Hardi Board or Vinyl Siding

larimieMarch 5, 2008

I need some advice on whether or not to put HardiBoard or Vinyl Siding. Does anyone have any ideas on cost difference?

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Hardiboard is much more expensive, and in my opinion, worth every cent. Buying it prepainted from the factory automatically gives you a 15 year warranty on the paint. It doesn't ding or crack and continues to look great.
If you can do it without breaking the bank, I'd say go for it.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 2:01PM
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My exact dilemma!
I was determined to go with Hardi-board but when I went to the building supply they showed me a very high-end vinyl that has great colors and a foam backing that adds insulation. They actually said it was more expensive than the Hardi-board for the material but the labor would be cheaper.

Oddly enough I can't seem to get anyone to give me an exact $ figure of the price difference between the two. Granted, we are that far in the build yet (foundation walls being put in as we speak) but I would like some idea of an exact price. That will help make my decision.

I LOVE the Hardi-board but this vinyl looks great, not like the cheap builders grade vinyl I have seen before. I think the brand is Royal Building Products.

But, I want my house to either be a dark sage green (like the mountain sage color of hardi) or dark taupe. If I use hardi, I am more likely to do the green because I can paint it someday if I get tired of it. If we do vinyl, DH will want me to do dark taupe since it is more "classic".

I will be interested to see the advice on this thread.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 2:30PM
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Our last house had vinyl and our current house is Hardiplank. I love our Hardiplank.
It is fire- resistant and insect resistant. It holds paint beautifully.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 2:33PM
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We have hardiplank. I don't have the numbers in front of me but I think it added about $7,000.00 to the price of the siding. I think it was well worth it. 50 year warranty on the product (not the paint job). I doubt you will find anyone who says they wish they had NOT used fiber cement. People love this product. My DH thinks I'm a little crazy but I fully expect that global warming will show itself in the form of wacky weather, including large hail storms. I know that Hardiplank will stand up. It looks great and has a very solid feel to it. It's labor intensive to install. Certainly, if you use hardiplank, you have to have an experienced installer. Our builder usually does vinyl siding himself but he hires a sub for the hardiplank requests. You should get a slight break on homeowners insurance also, due to the fire resistance.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 4:49PM
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I wanted Hardiplan and did some research on it. The factory painted is about 3 times the cost of high end vinyl, and the primed, but not painted is about double the cost. If you go with the primed, you'll also have to factor in the cost of painting it on site. It can be repainted at any time if you want to change the color, but will have to be totally repainted about every 15 yrs. If you have a single story house, that's not a big deal, but if like me, you have a 2 story, built on a walk-out basement over a ravine, with multiple roof gables, painting becomes a headache or something that's best left to a pro. Factoring all that in, as much as I love the Hardi, it was just cost prohibitive.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 4:52PM
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We opted for Hardiplank. I second everything that jojoco said. It was more expensive and worth it. Here's a couple of pics....

Our goal was a new old house. The Hardiplank really helped with the "old" look.

Ours is also the prepainted.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 5:09PM
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We have hardiplank and we opted to have someone paint it after it was installed. I believe it was already primed before installation. Just 2 coats of paint. A lot cheaper for us that way.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 5:12PM
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I don't think there's any comparison- the Hardi is a lot better looking and more durable. I have vinyl on a shed here in FL, and the side in the sun cracked after 8 years or so. Also, with Hardi, if you decide to change the color of your house (any people do), it takes paint well. I don't know if you can paint vinyl or not.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 5:28PM
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We did get a break on the insurance as it is considered the rating of brick.
Like Ponydoc, our goal was to have the house look as if it had been built years ago.

We had so many problems with the vinyl at our old house. It warped, faded, chalked and blew off in high winds. We had the house built and used a higher end vinyl.

We have a two story front and a three story back with a walk out basement and I know in 15 - 20 years ,all of it will have to be repainted but it is a price I am willing to pay as this will hopefully be our home for about 30 years.

