Siding Wars

Lady thinking about sidingLP SmartSide Siding vs Hardie & Vinyl Siding

This post is my opinion based on experience of personally installing with my own hands, LP SmartSide siding vs Hardie & Vinyl siding products. In our Houston Texas metro area, it is not uncommon to experience rotted siding on your home exterior. This is due to the fact that we have nearly 4’ (48”) of rain per year in the southeast Texas metro area.

With all of this water running down the side of your home, it is no wonder that so many homes in our area are needing siding replacement. If you are reading this, it is likely you are in the market for new siding for your home and looking at available siding options.

Ranking: 1 – 10 (with 10 being the best)

What Is The Difference Between SmartSide & Hardie Siding Options?

How They Are Made?


The SmartSide siding product is made from treated engineered wood.  Strands of wood are pressed together with bonding agents and treated so they will not rot or decay.

Fiber Cement 

The fiber cement Hardie siding is made from fiber cement. This is a composite material made of sand, cement and cellulose fibers (wood pulp) and pressed together and will not rot as well.

Vinyl Siding

The Vinyl siding product is manufactured primarily from polyvinyl chloride PVC resin. It comes refinished and never needs painting. This product will never rot and is a great option for homeowners who never want to paint their home again and are okay with staying with the same color for years.

Siding impact resistant lp smartside hardie vinylDifferences In Impact Resistance?

SmartSide Impact Ranking – 10

Impact Resistance: SmartSide siding is very impact resistant to everything from golf balls, hail and larger objects which could potentially impact the home. Due to SmartSide being manufactured from engineered wood and the bonding agents, it is very strong.

Fiber Cement (Hardie) Impact Ranking – 8

Hardie siding is also impact resistant to golfballs and hail but not so much from larger objects of impact. Due to the Fiber Cement product being manufactured form a cement-based product, it will crack more easily when struck with larger objects.

Vinyl Siding Impact Ranking – 3

Vinyl siding offers little in protection from impacts due to the fact that it is a thin, non structural siding product. But due to its flexible nature with lower impacts, the vinyl will bounce back when struck.

wind load racking forceStructural Rigidity Differences 

SmartSide Structural Rigidity Ranking – 10

SmartSide siding holds snug to the wall studs in adding racking and structural rigidity to the wall system due to the fact that this product is structurally strong and is not brittle. Because SmartSide is made of engineered wood, it will move at the same rate as the studs that the home is built with with temperature  changes. This is a good thing in building terms and in my opinion.

Fiber Cement (Hardie) Structural Rigidity Ranking – 7

This product also It holds snug to the wall studs but does not offer much in the way of structural stability. Why is this? Fiber Cement is easily broken as is a brittle product. This is not to say that the fiber cement will not offer the home any structural rigidity, it will however not as much as the SmartSide siding. The Fiber Cement will also move at a slightly different rate as the wood studs in your home with temperature changes.   

Vinyl Siding Structural Rigidity Ranking – 2

Vinyl siding has almost no structural rigidity value to it. It is a very flexible siding product that can be easily bent. It conforms to wavy walls becuase it is so flexible and offers no structural rigidity. It moves at a much greater rate than the wood studs in your home during temperature changes.

hardie fire resistance siding Fire Resistance Of LP SmartSide Siding vs Hardie & Vinyl Siding

LP SmartSide Fire Resistance Ranking – 5

Because the LP SmartSide siding is wood based, it will burn just link the wood that you home is built of.

Hardie Siding Fire Resistance Ranking – 10

If you have a home that is in a high fire danger area, then you should consider this siding product. Made from a cement based process, the Hardie siding is extremely fire resistant

Vinyl Siding Fire Resistance Rating – 1

This one is pretty self explanatory. Vinyl siding when exposed to any kind of heat over 160 fahrenheit will start to melt.  


LP SmartSide Appearance Ranking – 10 

The SmartSide siding comes in many profiles and styles. Lap horizontal siding, grooved vertical siding, shake shingle siding and trim options. The LP SmartSide siding products comes in pleasing woodgrain and smooth finishes. 

Fiber Cement (Hardie) Appearance Ranking – 10

Just like it’s competitor it also comes in many profiles and styles. Lap horizontal siding, grooved vertical siding, shake shingle siding and trim options. Also just like it’s competitor above, the Hardie fiber cement siding products comes in pleasing woodgrain and smooth finishes. One note here, the smooth tends to show the imperfections and the nail heads. The wood grain tends to be more pleasing in my opinion. This is the same for the competitor above. 

Vinyl Siding Appearance Ranking – 7

Just like it’s competitors above it also comes in many profiles and styles. Lap horizontal siding, grooved vertical siding, shake shingle siding and trim options. However the Vinyl siding tends to have a plastic look about them. It is an inherent nature of this siding product. 

Siding Warranties Offered

lp smartside 5 / 50 year siding warrantyLP SmartSide 

LP Building Products offers to homeowners a 50 year SmartSide warranty on both the siding and trim. The warranty expresses a 100% coverage for the first 5 years, and then prorated after that from years 6 – 50. Interesting to make note of, the siding and trim are both covered under LP’s 50 year warranty full prorated term. The prorated period starts after the first five years so for example on year 25 you will be getting 50% of the warranty value should an issue arise. 

hardie siding 30 year warrantyFiber Cement (Hardie) 

James Hardie Building Products offers to homeowners a 30 year siding warranty and a 15 year trim warranty. The warranty expresses 100% coverage for the full 30 years on the siding and 15 years on the trim. There is no prorated  period with the James Hardie siding and trim products.

Mastic Lifetime Vinyl Siding Warranty Vinyl Siding 

Since the term, Vinyl Siding is a generic one as there are many manufactures that have a lifetime warranty as PlyGem Mastic offers. This siding product has many manufactures. In general this siding product will come with a lifetime warranty. Having said that, there is really not much to warranty since the product is basically plastic.

Vinyl siding is warranted not to crack, and loose it’s color. One of the problems with Vinyl siding is that you are stuck with the color that you choose. If you are like most homeowners, you like to change up the color from time to time.

And The Winner Is:

LP SmartSide siding is the overall winner! If you are looking for fire resistance then I say to go with the Hardie siding option. You can go wrong with that siding product. If you want to never worry about painting your home and do not mind that inherent plastic look, then I would say go with the Vinyl siding. 

Creditable Reference Links

HCI – SmartSide siding tougher than competition 

DIY Home Decor Blog – Vinyl SmartSide Fiber Cement 

We hope that you have found this LP SmartSiding vs Hardie & Vinyl Siding post informative and most helpful. Thank you from all of us here at, Texas Home Exteriors INC


This entry was posted in Siding - James Hardie/Hardiplank, Siding - LP Smartside, Siding - Vinyl, Texas Home Exteriors. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Siding Wars

  1. Manny says:

    Nice article on the different siding types. We like the Hardie siding as we have it on our home. I definitely love this web site as you have great info. Thanks!


  2. James Fly says:

    This is such a great home improvement website with lots of helpful information! Thank you and have a great day.


  3. Rick Taylor says:

    Vinyl siding installation services using the wide range of material like vinyl, natural limestone stucco, synthetic, acrylic etc. Select the material of your choice and they deliver the look for your home you have always wished for.

    Best siding to have at your home it is low maintenance and durable and you can clean it easily. Informative blog, Keep posting and keep us updated.

    Thank you!!!

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