The Ultimate Hardie Siding Guide for Your Siding Replacement
When you think about what you want for your home’s siding, a few words probably come to mind. Durable. Low-maintenance. Attractive. Unfortunately, too many homeowners find that their siding doesn’t live up to their expectations.
If you are in the market for new siding for your home, you may have heard about the wonders of James Hardie siding. This fiber cement siding goes by many names: Hardie Board, Hardie Plank, Hardie Panel, and others. These are only different styles of the same exceptional product that has quickly become America’s favorite house siding- James Hardie siding.
So what makes James Hardie siding so popular? And is it really worth the cost? This guide will explain everything you need to know about the exceptional qualities of Hardie Board and how to get it for your Twin Cities area home.
What Is James Hardie Siding?
You might think siding is siding, and that there aren’t a lot of variations between the different kinds. That might have been true when your only choices were traditional vinyl and aluminum siding, but James Hardie is another siding product altogether.
What makes James Hardie siding different is its composition. It is a fiber cement siding product, which means it’s made of plant-based cellulose fibers mixed with sand and cement. This mixture is dyed and pressed into boards. When installed as siding, these fiber cement boards offer unmatched longevity and protection for your home that metal siding products just can’t compete with.
James Hardie siding isn’t just about durability. It also brings a modern style to your home. Those fiber cement siding boards are easily molded with different textures to give homeowners the looks they want for their house exteriors.
What Are the Benefits of James Hardie Siding?
Whatever you’re looking for in a siding product, James Hardie fiber cement siding is the solution. No other siding offers as many benefits.
James Hardie set out to research the effects of various weather conditions on siding’s longevity. That’s why James Hardie created the HardieZone system. Engineering siding specific to each region’s climate is known as HardieZone. This makes sure you get the most optimal product for the extreme weather conditions in Minnesota. Siding that stands up to humidity, changing temperatures and even hail and high-wind impacts is ideal for Minnesota homeowners.
Because of its incredible strength, James Hardie siding lasts longer than other siding materials. While aluminum and vinyl siding might last 40 years with regular care and maintenance, James Hardie siding can last 50 years or more and is low-maintenance. In fact, James Hardie offers both 30- and 50- year warranties on their products.
James Hardie siding saves you money in the long run. It costs little to maintain and adds incredible value to your home when you sell it. It protects your home’s interior better than any other siding, preventing costly repairs.
When you want your home to have incredible curb appeal, James Hardie siding is also the way to go. Hardie board siding comes in an array of modern and classic colors and styles to suit every homeowner’s tastes.
Finally, environmentally-conscious homeowners appreciate that James Hardie siding is made from sustainable raw materials, and its ColorPlus Technology reduces air pollution from VOCs. For a bonus, Hardie Board siding is highly insulating, saving you and the world from energy waste and high utility bills.
How Does James Hardie Siding Compare to Other Siding Materials?
Your home’s siding must stand up to the elements and protect your home every single day. Most siding products are designed to do this, but over time they begin to fail as things like moisture, extreme temperatures, and UV rays take their toll.
Because of its fiber cement composition, James Hardie siding is impervious to the effects of:
- UV rays
- Extreme temperatures
- High-impact winds
- Pest-resistant (such as woodpeckers)
Compare that kind of strength to the pitfalls of other common siding materials:
- Wood: swells and shrinks due to climate, develops cracks, peels, flammable, attracts pests
- LP SmartSide: wood composition is susceptible to rot, pests, and fire; less warranty coverage
- Vinyl: less resistant to weather extremes and impacts, melts with heat, fades over time
- OSB: prone to swelling, rotting, warping, sagging, and peeling
In addition to being extremely weather- and pest-resistant, James Hardie siding is also flame-resistant for you and your home’s protection. It does not ignite or fuel a fire like wood siding products, nor will it melt like vinyl. In fact, your insurance company may give you a discount for installing James Hardie siding!
James Hardie Siding Styles and Products
One of the reasons James Hardie siding is so popular across the country is that it offers a plethora of styles and products to complement every home.
Each type of James Hardie siding is designed to look timeless and stylish, so its appeal lasts as long as the product. Whatever aesthetic you’re envisioning for your Twin Cities home, James Hardie has a siding product to match.
HardiePlank Lap Siding is James Hardie’s best-selling product and comes in a variety of textures from realistic wood grains to smooth.
Hardie Shingle Siding mimics the look of cedar shingles, but offers the same durability James Hardie is known for.
Straight Edge Panel
Staggered Edge Panel
Individual Shingles 7″
Hardie Panel Vertical Siding gives any home a rustic look. Choose from wood, smooth, or stucco textures.
Hardie Trim Boards are the perfect finishing touch when added to columns, corners, doors, windows, and more.
Rustic Grain Batten Boards
Smooth Batten Boards
For homeowners with more exacting taste, James Hardie also offers their Artisan Collection. This lap siding and trim are extra thick to create luxurious, deep shadow lines that give your home more dimension and interest.