Make sure you have a good installer as my builder went through three on our house alone. Many claim they can do Hardi because they do vinyl, but Hardi requires different tools and more labor.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 7:16PM
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lsst, your home is beautiful. Do you by any chance have a straight on photo of the front that would show your stairs and railings? We need to install brick stairs in our new house and I would like a railing, but can't picture in my mind how to design it. From what I can see from yours it is very pretty and something I could maybe get some ideas. Thanks so much, I appreciate it.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 12:14AM
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Thanks brutuses!
I will look through my photos and if I do not have one I will get out the digital and take one and post it. It is a very simple design.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 2:42AM
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I'm reading that people have "painted" the hardiplank - any thoughts on which holds up better - paint OR solid stain? Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 3:15PM
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Our hardi was painted on site. It holds paint very well.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 8:06PM
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Just received a comparative bid for our home, vinyl vs Hardi....Holy Cr*p!!! $3250 for the vinyl installed, vs $20,000 for the painted Hardi! We need to start cost cutting, is this a place? Seems like a candidate to me.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 10:19PM
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Honestly, I love the Hardi and if cost were no object, I would have chosen it. But the cost difference is prohibitive and you also have to factor in that it will need to be repainted (depending on your location/weather conditions) in 10-15 yrs. On a two story house, built over a walk-out, which makes the top nearly 3 stories from the ground, those painting costs will be high as well, probably about $15,000 - $20,000 in 10 yrs. I couldn't justify that extra cost, so I went with a high end vinyl that I've used before on another house. It held up beautifully with no problems and still looks nearly new on that house. If you're comparing a very low end builder's grade of vinyl to Hardi, then of course you'll see more fading and wear on the vinyl than the Hardi, but there are plenty of options available in vinyl these days and it's come a long way in terms of fade-resistance and durability. I just couldn't justify triple to quadruple the cost for the pre-painted Hardi.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 11:35AM
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We want a board and batten look for our house. We were considering Hardipanels with real wood battens, cedar or green lumber. We did not want vinyl. Our draftsman showed us a board & batten vinyl product but I didn't even look at it because we knew that we didn't want vinyl.

Well, after looking at a newly built home with horizontal Hardiplank in person, it looked just like vinyl to us. . . not like wood which we thought it was supposed to look like. After considering the material cost, labor cost and more importantly the maintenance of our options (also have a 2-story plus walkout on a very narrow sloped area), and exploring vinyl more, we decided to go with CertainTeed's board & batten.

IMO, if you go with vinyl, you should go with a very high grade and make sure that it is installed properly to withstand expansion and contraction.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 2:35PM
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KandKWi - those quotes seem "off" to me. Firstly, the vinyl seems very low and the hardi seems high. We have a single story, walk out basement (about a 1700 sq.ft footprint) and our hardi bid was about $14,000, if I recall correctly. The vinyl bid was about $7,000.00. Should you cost cut here? It depends on how badly you want the hardiplank. There are a lot of very nice looking vinyl houses. Not the end of the world to skip the hardiplank. However, if you really want hardiplank, would you consider getting another bid?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 3:11PM
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We are going with Certainteed weather boards. Our early quote was 22,000 for the painted, 18,000 for the primed.

Several things that I would like to add to the discussion.

It is probably cheaper to have the fiber cement product painted than to buy the pre-painted. There is a 15 year warranty on the color coated stuff, but a good quality paint manufacturer's warranty is probably just as good.( Think Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore) Also, you will most likely end up with a better looking house with the primed, then painted house. The Color siding has to have color matched caulk, and has to be touched up by a siding installer, not a painter.

Secondly, I'm not sure comparing fiber cement products to Vinyl is really all that fair. The Fiber Cement is a far superior product, thus the difference in price. The Fiber Cement will not melt, you cannot hear the wind through it, is more resistant to denting and cracking, and is easily replacable if an area does sustain some damage, due to the fact it can be painted. Vinyl is impossible to match after a full summer in the sun.
This product compares more favorably to a brick exterior. It is made of a cement mixture, and has the same fire ratings as brick. It does not have the thickness of brick, of course, but brick looks really bad if painted (in most cases), so you pretty much can't change colors down the road.

IMHO, the ability to change the color down the road is what sold me on this product. If not for that, we would be going brick all the way, as it is only about $3500 more, or I could choose a cheaper brick and be in the same price range.

