Hardie Siding, also referred to as James Hardie fiber cement siding, can be an attractive and popular choice of siding for homes. As with any building product, there are numerous varieties from which to choose. Siding is no exception. Homeowners typically look at cost, value, durability, curb appeal and weather and pest resistance, but also insulative value as some of their most important considerations when it comes to siding. Hardie siding checks many of these boxes but it does give up some advantages to other types of siding.
Each homeowner likely has their top priorities when it comes to how they want their siding to perform. For example, if a homeowner lives in a mild climate, weather resistance may be more important than insulative value, whereas a resident living in a cold climate may value insulated siding above other siding advantages. It’s a matter of which siding characteristics are most valuable for the environment they will be performing in. Below is a list of pros and cons for Hardie Siding that builders have put together to help homeowners decide which siding option is best for their home exterior remodeling project.
Hardie Siding Pros:
- Durability: Known for its durable toughness and resistance to extreme weather, Hardie siding easily combats wind, rain, hail, snow, ice storms, and intense humidity. In addition, it doesn’t crack easily.
- Low Maintenance: Compared to wood siding, Hardie board requires less maintenance and doesn’t require frequent repainting. James Hardie’s ColorPlus Technology is engineered to combat and resist UV rays that can cause a lot of damage to siding and other building materials. Hardie siding is also easy to clean with soap and water.
- Pest Protection: Because of its fiber cement composition, Hardie siding isn’t attractive to pests, but if some were to wander close by, it does protect against termites, carpenter ants, woodpeckers, and other wood-loving critters.
- Fire Resistance: Since Hardie siding is non-combustible, it is more resistant to fire than other types of siding. This can be an important feature as the climate gets warmer and drier in many parts of the country. And if a homeowner lives near large trees, and especially pine trees which are highly combustible, fire-resistant materials like Hardie board can make all the difference.
- Moisture Resistant: Hardie board siding isn’t impacted by moisture. This means there is no swelling, warping, or rotting that can affect wood siding.
- Long Lifespan: With the potential to last several decades if properly installed and maintained, Hardie siding has longevity going for it.
- Aesthetics (Curb Appeal): Whether trying to mimic the look of traditional wood siding or exploring various textures and finishes, homeowners find that Hardie siding is versatile and offers a wide range of design options. Specialty colors and styles are available as well.
- Impact Resistance: Hardie siding is resistant to impact damage from hail, wind-born debris, tree limbs, and other flying objects.
Harding Siding Cons:
- Cost: The price for Hardie siding tends to be a little more expensive upfront compared to siding options such as vinyl or wood. The installation of this material is more labor-intensive than other types of siding. However, it is sturdy and durable and may get more years of use than less durable siding options.
- Installation: Hardie siding can be a little more complex and time-consuming to install compared to other siding materials and may require professional installation. Also, to not void the warranty, the Hardie board has to be installed properly.
- Painting: While Hardie siding requires less frequent painting than wood siding, it still may need to be repainted over time. Paint doesn’t adhere quite as well on Hardie board as it does on wood.
- Weight: As a heavier material (contains cement) than wood siding, Hardie siding may require additional structural support versus other siding materials. It can also be more challenging to handle because of its extra weight. Two people are often needed to carry each piece.
- Dust: When Hardie siding is cut, it can produce a significant amount of dust, which may require additional masking and cleanup.
- Limited Insulation: Since Hardie siding doesn’t provide much insulation itself, additional insulation may be needed to improve energy efficiency.
Before deciding on the type of siding material for a project, it’s important to consider the specific needs the siding will fulfill. Considerations such as budget, appearance, climate, and ease of care are good to work out before selecting the type of siding for a project. Consulting with a professional contractor for ideas and suggestions can also prove to be invaluable.
In the end, the right siding to choose depends on the homeowner and their siding needs. If most of the desired boxes are checked off, then the chosen siding will be an asset to the home and create great curb appeal and functionality.