Now sure which James Hardie siding style is right for your home? Try HOVER, MN Contractor Pros’s visualizer tool. Use HOVER to test different James Hardie looks on your own house with three easy steps:
ColorPlus and James Hardie Siding Color Options
Twin Cities area homeowners love the variety of James Hardie colors! No matter what you have envisioned for your home, Hardie board colors are attractive and timeless.
James Hardie clients have two options when it comes to finding the perfect color for their siding:
- Pre-primed siding that is ready to be painted the color of your choice after installation
- Pre-painted siding with exceptional ColorPlus Technology
For your convenience, James Hardie siding comes in a wide selection of carefully curated, long-lasting colors to impress anyone who sees your home. That is thanks to James Hardie’s ColorPlus Technology.
This process involves applying multiple coats of a paint that is specially formulated to withstand everything your siding endures. And unlike other siding paints, this paint is baked on to increase its durability.
Additionally, ColorPlus paint doesn’t fade! It is resistant to UV rays, so your color of choice stays bright and beautiful for decades.
Your James Hardie siding contractor can work with you to find the perfect color to compliment your new siding and home.
What Is the Process to Install James Hardie Siding Correctly?
Quality siding deserves a quality installation. Siding does not work right or last as long when it is installed incorrectly; thus, it is essential to hire a siding contractor who is experienced in Hardie board installation to make the most of your investment.
A qualified siding contractor will work with you to find the James Hardie product and color you want and give you an estimate of how long installation will take. Depending on the size of your house, installation typically takes 10-15 days. They should also discuss how worksite prep and cleanup will be handled.
After that, the real work begins! Here is a typical, simplified version of the Hardie panel installation process:
- Your contractor will start by installing a starter strip to establish the right angle and create a drip edge at the bottom of the siding.
- Then they install the first course of planking at the lowest point of the home.
- Next, the rest of the siding is installed and layered over the previous course of planking to hide the nails.
- Trim, if being used, is installed last to finish the project.
Hiring an expert siding contractor for your Hardie board installation ensures the project is done right and that your warranty will hold up if there are ever issues in the future.
Is James Hardie Siding Worth the Cost?
Like all high-quality products, Hardie siding costs more upfront than other siding products, leaving many homeowners wondering if it is worth it.
The answer is yes. The Hardie board siding cost may seem high at first, but this product saves you money over time and pays for itself in the end by:
- Offering superior protection for your home over other types of siding
- Costing less to maintain
- Lasting longer
- Never fading
- Insulating your home and reducing energy bills
- Increasing resale value
For many people, the beauty and convenience that Hardie siding brings alone are worth the price. But even budget-conscious homeowners can appreciate that the return on investment is very high for James Hardie products. In the end, the fiber cement siding cost is well worth it to Twin Cities homeowners who want to add value to their home.
What to Look for in a Qualified James Hardie Siding Contractor
Once you know that James Hardie siding is for you, the next step is finding a reputable Hardie siding contractor who can supply and install the products you want. You need a contractor who is capable of installing your Hardie siding per the manufacturer’s instructions, so you are guaranteed all the benefits of this incredible product.
Not every siding contractor has experience installing Hardie siding, so you may have to talk to several siding contractors before finding one with the skills you need. During these conversations, don’t be afraid to ask questions about their experience and qualifications. Some questions you can ask are:
- How long have you been in business?
- Are you licensed?
- Are you and your crew insured?
- What is your experience with James Hardie products?
- How many projects like mine have you completed?
- Do you have former clients I can speak to as references?
For the best results, look for a James Hardie Preferred Contractor like MN Contractor Pros. This distinction means we meet high standards of excellence established by the James Hardie brand, such as:
- Licensed and bonded
- Satisfactory background check with at least six clients
- A homeowner “likely to recommend” score of at least 90%
- Compliance with installation best practices
- Satisfactory credit report
- Professional sales approach
When a contractor can meet the high standards of an industry leader, you can rest assured that they can meet your high standards as a homeowner.
Talk to Us — Your Local James Hardie Preferred Contractor
James Hardie siding isn’t the only fiber cement siding out there, but we think it is the best. It has impressed and benefitted Twin Cities homeowners for decades.
Thanks to its superior durability, longevity, and aesthetic, Hardie Board is an investment in your home that quickly pays for itself. Homeowners who want a low maintenance but attractive siding option enjoy the peace of mind they feel living in a house that is protected by James Hardie.
You can have peace of mind during the Hardie siding installation process, too, when you rely on your local James Hardie Preferred Contractor — MN Contractor Pros. Our team has over 60 years of experience performing immaculate exterior home improvements in the Twin Cities area. We have all the expertise and qualifications to install your James Hardie siding to perfection.
Our stress-free process begins when you schedule a free consultation, including a design consultation, and only ends when you are satisfied with your new Hardie siding.