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Why Homeowners Choose Hardie Board Siding over Cedar Shake Siding

Weathered cedar siding can compromise your home’s protective layer, making it vulnerable to moisture intrusion. Costly repairs may follow due to wood rot, mold and mildew.

While cedar siding’s distinct look can be appealing, it’s important to understand the places wood can become costly and troublesome for your home exterior.

When looking for new siding for your home, if you’re deciding between cedar or Hardie Board—which gives you the look of cedar without the high maintenance—take a moment to look at their features side-by-side so you can make the best long-term decision for your needs.

How Natural Cedar Siding Compares to Durable Hardie Siding

Replacement siding from a professional siding contractor increases your home’s overall value, boosts your energy savings, and maximizes its curb appeal. Here’s how Cedar Shake stands up against Hardie siding’s features.


  • Cedar Shake—This organic material is made from native trees from the U.S. such as red or white cedar trees. Cedar siding delivers a traditional look with natural appeal.
  • Hardie Board—This durable siding is also called fiber cement. It is made of Portland cement, sand, and cellulose fibers. The most popular fiber cement product in America is James Hardie.


  • Cedar Shake—Get a timeless look or rustic chic board and batten style with genuine cedar shakes.
  • Hardie Board—Enjoy the look that complements your home’s architecture and matches your taste. Hardie siding delivers clean, sleek lines for contemporary style homes, or brings the look of cedar shake to more traditional homes. Choose from a variety of styles:
  • HardiePlank—Enjoy the classic, timeless look of horizontal lap siding with long lasting endurance.
  • HardiePanel—Add HardieTrim to this vertical siding to create the chic board-and-batten farmhouse look and update your home with style.
  • HardieShingle—Get the beauty of cedar shakes without its high maintenance with Hardie siding.
  • HardieTrim—Create the perfect finishing look for your home by accenting doors, windows, and more with long-lasting HardieTrim boards.
  • HardieSoffit panels—Cover the underside of your roof eaves and exterior porch ceilings with smooth or vented durable panels.


  • Cedar Shake—Choose from either a stained or painted finish to get the perfect look for your home exterior.
  • Hardie Board—Select either pre-primed boards you can paint any color after installation, or James Hardie ColorPlus technology. With ColorPlus finish, you get UV resistance, fade resistance, and durable factory baked-on color. Choose from designer-picked color combinations to match your style and make your home stand out.


  • Cedar Shake—As you would expect, because cedar is wood, it can be easily penetrated by water. If moisture invades cedar, wood rot or mold could result.
  • Hardie Board—This strong, long-lasting material carries a 30-year transferable, non-prorated warranty as long as you have it installed by a James Hardie Preferred contractor. It’s known to last up to 50 years when well maintained, and when properly installed by professionals.


  • Cedar Shake—Wood siding needs regular maintenance to both stay gorgeous and endure the weather elements. Paint tends to wear off cedar siding quickly, so it generally needs to be repainted every 3-5 years, making it a high maintenance product. Cedar shakes should be inspected regularly for signs of wood rot, pest infestation, or woodpecker damage. The earlier problems are spotted, the faster you can get them repaired. Avoid the costly trouble that comes with overlooking wood rot or pest infestation by looking carefully for these common problems regularly.
  • Hardie Board—This durable siding resists severe weather, hail, snow, and high winds. ColorPlus shades are baked on in the factory and only need to be repainted approximately every 15 years. Hardie finishes won’t crack, peel, or fade. To maintain the beauty of Hardie siding, simply wash it twice a year with a garden hose and a medium bristle nylon brush to remove any dirt. Read more on how James Hardie is the best low-maintenance siding on the market.

Pest resistance

  • Cedar Shake—This siding attracts woodpeckers and pests such as termites or carpenter ants. The repairs needed after woodpeckers or pests damage your home exterior can be costly and time consuming.
  • Hardie Board—Hardie siding offers reliable pest resistance so you won’t be bothered with the damage woodpeckers, termites, or carpenter ants can cause. Learn more about woodpecker resistant Hardie siding.

Find out more about James Hardie in our "Complete Hardie Siding Guide"


  • Cedar Shake—Wood can easily fuel a fire, creating more danger for you and your loved ones. Cedar is commonly treated with fire retardants but doesn’t offer the noncombustible qualities Hardie siding delivers.
  • Hardie Board—This strong, noncombustible product won’t fuel a fire, and some insurance companies even offer a discount due to its protective qualities from heat and fire.

Environmentally Friendly

  • Cedar Shake—Wood can be recycled, and it is biodegradable—so it will break down rather than piling up in a landfill.
  • Hardie Board—This nontoxic siding material is long-lasting so it isn’t replaced frequently, contributing less often to landfills than other manmade materials such as vinyl.


  • Cedar Shake—The installation process is less involved than Hardie siding installation, and the cedar itself can be pricey. When homeowners consider the high maintenance needs as well as cedar’s vulnerabilities to pest infestation, Hardie siding often wins out as the siding material of choice.
  • Hardie Board—Fiber cement material is more affordable than cedar, and it comes with the benefits of low maintenance, durability, and lasting beauty. Its installation is more involved than cedar shakes. But you won’t need siding replacement again for up to 50 years!

Get Trusted Siding Installation

Transform your Dayton home with gorgeous new siding. We’re a James Hardie Elite Preferred contractor, so your siding will be installed with precision and your warranty will be well protected.

Take a moment to learn more about Hardie siding and see why it’s the most popular siding material in America.

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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