Everything You Need To Know About James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding For Your Home
Are you building or remodeling your home? If so, you have numerous choices to make and seemingly countless options when it comes to the exterior finishes. There are endless combinations to consider, which not only affects the look of your home but the structure and stability as well.
You want home siding that is durable, low-maintenance and has great curb appeal. Most importantly? You want it to be eye-catching. The problem is, most siding materials don’t fulfill all those needs.
Your home’s exterior matters. It reflects your personal style and makes a statement to anyone who visits or drives past. The siding you choose for your house is also the first line of defense against the elements and pests- it protects your investment.
You deserve a beautiful exterior that gives your home the perfect look. After all, you only get one opportunity to make a first impression. If it’s durability, security, and beauty you’re seeking for your home’s exterior, James Hardie siding has all of those qualities in abundance. Approved Contractor has all the James Hardie siding options you need to create a long-lasting, gorgeous home. Here’s your all-in-one guide to what you should know about James Hardie siding – and why we at Approved Contractor are such big fans of it.
What is James Hardie Siding?
You’ve heard of vinyl siding and wood siding, but what is fiber cement siding? James Hardie siding is made from fiber cement. It is made from cellulose fibers, cement, sand, and water, and it is used on both residential and commercial buildings because it is so durable and looks so much like wood, but without the involved upkeep. James Hardie is the top fiber cement company in the country because it is well-made, strong, and attractive. It’s been installed in over 8 million homes in the US.
In addition to being so long-lasting, James Hardie lap siding is a good investment. It is less expensive than brick, stucco, or wood siding, and lasts much longer than vinyl siding. It’s able to withstand the elements (like the bright California sun) far better than vinyl does. It’s truly a superior value.
James Hardie siding comes in many forms and styles, and is called by many different names:
- HardiePlank Lap siding
- Hardie board siding
- Batten and board siding
- HardieShingle siding
The many styles of James Hardie siding make it a great fit for California homes, including Tudor, Craftsman, Cape Cod, and beach house styles. It’s highly customizable and comes in all sorts of colors and designs to bring each home to life.
James Hardie isn’t just praised by contractors because it’s strong and lasts for decades; James Hardie has been lauded for its style-centric designs that create beautiful homes. And, it’s environmentally friendly.
All in all, it’s the perfect blend of exceptional value, long-lasting durability, and stellar style.
What Are the Benefits of James Hardie Siding?
Why should you choose James Hardie siding over other exterior finishes? Not only is James Hardie siding environmentally friendly –it meets every standard for LA’s Green Building Program as a CALGreen building product– and it stands up to both weather and pests.
Fiber cement siding is built to last. It’s made to withstand the elements for decades, holding up against harsh weather conditions, storms, and even hurricane-force winds. It won’t warp because of moisture. Unlike vinyl siding, where the color and luster fades over time, James Hardie siding lasts. It’s sturdy against the high impact from hail. The fiber cement is also resistant to fire since there are no combustibles to fan the flames.
James Hardie siding is also pest-resistant. There’s no way a plague of birds, raccoons, chipmunks, or termites could chew through the fiber cement to expose your home to moisture or critters. This all speaks to the high-quality of James Hardie siding.
Also, if there’s a problem, James Hardie siding is warranted for 30 or more years — and if you choose a pre-painted siding it comes with its own warranty to protect against chips and other defects. It stands the test of time using ColorPlus technology, keeping its vibrant colors intact for years. You just can’t beat the quality.
Is James Hardie Siding Fire Resistant?
Throughout the world, and especially in the western United States, hotter, drier conditions caused by climate change are increasing the risk of wildfires. From 2005 to 2020, 89,000 structures were decimated by these blazes. In 2021 alone, nearly 6,000 structures were burned by wildfires, the majority of which were in California.
As a resident of the Golden State where the risk of wildfires is greatest, it’s smart to do everything you can to protect your home from fire damage. One of the best ways to do that is to choose noncombustible James Hardie fiber cement siding.
Cedar shake shingles may be beautiful, but they are also highly flammable, as are any solid wood or composite wood products. And while vinyl siding won’t burn, it can melt when exposed to a heat source as far as 40 feet away, giving a blaze a direct path into your home. For this reason, the Federal Emergency Management Agency doesn’t recommend using vinyl siding on a home that is in an area that is high risk for fires.
If your siding material is combustible, you are leaving your home, its contents, and you and your family vulnerable. As a California homeowner, there simply is no better choice than fire-resistant, synthetic James Hardie fiber cement siding. Hardie siding is Class A fire-rated, which means it will last two to four hours before igniting, which gives you peace of mind that your home and family are protected.
Withstanding the Wildfires with James Hardie Siding
Is Hardie Board Siding Environmentally Friendly?
Here in California where all building products have to meet the CALGreen building products initiative, Hardie board siding fits the bill and is constantly striving to do good for the environment. James Hardie siding is an eco-friendly, sustainable product made from raw materials.
While James Hardie siding isn’t a naturally-occurring material, it does have other benefits over certain renewable resources like wood, and definitely surpasses vinyl siding which is made from fossil fuels. James Hardie siding doesn’t contribute to rapid deforestation. Vinyl siding has to be thrown away after a few years, but James Hardie siding outlasts it, not contributing nearly as much landfill waste.
James Hardie siding can be part of your green-build project. In fact, James Hardie is a gold member of the United States Green Building Council, with LEED certification for high-performance green communities, and earned the 2020 Reader’s Choice Award as the greenest siding brand. Hardie board siding provides an excellent water-resistant barrier while maintaining the highest standards for green building products.
