Fiber Cement Siding, Cement board siding, hardie plank siding whats the difference? In short, they are basically the same. There are several companies that are in direct competition with each other over a similar product. They have there own name and description. Fiber cement siding has fast become the norm for most new homes undergoing construction. Yes it is a little more expensive up front, but not by much, and in return you can expect it to last the lifetime of your home with little maintenance.
Why is it so popular you ask? Good question. Hardiplank can ressemble stucco, wood, cedar shingles and other kinds of plank siding such as vinyl. Not only does fiber cement siding look good, but it is very effective in protecting your home against all the elements mother nature can throw at it. It is very durable, water proof and fire resistant offering in most cases an unmatched 50 year warranty.
Since there are many different companies producing fiber cement siding, it is important to follow each brands instructions on how to install safely, and so that your warranty is not void. Always use caution when cutting and installing fiber board. Wear appropriate protection such as protective glasses, gloves and ear plugs.
Fiber cement board handles a lot like wood, but is not wood. It is important to keep this in mind before installing it. It does not support its own weight well and needs to be supported generously to be effective. It can be installed with the same wood working tools you would use for typical wood siding, however there are specific tools made specifically for cement board. These tools make quick work of cutting, spacing, and hanging your cement board siding. Special shears cut down on dust, but if you do not have them a circular saw will do the job. If this is the case, make sure to wear a dust mask as you will need it.
So remember, wood, vinyl, and aluminum are readily available to use as well, but are high maintenance compared to fiber cement siding. Vinyl looks cheap and can become brittle over many years of exposure to the sunds UV rays. Choose a product like hardie siding that will last a life time and look good doing it.
Our Readers Comments:
Can fiber cement siding be installed on a diagonal?
Thanks for all that great information. Be sure to check out http://www.jameshardie.com/homeowner/whyJamesHardie.shtml to learn more ways James Hardie fiber cement siding products can enhance your home.
Question how do I clean your cement board siding what types of solvents or detergent can I use
Need to talk to you about installation of hardie plank that has been sitting in the rain for three days. Will it be okay to install this hardie plank when the weather clears?
How do I cut Hardie Plank? As an Installer I have had that question asked to me more times than I can count. The actual task of cutting hardie plank is in itself, not very hard at all. There are many different tools that can be used to cut hardie plank. The key to finding the best way to cut hardie plank, is to find a way to cut the hardie plank in the space you have to work with.
It is important to remember that when hardy plank is cut, it produces a ridiculous amount of dust. For this reason, companies have started making saws, and blades specifically for hardy plank to help reduce the amount of dust produced while cutting hardy plank siding.
As an installer I would have to recommend hardy shears as my number one pick for cutting hardi plank. You can pick up brands like Hilti hardi shears at local hardware stores such as Lowes and Home Depot. Hardy shears are easy to handle, they are compact, and are virtually dustless. A small draw back or con to using hardie shears, is that if you cut too close to the edge of the hardi plank, it will break or crumble. If you know this prior to cutting your hardie plank, it should not pose a problem.
Hardy plank can even be cut without power tools. A simple method that is also virtually dustless, is to use a utility knife and a straight edge. This method is known as the score and snap method. Simply score a line with a sharp utility knife, lay the hardie over a straight edge, and press down on the section of the hardy plank you with to break. Its just about that simple.
When it comes time to make an intricate cut in your hardiplank, such as a cut to go around window or door trim, the cuts can become tricky to make. For these small intricate cuts, I would recommend two different tools, one would be a jig saw, and the other would be an angle grinder. Keep in mind that you will need to replace the blades on a jig saw often. A metal cutting blade will last longer than a wood cutting blade, but do not cut as fast.
The second tool I was referring to use for these kind of cuts is the 4″ angle grinder. The angle grinder equipped with a diamond cutting blade is a great way to cut hardie plank siding. It is fast and compact, and can be maneuvered easily to make smaller cuts. It does have a large draw back though. An angle grinder will produce alot of dust as well, so I recommend using it outside, or in a well ventilated area.
If you do not want to spend the money on a pair of hardie shears, and already have basic hand and power tools, the last method of cutting hardie plank that I would recommend is with a traditional circular saw. If you use a basic saw blade, you can expect to see a dust cloud large enough to cover your home. However you can now pick up low dust saw blades, that dramatically reduce the amount of dust produced while cutting hardie planks. These hardie plank saw blades can also be placed on a table saw and used to make longer rip cuts, or angled cuts.
