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 accompanied by a 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 Costs: Hardie 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 60-70 pounds for vinyl siding. This can increase labor and the cost of cement installation.
  • Maintenance: It has to be re-painted periodically. Hardie board’s ColorPlus ® Technology Warranty covers paint and labor for peeling and chipping of their finishes for only 15 years.
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The Cost

Hardie board siding runs about $0.70 to $5.25 per square foot. This could lead to a total cost of anywhere from $4,700 to $13,300. Why such a huge flux in the price range? You have to consider the amount of siding you’ll need, how long it will take and any additional fees for equipment and materials. However, if the pros speak to you more than the cons, the price doesn’t matter that much.

Local Considerations

The costs and benefits of hardie board siding will vary based on your climate, number of contractors, demand and materials. You should always consult with 3-4 professionals before hiring one. You don’t want to get a hardie board siding installation that needs constant repair. On the other hand, you don’t want to pay too much or additional fees that are unwarranted.



  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. James Hardie, May 10:

    You’re welcome!

  5. 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?

  6. 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?

  7. James Hardie, May 16:

    Typically structures are robust enough to handle the added weight of James Hardie siding. Woodpeckers are not fond of James Hardie siding.

  8. 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?

  9. Mike Yost, June 4:

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

  10. Ken, June 13:

    Will Hardie Board stand up against Woodpeckers

  11. James Hardie, June 13:

    Because the board is cement, bugs do not nest in it, and woodpeckers don’t peck it.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. James Hardie, July 15:

    Only calk where siding meets trim, do not calk butt joints. Installation best practices available on the James Hardie website

  15. 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

  16. Spencer, October 18:

    One of the things not mentioned in the pros for HardiePlank is that insurance companies will give you a lower price on your homeowners insurance because they consider it to be the same as brick construction. I know because it lowered my premiums after replacing my masonite product.

  17. James Hardie, October 18:

    Insurance benefits will vary among providers

  18. Hal Abrams, October 21:

    Our client installed Hardie Plank 20 years ago . Now it has to be removed . Did the product Ever have asbestos material in it?

  19. Tony, October 21:

    Looking for price on siding

  20. April Huddleston, October 24:

    Is Prevail Multisiding product good for the construction of my new home? What about quality and warranty?

  21. Curtis Jones, October 25:

    Just a few question on maintenance on hardie planks. Should they be caulked when installed ? And if so when you repaint should the old caulk be totally stripped from each seam?

  22. James Hardie, October 25:

    Only calk where siding meets trim, do not calk butt joints. Installation best practices available on the James Hardie website

  23. Don, October 29:

    A contractor installed your product on my home, however, it has a lot of waves in it. The contractor says it’s normal with cement board. Is this true or did the contractor do a poor job?

  24. M. C. Katzel, October 29:

    Can woodpeckers peck holes in Hardie Plank?

  25. Ally McNee, October 31:

    I have the same question as Curtis re: caulking. My builder says he always caulks the horizontal planks despite JH recommending otherwise. Are there different schools of thought on this? What about reprinting – remove old caulk?

  26. JARATIA I. LACOD, December 18:

    I want to ask on the health safety of usisng the hardieflex board because i know it is made of fiber cement etc. I want to assure the health safety of my family. According to some of my friend using hardieflex is hazardous to health. Please i need your technical explaination regarding my doubts i am sorry but i have no intention of anything else except for clarification in the issue. Thak you for your response.

  27. James Hardie, December 18:

    If the proper installation techniques are met, Hardie siding can be installed safely. Check out the James Hardie website for installation best practices.

  28. bob mcfarlane, December 19:

    I’m 100 yards from the gulf and the beach. Should I caulk the horizontal planks? There is a lot of air borne micro sand.

  29. James Hardie, December 19:

    Only calk where siding meets trim, not the butt joints.

  30. Clint, December 28:

    I just had my Hardiplank cement planks installed on my new house and a month later a windstorm blew off 3 planks leaving the nails in the wall ripping them right through the planks. Could have this siding been installed incorrectly? Also the contractor got white paint on these pre colored gray planks, and he wants to paint over them. Will this be a problem in a few years?

  31. James Hardie, December 28:

    Hard to say what the problem was, but they could have been installed incorrectly. The prefinished boards are only covered for the factory applied paint. Any additional paint is not covered by our warranty.

  32. Lamanna Curt, December 29:

    Was told that 1/2 foam lnsulation not recomended, voids warranty

  33. Lawton B Smith, January 13:

    I have a floor that is covered with Hardi-Plank in my bedroom. It is painted. Is there a health risk? thanks.

  34. James Hardie, January 13:

    There is no health risk.

  35. Bruce, March 3:

    We are finding our installation of hardiboard to replace our previous cedar planks as vertical board and batt to be quite noisy. The boards mounted with a vapor barrier gap behind the board have created a drum effect and seem to be picking up and amplifying the noise from vehicle mufflers that go by our home.

  36. Kelly, March 27:

    Anyone worrying about woodpeckers put a few balloons out the windows and it will make them leave. They are pecking the house to dominate the space for other woodpeckers to leave!

  37. Cooper, May 14:

    If you have issues with your siding, good luck. We had a house built by Pratt using Hardin lap siding. A mess is the least I can say. We have scratches, dents, dings, and concrete showing in numerous places. Finally got a rep out to access, and still no info after more than a week.

  38. mIKE hOLL, July 3:

    What is available for hardiboard trim for windows? Is it paintable?

  39. Steve, July 6:

    I have a question we are building a recreational center 4 miles from the ocean and I would like to know if Hardi board is the way to go. I am looking at something that is not high maintenance thank you

  40. Lantz, October 10:

    Hardie has two websites that will pretty much answer all question, especially the Pro site and it installation information.
    Also a number of videos

  41. Luke, October 16:

    I resently painted a house with hardie board siding. The owner choose to use an oil based primer. After applying primer and paint I noticed that there was a sticky residue coming through the paint. Was told it was surfactant. Do you have any idea what it may be

  42. Karyn, October 19:

    We are planning on purchasing a house that has Hardie Board siding already. But it’s been there probably since the house was built in 1986. The front (south facing and windy) exposure looks like it needs some boards replaced. Is that possible to pull some pieces out to replace? Or must we take off the whole front aspect and start again? (I’m assuming the latter, but thought I’d ask!)

What Other Questions Do You Have?