How Does Fiber Cement Siding Compare To Other Siding Materials?
You want to choose the right exterior finishes for your home, so how does James Hardie lap siding size up against other popular finishes like vinyl siding, wood, or stucco?
Fiber Cement or Stucco?
Stucco is an older building technique that can be fairly long-lasting. When installed properly, it can last upwards of 50 years. However, stucco is not nearly as moisture-resistant as fiber cement siding and can cost quite a bit more. It’s known for being the cause of many home water and moisture issues. Stucco can be used in a variety of ways, but it just doesn’t have the same kinds of options that fiber cement siding has.
Fiber Cement or Wood Siding?
Wood siding requires a great deal of maintenance. It’s the single-most demanding kind of siding available, requiring painting, sanding, and sealing at least once every 5 years to keep it looking good and to protect your home from moisture. It’s susceptible to pests and termites and can warp and cause expensive damage. While fiber cement lap siding costs more up front, it requires less upkeep and lasts far longer, while providing the same classic, stylish aesthetic as wood siding.
Fiber Cement or Vinyl Siding?
Vinyl siding just isn’t as strong as fiber cement siding. It can end up with lots of damage like cracks in storm damage-prone areas. These just don’t happen with James Hardie lap siding. Vinyl siding doesn’t require maintenance and can last as long as 30 years, but it starts to show its age after 10 to 15 years when it starts to fade or lose its luster. Cracks and improper installation can expose your home to water and moisture damage, while fiber cement rarely cracks, and protects your home from moisture.
James Hardie Siding Styles
Another reason that we at Approved Contractor are such fervent supporters of James Hardie fiber cement siding? It comes in so many styles that it truly can enhance the value and curb appeal of every home, regardless of aesthetic.
So many well-loved home styles in California favor gorgeous siding, and James Hardie has siding products to match each one. Cape Cod houses, craftsman homes, and beach bungalows are popular home styles in California, and they all favor siding-heavy designs for a cozy, traditional, welcoming feel. To achieve these looks, James Hardie designs include the following options, perfect for a California abode:
There are so many options available to design a California home that will be the envy of your entire neighborhood in many lovely architectural styles to allow you to customize your home so you end up with a picture-perfect look.
ColorPlus and James Hardie Siding Color Options
One of the benefits of choosing James Hardie siding is the range of colors available with ColorPlus. While James Hardie offers primed siding options that can be painted in any color by a professional house painter, many select James Hardie’s pre-painted siding because the finish is long-lasting and low maintenance.
Choose from a professionally developed palette of color choices for a factory application of specially-formulated paint that stands up to the harsh UV rays of the California sun. This ensures a consistent, lasting finish. Another added benefit? The paint finish on your Hardie fiber cement siding is warranted for 15 years.
These pre-painted siding options come in a wide selection of colors that all perfectly fit the California lifestyle and California homes in every architectural style, like Cape Cod-style and craftsman houses.
How can James Hardie offer so many colors? With ColorPlus Technology options. ColorPlus is a color-based finish applied in a controlled factory setting. This eliminates debris and optimizes adhesion of the finish. This means a longer-lasting color finish and less maintenance for you.
With baked-on ColorPlus Technology, these numerous siding options come in a wide variety of colors with greater resistance against fading and chipping for 15 years, so your home stays as beautiful as the day it was built.
How Much Does Hardie Siding Cost?
Hardie siding is the ultimate investment– it strengthens the overall appearance of your home’s exterior and lasts far beyond most other exterior finishes with less upkeep. You’re not only paying for the aesthetic, you’re also saving yourself the time and trouble of more frequent finishing or replacement.
What does Hardie siding cost? The cost of James Hardie siding can vary depending on the details of your installation and the skill level of your contractor. One of the benefits of Hardie lap siding is that it lasts — you are not only paying for a beautiful end result but when you install Hardie siding, it requires less maintenance and lasts longer. You’re paying for ultimate value.
What Is the Process To Install Hardie Siding Correctly?
Anytime you have work done on your home, you want to hire a qualified siding contractor to do the job. After all, siding installation is no joke, and you’re dealing with the most external layer of protection for your living space. We know there’s a lot that goes into choosing a contractor and selecting a siding company so we do everything we can to ensure you are confident in your decision.
One way to trust the process of installing Hardie siding? Hire a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor. A preferred contractor will follow all the requirements to keep your James Hardie siding under warranty to protect your investment. The installation procedures for the entire line of Hardie products are rigorous, and James Hardie provides resources for professionals to correctly install their products.
James Hardie products are stored in their original packaging to protect each piece, and every piece is cut to fit each specific location. Caulk and flashing are used to keep your exterior walls waterproof. Planks and siding panels are attached using a power nailer or direct-to-steel fastening tool.
At Approved Contractor, we’ve been proudly serving clients for well over a decade, and we are a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor, which means we are well-versed in how James Hardie products should be installed and we also have a long list of excellent scores and recommendations from real homeowners.
The Benefits of Choosing Approved Contractor
At Approved Contractor, we care about what siding you choose to protect and accentuate your home. That’s why we use the best in the industry: James Hardie siding. Whether you’re building a brand new home or giving your current home a facelift, we can help.
Don’t worry about competing on price or finding a qualified contractor; hire the best contractor in the business to install the best siding in the industry. Want to see firsthand how we treat our customers as our top priority, or witness the way we treat your home like it’s our own? Request a free estimate today.