One more thing... kandkwi:
Were these competitive bids from the same contractor or different contractors? Was all of the vinyl boxing and soffit included on one or both? That can make a big difference. I was just wondering, because I made that same mistake. I thought brick was going to be cheaper until my siding contractor reminded me that the boxing and soffits and porch ceilings would still have to be done, even with a brick exterior.

I hope this helps!!!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 3:20PM
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The quote was from two different suppliers of the Hardi and was only for the siding and install. Not sure of the quality of vinyl quoted was, but even it was double the amount quoted, the Hardi is still almost 3 times more. Regarding hearing the wind, well, it will be going over an ICF home, so that isn't an issue. The footprint of the house is a single story 2160 sq ft with walkout and three car garage. So not a small amount of Hardi. Thanks for the opinions.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 7:07PM
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My builder told me he gets 150 per square to install vinyl and 300 per square to install fiber cement. That does not include painting. Factor in the paint and I could see 3 times being pretty close. I chose a nice vinyl for cost reasons. I would have gone with fiber cement but wanted to spend that 10k on other things. Building has a lot of compromises, this was one for us.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 9:11PM
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I need to paint the outside of my house. In considering the difference between the Hardy Board and Vinyl siding here is my question. This may sound dumb but here it goes.

The old wood that exists now with chipping paint, does that have to be pulled down before the hardy or vinyl siding is applied? Since a great deal of the boards need to be replaced and are probably rotting I cannot see putting the Hardy or Vinyl over but I do not know the procedure. Can someone enlighten me.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 4:49PM
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I am in the process of finishing my house as we speak. Maybe it is the area you guys live in, but these prices seem ridiculous. I paid appox. $3,000.00 on the Hardi and $3,000.00 to install it. All it required to install it was a few diamond blades on a circular saw to cut it, a nail gun, and galvanized nails. Mine was installed with face nailing for increased strength in high winds because I live in south Louisiana. The Hardi I got was pre-primed and I painted it myself for a cost of about $900.00. My house is 2,500 sqft Living and a two-car garage plus a 10'x8' shed.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 5:09PM
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The existing should be pulled for numerous reasons. It gives you an opportunity to address any water damaged/rot areas of the framing. It also gives you an opportunity to add items such as exterior receptacles or lighting, extra hose bibs,etc. New housewrap can be applied along w/ flashings for windows,doors, other protrusions, to make a tighter house. If you have inferior insulation or none at all in the walls, cellulose can be blown in the stud cavaties from the outside.

It's possible to fur out over the existing siding, but is a band aid fix over the rotting boards you mentioned, and all trims,lighting, receptacles would have to be extended as well. Doable and the furring strips could be housewrapped as well, but imo, better to strip the existing.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 8:50PM
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my house is brick and has cedar planks at each gable. i am seriously considering removing the cedar and putting up hardiplank in it's place.

i DON'T like vinyl. it is just too prone to damage for me. every one i know who has vinyl has a warped spot from either the sun or from the heat off their vehicle. my wife's grandfather has a huge warped spot under his carport where the radiant heat from his truck warped it the 1st summer it was up!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 10:30AM
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Ron Natalie

D&K, cheap vinyl is certainly a problem. I can usually tell builder grade vinyl jobs from 200 yards. If you pay a bit extra you can get stuff that looks more like real claps (I paid for the sole reason to not have the dumbass fake woodgrain embossed in mine). Of course the more expensive vinyls are probably getting close to the cement siding. The installation for vinyl is still cheaper than hardiplanks though.

We're having hardi panel put up in the top band of our house (stucco in the middle, stone below).

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 4:58PM
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Hardi is not the ONLY cement-fibre siding that is available. There are others.....example Primaplank.

It's always a good idea to shop around and look at alternatives.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 6:31PM
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When we had builders bid on our house, I made it clear we wanted fiber cement.

It was installed and painted on site. We found several builders that worked it into a quote that would have worked for us.

We built a new-old home, (Southern Plantation Colonial Revival) so vinyl would not have worked.
Since it was built into the quote, the price was a non-issue.

