Hardie board siding
Hardie board siding, created by James Hardie and also known as cement board siding, has been around forever, but its popularity seems to come in streaks. Typically billed as a low-maintenance, long-lasting material, does it measure up to its reputation? Here are the pros, cons and costs of hardie board siding to see how it looks under scrutiny.

Hardie Board Siding: The Pros

This siding seems to be a rising trend in the industry lately. It’s a product that lasts, comes in a wide variety of textures and colors, and it’s affordable. The benefits extend beyond those factors, and when it comes to hardie board siding, there is a long list of pros.

  • Longevity Most hardie board siding comes with a 50-year, limited transferable warranty. This siding is completely rot and insect resistant and can even handle salt spray from the ocean.
  • Appearance Hardie board siding can be made to mimic just about any other siding material, including wood lap boards, cedar shingles, and wood shake siding. Color options are virtually unlimited. These colors are typically accompanied by a 10 to 15 year warranty on the finish.
  • Fire Resistance Hardie board siding is 90 percent sand and cement which makes it fire-resistant. Case in point, a St. Paul Minnesota house fire torched two fire trucks parked 60 feet away, but the cement board siding home next door, 50 feet away, remained unscathed.
  • Storm Resistance Whether you’re looking for a siding material that can withstand the next Katrina, or one that can fend off the next summer hailstorm without sustaining damage, cement board siding is a proven commodity in the weather department.

The Cons

What’s not to like about hardie board siding? Two things stand out. First of all, because of its weight, the siding requires more resources to install than other siding materials. Second, it’s not a maintenance-free siding material. You will have to repaint it in time.

  • High Installation and Labor CostsHardie board siding requires more planning, a larger labor force, and takes longer to install due to its composition. It weighs about 300 pounds (100 square feet) compared to 60 to 70 pounds for vinyl siding. This can increase labor and installation costs as compared to vinyl or aluminum siding.
  • MaintenanceIt has to be re-painted periodically. Although the warranty is usually for 50 years, hardie board siding finishes are only guaranteed for 15 years.

The Cost

Hardie board siding runs about $1,000 or $10 per square foot. So plan on spending about 40 percent more if you choose it over vinyl. However, if the pros speak to you more than the cons, the price doesn’t matter that much. To get hardie board siding quotes, click here.

Local Considerations

The costs and benefits of hardie board siding will vary based on your climate, number of contractors, demand and materials. See our general siding cost guide and how major cities stack up below.

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11 Comments

  1. Jason, May 9:

    10$ a sq ft is only to buy and install not the removal of the old hardy board? Is that right .

  2. Jason, May 9:

    600sq ft of hardy board with the highest part 36 ft high. What is a fair price for removal and replace. Basically the whole job. Time and material and dumping?

  3. Marie Walker, May 10:

    We are looking to buy a new home in Texas and most of the new construction say they use fiber cement for siding, just wanted to know if it was a good product. Thank you helped.

  4. Kevin Suber, May 13:

    I am experiencing alot of cracks and gapping. My home is only 3 years old. Any idea of the root cause?

  5. Carolyn, May 16:

    Can Hardy Board stand up to woodpeckers? We have a mountain cabin that is being attached by woodpeckers, leaving large holes. Due the extra weight of the Hardy Board, does the structure need to be reinforced?

  6. Bob Murphy, May 28:

    I had Hardie board installed on my home in 2011. It has chippings along the edges of the numerous board. It carries warranties for 15 years again fading, but no mention of chipping. No chemicals or power washings were applied. What do you suggest?

  7. Mike Yost, June 4:

    I live on a golf course would this Hardie board hold up . ( Like if golf balls would it )
    Thanks,
    Mike

  8. Ken, June 13:

    Will Hardie Board stand up against Woodpeckers

  9. Jason, June 28:

    Why are the only comparisons from this article in reference to vinyl or aluminum siding? I personally am not considering either of those two as a siding option, so I would have found this article more helpful if it would have included wood siding comparisons.

  10. Anne QUINN, July 15:

    Do the cracks between the hardy board need recaulking if the original causing has worn off? I was told the tightness would crack the existing boards.

  11. Norma Gonzales, July 17:

    Please call me. I cannot get any action on a caulking failure on my father’s home from your local rep or contractor. Norma Gonzsles, RN, BSN, CHPN 469-853-3445

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