There are few areas of the home more important than the exterior. This is your home’s first line of defense against the elements, as well as the first thing that people see when they approach your home. This means that whatever you clad your home in needs to be durable enough to stand up to the climate you live in, while also enhancing your home’s appearance.

Wood has long been the go-to material for cladding a home. It’s versatile, attractive, and has a natural appearance that appeals to many people. But wood is also very high maintenance, requiring a lot of scraping, sanding, and painting as well as repairs to keep looking its best over time, and to protect it from the elements. For this reason, many homeowners look for materials that can give them the look of real wood for their homes, but with lower maintenance and better durability. This ensures that their home stays protected from the elements, while maintaining its curb appeal longer.

There are a number of different materials on the market that can resemble wood that have lower maintenance. Not all of them are created equally, however, which can lead to some confusion about which would be right for your home. TruLog steel siding and Hardie Board fiber cement are two options that can definitely outperform real wood. The two materials are radically different from one another, though, in terms of how they’re made, how they look, and how they perform long-term. Comparing the two of them can help you make an informed decision about how to best proceed when re-siding your home.

TruLog Steel Siding

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TruLog steel siding is a unique product designed to give homes the look of a rustic log cabin. The material is made of either 28 or 26 gauge steel, and backed with 1-inch of foam insulation. It’s given a simulated wood grain finish in up to 8 colors with a modified polyester finish. It comes in two styles – log-look siding that can give an existing home the look of a log cabin, and board and batten siding, which can give homes a rustic, barn-like style. 

All of their products are insect and fire resistant and come with a 30 year warranty. The steel is dent resistant, and low maintenance, not requiring the same amount of care or maintenance that wood requires.

Hardie Board Fiber Cement Siding

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Cost and Value 

Both steel and fiber cement siding can add value to your home. Both materials are long lasting, require less maintenance. and can enhance the appearance of your home. 

Hardie Board ranges in cost from $1.86 to $2.02 a square foot for their plain, lap siding, with costs approaching $5 or more a square foot for their shingles. Keep in mind, you do need to order additional to make up for cracking.

Estimates to install Hardie Board are around $4.60 to $9.00 a square foot. This is the uninsulated material; adding insulation will increase costs by around $2 a square foot on average, and if you live in a cold climate, you can expect to pay around $4 – $10 a square foot for their premium material.

TruLog pricing starts around $3.50 a square foot for their board-and-batten siding and around $4.75 a square foot for their log-look siding. Their log-look siding is already insulated, though, and is durable enough to hold up in cold climates, so there are no additional costs. Installation costs for steel siding start around $2 to $4 a square foot. 

Therefore, for a 1500 square foot home, you can expect to pay around $21,000 for insulated, Hardie Board to be installed, and around $14,000 for TruLog to be installed.

Because TruLog is already insulated, you can also expect to pay less in energy bills each month, vs uninsulated fiber cement siding. 

Appearance

TruLog is designed to give your home the look of a log cabin or rustic, board-and-batten cabin. Both styles can be installed on any type of home, and are designed to give your home a very natural appearance that closely resembles the look of wood.

Hardie Board is designed to give your home the look of traditional lap or shingle siding. This means that it may be smooth or wood grain, and is more likely to have a conventional appearance. While designed to look like wood siding, Hardie Board is made to give your home a more bland look, while TruLog is designed to give your home a more rustic and character-filled appearance.

Weigh Your Options

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Both TruLog and Hardie Board can give you a more durable and low maintenance exterior than natural wood. TruLog, however, can give your home increased comfort and energy performance for less money, while also providing your home with a unique character and appearance that more closely resembles real wood. Consider TruLog steel siding for your home to reap these benefits for yourself. 

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