It just depends upon priorities. If fiber cement is important, then do it and cut back on other areas. If it is not that important, then use vinyl.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 10:41PM
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Hands down, without a doubt, go with Hardi.

Don't turnaround, drop the vinyl and don't think twice.

Yes, the hardi is more exensive - but it will more than pay for itslef in lower utility bills and longer life - my guess is you wont have to replace or paint it in your time in the house. Vinyl will look like crap in 5 years, plus it pops, cracks and just overall looks very poor in comparison (my opinion)

Sorry - but you will get what you pay for if you go vinyl - I dont even care if its insulated - its still insulated vinyl. Thats kind of like putting lipstick on a pig.

Too many people buy cheap (be it appliance, furnaces, etc) when a little xta $$ up front saves money in the long run.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 10:51PM
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Over 15 years, James Hardie ColorPlus Products will save on average $5,000 in painting costs compared to site painting unfinished James Hardie Products, and $10,000 in painting costs compared to wood siding. *

James Hardie Siding Products with ColorPlus Technology provide the #1 Return on Investment and superior siding value for remodeling projects according to Remodeling MagazineƂs annual "Cost vs. Value Report" (2007).
Throughout the country, homeowners with James Hardie Siding save an average of 14% on their insurance compared to vinyl, which adds up to $263 on average each year. **

Eliminates the need for an additional contractor (painter), which adds on average 5 days to your project.
Painting requires optimal weather conditions, free of wind, rain, and humidity. With James Hardie with there is no waiting for the weather to finish your home.

*actual costs savings may vary. Based on average repainting cost of a 3,000 sq ft home.

**actual cost savings may vary. Based on average insurance costs of $1,900 a year.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 11:02PM
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Can you explain how Hardiplank will "pay for itslef [sic] in lower utility bills?"

I'm not aware of hardiplank providing any sort of insulation value.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 12:12AM
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I received a discount on my home insurance as Hardi-board is rated equal to a brick home.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 11:52AM
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"I'm not aware of hardiplank providing any sort of insulation value."

Everything has an insulation value.
Even plain old wood is R-1 per inch.

It is to late for me to go look up cement siding, but it going to be higher than 1/8 inch of vinyl. They are adding some more insulation on the vinyl to make up for the very small R value it has.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 7:52PM
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Brickeye, I'm sure you're right, but the poster made claims that fiber cement siding would pay for itself in lower utility bills. That seems like a serious stretch and I can't imagine the payoff calculation working out. I googled "R value fiber cement" and came up with an R-Value of 0.15.

There are many reasons to pick fiber cement but I can't imagine lower utility bills is one of them.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 9:13PM
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I just had my high end vinyl replaced, 6 year old Certainteed. faded terribly bad, when they took it off alot of it broke since it had become britlle. took 8 months of battling with them to get them to replace it.

soooo even high end might be junk

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 10:12PM
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Does anyone here have real-life, long-term experience with fiber cement siding? Specifically, I am wondering if the Colorplus, which is guaranteed, I think, for 15 years, will actually need repainting in 15 years? For such an extensive process compared to site painting with BM, Behr, Cali, etc., that is warranteed for 10 years, I wonder if you really get more than 15 years?

We are facing the same dilemma. After 20 years of keeping paint on an antique house, DH does NOT want to ever have to paint a house again...and we should be in new house for the next 20+ plus years. If vinyl would have to be replaced in that time, anyway, then paying for another paint job would probably make sense, if it had to be done. But...will it really?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 6:40AM
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I think exterior materials and their longevity is dependent on geographic location despite mfgr's claims /warranties. Roofing, sidings, paints all seem to have different life spans in different parts of the country. Composition shingles dont come close to their claimed lifespan here in the mojave desert and vinyl sidings are rare because it gets brittle and cracks although there is a house w/ vinyl siding and trim here in town that has held up well and has been on there for over ten years. I personally dont care for vinyl but am surprised that particular house has held up in the dry of the desert.

1 Like    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 9:52AM
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What do you mean by "composition shingles"? Do you have them and did they fail prematurely?

