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Masonite Siding Price Guide

Masonite siding refers to a type of siding that is composed of wood fibers and glues or resin, which is then applied to a surface resembling wood. It is somewhat similar in concept to particleboard, and while it is definitely suitable for outside weathering and applications, it can face similar eventual problems to particle board. Also known as hardboard, the Masonite word originated from a company that no longer manufactures it.

The Costs

(500 square feet)

  • Discount: $640 to $850

  • Basic: $830 to $1,100

  • Premium: $1,100 to $1,500

  • Designer: $1,500 to $2,000

Types of Siding

Different manufacturers will have slightly varied processes for the construction of their hardboard siding as well as different finishes and looks, but generally, there are only three subtypes when selecting a particular look. Shiplap edge panel siding is made to be placed vertically and uses shiplap joints over long edges. Lap siding is perhaps the most common look and is made of horizontal boards that overlap the board beneath it. Finally, square edge panels are applied in sheets vertically. Ultimately, the differences are about the desired look of the house.

Pros of Masonite Siding

People generally choose Masonite siding when they want the look of wood but need a cheaper alternative. Masonite resembles real wood and is significantly cheaper than vinyl and cement board, which are similar options. It uses fewer trees than solid wood siding and withstands insect infestation better than the latter. Lastly, it is available in a variety of colors.

Cons of Masonite Siding

Masonite siding is not perfect, however. It has a somewhat tarnished reputation from a period of poor manufacturing standards during the latter part of the 20th century when the Masonite Company took shortcuts to slash their costs. Masonite siding from this period was prone to frequent failure within the warranty period including deterioration, bulging, discoloration, and a multitude of other ugly and expensive problems.

Masonite siding is still prone to these problems, although better manufacturing methods prolong its life to a more reasonable period. It does need to be checked every year for any signs of blistering or discoloration as these are signs that the coating on the Masonite is failing. In these cases, immediate repair is necessary to prevent the problem from worsening.

Things to Know

It is important for homeowners to take a few precautions when choosing Masonite siding. Do not skimp on installation as proper and careful work is absolutely necessary to prevent costly repairs down the line. Homeowners should make sure corrosion-resistant nails are used in the installation, and that a high- quality, oil-based paint is used when painting. It is important to maintain the paint job as the paint helps protect the siding from water and insect damage.

What are the Alternatives?

Popular alternatives to Masonite siding are vinyl, wood and cement board. These options are more expensive, though they also hold up better than Masonite. Masonite is generally the choice for saving on initial building costs.

Additional Costs

Homeowners should factor in the long-term maintenance and repair costs of Masonite when choosing between it and options that are more durable. If the home is not new, it is important to note that most estimates do not include removal and disposal of old siding. New paint jobs and repair will add to long-term cost estimations as it is inevitable that Masonite will require repainting. Labor for installation will generally add from $200 to $450 per 500 square feet with a significant increase for complicated footprints.

Final Verdict

Masonite siding is an affordable alternative to the various siding products on the market today. Despite a lapse in manufacturing standards, it is a popular choice that can hold up for some years and help the homeowner to put money into other aspects of the home. However, the maintenance requirements along with the headache of siding that fails to hold up past the warranty are no small considerations when it comes to deciding the overall benefit of Masonite. It is mostly a question of immediate expense versus eventual replacement.

Last updated on Aug 22, 2014

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