Fire-resistant house siding?

We have a two-story house with wooden siding. We are just outside the High Fire Risk zone in the Oakland foothills.

It would be great to replace the wood siding with a material that is resistant to wind-borne embers. 

Any suggestions are welcome.

Does anyone know of good local contractors who have experience with this type of exterior siding retrofit?

I have heard of exterior siding panels that are made of cement hardened onto a fiber matrix.

Can these materials be made to not look ugly?

Thank you!

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RE: Fire-resistant house siding? ()

Our Hardie siding in straight shingle looks great as does our neighbors' in plank lap siding.

RE: Fire-resistant house siding? ()

James Hardie is pretty common and most affordable. Boral is another but about 1.5x the price. You have to figure out if you’re applying over existing or removing existing. You could call siding contractors for consult.

RE: Fire-resistant house siding? ()

Hardie Plank (or similar products) looks just like wood siding when painted, imho, and is fire-resistant (I think this might be the cement board you mentioned - it's not concrete, if that's what you're picturing, but fiber cement board similar to what you put behind a tile installation). Part of our house is the original redwood siding and an addition is Hardie Plank and you can barely tell the difference. I think you can get it pre-colored, but we bought the plain and it painted up fine. We've had it for about 12 years and no complaints.

RE: Fire-resistant house siding? ()

You might consider going online and checking out cement based products made by the James Hardie Co. know locally as Hardie board. It is available in both siding and shingle styles. I  used the siding style when building a backyard ADU 12 years ago and Sherwin-Williams exterior paint was applied upon completion. The small unit exterior looks like it is only two or three years old now, The advantages are that it is almost completely fireproof with a class A rating, does not rot due to moisture or contact with rain and is pest resistant as well. It also is very low maintenance.

RE: Fire-resistant house siding? ()

You can find a list of all State Fire Marshall approved materials for Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) zones here: