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Get the Scoop: The Great Everlast vs James Hardie Debate!

Everlast vs James Hardie

Hey there, fellow Michiganders! You and I both know that our houses take a real beating from Kalamazoo’s crazy climate. Hot summers, frigid winters, rainy springs, and everything in between—it’s all part of the charm. But with these weather conditions, picking the right siding for our homes is a pretty big deal. Two names often tossed around when homeowners are searching for premium sidings are Everlast Composite Siding and James Hardie Cement Siding. Let’s dive into each one and find out which could be your home’s best defense against Kalamazoo’s wild weather. It’s the great Everlast vs James Hardie debate!

Siding 101

In case you’re new to the world of siding, here’s the lowdown: siding is the outer covering or cladding of a house. It’s like a jacket for your home. It needs to look good, but more importantly, it needs to protect your house from the elements, just like a good Michigan winter jacket. That’s why the choice of siding material is so crucial for homeowners like us. There are options ranging from wood siding, vinyl siding, aluminum or steel siding, cement based siding, and composite sidings. In this article we will be reviewing the two most common types of premium siding used in the Kalamazoo area for home siding replacement. Let’s get into the Everlast vs James Hardie debate.

Everlast Composite Siding: The Low-Maintenance Shield

Composite siding is made of a mixture of materials, hence the “composite” in the name. Everlast, in particular, makes theirs from a blend of inorganic minerals, polymer resins, and acrylic colorants. Sounds fancy, right? But what it really means is that Everlast has designed a siding that’s durable and really easy to take care of. This non-organic material can take a beating when it comes to impact, UV resistance, and temperature swings, making it ideal for our West Michigan climate.

Everlast Composite Siding comes in a range of colors and imitates the look of real wood without the maintenance. Because of it’s profile being so like similar to wood clap board siding this product is ideal and used often in historic areas across the country including on Mackinaw Island, Michigan! It’s the best low-maintenance option for the busy homeowner who wants the profile of a wood siding without the extra work to maintain.

I remember one client who had to replace the wood siding on his home but loved how it looked and the color he had. This busy customer was always on business trips and had no interest in caulking joints or repainting down the road to maintenance his siding. He chose Everlast Composite for his home and never looked back. No worrying about upkeep while he was away. No issues with matching the beautiful profile of a wide cedar plank siding with now a lifetime warrantied composite siding.

But of course, it’s not all roses. While it is highly durable and maintenance-free, the initial cost can be higher than other siding options. This is due to the material composition and the requirements for installation.

We have dealt with homeowners using inexperienced contractors who are not well versed in the methods required to properly install Everlast Siding such as their steel strapping at the butt joints (watch this video to learn more!) and so much more! Your best bet for Everlast Composite siding installation in Kalamazoo is Character Exteriors. We have the experience from design to build and the knowledge on how to best utilize these materials with trims and other components that will go into your exterior remodel project.

The big question is, how does it hold up in Kalamazoo’s climate? The answer is, pretty well! Its resistance to moisture and temperature fluctuations make it an excellent choice for our ever-changing weather. And as previously mentioned it’s impact resistance also makes this product a great choice for any home or property. Now let’s discuss the competition… James… are you there?

James Hardie Cement Siding: The Tough Warrior

James Hardie Cement Siding, also known as fiber cement siding, is made from a blend of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers. It’s one tough cookie. We will explore the benefits and the drawbacks of this product in our market.

What stands out about James Hardie is its ability to imitate a range of different styles, from wood to stucco. It also comes pre-painted, or you can paint it any color you want. Now, while this siding is incredibly durable, it does need a bit more TLC than Everlast Composite.

I’ve got a friend, a real DIY enthusiast, who chose James Hardie for his home. He loves that he can repaint it every few years to keep it fresh… Others aren’t often as excited about this as he is…to purchase a whole house of new siding then be required to maintenance that product every few years to maintain its look is not what most of our clients desire.

As for our Kalamazoo weather, James Hardie stands tall. It resists warping, cracking, and rotting even in our humid summers and freezing winters. However similar to Everlast this product has some specific requirements for installation and you must have a contractor who is committed to properly installing and preparing this material when being installed. This includes items such as touching or painting every cut piece butt joint to repel deterioration after cuts, additional caulking required, and more.

The other major drawback of the James Hardie siding is that it is a concrete based product which means cutting this product can be caustic for the installer and the local installation area during work being performed. These items still don’t repel homeowners from making this choice but as you are probably starting to see Character Exteriors installs Everlast Composite Siding 20–1 or more when compared to James Hardie Cement Siding.

Everlast vs James Hardie: The Face-off

So, Everlast Composite and James Hardie Cement—how do they stack up? Both are durable, aesthetically pleasing, and weather-resistant. Everlast might edge out on the low-maintenance front, but James Hardie counters with its versatility and the ability to repaint. In terms of installation, James Hardie is a bit heavier, requiring more manpower and sometimes additional cost. Everlast is lighter, easier to handle, and thus, simpler to install. This often comes down to design and the homeowner based on their understanding and benefits of both siding materials.

Making the Best Choice for Your Kalamazoo Home

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to siding. As a local exterior contractor, I’ve seen homeowners satisfied with both siding products. Everlast vs James Hardie all boils down to your individual needs and preferences. Got a hectic schedule and need something low maintenance? Everlast might be your winner. Want the freedom to repaint and don’t mind a bit of upkeep? James Hardie could be your champ.


Everlast vs James Hardie – choosing one can seem daunting, but remember, it’s all about what fits your home and lifestyle. We’ve got a tough climate here in Kalamazoo, but with the right siding, and proper installation, your home can stand tall through it all.

Moving Forward Need more help?

There are plenty of local resources for materials in Kalamazoo such as Eikenhout & Sons located off Sprinkle Road and Cork St. The Character Exteriors team is dedicated from design to build, including our experienced team ready to lend a hand. So, don’t let the choice stress you out. Do your research, consider your needs, and contact Character so your siding project comes out just as you had hoped! Whichever way that is!

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