We at CHE have placed a lot of house siding in our 20+ years serving Raleigh, North Carolina. Be it vinyl, cedar, or fiber cement, we’ve seen the pros and cons of many different materials and brands. However, when it comes to fiber cement siding, our clear preference is Hardie plank siding.
The James Hardie® brand is one of a kind in the market, and it’s been that way for years. Here I want to share why Hardie stands out so much to us and why you should consider it for your home exterior.
1. Hardie Plank Siding Doesn’t Shrink
Fiber cement siding has been around longer than most people think. It technically arrived in 1901 and gained popularity in North America in the 80s. Hardie was the leader in that movement. Ever since, they’ve consistently been one step ahead of the rest of the field in the quality of their formula. While the base ingredient of all fiber cement is, well, cement, there’s usually a number of other ingredients that each company puts into their mixture. Each formula will determine the durability, longevity, appearance, and overall quality of the siding.
Now, I don’t know what all goes into the Hardie formula (no one does, it’s a trade secret). That said, I’ve been in this business for over two decades, and I’ve seen a lot of fiber cement brands. In my personal experience, Hardie plank siding is the only fiber cement siding I’ve seen that doesn’t ever shrink a quarter inch or more within 6 months of installation. One of the reasons is that Hardie doesn’t put any fly ash in their formula. Fly ash is a byproduct of burned coal that many companies have used in their fiber cement mixture over the years. While it’s a cheap ingredient, it can cause shrinking in the final product. With Hardie board, you will not have this risk.
One of the coolest features of Hardie plank siding is the Engineered for Climate® feature, aka HardieZone®. Hardie manufactures and distributes its fiber cement across North America to have additional built-in advantages to the climate of that region. Their HZ5® formula has added resistance against ice, snow, and precipitation. It’s also adjusts to wide temperature fluctuations. HZ10® stands up against strong winds and sunlight, making it better for southern and west coast climates.
You can paint fiber cement. However, this can cause problems. The paint job can be inconsistent, and it will likely need to be reapplied every 5-7 years. This is why we at CHE are such big fans of ColorPlus®. Currently CHE is one of the Top 3 ColorPlus® installers in the United States, and I personally went with ColorPlus® for my own home exterior remodel. This feature is so great because it gives your Hardie plank siding a pre-finished coat that’s baked into the material. This not only helps your siding look better out the gate, but it also means the shade and boldness of the coloring will last a lot longer. It also comes with a 15 year limited warranty, which is pretty great. And speaking of warranties…
4. The 30 Year Limited Warranty
Hardie plank siding comes with a 30 year limited warranty. This can save you a lot of money down the line. One of Hardie’s terms is that they will (at their discretion) either replace or repair any defects within the first 30 years, or otherwise reimburse the owner up to twice the original retail cost.
If you choose CHE to install your siding, we’ll go the extra mile to make sure you get this benefit. We’ll do this by giving you a book at the end of your project containing all the information on every warranty you’re entitled to. We make the terms easy-to-understand, so there’s no confusion on your part. If there’s any maintenance required on your end, we make sure you understand how to follow those instructions. These are usually pretty simple, where they exist. Best of all, if you’re unable to take advantage of any or your warranties through the fault of our team, we’ll cover the repairs ourselves.
Make Sure to Use a VSI Certified Installer
You can save a lot of money over the lifetime of your home exterior with your warranties. However, there are numerous and specific installation guidelines that must be followed in order for the warranty to be used by the owner of the house.
Using a VSI (Vinyl Siding Institute) certified installer will immediately add credibility to your installation in the eyes of the manufacturer. Not only that, but those contractors that are certified with VSI are usually much more familiar with each manufacturer’s guidelines than those that aren’t. Therefore your risks of missing one of your warranties will go way down.
Every member of the CHE team is VSI certified and familiar with the installation guidelines of all major manufacturers of vinyl and fiber cement house siding. We want to make sure you get the most value and longevity out of your home remodeling project that you deserve, and we will go the extra mile for you regardless of whether you choose Hardie plank siding or not.
Call CHE Today for a Free Consultation
Our team is committed to making your home exterior remodel prompt and pleasant. We’re also very transparent with our processes and quotes, and we provide active support before, during, and after your siding installation.
Call us now to schedule a free consultation with our team. Regardless of whether you work with us going forward, a visit with our team will give you valuable information regarding the cost, requirements, and next steps for your needs.