Looking to install new siding on your home? If so you have a few decisions to make. Perhaps the most important of these decisions is the siding material you’re going to use.

These days, 3 of the most commonly used siding materials include James Hardie fiber cement siding, LP Smartside engineered wood siding, and insulated vinyl siding.

Curious as to which wins the battle of LP Smartside vs Hardie vs insulated vinyl? Then keep on reading. We're going to compare them below! 


Not all siding materials possess the same levels of durability. For this reason, when choosing a material, you must be informed of its ability to fight through physical trauma. We'll get into the durability specifics of each material below. 

James Hardie

Fiber cement siding is a hardened concoction of cement, sand, and synthetic polymers. Designed to withstand physical trauma, water damage, and sun damage, it can thrive in all climates. 

James Hardie offers either 30 or 50-year warranties on all of their fiber cement siding options. In general, you can expect this siding to last at least 30 years and, in some cases, up to 75 years. 

LP Smartside

Made out of a mixture of wood pulp and synthetic polymers, LP Smartside siding is designed to thrive in all types of weather conditions. However, when compared to James Hardie siding, it tends to falter in absurdly humid conditions. 

Nonetheless, LP Smartside offers a 50-year warranty on all of its siding. This is reasonable, considering that engineered wood siding will generally last between 50 and 75 years. 

Insulated Vinyl 

Vinyl siding is designed to handle a great deal of wear and tear. Not only does it resist the effects of water and sunlight, but of direct physical trauma as well. Note, however, that cold temperatures can cause it to become brittle and break. 

Insulated vinyl warranties generally cover 30, 40, or 50 years. Note, however, that this material can thrive for as many as 100 years. 

Maintenance Requirements

Some siding materials can go virtually untouched yet still thrive. Others require a great deal of attention and maintenance. The maintenance capabilities of our three focus materials are as follows. 

James Hardie

In most cases, the only maintenance James Hardie siding will need is cleaning and caulking. Cleaning is needed to keep mildew at bay while caulking is needed to ensure that water isn't seeping through. 

LP Smartside

For the most part, LP Smartside siding doesn't require much maintenance. Generally, it will just need to be cleaned and painted. Cleaning should occur every 6 months or so while painting should occur around every 5 years. 

Insulated Vinyl 

Insulated vinyl requires very little in the way of maintenance. This material is specifically designed to protect itself. In most cases, it will only need to be cleaned sporadically. 


Not only do we use siding to protect our homes from the elements, but to provide our homes with attractive aesthetics. Below, we'll compare the aesthetic properties of James Hardie, LP Smartside, and insulated vinyl siding. 

James Hardie

James Hardie siding is designed to look like wood. But, while it captures the general essence of wood, it isn't quite an exact imitation. Nonetheless, it's an attractive material that will help to improve the aesthetic of your home. 

LP Smartside

Like James Hardie siding, LP Smartside siding is designed to look like wood. However, it serves as a much better imitation than does James Hardie siding. From a distance, you'll think you're looking at actual wood panels. 

Insulated Vinyl 

Perhaps the biggest drawback of insulated vinyl is its plain aesthetic. While it's not unattractive, it's also not all that eye-catching either. Of course, this has a lot to do with the fact that vinyl is the most commonly used siding material in the world. 


When it comes to siding, insulation is important. Over the span of a year, a good siding material can save you thousands of dollars in energy costs. The insulative capabilities of our three siding materials are as follows. 

James Hardie

Of the three materials reviewed, James Hardie has the worst insulation. While fiber cement offers some insulation, it's not much different than what you would find in un-insulated vinyl. 

LP Smartside

Like authentic wood, engineered wood is a fairly insulative material. Due to its thickness and density, it does a terrific job of sealing out cold, heat, and sound. By installing it on your home, you are effectively saving yourself money on energy bills. 

Insulated Vinyl 

When it comes to the insulative qualities of these three materials, insulated vinyl reigns supreme. This material is equipped with foam inlays which are specifically designed to stop the inward and outward flows of cold and heat. By installing insulated vinyl on your home, you are sure to save money throughout the year. 


For a good deal of homeowners, the cost is the most important aspect of choosing a siding material. While James Hardie, LP Smartside, and insulated vinyl siding are similarly priced, they do have some variation. This variation will be explained in further detail below. 

James Hardie

James Hardie fiber cement siding leans toward the expensive side. Not only is it expensive to buy, but expensive to have installed also. 

LP Smartside

LP Smartside engineered wood siding is available for around the same price as James Hardie siding. This is to say that it's expensive to purchase and have installed. 

Insulated Vinyl 

Of the three options, insulated vinyl is easily the cheapest option available. Not only does it cost the least to purchase, but it also costs the least to have installed as well. In fact, it's only around a third of the price of James Hardie and LP Smartside siding. 

LP Smartside vs Hardie vs Insulated Vinyl: Which is the Winner? 

Have you chosen a winner in the battle of LP Smartside vs Hardie vs insulated vinyl? In need of siding installation services in Northern California? If so, GVD Renovations has you covered.

Family owned and operated, we offer warranties on all of our installations. Regardless of the siding material that you're hoping to install, our team can accommodate you.

Contact us now for a free estimate!

Tags: james hardie, james hardie siding, lp siding, fiber cement siding, insulated vinyl siding, vinyl siding, lp smartside siding,