smart trim or hardi plank?

barkingdonkeyJanuary 31, 2009

We are in the process of choosing between smart trim and hardiplank for our new home. We have had hardi before and loved it, but it was on the gables over brick so moisture was not an issue (seems to be a problem for some). Has anyone used the "smart trim" and what are your thoughts. We have talked to two builders who each prefer one over the other - we just don't know how to get through the hype. Being newbies at this, any advice would be greatly appreciated. By the way, this is a ranch style house so there will be ALOT of whatever we choose.

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barkingdonkey - (I like the name!)

I assume you're talking about the LP Smartside Product when you say smart trim; I have never personally used that particular product, but we have used and really like the MiraTec trim boards for trimming out around windows, corner boards, frieze and rakes, etc. The MiraTec is much cheaper than the HardieTrim boards and to me is easier to work with.

You can get it pre-painted which I highly suggest if you are going to go with white trim. Our painters griped and complained the whole time they cut those trim boards in against each lap of the HardiePlank siding. We used the 5/4 (1") thick boards in 6" for the skirt/belly board and 4" for everything else.

Just be sure you have your installers flash really well behind all joints in your siding and between your Hardie & trim boards no matter what product you choose. I would make them go overboard on flashing if it were me, especially on top of the windows so that no water has even the slightest chance of getting trapped behind your trim &/or siding. I think this is the most under valued part of the whole installation process.

Here are a few pictures of the most recent house we've trimmed out with MiraTec 5/4 trim boards as I mentioned before, HardiePlank siding and stone: From Hunters Glen - Lot 38a Signature Plan From Hunters Glen - Lot 38a Signature Plan From Hunters Glen - Lot 38a Signature Plan

Good luck with your siding. I'm sure you're getting excited!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 6:18PM
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"SmartSide" Lap and Panel Siding is zinc-borate treated aspen wood oriented-strand-board with a resin saturated MDO paper face and three coats of edge sealer made by Louisiana Pacific.

It would be difficult to compare SmartSide with fiber-cement siding because these products are in entirely different leagues in terms of durability and maintenance.

A lot depends on how long you intend to live in the house.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 4:45PM
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this is the first and last house we plan to build. we are trying to put all the "big rocks" in place (ex. insulation, framing, roof) and then once we are in we'll start on the "make pretty" stuff. Can I surmise by your answer that perhaps Hardi is the best choice? We plan to be there for the next 50 years (if we live that long!)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 11:48PM
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If you are building in a wet, humid climate, i would stay away from smart siding. It's longevity in those type of areas is entirely dependent on maintenance by painting/caulkings far more frequent than average to insure moisture doesn't get to the product. Even then there's no guarantees. Fiber cement is far more "less maintenace" oriented, holds top coats better, remains tight all when installed properly.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 10:33AM
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