Siding Brand Comparisons

Blue James Hardie Siding from the Magnolia Collection

One of the questions we often hear from our customers is, “Which siding brand is the best choice for my home?” The simple answer is that it depends on a variety of different factors. Our job is to give you information about the different options available to you so you can make an informed decision based on your needs. Below, we’ve put together an in-depth siding brand comparison so you can learn more about James Hardie siding vs. CertainTeed/Masic, Everlast, and LP SmartSide. 

Once you have a better idea of which siding option you want to use for your siding replacement, let our experts at MHX Designs guide you through the next steps. To request a free quote for your upcoming project, please call 888-944-6493 or contact us online

Table of Contents:

Different Siding Brands at a Glance

Before we deep dive into the details of these different brands, let’s take a high-level look at how they compare to each other:


MATERIALS This is composed of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers. This is made of polyvinyl chloride, aka PVC.  This is a composite of inorganic minerals, polymer resin, and acrylic colorants.  This is made from engineered wood with manufactured materials.
DURABILITY Very Durable Least Durable Very Durable Most Durable
THICKNESS (LAP) ~1/4″ ~0.05″ ~1/4″ ~1/4″
TEXTURE Wood-like and Smooth options Wood-like Wood-like Wood
COLOR 18 Standard Colors 20 to 30 Standard Colors 15 Standard Colors 16 Standard Colors
STANDARD LAP SIZES 8.25″ (Custom Sizes available) 4″, 5″ 7″,  4.5″ 5.84″, 6.84″, 7.84″, 11.84″
AVAILABLE SIDING TYPES Lap, Vertical Shingle, Special Lap, Vertical Shingle Lap, Vertical Lap, Vertical
INSTALLATION DIFFICULTY Complex Easy Moderate Moderate
MAINTENANCE Some Little to None Little to None Some
PAINTABLE Yes No Yes, but painting is not recommended Yes
COST $$($) $ $$$ $$

How Each Brand Is Made

Now that you know the basics of James Hardie siding, let’s get into the details of the makeup of each of these brands. 

What Is James Hardie Siding?

James Hardie is a fiber cement siding material, which is made from a combination of Portland cement, sand, and cellulose fibers. The unique combination of these materials results in a strong material that is resistant to moisture and able to withstand all of the weather extremes we experience here in Southeastern Pennsylvania. 

James Hardie, specifically, creates siding products based on climate to ensure the best possible performance. In our region, we install James Hardie’s HZ5 products, which are formulated to resist damage from snow, ice, and cold temperatures. 

What Is CertainTeed/Mastic Siding?

Both CertainTeed and Mastic are types of vinyl siding, which are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin. This is a type of plastic that’s known for its durability, weather resistance, and low maintenance requirements, making it a popular option with many homeowners. 

These brands also use color pigments and additives like UV stabilizers to help offer extra protection against sun damage. 

What Is Everlast Siding?

Everlast is a type of composite siding that is made from polymeric resins and mineral fillers, which results in a durable exterior that offers excellent resistance against weather, pests, and impact damage. Everlast also uses UV stabilizers to help protect against fading over time. 

Customers like Everlast siding because it mimics the look of traditional wood, without the drawbacks associated with wood like rotting and splitting. 

What Is LP SmartSide?

LP SmartSide is an engineered wood siding that is made from a composite material. Much like Everlast siding, it has the appearance of traditional wood siding with the durability of engineered wood. LP SmartSide is made from a combination of wood fiber, resins, waxes, and zinc borate. 

The wood fibers help contribute to the siding’s wood appearance, while the resins and waxes act as binders for durability. The siding is then treated with zinc borate, which is a wood preservative that helps to enhance the material’s resistance to decay and pest damage. 

Pros and Cons of Different Siding Brands

All of these siding brands have advantages and disadvantages, which are important to consider when choosing which material to use for your siding replacement

James Hardie Siding Pros and Cons

James Hardie siding is one of the most popular materials on the market. Consider the following pros and cons when deciding whether to choose it for your exterior. 


  • Durability: James Hardie is known for its durability and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions like rain, hail, wind, and UV exposure. It is also resistant to rot, warping, and damage from pests. 
  • Fire resistance: James Hardie fiber cement siding won’t contribute fuel in the event of a fire, providing an added level of safety for your home. 
  • Low maintenance: This siding material is relatively low maintenance compared to traditional wood siding. It doesn’t require frequent painting and its color lasts longer compared to some other materials. 
  • Versatility: James Hardie siding comes in a variety of styles, colors, and textures, giving you flexibility when choosing a look that complements your design preferences. 
  • Long lifespan: When installed and maintained properly, James Hardie siding can last several decades. 


  • Complexity of installation: Installing James Hardie siding can be more complex compared to other siding materials. It often requires specialized tools and expertise to install, which is why it’s important to choose a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor for your siding replacement. 
  • Initial cost: The upfront cost of James Hardie siding can be higher than some other siding materials such as vinyl. However, its average lifespan and overall durability can help offset the cost of the initial investment over time. 

Comparing James Hardie Siding vs CertainTeed/Mastic: Pros and Cons

As two of the top vinyl siding brands available, here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of CertainTeed/Mastic siding so you can see how they compare to James Hardie siding. 

