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The Best Siding Choice for a Cape Cod Style Home

A Cape Cod style home is an American classic. The simple details, colorful doors, symmetrical features, and exterior shutters make this cozy cottage a coveted home style throughout America. Its rich history includes practical features to stand up to cold winters, including a steep roof to prevent snow buildup and a fireplace at the heart of the home’s first floor. The style has evolved over the years, adding dormers to the second floor where bedrooms are located.

If your Cape Cod home needs some upgrades, a great place to start is the exterior. New windows, doors, and shutters can help your home in many ways, but one of the best home upgrades is new siding. People love the charming look of a Cape Cod home, so when updating, you want a siding that accentuates the design.

Your Cape Cod’s first floor may be well protected with brick siding, but when it comes time to re-side the second-floor area, which siding material offers the best features? Since vinyl and fiber cement are both worth considering, take a good look at them side by side to make an informed decision you’ll be happy with for years to come.

How James Hardie Siding Compares to Vinyl Siding

When looking to modernize your Cape Cod style home, an exterior siding upgrade can transform its curb appeal and accent its beauty. Here’s a look at two popular siding options and how they perform on your home.


  • James Hardie—This gorgeous, durable siding complements brick exteriors and Cape Cod style homes perfectly. Put your home’s style on display with beautiful Hardie siding. Cape Cod homes are known for the natural look of cedar shingles. Hardie siding delivers the gorgeous look of cedar shingles without the high maintenance.
  • Vinyl—Vinyl siding is available in a shake style, and looks good when it’s installed, yet can be subject to dents, warping, and damage. It’s super thin so it doesn’t give an authentic cedar shake look to your home exterior like Hardie siding. Trim is indistinct when you choose vinyl siding, decreasing its overall look.


  • James Hardie—Hardie siding is virtually maintenance free. It has the simple need to be washed twice a year with a garden hose and medium bristle nylon brush. Keep an eye on its caulking at the seams of doors and windows, and if caulking weathers over the years, simply replace it.
  • Vinyl—Vinyl requires more maintenance and repairs than Hardie siding. It can be cleaned with a garden hose, and never needs to be painted again.


  • James Hardie—Brick lasts a long time, so pairing it with another durable siding product is a wise choice, giving you cohesive design. Hardie siding lasts up to 50 years when well maintained and installed by a James Hardie Preferred contractor. And it looks gorgeous decades after it’s installed.
  • Vinyl— The Ohio climate can be tough on vinyl, causing it to fade and show its age after only 10-15 years. Vinyl is prone to breakage and can even lower a home’s resale value due to its lack of endurance. Siding planks often split from the expansion and contraction caused by temperature changes. If your vinyl siding dents or gets damaged, it can’t be patched. The entire plank needs to be replaced.


  • James Hardie—Combining brick with Hardie siding gives you a wide range of color palettes to choose from. Create a striking contrast or simply pull out a color contained in the brick for your siding color selection. Red brick and a warm neutral like Hardie’s “Cobble Stone” give your home a classic look. Pairing brick with a bold blue such as Hardie’s “Deep Ocean” can be a perfect combination for your Cape Cod style home. Other options include light blue like “Boothbay Blue” or a darker color such as “Iron Gray.” Aim for striking accents or subtle variations throughout your home exterior.

Hardie siding maintains its gorgeous color when you choose ColorPlus® technology. This factory baked-on color is fade resistant and UV resistant. Designer-picked color combinations take the guesswork out of your home exterior color choice.

  • Vinyl—Choose wisely when you pick the color of your vinyl siding because it can’t be repainted. When it’s vinyl, it’s final — when it comes to color.


  • James Hardie—Made of cement, sand and cellulose, this strong combination gives you reliable siding that stands up to the weather for decades.
  • Vinyl—Vinyl siding is a durable form of plastic and comes in a variety of colors and styles. It’s significantly thinner than Hardie siding, making it vulnerable to damage.  

Return on Investment

  • James Hardie—Get a premium return on your investment (ROI) with Hardie siding. It boosts the resale value of your home significantly due to its beauty, durability, 30-year warranty, and performance.
  • Vinyl—While vinyl siding is more affordable when you re-side your home, it can be a drawback when it comes time to resell it. You may get lower offers on your home if it’s covered in vinyl siding.

Moisture Intrusion

  • James Hardie—Hardie siding is built to stand up to severe weather including rainstorms, snow, hail, and high winds. It resists moisture intrusion, so you can avoid the hassles of siding repair due to wood rot or mold.
  • Vinyl—If it isn’t caulked properly, vinyl can tend to trap water within the cavity of your wall through gaps at the edge of your siding, creating the need for repairs.
Is James Hardie Siding right for your home?

Our "Complete Hardie Siding Guide" can help you decide.

Trusted Siding Installation  

At American Way Exteriors, as a James Hardie Elite Preferred contractor, we install Hardie siding according to the manufacturer’s standards so you get the high performance you deserve. Read more about James Hardie siding, and discover why it’s America’s favorite siding material.

Read Our Rave Reviews

American Way Exteriors has earned numerous positive reviews for our outstanding service. Read about our customers’ pleasant experiences working with us, then contact us today to learn how we can improve your home with new siding and roofing.

"Jake Preston is amazing! We had wind damage to our roof. Jake assisted us through every step. Making sure we had no unanswered questions. His professionalism and kindness is unmatched. The crew was respectful and detailed oriented. Thank you Jake and American Way!"

Michelle G.

"Replaced the existing siding on my home. Contact and price were discussed thoroughly during the initial discussions. Workers arrived at the scheduled time and were professional in the removal, new installation, cleanup, and onsite conduct. Communication between supervisors, installers and myself was on a daily basis and any issues were addressed immediately. Would not hesitate to use this company again or recommend them."

Beecher R.

"We chose American Way Exteriors to replace our old vinyl siding with Hardie board siding and trim. Throughout the entire process we found the team to be very professional and receptive to our questions about the project. They were constantly in touch with us about when work would start, what to expect each day of the project, and followed up to see if we had concerns. As the project began it was very apparent our house had suffered from poor installation by the builder years ago. The American Way team worked to fix the problems, keeping us well informed along the way. We could not be happier with the finished project both cosmetically and structurally. This is definitely a company we highly recommend exterior projects!"

Kathy G.

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