If These Walls Could Talk: Q&A With Fiber Cement Siding

What if exterior building materials could be interviewed? What would they say? In a work of speculative fiction meets 60 Minutes, here’s how it may unfold in this first of a series of posts with that very idea in mind … 


Fiber Cement Siding has had an incredible career, starting out in 1901 under the name Eternit (a play on the Latin word for “everlasting”). Since then, he’s gone on to fame and fortune in the residential and commercial construction field as an extremely durable, reliable material that can be made to resemble natural wood in any color.

We caught up with Fiber Cement Siding at his home in Hollywood, California.


BuildDirect. What accounts for your durability and staying power over the years?

Fiber Cement Siding. I guess it goes back to how I was made. They threw together cement, sand, and cellulose fiber, bonded me with high-temperature steam and presto! I’m out there, picking up roles all over people’s houses as exterior cladding.

I’ve been lucky. I’ve always been a working actor.

BuildDirect. Tell us about some of your favorite roles.

Fiber Cement Siding. Exterior cladding is definitely my thing. I’ve imitated wood siding, clapboard and imitation shingles. I’ve also been put together in sheet form; for those kinds of jobs, I’m working as an eave lining, or maybe a tile underlay. You know, for decks or bathrooms, that sort of thing.

I guess that’s more of an overview. But my favorite role of all time was when they put me up on Bob Turkovnik’s house.

Source: bhg.com via Debbie on Pinterest


BuildDirect. Bob Turkovnik?

Fiber Cement Siding. Great guy. Painter. Lives in Sunnydale. His builder recommended me for the job. They put me up there to look just like cedar siding, for that elegant look.

BuildDirect. So why didn’t they go with real cedar?

Fiber Cement Siding. They wanted to use me because I’m so durable and I don’t need quite as much maintenance. I get 50 year warranties, easy.

You throw insects, fungus, extreme temperature shifts, rain, UV rays, anything like that at me, I don’t even notice. Just pressure-wash me every once in a blue moon and you’re laughing. Anyway, Bob’s father comes by; a really exacting homebuilder, that guy. He comes up, puts his hand right on me and tells Bob “That’s great cedar, son.” I nearly fell over right there, except that I didn’t, you know,  because I’m also very stable.

BuildDirect. Home builders and renovators often say you’re easy to work with. Is that true?

Fiber Cement Siding. That’s awfully nice of them. Yeah, I guess it’s true. It all comes down to work ethic. Someone orders Fiber Cement Siding and I’m like, “what color?” They let me know and bang! I’m at their door in the color they wanted. They don’t even have to paint me, most of the time. I take care of that over at the factory.

You could say I’m a method actor. I like to get into the role before my audience even sees me.

BuildDirect. You’re very dedicated to your craft.

Fiber Cement Siding. People want me for my style, durability and performance. It’s what I live for.


Learn more about Fiber Cement Siding for your home.

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