Window Outfitters Blog
Minnesota Siding Choices: Deciding between Composite and Engineered Wood

James Hardie® composite (fiber cement) siding and LP® SmartSide® engineered wood siding are both common products that are sold regularly on the market in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area. And as a licensed Minnesota siding installation contractor, we offer both to our customers.

Most homeowners in the Twin Cities have heard of one or both of the products, but it can be difficult trying to decide between them.  They both have their strong points and their drawbacks.

That’s why it’s so important to understand the benefits and downfalls of each of the options, so you can choose the one that’s best for your needs. We’d be happy to work with you to evaluate your specific needs, but here is some information to get you started.

Comparing James Hardie® Fiber Cement Siding with LP® SmartSide®

Benefits of Engineered Wood Siding

There are a few major reasons to consider LP® siding over James Hardie® fiber cement.

  • LP® siding is generally easier to install, it’s lighter weight and can be cut with standard woodworking saws. That means that most installers will give a lower quote for LP® than they will for James Hardie® siding.
  • The material can also be installed closer to a roof line than James Hardie® siding can.  If one of your home’s walls meets with a roof line, as with dormers for instance, LP® SmartSide® can be as close as 1” off the roof line, while James Hardie® must be positioned at least 2” off the roof line. That means that you’ll have cleaner lines and less visible flashing with LP®.

Benefits of James Hardie® Fiber Cement Siding

While there are a few pretty good reasons to consider LP® engineered wood siding, there are some real benefits to James Hardie® siding as well.

  • If you’re planning on having shake-style siding installed on your home, most people agree that the James Hardie® product looks nicer than the LP® shakes do.
  • James Hardie® siding is available to order prefinished in color you choose, meaning that there’s no need to worry about painting it before or after installation. LP® siding must be finished during the installation process, which adds an additional step to the process.
  • Adding James Hardie siding to your home will also make it more fire resistant. That’s a benefit that most buyers will overlook, but the material could slow down a fire enough to help preserve your home during an emergency.

There are some very real benefits to both James Hardie® siding and LP® SmartSide® siding, but you have to look them over and decide which benefits mean more to you.

At Window Outfitters, a licensed Minnesota home remodeling contractor, we offer both of these siding products as well as other options to our customers, and we can confidently recommend them both because each is a reliable and quality product.  Can’t make up your mind which you prefer?  We’d be happy to talk with you further – why not contact us to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation either at your home or in our Savage area showroom?


Window Outfitters is a premier Window Replacement, doors, siding contractor and installer. As Contractor in the St Paul, Minneapolis, (Twin Cities) Minnesota (MN) metro, we proudly serve, but are not limited to, the following areas: Minneapolis Energy Efficient Vinyl Windows, Replacement Window Contractors Minnesota, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Lakeville, Savage, Bloomington, Edina, Richfield, Eagan, St Paul, Hastings, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Eden Prairie, Farmington MN, Chaska, Shakopee, Chanhassen, Victoria, Mendota Heights Anderson Windows Minneapolis, Marvin Windows Minneapolis.


Window Outfitters Inc. | 12605 Creek View Avenue | Savage , MN 55378 | 952-746-6661

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