Is your home’s siding starting to look a little weathered? It could be time for a replacement. LP Smartside and James Hardie fiber cement siding are both popular choices among homeowners, and the reasons boil down to durability, reliability, and versatility. 

But which siding product is best for your home? Here’s a side-by-side comparison of fiber cement siding vs. LP SmartSide to help you make an informed decision that will protect your home while also enhancing your home’s curb appeal and value.

What Are the Products Made of?

As the first line of defense against the elements, you want your siding to be strong, reliable, and long-lasting. The composition of the siding product is one of the decisions you’ll make when it’s time for an upgrade.

James Hardie

Fiber cement siding is produced from a combination of cellulose fibers and cement materials. The cellulose fiber is a mix of esters and ethers of cellulose that come from plants and wood. The siding also contains Portland cement, sand, and fly ash.

Fiber cement is highly durable and much more resistant to weather, fire, and pest damage. It requires very little maintenance and can go years without needing to be repainted.

LP SmartSide

LP Smartside siding is made from wood strands that are wax-coated for moisture resistance. The strands are also bonded with resin for added durability and impact resistance. SmartSide also adds a zinc borate solution to its siding for protection against termites and fungal decay.

As a result, SmartSide looks like traditional wood without the headache and complications of regular wood siding. LP Smartside is lighter and easier to install than fiber cement siding. 

What About Their Appearance?

The exterior of your home plays a vital role in your home’s overall curb appeal and property value. Thankfully, both James Hardie fiber cement siding and LP SmartSide siding offer various attractive options to meet your style and preferences. 

James Hardie

James Hardie offers a wide variety of fiber cement siding options, making it easy to match the aesthetic of your home. For example, their Fiber Cement Lap Siding is a horizontal plank design. Depending on the style of your home, you can choose a wood grain style for that traditional look or a smooth, modern finish to bring contemporary flair.

If horizontal planks are not to your taste, James Hardie also offers HardiePanel vertical siding, which has a rustic board-and-batten appearance. Or why not take a peek at the HardieShingle siding with the appearance of cedar shingles?

Fiber cement siding is offered in hundreds of color options. Choose a common color in your area or opt for siding that can be painted once the installation is complete. The baked-on options are guaranteed to last up to 15 years without fading or discoloration.


LP SmartSide also boasts a wide range of styles and colors that appeal to everyone’s sense of design. You can go for a more rustic design or choose a siding that mimics the appearance of natural wood. 

SmartSide also offers different textured finishes, including smooth, stucco, batten style, and reverse board. You have the option of having your siding prefinished in the factory or having it painted after installation. The second option allows you to customize your paint color because SmartSide offers only 16 colors.

What Does Siding Maintenance Look Like?

Between work, family, and social obligations, the last thing you want to be worrying about is extensive siding maintenance. Both LP SmartSide and fiber cement siding require minimal maintenance.

James Hardie

Fiber cement siding should be cleaned about twice a year to remove dirt and debris. You’ll need a soft brush or cloth and a garden hose (not a pressure washer) to clean your siding in the direction of the plank siding. 

LP SmartSide

LP SmartSide siding should be visually inspected at least once a year. You may use a soft brush, sponge, or cloth and a bucket filled with a solution of mild detergent to clean the dirt. You may not use a pressure washer or harsh solvents as these may cause moisture intrusion and damage to the paint of the siding.

What About the Warranties They Offer?

You want to understand what kind of warranty comes with your new siding. A manufacturer’s warranty ensures the manufacturer will cover the costs of replacing the product if it fails due to manufacturing defects. 

James Hardie

Not only is fiber cement siding from James Hardie built to last, but it’s got an industry-leading warranty. The siding comes with a 30-year, non-prorated, transferable warranty. With this, 100% of the material is covered for up to 30 years if installed by a James Hardie Preferred Contractor. 

All trim products come with a 15-year, non-prorated warranty.


When it comes to warranty, LP SmartSide pales in comparison to the Hardie Board siding. LP SmartSide provides customers with a 50-year limited, prorated warranty. Your siding is warrantied in full only through the first five years. After five years, the amount you get reduces by 2.2% per year. So, at 30 years, you’ll only have 34% coverage.

Choosing a high-performance siding material is the best way to get an exceptional exterior. At Straightline Construction, we carry the best products on the market, including LP SmartSide and James Hardie products. We’ll help you choose the right siding for your home based on your needs, budget, and design preferences. 

Our team takes pride in doing siding installation right the first time, making your dreams of a gorgeous, well-protected home a reality. Contact us today for a free consultation and siding estimate. We serve homeowners in Sacramento, CA.