Hardie board siding has been growing in popularity due to it’s natural resistance to rot, mold and fire ratings. Hardie board siding has been giving the relief many are looking for, low-maintenance and long lasting, but does it measure up to its reputation? Or, is this just pure “Grade-A marketing” as usual?
How about an actual point of view from a siding contractor and not from a typical marketing company? I’ll give you my siding professional opinion here with the pros, cons, and prices of Hardie board siding to see how it looks under scrutiny.
Hardie Board Siding: The Pros
• Longevity — When it comes to exterior hardy plank siding, James Hardie Industries offers one of the best warranties on the market, a 50-year limited transferable warranty. When a company offers a huge warranty as that, it’s hard to say no to their siding options. So how can they offer a big warranty? It’s simple really, Hardie plank siding is completely rot and insect resistant, and can even withstand the corrosive salt spray near the coastlines.
• Appearance— Another great quality of Hardie board siding is that it can be made to look like any type of wood house siding out on the market. You can have the look of cedar shingle siding, clapboard siding, etc.. The siding color options are unlimited to your tastes and these colors are usually warrantied to up to 15 years on the finish.
• Fire Resistance— James Hardie Building Products, states that fiber cement siding “is comprised of more than 90% sand and cement, making it inherently resistant to flames.” Watch this video below to see how well hardie panel siding compares to vinyl siding and wood house siding — I’ll let you decide the rest!
• Storm Resistance— As a siding contractor in Massachusetts, I’ve witnessed some harsh weather, be it the brutal winters, Nor’easters, hot humid summers, fiber cement siding has proven its ability to withstand the brutal punishment mother nature tends to throw at her..
Okay, so let’s discuss the Cons of Hardie board siding..
So what’s not to like about this type of house siding? Well, as a siding contractor and installer, I’ll tell you that a couple things come to mind due to experience in installing hardie board siding. First, Hardie plank siding installation is much more labor intensive because of its weight when compared to other types of siding. Second, nothing is maintenance-free! Hardie panel siding does require painting every 10-15 years.
• High Installation and Labor Costs— Due to its composition, fiber cement siding requires more time to install and resources required for proper installation. When compared to vinyl siding cost, fiber cement siding out weights its comparison by three times.
• Maintenance— Just because Hardi board siding comes backed by a 50- year warranty, doesn’t mean it will look the same as it did the day you installed it. The baked on finishes sold by most lumber yards are only guaranteed for 15 years. Please note, the siding will most likely outlive you, but it does require a paint job every 10-15 years – that’s better than wood siding, every 7-10 years.
The one thing that still boggles my mind – the prices of fiber cement siding! It’s still way to high in price to justify not using and other type of siding. I mean sure, fiber cement siding has a lot of great qualities, but so doesn’t any other type of siding. Having fiber cement siding installed on your home when comparing prices to vinyl siding, you’re looking to pay almost double!
So in my honest opinion, the quality finish in Hardiplank siding looks great, but the high cost in installation and siding prices need to come down, so if you’re willing to pay the high premium, go for it, it’s still a great product..
Here’s an example of what to expect to pay for each common type of siding option:
- The average price to install hardie plank siding on a 2,000 square foot home is roughly: 11,500 materials and labor, excluding painting your siding.
- The average cost to install wood clapboard siding on a 2,000 square foot home is roughly: 10,500 labor and materials – not including paint or stain.
- The average cost to install vinyl siding as an option for a 2,000 square foot home is roughly: 9,000 for labor and materials. Vinyl siding options are among the cheapest around and doesn’t require your siding to be painted. Minimal maintenance required to keep your siding looking new.