What Is Hardie Board Siding? (Pros & Cons)
Hardie board siding

What Is Hardie Board Siding? (Pros & Cons)

In the realm of home exteriors, few materials match the durability, versatility, and aesthetic appeal of Hardie board siding. Whether you’re renovating an existing home or building a new one, understanding the ins and outs of Hardie board can help you make informed decisions about your exterior siding choices.

Today, we’ll delve into:

  • What Hardie board siding is
  • Its unique features
  • Different styles available
  • Installation costs
  • Longevity
  • Maintenance tips

What is Hardie Board Siding?

gray siding

James Hardie Industries, an Australian company, introduced Hardie board siding, also known as fiber cement siding, to the market in the 1980s. It’s a composite material made from a blend of cellulose fibers, cement, and sand. The mixture undergoes a high-pressure manufacturing process, resulting in a durable, weather-resistant material ideal for exterior applications.

What Makes Hardie Board Unique?

One of the key attributes of Hardie board siding is its exceptional durability. Unlike traditional wood siding, Hardie board is resistant to rotting, warping, and insect damage, making it a long-lasting option for homeowners. Its composition also makes it resistant to fire, a crucial feature for areas prone to wildfires or strict building codes.

Furthermore, Hardie board siding offers superior weather resistance. It can withstand extreme temperatures, high humidity, and heavy precipitation without deteriorating, ensuring your home remains well-protected against the elements for years to come.

Pros and Cons of Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding, including Hardie board, offers numerous advantages that make it a popular choice among homeowners. However, like any building material, it also has its drawbacks. Let’s explore the pros and cons of fiber cement siding:

✅ Pros:

  • Durability: Fiber cement siding is exceptionally durable, resistant to rot, decay, and pests. It can withstand harsh weather conditions, including high winds, heavy rain, and extreme temperatures, making it an ideal choice for various climates.
  • Low Maintenance: Compared to wood siding, fiber cement requires minimal maintenance. It does not need to be painted as frequently, and routine cleaning is typically all that’s required to keep it looking new.
  • Fire Resistance: Fiber cement siding is non-combustible, providing an added layer of protection against fire. This feature can be particularly valuable for homeowners in wildfire-prone areas or those seeking to enhance the fire resistance of their homes.
  • Versatility: Fiber cement siding comes in a variety of styles, textures, and colors, allowing homeowners to achieve their desired aesthetic for their home’s exterior. Whether you prefer the look of traditional clapboard, cedar shingles, or modern panels, there’s a fiber cement option to suit your taste.
  • Longevity: With proper installation and maintenance, fiber cement siding can last for several decades. Many manufacturers offer warranties ranging from 30 to 50 years, providing homeowners with added peace of mind.

❌ Cons:

  • Installation Complexity: Installing fiber cement siding requires specialized skills and tools, which can increase labor costs compared to other siding options. Improper installation can also lead to issues such as moisture infiltration or aesthetic defects.
  • Weight: Fiber cement siding is heavier than vinyl or wood siding, which may require additional structural support during installation. This can add to the overall cost of the project, especially for older homes or those with existing siding materials that need to be removed.
  • Initial Cost: While fiber cement siding offers long-term savings in maintenance and replacement costs, its upfront cost is higher than some other siding materials. Homeowners should consider their budget and long-term goals when choosing siding for their home.
  • Moisture Management: Although fiber cement siding is resistant to moisture, improper installation or damage to the surface can lead to water infiltration and potential issues such as mold or mildew growth. Proper flashing and sealing around windows, doors, and other penetrations are essential to prevent moisture-related problems.
  • Limited DIY Potential: Due to its weight and installation requirements, fiber cement siding is not as DIY-friendly as some other siding materials. Homeowners may need to hire professional contractors to ensure proper installation and avoid costly mistakes.

Fiber cement siding, including Hardie board, offers numerous benefits such as durability, low maintenance, and fire resistance. However, homeowners should also consider factors such as installation complexity, initial cost, and moisture management when evaluating whether fiber cement siding is the right choice for their home. By weighing the pros and cons and consulting with experienced contractors, homeowners can make informed decisions about their exterior siding options.