Still interested in actual, real-life experience with the lifespan of prefinished fiber cement color, particularly in the NE or northern midwest type of climates.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 1:24PM
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I have the same questions as hadley. Anybody?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 10:02AM
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i am assuming SE is talking about comp shingles on a roof. Your 40 yr composition shingle roof will not last 40 yrs in the real world.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 2:47PM
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Hey Mikeyvon, Yeah I should have stated i was just using composition roofing shingles as an example to the others. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 5:14PM
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Anyone with paint peeling/cracking on HardiePlank Colorplus lap siding [the pre-painted stuff] please email me. Particularly interested in Canadian and the Northern States.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 6:51PM
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Ponydoc, your new old house is beautiful.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 2:30PM
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csimpson...I too live in Louisiana, North Louisiana, and I'm hearing from the builders that hardi-plank is not that much higher than vinyl but the labor could be higher. Not many in the area that can install this correctly. I am building a 2000-2100 sf home and I'm curious ...is the price you gave for the entire house or front only? A lot of the homes in my area use it only on the front of the house and brick on the sides and back.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 11:24AM
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I know I'm chiming in a bit late here, but I have newly installed Hardie as well (Monterey Taupe), and we absolutely love it. As everyone else has mentioned, it was more expensive than vinyl and cost more to install, but it looks great on the house, and we anticipate it holding up well over time. There are definitely some nice vinyl products out there, Cedar Impressions for example, but in the end of the day, I agree that cement board is an all around superior product.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 4:46PM
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I have been looking at a lot of new construction and talking to a lot of builders over the past several months (St Paul, MN area). Nothing has touched the quality, look, and durability of HardiePlank siding. It is well worth the $$$, even at three times the cost of vinyl.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 12:11AM
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Built our house just about two and half years ago and used the factory finished ColorPlus HardiPlank product. For the most part, the house looks beautiful, however, there are sections where the finish is literally peeling off to the bare bones. The company has been here to look at the problem and has promised to make due on the warranty and replace the affected boards this Spring. We did a lot of research before choosing this product, but wished I had looked on this site first, where I've learned from a lot of people who are having the very same problem.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 1:03PM
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Comparing Hardi Board to the Vinyl Siding that is foamed backed, is like comparing apples to oranges. The foam on the back of the vinyl holds shape and does not "wave" and it does add an insulation factor.....I have seen this installed on several homes, and if you can find the color you want, it looks great.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 6:15PM
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We are thinking of going with high end vinyl(Craneboard) or Hardi but can't seem to come to a decision. Our main concern is the siding going to last 25-30 years? We don't want to end up selling our house and having to replace the vinyl. Anyone have any insight?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 10:46AM
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KandKwi - the hardi has to be screwed to the ICF. That adds some cost. Not sure about the vinyl - but I wouldn't think that nailing vinyl into ICF is going to be durable.

I had to special order screws - the installer specified a flatter head screw than the standard. There was a specific screw on the Nudura website that cost a lot from the one quote I got - I was able to order something comparable at a local supplier for around a third less. We purchased all the materials (including the colorplus hardi) - that saved a lot. Our installer was one of the few good subs we have had - it looks great.

I did not price the high-end vinyl, but have seen too many houses with vinyl damage after hurricanes to bother with the cheaper stuff. That, and the trim work always looks cheap!

BTW, a couple of weeks ago, I saw a mobile home with vinyl log siding. Sweet! ;)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 12:49PM
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I've read through this post and I'm surprised that no one has mentioned LP's composite siding as an alternative to fiber cement or vinyl siding. Play the video and watch the sledge crack the fiber cement siding (I know, sort of and extreme example unless you live in tornado or hurricane alley and then don't actually get hit directly).

We have aluminum siding on the upper gable portion of the house and brick below. Thankfully, the aluminum is white and so even the chalky, fading 1982 paint still looks good. Also, aluminum dents easily and so kids playing ball and Frisbee have not dented it because it is up high. This is not the case with the neighbor's fully aluminum sided house.

