Nichiha Vs. Hardie shake and lap siding

matt_in_ksFebruary 7, 2013

I wanted to hear people's experiences with either of these products. We fell in love with the appearance of the Nichiha Sierra Premium Shake and specified it on our build. Many of the lumber yards around here do not carry it (except Home Depot). My framing carpenter inquired with his go to lumber yard and after they looked into it they said nobody carries it around here because it does not hold up as well as Hardie. We are in NE Kansas. They said if you look around online you will find that fact everywhere...

Has anybody heard or experienced anything that would substantiate this comment? I could understand a distributor saying that if they did not carry the product. My framing carpenter is happy to try it but he just wanted to pass that along to me so I was aware. Also, if you've found legitimate articles or threads elsewhere related to this I would appreciate a link.

Thanks everyone!

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Gosh I hope it will hold up well. We used Nichiha shakes on our house and so far it's fine. We've only been in our house a little over a year though. I'm not sure if the product is the same thickness as Hardie - I trusted the salesman at the Company we bought our siding from. He felt Nichi was every bit as good as hardie and they sold both products, so it wasn't just to get my business.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 12:29PM
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Thanks downsy, that seems to be what I've heard in general but I was curious to see if that was what others heard. Those Nichiha shakes are significantly thinker than the Hardie- that's one of the things that I liked. Much more depth and texture than JH.

I've generally heard that it's better to work with on the install but thought we might find some experienced voices here regarding longevity.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 1:16PM
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Ive used both and prefer the Nich so far. They did change the product line recently with the Sierra Premium by offering less selection; colors, staggered.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 3:34PM
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Another plus for nichi shake over hardie is that the pieces are bigger, thus fewer seams.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 6:05PM
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I'm in the same boat. I am interested to get more feedback in this. We are probably going with nichi premium shakes. I just got my samples from them and they are heavier and I just like them better.

I spoke to an architect who used them on a house he built and he said the couple wanted a fireproof house and the Nichi shakes are fireproof.

Also, I had a million questions and spoke to the technical guy at Nichiha and he was so helpful and nice. I may go with them just based on my conversation with him; he took so much time to explain the difference to me.

The con is that they only come primed and my painter wants to charge me $12K to paint the house with two coats. The price differential is minimal for Hardie primed vs Nichi primed. However, the cost to paint my house is exorbitant, especially since I need to do it again in 7 years.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 10:08PM
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mum- I got a quote from Carolina Colortones that gives a 25 yr. warranty on the Lap paint and I think 15 yr on the Shake stain for about $15k for our house including the siding. That's a pretty big pill for me to swallow so I'm thinking about maybe just having them stain the shake and paint everything else on site.

Not sure where you're at but shipping a load of painted siding to KS costs a pretty penny but I'm still considering it.

I just really love the look of that stained Shake!

Contemporary Exterior design by Dc Metro Architect Gardner Mohr Architects LLC

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 3:50PM
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"mum- I got a quote from Carolina Colortones that gives a 25 yr. warranty on the Lap paint and I think 15 yr on the Shake stain for about $15k for our house including the siding."

Couldyou elaborate?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:37AM
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I could either buy the siding primed or I could buy it through Carolina Colortones and they would paint it for me. Their paint coating on the lap siding has a 25 year warranty and the stain I like on the shake has either a 12 or 15 year warranty (I can't remember).

If I were going to pay $12k for paint I would have the factory do it and get that long warranty on the paint job. I'm undecided on who is going to paint mine.

Does that help clarify?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 1:14PM
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Be aware of the negatives of pre-painted siding. Caulking that doesnt get painted and will show up more over time as it collects dirt and dust or chalks.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 3:00PM
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our nichiha has been up for a while now and we still have people knock at the door to ask what color we painted our siding. they seem shocked when i tell them it's cement.
we're six miles inland in central new jersey and have just come through hurricane sandy with absolutely no damage to the siding. it's unfortunate most of the trees and telephone poles didn't hold up as well. in the meantime, as i drive down our street not everyone was as fortunate. i noticed a newly sided house had to have some repair work done on their hardiboard. ;-)
without question, nichiha is superior to hardi.

we have a factory finish in weathered gray. love it.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:33AM
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Matt, just saw a new build using the JH shake, looked like it was going up in 4' sections. looked really good from the street. did you decide which way you are going? how much diff in price (%) in our area? The nichiha looks very nice in the pics I've seen

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:22PM
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Kc-for the primed nichiha there was minimal difference in cost. About $6k either way. It adds about $2k for me to get my shake pre stained and another $3.5k to get the rest of the lap pre painted. I'm still on the fence but leaning towards Nichiha and painting it on site. I want to take a shake sample by sherwin Williams and show them a couple pictures and hear what they have to say about doing it on site.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 10:33PM
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Matt - I was at a client's home yesterday (they built about 1.5 yrs ago a home on a lake) and they used Nichi shake and it is stained and looks GREAT. He told me it took 2 coats of stain and it was stained on site, after installation. Their stain job looks as good as the photo above that you posted. The stain can be done, and done well!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:36AM
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downsy- that is great news, do you happen to know what product they used to stain it? My framer is ready for me to pin everything down and the guy from Carolina Colortones was saying that the stain will not adhere to the cement if it is installed before applying therefore requiring multiple coats and lots of runs.

I was starting to look at real cedar but we really like the fresh wood look instead of letting it weather. I think there is too much maintenance to try and achieve that with the real shake. I might call Nichiha and ask them which stain products they recommend and will post if I learn anything.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:37PM
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The Nichi tech guy was incredibly helpful and super nice. Must be the southern charm. He spoke to me for at least 15 minutes about something minor. Give them a call and tell them to give you their tech guy's number. He is not at the main number. Please report back, because I would like to get these stained as well. Didn't even think that it would be an option.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:59PM
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Spoke with Don at Nichiha this morning. To get the stained shake look similar to the picture above he suggested applying a base coat and then "pinstriping" between the shakes where you want the shadow lines. After that use an airless sprayer and apply Duckback or Cabbot semitransparent acrylic stain to give a uniform finish. He said it's a pretty labor intense process to do it on site...

Now we know :)

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:17AM
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We have ordered NichiBoard lap siding, pre primed. We spoke to Nichiha before we ordered and they said that it can be stained.

Now the siding has reached the local retailer (took 6 weeks, btw, central NJ), we call to find out which brand/kind of stain would be best and they told us NOT to stain, use paint only.

Has anybody stained NichiBoard lap siding in recent past? Has it held up? What kind of stain did you use?



    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 11:17AM
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According to the tech at Nichiha I spoke with this morning use either Duckback or Cabot. He said to contact them to discuss the application process and best product to use. He specifically mentioned semitransparent acrylic.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 12:21PM
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