, HardiePlank should last the lifetime of your home without needing replacement.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is relatively easy to maintain. It cleans well with a garden hose, soft cloth, and soft-bristled brush. You should consider repainting every 10 years.

You can also fix vinyl siding in the following ways:

  • Repair dents with filler and paint.
  • Replace damaged siding sections.

With regular maintenance, vinyl siding can last 20-40 years.

HardiePlank vs. Vinyl: Comparing Combustibility

In the Pacific Northwest, considering combustibility when choosing your siding option is something other climates may not have to worry about. 

According to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NWICC), roughly 52,500 acres burned across the PNW by August 2020, and 1,054,000 acres by August 2021.

HardiePlank Siding

HardiePlank is difficult to burn. It is considered by James Hardie Industries to not be explosive or flammable, however, it is only fire-resistant, not fireproof. 

If exposed to direct flames, HardiePlank will not ignite or contribute fuel to a fire. 

Vinyl Siding

Compared to HardiePlank, vinyl siding is more affected by fire and extreme heat. In an attempt to combat some combustibility, vinyl siding is treated with a fire retardant, but this only slows down the spread of fire, it does not prevent it. 

Homes with vinyl siding are also in danger if neighboring homes experience a fire because vinyl siding easily warps and melts from exposure. The same goes for fire pits or grills that sit too near to a vinyl siding home.

According to consumer reports, simply replacing your vinyl siding with another siding option increases your ROI by 74.7%.

For homeowners searching for siding options in the Pacific Northwest where wildfires are abundant, vinyl siding would not be the best choice.

Is HardiePlank More Expensive Than Vinyl? Comparing the Cost

Vinyl siding is almost always less expensive than a fiber-cement option like HardiePlank. The product is cheaper and the installation process is quicker, helping to keep the overall costs down. 

Is cheaper always better? Definitely not.

Vinyl siding looks cheaper than HardiePlank to the naked eye. It’s thinner and doesn’t stand up well to weather and extreme conditions.

To determine the overall cost, you must consider:

  • Square footage of your home
  • Labor hours
  • Climate
  • Maintenance

HardiePlank Siding

Hardie board is generally more expensive than vinyl siding because it’s a superior product that requires more work to install and provides more benefits as a result.

  • There are more design options available than vinyl siding.
  • It’s aesthetically a more beautiful product.
  • It’s low-maintenance.
  • You can tell by looking at it that it’s a high-quality, premium product.

Vinyl Siding

More often than not, lower price points equate to cheaper products and more work in the long run. 

Although vinyl siding appears to be the budget-friendly option, its long-term value makes it an inferior product to HardiePlank.

Why is vinyl siding the cheaper option?

  • It is both cheaper to produce and quicker (and easier) to install. 
  • It is less durable.
  • It doesn’t insulate as well.
  • It does not decompose well.
  • It requires a bit more maintenance.
  • It likely requires repairs over time.

Ready For An Estimate? Contact Lifetime Remodeling Systems For A Free In-Home Consultation 

With over 25+ years of experience designing and managing exterior home remodeling projects, Lifetime Remodeling Systems has performed an abundance of HardiePlank siding installations. Not only are we a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor, but we are considered the top exterior remodeler and siding contractor in Oregon.

Our team is dedicated to providing professional estimates and unbeatable customer service — all backed by our Lifetime Warranty. We strive to be your contractor for life which is why we give 100% throughout the entire process. 

From meeting to providing estimates to designing, building, and closing out a project, we ensure you’re completely satisfied with the entire experience. 

Our customers have peace of mind with their HardiePlank installation, which is why Lifetime Remodeling Systems is Portland’s Premier Remodeling firm. 

Contact us today for an estimate.

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