Here is the link, and no I don't work for LP or their distributors. I do support sustainable forestry and this product is made from a renewable resource, aspen trees, in Wisconsin:

Here is a link that might be useful: LP Smart Siding

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 3:33PM
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If your going to do vinyl, crane makes some good stuff. Up to a 7 inch reveal so it looks like hardy, foam backing that adds insulation and sound deadening, and very durable due to the foam. The vinyl is thick and would think it would take a pretty hard hit to damage it at all. Mine is the Crane double 7. For size reference, the front lower windows are 6 feet tall.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 10:52AM
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RE: the question of HardiePlank finish durability: I live in an apartment complex, while my house project drones on forever, with 12 buildings finished from 1992-94. According to the maintenance super, who was hired at that time, the Hardie siding on each (@ 3 stories) was painted after installation at that time and has not been re-painted.

This is just outside of Atlanta, GA. He says the only problems with it have come from rot where the contractor installed it, on garages, "too close" to the ground.

I'm would take the Hardi Plank in a heartbeat but for the cost (anticipated; I have no bids back yet), and the chance for the premium vinyl finish to outlast (I'm using white) even the Hardie finish.

Because the numbers haven't been posted yet: the premium vinyl is .55 thick (vs. .40 for the standard) from Royal. Certainteed and Fullback advertise a R-5 value, and all three offer a 3/4" profile with a finish that looks as "convincing" as the Hardieplank (though I don't personally find that very convincing ... or relevant in my case). The added thickness, depth of profile, and insulation add considerable rigidity. And the warranty, fwiw, is substantial.

I'll post the result of my bids, which should be returned this week.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 11:56AM
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You'll probably save on insurance with Hardie.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 6:52PM
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We have hardi and our insurance company rates our home the same as a brick home.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 11:23PM
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I visited a local lumber supply store (not a big box) to price Hardie Plank with Color Plus and Certainteed premium vinyl siding with foam backing. The "manager" who handles pricing is on vacation but the guy who waited on me called their supplier. Even so, I wonder about the numbers, because the Certainteed vinyl prices out as 1/3 more expensive!

Check my numbers:

A Hardie Plank w/Color Plus @ 8.25" (coverage 7") x 12' is priced for $10.53. This comes, if I do my arithmetic right, to $1.50/sf.

A Certainteed vinyl with foam backing @ R-5 in a double 5" or double 4" exposure comes to $195/square ($1.95/sf).

Even if my numbers are right, I'm not sure they're useful for anyone who doesn't live in my area .... I also went to a contractors web forum and found a discussion comparing costs for the product from (pre-building bust) 2006, and prices seemed to be all over the place, influenced mostly by geography.

Contractors in NJ were getting very high labor/matl numbers and KY contractors were barely half of those numbers. Another influence was height: contractors were charging additional for work above 8 feet.

In my own case, I'm going to check these numbers as soon as I can find another lumber store that sells both products. If it turns out remarkably different, I'll get back.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 5:28PM
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My experience says you need an inch of foam to get R5. Does it have that? If you have 2 x 4 walls with pink fibreglass you'll have R13 and if you have an outer sheathing thay adds another 4, so thats at R17, very acceptable. As a biased Hardie user, Hardie siding stands for durable, good quality. Vinyl siding stands for cheapo. But thats just me!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 6:35PM
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@ srercrcr --

The vinyl is hardly cheap! It looks very good to my eye. AND If you read my post above you'll see that the premium, foam back vinyl is more expensive than Hardie w/Color Plus, by nearly a third!

I confirmed the prices yesterday with another lumber company.

For my own project, like you I've decided to go with the Hardie and Color Plus because I'm sure of its durability.

In addition, the vinyl requires 4-7 proprietary trim pieces to fit right; Hardie allows for a lot of flexibility with trim selection.

The mgr of the lumber store yesterday said he supplied the vinyl for a multi-million dollar residence, so I suspect the Certainteed CedarBoard product is something different from what you've experienced. It's cool stuff, but pricey.

(To answer your question: the R value is established through testing, as is the R13 of 3.5 in fiberglass. But as I'm sure you know, neither of them account for real world circumstances -- the fiberglass is corrupted by thermal breaks (studs) and gaps in the install that often lower the actual R value of a wall to something like R9 or 10. In the same way, the vinyl isn't continuous and whatever gaps or loose places between planks would seriously deteriorate the effective R value -- whatever either one do is good, of course, but in the case of the vinyl siding, the purpose of the foam is more directed to keeping it firm so it doesn't have the traditional flimsiness of vinyl.)