If you are planning on installing hardie plank siding on your home, it is important to know about one of the key installation processes. The process I am referring to in this article is the Caulking process. The Caulking process is actually very important, and it must be done correctly and with the right kind of caulking.
Why is Caulk such an important part of hary plank? If you did not caulk the seams of hardy plank, you will be in a world of trouble the first time it rains. Caulking plays a vital role in keeping wind driven rain and snow from penetrating into your home through seams, and butt joints. So remember that everywhere two pieces of hardy plank meet, you will need caulking. You will also need to place caulking any place that hardy plank meets up with door trim or window trim.
While installing the hardi plank, you must caulk the joints before intalling. So what you need to do is take the caulk, and apply a bead along the edge that will be butting up to another piece. Push the two pieces tightly together and allow the excess to spooge out of the seam. Take a damp rag and wipe away any extra caulk.
When you are installing hardi plank with wood trim, it is important that you allow the wood trim plenty of room to expand and contract. It is recommended that you allow 1/8″ at any seam where the two materials meet.
So now that you know how to caulk, lets talk about what kind of caulk. It is very important that you buy a permanently flexible caulking. If the caulking is not flexible, it will crack and peel in a short amount of time. After you have installed your hardi plank and are ready to paint, make sure that you allow the caulking to dry the recommended amount of time, before painting. If you paint over wet caulking, your paint will crack and peel, along with the caulking.
Comments from our readers:
First to get the damaged piece of siding removed.
Take a flat pry bar and slip it under the damaged piece of siding and pry outward gently to give you a view of where the nails are.
Then place the flat bar under a nail and hit the othe end of the flat bar upwards, that will push the nail out. Do this to all the nails untill the piece of siding comes out.
Then you can slide the new piece of siding into place and face nail the siding with a finish nail.
Then you can paint it or touch up the nails.
Siding Innovations, Inc.
Hi! What is the life span of the caulk? We have had our hardie plank for 5 years and in some spaces it appears the caulk has deteriorated. If proper caulk is used and applied correctly, how often does it need to be maintained/reapplied?
I get the comments on caulking when two end pieces meet…what about the over lap of the boards. I had contracto recently install HardiPlank and I love it however he did not caulk the under part of the boards that over lap…hopefully you understand what I am referring to…should that be caulked as well???
We are having hardi plank installed starting today. The workman told me they leave an 1/8? space where they butt with a piece of felt behind the butt joint, but they use no caulk in that space. So, what happens when it rains and snows?
Your installation instructions specifically say ” …James Hardiedoes not recommend the use of caulk at field butt joints.” Which one is right. I have a client that has gaps at their butt joints (from the original contractor) and they want me to caulk them. Should I? and do you recommend Quad?
What kind of caulk is used between hardy plank boards. I used two different types and they still cracked out.
how do you repair golf ball dents on hardy plank…. I have a beautiful house on a golf course with bad golfers
Can you help ? I just had Hardiplank installed on my addition. The installer did not caulk between planks as required. In addition we changed from radom to straight style which required each pre-painted plank to be cut even. Is there a fix short of taking it all down and starting over ? Can the bottom of each plank be painted to prevent running ? What about where the planks come together ? Thanks
I need to find out the right way to correct this problem. At a lot of butt joints(70%) I have noticed caulking separating from one or the other piece it adjoins….now what?
A friend of mine just resided his home and used a small piece of flashing behind the seams/joints, and did not use any caulk He claims this is the “new” method of installation. What is your take?
Bernice L. Holt
I have a bid from a LOCAL CONTRACTOR WHO WANTS TO INSTALL HARDIE PLANK WITH SEAMLESS CAULKING. I DO NOT WISH TO ACCEPT THIS BID IN THE FACE OF WHAT I JUST READ FROM YOUR WEBSITE. ANY COMMENT?I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE INFORMATION YOU LISTED. THANKS.
Does it matter what side of a Hardie plank faces out. One side has a wood texture and the other side is smooth. If the customer prefers the smooth side facing out, is that considered a proper installation.
Does Hardie plank need to be painted in order to maintain the warranty?
On a hardie plank repair like that, most often the easiest way to fix it, is to slide your new piece into place and nail or screw it in through the bottom of the piece on top of it. Make sure the screws or nails are countersunk just barely below the surface of the hardy plank and fill the holes with caulk and paint. Hope this helps!