4 Different Styles of Hardie Board Siding

Hardie board siding comes in various styles and textures, allowing homeowners to achieve their desired aesthetic for their home’s exterior. Some of the popular styles include:

1) HardiePlank® Lap Siding:

This style mimics the look of traditional wood clapboard siding and is available in smooth, wood grain, and beaded textures.

2) HardieShingle® Siding:

Ideal for adding texture and depth to a home’s exterior, HardieShingle siding replicates the appearance of cedar shingles while offering the durability of fiber cement.

3) HardiePanel® Vertical Siding:

For a modern and sleek look, HardiePanel vertical siding provides clean lines and can be installed vertically or horizontally, depending on the desired aesthetic.

4) HardieTrim® Boards:

These trim boards complement Hardie board siding and are available in various widths and profiles to add architectural detail to the exterior.

Each style offers its own unique charm and can be customized to suit different architectural designs and preferences.

Cost of Installing Hardie Board Siding

siding installation

The cost of installing Hardie board siding can vary depending on factors such as the size of your home, the style of siding chosen, and labor costs in your area. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $8 to $12 per square foot for materials and installation. Keep in mind that additional costs may apply for trim, corner pieces, and other accessories.

While the upfront cost of Hardie board siding may be higher than some other siding options, its longevity and low maintenance requirements can result in long-term savings. Additionally, many homeowners find the aesthetic appeal and durability of Hardie board siding well worth the investment.

Longevity of Hardie Board Siding

One of the most significant advantages of Hardie board siding is its longevity. When properly installed and maintained, Hardie board siding can last for several decades. Unlike wood siding, which is susceptible to rot, pests, and moisture damage over time, Hardie board remains resilient and retains its structural integrity even in harsh weather conditions.

Furthermore, Hardie board siding is backed by a warranty from James Hardie Industries, providing homeowners with peace of mind knowing that their investment is protected. With routine maintenance and occasional inspections, Hardie board siding can continue to enhance the curb appeal and value of your home for many years to come.

Maintaining Hardie Board Siding

While Hardie board siding is renowned for its durability, it still requires some maintenance to ensure it retains its aesthetic appeal and structural integrity over time. Here are some maintenance tips to keep your Hardie board siding in top condition:

  • Regular Cleaning: Periodically wash your siding with a mild detergent and water solution to remove dirt, dust, and other debris. Avoid using high-pressure washers, as they can damage the surface of the siding.
  • Inspect for Damage: Conduct annual inspections of your Hardie board siding to check for any signs of damage, such as cracks, chips, or moisture infiltration. Promptly address any issues to prevent further damage.
  • Paint Touch-Ups: If you have painted Hardie board siding, monitor the paint finish for any signs of fading or peeling. Touch up any areas as needed to maintain the protective barrier against the elements.
  • Trim Vegetation: Keep shrubs, trees, and other vegetation trimmed back from your siding to prevent moisture buildup and reduce the risk of pest infestations.
  • Professional Inspections: Consider hiring a professional contractor to inspect your Hardie board siding periodically, especially after severe weather events, to ensure it remains in optimal condition.

By following these maintenance guidelines, you can prolong the lifespan of your Hardie board siding and keep your home looking beautiful for years to come.

Learn More About James Hardie Siding Today!

Hardie board siding stands as a testament to the marriage of durability, versatility, and aesthetic appeal in exterior home materials. With its composite composition, weather resistance, and array of styles, Hardie board siding offers homeowners a reliable and visually appealing option for protecting their homes against the elements.

While the initial cost of Hardie board siding may be higher than some alternatives, its longevity, low maintenance requirements, and warranty coverage make it a wise investment for homeowners seeking a durable and long-lasting siding solution.

Whether you’re renovating your current home or building a new one, consider the benefits of Hardie board siding and how it can enhance the beauty and value of your property for years to come. Contact Voyager Exteriors today to learn why James Hardie siding might be the right choice for your home!

Check Out Our Recent Blog Posts

get the knowledge you need to start your home's transformation

Mother and Son Playing

Transforming Twin Cities Homes

The Voyager family can’t wait to help yours!

Get In Touch
Share to...