CertainTeed/Mastic Pros: 

  • Wide range of styles: CertainTeed and Mastic vinyl siding both come in a selection of styles, textures, and colors, so you can customize your exterior to your liking. 
  • Durability: Both of these siding options are resistant to weather extremes, insect damage, and rot. 
  • Affordability: Vinyl siding like the ones from CertainTeed and Mastic tends to have a lower upfront cost, making it a popular option with budget-conscious homeowners. 
  • Low maintenance: Vinyl siding is easy to keep clean with soap and water, and it doesn’t need to be repainted every few years like some other siding materials require. 

CertainTeed/Mastic Cons:

  • Less impact resistance: Compared to some other materials, vinyl siding is not as impact-resistant, so it is more prone to dents and dings. 
  • Environmental concerns: While vinyl siding is recyclable, the production uses PVC, which is not as environmentally friendly as some other materials. 

Comparing James Hardie Siding vs Everlast: Pros and Cons 

Could this composite siding be the best choice for you? Consider the advantages and disadvantages of this material and see how it stacks up against James Hardie siding. 

Everlast Pros: 

  • Moisture resistance: Everlast siding is specially formulated to resist moisture, so it doesn’t have issues with swelling, warping, or rotting, even in our wet Pennsylvania climate. 
  • Durability: Along those same lines, Everlast siding is engineered to withstand our area’s harsh weather conditions like wind, heavy rain, and UV exposure. 
  • Appearance: If you want the beautiful look of traditional wood siding without the durability headaches, Everlast is a great option. It’s available in numerous styles and colors. 
  • Impact resistance: Everlast siding is designed to be resistant to damage from impacts like hail. 

Everlast Cons:

  • Initial cost: Like James Hardie siding, Everlast has a higher upfront cost which can be offset by its durability and low maintenance requirements. 
  • Moderately complex installation: Since there are special skills and tools needed to properly install Everlast siding, it’s important to hire an experienced professional who is familiar with the product, like MHX Designs.
  • Limited availability: Compared to other siding materials, Everlast siding is not always as widely available, which could delay your siding replacement project. 

Comparing James Hardie Siding vs LP SmartSide: Pros and Cons

LP SmartSide is another popular option to consider. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this material so you have a better idea of how it differs from James Hardie siding. 

LP SmartSide Pros: 

  • Versatility: LP SmartSide comes in a variety of styles, textures, and finishes, so there is no shortage of options available to you. 
  • Natural appearance: This is another siding option that mimics the look of real wood, which offers a beautiful, natural, and aesthetically pleasing curb appeal. 
  • Moderately easy installation: LP SmartSide is easier to install compared to some other materials, which often means your siding replacement project won’t take as long to complete. 
  • Durability: Engineered wood siding, like LP SmartSide, is treated to resist fungal decay, termites, and other pests. It is also designed to withstand weather extremes. 

LP SmartSide Cons: 

  • Maintenance requirements: LP SmartSide may need periodic painting or staining to keep it looking great for the long term. 
  • Initial cost: Similar to James Hardie siding and Everlast siding, LP SmartSide tends to have a higher upfront cost. Keep this and future painting requirements in mind when budgeting for your siding replacement. 
  • Water sensitivity during installation: During the installation process, there’s a risk of water infiltration behind the siding unless proper water management practices are followed. To help prevent any issues, trust an experienced siding contractor for the installation. 

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Our Final Thoughts on Each of These Siding Materials

As you get closer to deciding which of these siding materials will best fit your needs, here’s some final insight on each of these popular brands. 

James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding

This is a beautiful siding system with many installation requirements. Extensive knowledge and experience are required to install the system to meet the manufacturer’s warranty and some ongoing maintenance is required. We love this siding because it’s available in many different siding types and options to build a custom design. 

CertainTeed/Mastic Vinyl Siding 

These are the most popular siding systems in the Northeast and they are a cost-effective solution for those that are budget-conscious. While these vinyl siding brands are less durable than other siding systems, they are generally easy to repair and they require little to no maintenance after the initial installation. 

Everlast Composite Siding

This siding option is like a vinyl siding taken to the next level. It’s a popular option with our customers because there is little to no maintenance required. Everlast siding is a complete siding system with built-in window and door trims and is the best waterproofing siding system on the market. 

Keep in mind that there is a limited availability of this product and there may be supply issues during your project. 

LP SmartSide Engineered Wood Siding

Just like Everlast is a next-level version of vinyl siding, LP SmartSide is a better version of wood siding. It’s also very similar to the James Hardie siding system. While some maintenance is required for this material, it’s the most durable siding system on the market and it provides an authentic wood siding appearance. 

Similar to Everlast siding, there is limited availability for LP SmartSide products and potential supply issues in the Northeast region. 

Trust MHX Designs for Your Siding Replacement Project

Now that you’ve read this in-depth comparison of James Hardie siding vs. CertainTeed/Mastic, Everlast, and LP SmartSide, we hope you have a better idea of how to choose the best siding material and brand for your upcoming project. 

No matter what you end up choosing, you can count on MHX Designs to complete the installation for you. When you’re ready to take the next step to request a free quote and set up a consultation with our experts, please call 888-944-6493 or contact us online