I’m a homeowner. I recently damaged the bottom piece of hardy plank on a wall while lawn mowing!!
Fortunately I got a replacement piece from a contractor working on a nearby home extension. Same paint even…
Any advise on the ‘cleanest’ way to replace the broken peice (ie remove the damaged one, and install the new one .. the nails are hidden below the second plank.. how to nail (or glue?) in the new piece under the piece on top of it.
If you are wondering what the advantages of hardy plank siding, look here. There is no one product on the market today that is 100% perfect, having no flaws. The same is true when examining the goods and the bads of a siding material for your home, namely hardy plank siding.
So lets start by examining some of the pluses of installing a hardy plank siding on your home, whether it be a new home, an addition, or a remodel. Hardy plank siding off the shelf, whether purchased at Lowe’s, Home Depot. or any other hardware store will come with a 50 year warranty. The stipulation to this is that it must be installed 100% correctly. Install it just slightly incorrectly and your warranty goes out the window. Hiring a professional or someone who claims to be a professional to install your hardy plank siding, does not insure that it will be done correctly. Make sure to do research on your contractor to ensure that he does the job correctly.
Another advantage of Hardy Plank sinding is that it comes pre-primed and ready to paint. The surface of hardy plank accepts paint really well making it extremely easy to paint after it is installed. All that is required after installing your hardy plank siding is to caulk it, and paint it. It doesnt get much easier than that, oh wait! It does.
Hardie Plank now even comes pre-painted! Just thinking about that makes me feel lazy. James Hardie has provided many different colors for you to choose from when looking for siding. All you do is install it, caulk it with a clear caulking and you are done! Now its safe to say that it doesn’t get any easier than that!
Hardy Plank is impermeable to water. This makes choosing hardie siding for a home along the coast a great choice! With Hardie you do not have to worry about your siding rotting, molding, becoming brittle, corroding, or mildewing. As apposed to a real wood that will rot, an aluminum siding that will corrode, or a vinyl siding that will become brittle over time. These are the main advantages of hardy plank siding and there are many more. We know it is not perfect so yes we are going to pick it apart in our next article examining the disadvantages of hardy plank siding.
Comment from Reader Tyler Kawana:
“Hardiplank is NOT impermeable to water. If it were you wouldn’t have to paint it or keep it completely dry prior to installation.
The pluses of Hardiplank are it’s uniformity, dimensional stability, and as you noted, its lifespan.
A couple other things:
Properly installed wood siding will not rot and is the most widely used residential siding material in the world for a reason, it’s extremely durable. It’s the standard used to measure all man-made siding.
Aluminum corrosion creates a layer of aluminum oxide on the surface that protects, rather than deteriorates, the aluminum. The biggest drawback to aluminum siding is its inability to return to its original form after impact (it dents).
Vinyl siding’s biggest drawback is the fact that it’s hideous.”
Why should I choose a Hardie Plank Siding? Many people wonder what the advantages and disadvantages of James Hardie Plank Siding. When building a new home, or remodeling a new one, there is always a point in time when you will have to choose some kind of exterior protection for your home. Why not choose an exterior plank that is going to last a lifetime and look good doing it?
Hardie plank is the siding of now, and of the future for many years to come. Its great innovations in design and durability make it leaps and bounds above the competition. Not only are there other choices of siding, but there are other kinds of fiber cement siding to choose from. Why choose a wood siding that will need regular maintanence to keep it from rotting? Why choose a vinyl siding that will become brittle after years of exposure to UV rays from the sun? Why choose an aluminum siding that will corrode over time? If you are asking yourself these questions and are really examing your choices in home exterior siding, you will easily be able to determine that hardi siding is the right choice for your home.
James Hardie comes with a 50 year warranty, i doubt you will find such a warranty on any other siding material on the market today. Of course for this warranty to be good, there is a requirement that the hardie plank must be installed correctly. So hiring a professional may not be a bad idea.
Hardie Plank comes in several different sizes and designs, with different textures to choose from. If you are remodeling your home, maybe by adding a new room, and need to match an existing siding, chances are that James Hardie siding plank has the right plank to match designs even 50 years old.
Although installing hardie plank is not the hardest job in the world to do, it is not the easiest either. It can be done by an experieced installer, by himself. However if you are going to install hardie plank siding on your own for the first time, I strongly recommend that you have at least one other person to help.