Hardie plank update

sculleryAugust 17, 2014

DH and I are evaluating siding options for a long-delayed addition -- we figure that as long as we have to wait to be sure we have the money, we might as well spend the time on research. However, it's been hard to come to any useful conclusions on Hardie plank. Some people love it, while others describe a total nightmare. A few of the differing conclusions can be attributed to climate (there are far more concerns in wet, snowy climates than warm ones), but even so, there's a wide range of experiences in icy northern weather. I found myself wondering if there's a significant difference in the success rate for primed Hardie that's painted on site vs. factory prefinished siding. So here's a request: if you have a strong feeling about Hardie plank, whether positive or negative, could you post it with the four following pieces of info: 1, whether it was finished at the factory or onsite; 2, what climate you live in; 3, when it was installed; 4, whether it's smooth or wood grained (I have no idea whether this makes a difference, but just in case it has some unsuspected effect on material content or workmanship). Maybe we can suss out why people have such radically different experiences with Hardie. Thanks so much.

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Midwest(Kansas City). Summers up to 105, winters down to -10. Rain, average humidity at 50%, lots of wind.

Helped build about 40 or so Habitat for Humanity houses(in the 90's)---about 18 or so with Hardi plank lap siding. What we used was factory primed and site painted. The key to our success---the houses I have seen after 15+ years look fine---was caulking all but joints and priming/painting any exposed ends(trim/fishscale details/etc.

We used a 7" reveal and hand screwed the planks in place.

The planks were installed over 1" rigid foam on wood framed houses and to the webbing on CIF sided homes(concrete insulating forms)

We used vinyl siding as well on other houses.

The vinyl was easily(and frequently) damaged by weed eaters of projectiles from power mowers. The sun faded the vinyl as well(we used premium thicknesses).

The only damage to Hardi siding was from a fire bomb or intentional vandalism. A single piece of Hardi plank was damaged by a fire bomb enough to have to replace it. The heat did melt the CIF form under the siding, but not enough to be a problem.

I have steel insulated siding on our house---I think that is better(more expensive initially, but very low maintenance in 30 years) long term choice. But, between Hardi, cedar shake, and vinyl---Hardie as the no contest winner.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 1:08AM
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I'll bet 95% of the Hardie complaints are installer error. Make sure your installer understands and follows the manufacturer's installation instructions to the letter and you'll have no problems.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 5:39AM
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