Cedar Siding Vs. Hardie Board – Which One’s Better?

Cedarwood and Hardie board are equally popular when it comes to sidings. It’s not difficult to find the perfect match for your home because both options offer separate benefits. In this debate between cedar siding vs Hardie board, the winner can only be determined by the user’s preference.

Cedar and Hardie board differs in aesthetics, maintenance, cost, durability, and safety. However, there are some similar traits between them like eco-friendliness.

To understand the difference between the two, you need to take a look at the features more closely. So, let’s do that.

Cedar Siding Vs Hardie Board

Cedar Siding Vs Hardie Board: Comparison Table

Subject Of ComparisonCedar SidingHardie Board Siding
ManufacturingMade from natural woodMade with cement, sand, and cellulose fibers
AppearanceAuthentic wood appearanceReplicated the wood appearance
DurabilityComparatively less durableMore durable
CostComparatively expensiveComparatively less expensive
MaintenanceHigh maintenanceLow maintenance
SafetyLess safeComparatively safer
Eco-FriendlinessBiodegradableDoes not release toxins

Cedar Siding Vs Hardie Board: Differences

As you can see from the table above, the differences between cedar siding and the Hardie board are significant. That’s why it’s important to understand each of them before deciding which one to go for.

How They’re Made

Cedar wood siding is mostly natural. Wood is extracted directly from the trees and then it’s prepared to be used in houses. Fiber cement or Hardie board, on the other hand, is more artificial.

Using sand, cement, and cellulose fibers, Hardie boards are made. This artificial manufacturing procedure allows the material to be more customized and durable. On the contrary, the material does not come with a natural appearance.


The most significant reason why people choose cedar over Hardie board is the appearance. Hardie boards are not less appealing to look at. However, people who admire authenticity and only want a certain type of look will choose cedar over fiber cement on any given day.

In general, Hardie boards can be customized to look like cedar wood. In fact, it’s almost impossible to differentiate it from wood if you’re not looking at it from close. Still, people go with cedar wood due to its natural features.

Some people particularly prefer one look from cedar. When cedar is untreated and weathered, it can offer a certain silver patina. Fiber cement cannot achieve this look. That’s another reason why people invest a larger amount of money to get cedar for their homes.

Note that you can get a wide range of textures and styles with both cedar and Hardie boards. But the issue with Hardie board patterns is that they’re too perfect to be mistaken as real wood. So, no matter how closely it replicated wood, cedar will always be a better choice when it comes to aesthetics.


You have to take multiple aspects into consideration when it comes to durability. However, the Hardie board is most likely to win in every argument. For instance, wood is more prone to damage when exposed to moisture.

Hardie boards can also experience moisture issues. But when you compare the two, wood is nowhere near Hardie boards.

Another thing is that cedar is more vulnerable to certain things. Take woodpeckers and mites, for instance. You won’t have to worry about them with fiber cement.

Then there’s also maintenance to think about. You have to put extra effort to make wood durable. At least when you compare it to Hardie board.


By the descriptions so far, you would think that wood is more affordable than Hardie board. But that’s not the case. In general, most natural things are more expensive than manufactured materials. Cedar is no exception either.

Even though there are cheaper options than both cedar and Hardie boards, this comparison is restricted to these two options. If you compare these two, wood is certainly more expensive than Hardie boards.

Whereas Hardie board will require you to spend only $3 to $4 per square foot, cedar will cost you anywhere between $5 and $7. So, if you’re choosing Hardie board, you can save a large amount of money.


Because wood is more prone to damage by natural causes, you need to pay more attention to maintenance. The same is not true for Hardie boards.

Hardie board is more difficult to install but the maintenance required for keeping it new is comparatively hassle-free. Wood will require repainting after a few years. Hardie boards can last longer in this matter.

To keep Hardie boards clean, you only have to use your water hose regularly.


For this particular comparison, I am referring to fire safety. If the cedar you’ve used for your siding is not treated properly, it will certainly increase the damage in case there’s a fire emergency.

Wood is a perfect ingredient for fueling the fire. On the contrary, fiber cement does not fuel fire and can be a safer option for homeowners.

Cedar Siding Vs Hardie Board: Similarities

There’s no need to think that both these options are opposite to each other. There are some similarities between these two. But the most significant one is that they are both environment-friendly.

Wood is naturally biodegradable. There’s nothing toxic about that. Fiber cement is also as sustainable as it gets with man-made products.

The material does not release any toxic materials into the environment, making it greener to use. However, some CO2 is emitted when the product is manufactured. This flaw makes up for the low maintenance afterward.

Note that, the Hardie board is an alternative to cedar siding. So are aluminum, vinyl, and other materials. You cannot replace cedar with Hardie boards.

Let’s elaborate on that a bit. If some part of your cedar siding is damaged, you cannot use the Hardie board for that particular part. There are multiple reasons behind this.

For instance, the thickness isn’t the same for cedar siding and Hardie board. In addition, the Hardie board may replicate how cedar looks, but when you install them together, the difference will be obvious.

So, if you’re going for a newly-built house, only then consider the options. Do not replace one existing material with another one.

Cedar Siding Vs Hardie Board: Which One To Choose And Why?

If you don’t have any preference at all, Hardie boards can be a better option in multiple ways. It will cost you less, require low maintenance, and be more durable. These are enough solid reasons for choosing Hardie board over cedar.

The only reason to choose cedar is its natural and authentic appearance. You can’t get that with Hardie board. Many people value authenticity over anything else, which is why they’re prepared to pay a higher amount to get cedar for siding.

Hardie board can also offer you a range of styles for your home. However, these styles will be more modernized compared to cedar. In the end, it comes down to your preference and what you’re seeking in your house’s appearance.

If you’re determined about installing cedar, there are precautions you can take to make it last longer. For instance, using protecting coating, reapplying the coating when necessary, installing the sidings with perfection, etc.

Cedar may not win over Hardie boards in certain aspects, but when you judge the options individually, cedar is certainly a great option to choose.

Final Words

It can be overwhelming to select so many things when you’re building a house. In this comparison between cedar siding vs Hardie board, the latter has some obvious advantages.

However, when it comes to authentic wood appearance, there is no match for cedar siding. Regardless of which one you go for, make sure that you’re seeking help from a professional. Both these options are tricky to install, unlike vinyl. If you get the installation wrong, you will end up wasting a lot of money on a failed project.

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