Why Hardie Board is the Best Fiber Cement Siding

Written by Stephen Scoggins

August 26, 2020

hardie board, custom home exteriors

There are a number of house siding options you can use for your exterior remodel, such as vinyl siding and cedar. However, one of the best all around options is fiber cement. Fiber cement siding is more durable and longer lasting than vinyl, and it’s resistant to insects and fire unlike cedar. It’s also the best option to protect against tornadoes and hurricanes, and it requires minimal maintenance. 

At CHE, we recommend Hardie Board siding for our fiber cement customers. James Hardie® is by far the best fiber cement manufacturer in the world. In the 20+ years we’ve been in business, we’ve seen it consistently outperform its competitors in quality and beauty. Here are the advantages of using Hardie siding over other brands of fiber cement.

Hardie Board Doesn’t Shrink After Installation

Fiber cement does have a weakness that other house siding options don’t: it can shrink. In my decades of service to Raleigh NC, I’ve consistently seen fiber cement plank shrink up to a quarter of an inch within 6 months of installation. This doesn’t happen every time, but when it does, it’s a massive pain to our customers. Fiber cement shrinkage requires considerable maintenance to fix, all within the same year of the exterior remodel.

But here’s the thing. Hardie Board doesn’t shrink. And it’s the only fiber cement product I’ve seen that never does.

The reason Hardiplank® never shrinks is because of its mixture. Every fiber cement product contains cement, silica, and sand. In addition, each manufacturer adds a “secret sauce” made of a trade secret formula. Most fiber cement manufacturers include a substance in their secret sauce called fly ash, which is a byproduct of burned coal. Fly ash is what can cause fiber cement to shrink.

The Hardiplank formula is what has allowed it to stand apart for the last 40+ years. Not only does it contain zero fly ash, but Hardie spends tens of millions of dollars every year on R&D to continually improve it. In other words, Hardie Board’s quality is always getting better. This is a huge reason why I chose Hardie siding for my home. 

The Hardie 30 Year Warranty

All Hardie Board comes with a very generous three decade warranty to protect you from defects. This is an incredible deal that will ensure the longevity of your home exterior. However, to capitalize on this warranty you’ll need to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. This includes having the siding installed by a VSI-certified installer and additional protocols for the installation itself. There are also things that you can do to void the warranty, so it’s important that you understand the terms and conditions.

At Custom Home Exteriors, all of our installers are VSI-certified to ensure that our customers can benefit from the Hardiplank warranty. In addition, we give all of our customers a book at the end of their exterior remodel containing the details of every warranty they have at their disposal, with clear guidelines as to how to comply. If there are any errors on our part that would keep you from benefiting from your warranties, we will cover the cost. To date, I have not turned a single valid warranty claim away. CHE has resided homes done over 15 years ago, and I don’t know anyone else who does this.

ColorPlus Removes the Need for Exterior Painting

With Hardie Board siding, you have the option to get ColorPlus®. ColorPlus is an exclusive process used by Hardie to make pre-finished siding with baked-in color. This not only saves you the cost and hassle of exterior painting, but it also prevents painting irregularities, which are unfortunately very common. I’m a big believer in ColorPlus, which is why CHE is the 2nd largest ColorPlus installer in the United States.

Engineered for Climate

Another completely unique advantage of Hardie Board is it’s Engineered for Climate® feature, also known as the Hardizone System. This means that Hardiplank is especially designed to perform against the climate of your region, wherever you happen to be. 

For instance, if you live in an area with harsh winters and lots of snow, all Hardiplank for your house would come from the HZ5® product line, which is resilient against cold and moisture. In sunnier areas, you would receive HZ10®, which brings additional protection against flames, sunlight, and strong winds. Each comes with every available design option, including panel, trim, lap, shingle, fascia, and soffit.

Are There Downsides to Hardie Board?

In terms of quality, there are no downsides to using Hardiplank that I’m aware of compared to other brands of fiber cement siding. However, the quality means a higher price than most other brands, so expect to pay more on the raw materials for your remodel if you choose Hardie siding. 

There are also downsides to using fiber cement in general that apply to Hardie as well. For instance, fiber cement has a very low R value, meaning it has little-to-no insulation built in. It’s also more difficult to install than vinyl siding, so installation costs are higher.  

Get Help from a Trusted Expert

You should consult an experienced installer before choosing the house siding for your remodel. Our company has been serving the greater Raleigh area for over two decades. We take every care to ensure that you understand every item in your quote, benefit from all of your warranties, and avoid any unnecessary maintenance after installation. We even use digital modeling to show you how your home will look after we’re finished. Call us today for a free consultation, and one of our pros will be onsite immediately.

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