Siding is what you see and what you get is a look based on the quality of the walls behind it. Since we built our addition using SIP walls (Structural Insulated Panels), I was confident the walls would be true. The SIP walls are definitely extremely straight and true. However, we needed to replace the siding on the existing old farmhouse to match the James Hardie fiber cement siding we decided to use for the addition. It was a lot of work removing the existing siding, fixing everything you find behind old farmhouse siding, adding sheathing (where necessary), and installing additional insulation, new house wrap, foam sealant, and caulking.
The James Hardie Board siding is a low-maintenance product; as is the PVC trim we installed and the cement board soffits.
My wife picked the HardiePlank Heathered Moss color in the Cedarmill style. We used a Heathered Moss (beaded style) on one of our rental property renovations; great look.
What I’ve learned so far about siding and HardiePlank (some call cement siding Hardie Board or Hardy Board):
Tips found on the Contractor’s Talk Forum:
“I’ve only blind nailed all the hardie I have put up and it’s completely fine.” Many installers appear to be using standard gavanized roofing nails; 1 1/2″ with a roofing gun. Blind nailing is my preferred choice and likely the best way to install siding. There are no nails to set and fill which saves caulking and painting time (and money). Given HardiePlank is relatively stiff, blind nailing works if the walls behind the siding are true and straight.
“I have seen some jobs where the guy had no idea what he was doing and he face nailed it exposed with “roof nails” and then the painter just painted over them, looked horrible. I couldn’t believe the homeowner let the guy do it and get away with it.”
In windy areas, consider nailing the bottom outside corners of the panel down. Some contractors use a finish nail gun with a 2″ nail for this purpose. It is recommended that you practice holding the gun square and flat to the surface so you don’t blow out the corner of the siding.
James Hardie website resources:
- Exterior Home Products Page here; page includes an illustration of a home identifying the products available.
- List of dealers that sell HardiePlank (zip code search)
- HardiePlank Installation Instructions
HardiePlank home design photos on Houzz.com
Atlantic Contracting sample photos of HardiePlank “Heathered Moss” siding.