furrowed brow about reviews of hardie siding

sanctuarygirlSeptember 28, 2010

Wow, I have really become troubled about some of the problems that have been revealed to me on this board about Hardie fiber cement siding products. I had thought so highly of them and qualities they seemed to exhibit, but like most things, I guess they are too good to be true. Not out of the picture, but not at the top of the list like they used to be for me anymore. Maybe I wouldn't have many of the problems some had, since I live in the Mid-South and not further north...

Back to thinking of brick as my top choice again. Here in the South, brick is used extensively in very modest as well as high-end homes, and is one of the greener choices, something that matters to me. Not building soon, so I have time for more research....

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I'm in the Pac NW where it's wet much f the year. Local building code insists Hardie be installed over top of rain screen sticks. I haven't heard of anyone having problems here. No one seems to use prepainted, just preprimed and some raw if using shakes.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 6:15PM
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I believe HardiShakes are for roofs and they stopped making them after the class-action lawsuit. HardiShingles are factory primed or painted like the other James Hardie siding.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 9:27PM
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A lot of problems with materials are due to improper installation. This usually voids the warranty, and it's very hard to hold a builder accountable, especially if local codes are inadequate, vague, or not well enforced on builders before houses are sold. Add to that, arbitration clauses in builder contracts and warranties usually mean you can't sue, and once that leverage is gone, it's even hard to ensure things are done right or that you can recover damages if there are problems. So whatever siding or other materials you choose, be sure you find out how they are supposed to be installed and make sure your contracts protect you. Good luck being able to accomplish that when many builders won't budge on one-sided contracts, or for those of you who are past the contract phase and already stuck with whatever it says!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 3:58PM
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Like anything else, you will get better results with a top-of-the-line installation than with 'code minimum'. I plan to install my own Hardi , over a drainage plane, prime all cut surfaces, and flash the seams. I doubt everyone does all that. The Hardi on my brother's rather expensive house doesn't have any of that.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 4:15PM
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I plan to install my own Hardi , over a drainage plane, prime all cut surfaces, and flash the seams.

That is what I did, plus we painted all six sides of each and every board on the ground before it went up, painted each and every cut or scribe mark and then did a second, top coat once everything was up. The flashing of joints is especially nice if you live with wind driven rain as we do.

Time consuming and lots of scaffold work but three years on now and it looks like it went up yesterday, honest.

My partner in the rental game here runs his own construction management firm and he thinks it took us about a third longer than a regular crew would have done. Well worth it, imo.

Just me (free so to speak) a carpenter ($35/hr) and him after work and on weekends (free too but somewhere, somehow I'll pay)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 6:58PM
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Sorry. I meant Hardie Shingle. It comes unprimed and that is what was installed on my house.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 12:02AM
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I've not had any issues with the hardiplank on this house or my old house both in TX. 7 years after painting the old house still looks freshly painted and the detached garage with wood siding looked like it needed painting.

As everybody says following the correct installation instructions are key on any product. We used installers listed under hardie's website to do ours.

However if the architectural style supports the use of brick and financially you can swing it, brick would be my first choice between the two just from a maintenance perspective. You still have to paint Hardie at some point even though it is much better than wood.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 11:26AM
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