    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 1:56PM
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If I were building a house and had a choice between Hardiplank and vinyl I would chose the Hardiplank without hesitation. If I could not afford the Hardiplank I would make the house smaller so that I could avoid using vinyl. The environmental negatives associated with vinyl are huge.

I would chose almost any other siding whatsoever in place of vinyl. The only thing I can think of that would be worse is asbestos, and it is now illegal.


Here is a link that might be useful: Environmental impact of vinyl

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 9:26PM
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I've had Hardie for 13 years now, site painted over the pre-primed. Couldn't be more satified. The paint has not peeled, in fact it's bonded so well, it seems like all one.
Someone mentioned rot if too close to the ground. Well the product is mostly cement. I put a cutoff piece of it in water for a day, the "board" had no effects from the water. I guess if I was building today I would consider a composite siding. I have a Trex deck (four years now) and love it.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 5:19AM
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@ srercrcr

Your experience is true in this area, too.

FYI, Hardie's installation instructions insist on 2" between siding and ground, roof, porch, etc., as the boards will decompose.

I'm looking at the nichiha as well, to add to rosefolly's post, because it uses so much flyash and their manufacturing plant is only a couple of hours from here. The reduced shipping is good for my $$ and reduces the use of petroleum. And the flyash is also a recycling byproduct. Of the several fiber cement product lines, Hardie surely makes less of their commitment to a 'green' product line.

On the other hand, the Nichiha doesn't offer a version of ColorPlus on their plank (though they do on the shakes) so I'd have to pay for six-sided painting onsite.

Yes, I agree that vinyl is a pollutant -- several of the premium products use a considerable voume of recycled vinyl in their manufacture which will green it up an awful lot --

Having seen both products, in many ways they are a wash in my opinion ... except for the inflated cost of the premium, insulated vinyl products. That clinches it for me, I think.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 2:35PM
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DO NOT use vetical vinyl if your house is over 1 story. I had some and the house now has horizontal plus a lot of rot repair from the verical vinyl! Vinyl siding will not keep water off of your house (must be housewrapped) and verical actually holds water in the H channel and could dump it behind as the ends are open. I think horizontal vinyl is junk and vertical vinyl is a disaster!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 6:31PM
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After years of installing both types of siding here it is quite simple(Hardi siding has a better fire rating that could give you a deduction on insurance and that is the only real advantage. So with that deduction how long will it take to pay for itself)A good grade vinyl siding is just as durable,fade resistant,waterproof,and comes in a wider range of color and options.The installation of vinyl is far more easier then Hardi so alot of so called contractors are installing it incorrect.That gives vinyl a bad name.Hardi siding can rip or tear with settlement of homes.I have seen deteriation of sheathing in several hardi installations.It cannot be in contact with roof shingles or brick.And last but not least it does wick moisture.Vinyl siding does not wick water and can come in contact with other surfaces,vinyl also expands and contracts better with structual settlement.Dollar for dollar I say quality vinyl is superior.Its just like anything else put a big price tag on it and you think its a Rolex.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 10:10PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd


The biggest issue with Hardie is the guys hanging it.

Seeing it used on new construction is scary if we are talking track built homes. They look like warmed over...you know what, after only a few years.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 12:02AM
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I have no personal experience with Hardie but we sided our new house with Certainteed fiber cement in 2005. Cracks were noticed within the first 20 mo which were blamed on settling. The co replaced the boards but not the labor.

Since then we have had cracking, both full thickness and hairline all over the house. The entire south and west side of the house is faded. We are in limbo until we figure out what is going to happen with our siding. We have since found out that the co replaced a good part of the sand in their formula with fly ash beginning in 2002, which has been speculated by some to be the source of their problems.

