Hardie board siding is considered the benchmark of fiber cement board siding. The type of siding was originally developed by James Hardie and also goes by the name Hardie plank. As with all exterior siding products, however, there are benefits and disadvantages to Hardie board siding to consider, although you will find that other than price, the benefits seem to far outweigh the drawbacks.
Benefits of Hardie Board Siding
Looks Like Wood
Although made from concrete fibers, Hardie board siding resembles the overall look of natural wood siding, including the graining patterns and texture of various types of wood siding. It is also available in a wide range of colors. This gives you lots of aesthetic options to choose from.
Long Lasting And Durable
Hardie board siding is made from concrete fibers so it is extremely durable and long lasting. It doesn’t retain moisture, so it won’t swell, warp or rot and it will also not chip. You can expect your fiber cement siding to last 50 years or longer.
Extremely Weather Resistant
Hardie board can handle all types of extreme weather and climate conditions. It is completely impervious to anything Mother Nature can dish out, including rain, snow, hail, humidity and wind. It can also handle all types of temperature extremes.
Unlike wood siding, Hardie board planks are resistant to termites and other types of pests.
Hardie’s fiber cement siding is made from over 90% cement and sand, making it extremely fire resistant.
Since Hardie board siding is so durable and long lasting, you get the added benefit of a great warranty to go along with it. Most styles come with a 50 year limited warranty on the siding, with a finish warranty that lasts between 10 – 15 years. And the warranty is transferable – an added plus.
Drawbacks of Hardie Board Siding
Of course, there are also drawbacks to using fiber cement siding on your home. You should consider these as well before making the decision if fiber cement siding is right for your home – and your budget.
High Installation Costs
Hardie board fiber cement siding can weigh as much as five times more than vinyl siding (about 300 lbs. per square). This means that installation is more difficult and will require additional resources, driving up the price of installation. Find out more on HardiPlank pricing.
The actual cost of the Hardie board siding product is not too high, around $3 – $4 per sq. ft., which can be comparable to some high end vinyl siding options. Where the price starts to get expensive is when you add in the labor costs. Because there is a lot more labor involved in installing fiber cement siding compared with vinyl siding (due to its heavier weight mostly), your $3 – $4 siding can quickly run you closer to $9 – $11 per sq. ft installed. This can wind up being about 40 – 50% more in total costs than vinyl siding products plus installation.
Not An Easy DIY Project
Installing fiber cement siding on your own is not an easy job and is best left to the professionals. This is due to a number of reasons. For one, Hardie board siding is very heavy and requires a number of people to hold it while it is being installed. Also, the siding material is very brittle and therefore requires special tools for cutting and securing the boards. If installation is not done correctly, mold problems can occur behind the boards in the sheathing, which can become a very big and expensive problem to fix.
Hardie board siding comes with a baked-on finish, which is usually warrantied for only 10 – 15 years, while the actual siding will last for far longer than that. This means that every few years, you will have to repaint the siding. The good news is that your paint job should last awhile since the fiber cement siding does not retain any moisture and will make it less likely that your paint chips or peels prematurely. Other than that, you’ll just need to periodically caulk any gaps that show between boards and use a powerwasher once in awhile to get rid of dirt and grime.