I wonder if Hardie has had any of these problems. Is all fiber cement crap?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 10:56AM
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Oh and the Certainteed rep was on site teaching our builder how to install it since it was their first time installing it. But, it was done by the book and beautifully.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 11:00AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

While I think the Certainteed FC is prettier than Hardie, most guys that install it prefer the Hardie. Some of the guys I know have remarked that the Certainteed is a bit brittle on the edges.

The "supposed" best stuff out there is Nichiha.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 7:46AM
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I would choose a fiber cement product such as Hardieboard over a vinyl product of any quality under any circumstances. I personally would even reduce the size of the house if that were the only way to afford it.

Vinyl is an environmentally nasty substance, both in the manufacturing process and afterwards. IMO, it should only be used when it is the only material that will actually function for the particular purpose.

I would not use it for window frames, either.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 2:27PM
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Never mind.....thought better of it.

This post was edited by millworkman on Tue, Aug 20, 13 at 15:58

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 3:57PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd


Every material has its environmental drawbacks and implications...including Hardie and FC siding.

Depending on the material it is being compared to, vinyl has less of an environmental impact that several of its commonly thought of "green" equivalents.

I am not suggesting that you or anyone that doesn't like vinyl put it on your home, but the fact is that unless you are going to start building your homes out of mud, clay, straw bales, etc. nothing about the construction process is very when looking at large scale buildings.

I would love for everyone to build a lesser impact home but the economic feasibility of that just does not exist in the real world.

What we can do is build smarter and more efficient homes and lessen the long term energy consumption of one of, if not, the largest consumer of energy.

Most vinyl used in building is uPVC and therefore lacking in the dioxin and phalate content that is commonly associated with health issues.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 9:54PM
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Actually I have seriously considered building a home of light clay and may do so someday.

Ideally we should not be building with materials that will not, when we are done with them, be able to return to components that existed in the environment before we intervened. Stone, wood, metal, even ceramic or concrete can eventually break down to ancestor substances. Many plastics will not. The ones I personally object to most vigorously are the vinyls and the styrofoam-related ones.

On the other hand, plastics can do wonderful things that other materials simply cannot match. My personal code is that they should be used only when they are the best material, and not when they are merely the cheapest.

But I do not make decisions for others, or even want to. You will note that I said what I would do, not what Larimie should do. (In fact, it is just now that I am noticing what an old thread this is. By now the decision has long since been made.) As always, each person must make his or her own decision. It is a wide world, and there is room for difference of opinion.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 10:23PM
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wow, thanks for putting my exact thoughts into more appropriate terms (as I probably would not have been so politically correct).

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 8:19AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd


I don't disagree with what you said one bit. Just on the feasibility of it is all.

You are quite right in terms of the end stage life cycle and lack of recycle-ability of the product in most cases.

Sadly, aluminum is not a good option and wood is a maintenance loaded item that many people would fail miserably with.

I agree that the decision is probably long since made but perhaps our conversation and your information will spurn some folks to make alternative considerations of their own.

Take Care and keep on posting.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 8:15PM
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Thanks, WoW and Millworkman. I drop in now and then, read and learn, and post here once in a while.

I am a regular on the garden side.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 10:21PM
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We've been talking to a builder about a new house in East Central Florida and he says he face nails Hardie Plank siding - for the extra wind load strenth. But talking to other contractors from Orlando (at a home show) they say that face nailing is a not recommended - due to the extra water intrusion path. Looking at the Hardie Plank site it looks like face nailing is an option if wind loads dictate but blind nailing is th preferred option. Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with face nailing Hardie plank or has looked at these options? Also, how does the precolored vs primed decision relate to face nailing or does it not play into that decision?

Thanks in advance for any help.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 9:19PM
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Hardi was our first choice but when it came down to it, the cost was too high. My parents vinyl is 17yrs old and still looks as great today as it did the day they put it up, with no painting or maintenance other than a cleaning on the porches occasionally. We quoted Hardi but our insurance was not different using it over vinyl. We wanted something that would have very little maintenance, Hardi - while very pretty, does have considerable maintenance and hefty price tag.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 7:57PM
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My wife and I ended up going with Hardie Board for our 1913 farm home makeover and we couldn't be happier.

Here is a link that might be useful: You can see our makeover progress pictures here

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:54PM
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