Hardiplank siding is also known as fiber cement or concrete siding and as the name suggests, is used for the exterior. Hardie board siding is created by James Hardie over 100 years ago and is still one of the most popular cladding products on the market. What is Hardiplank siding composed of?
HardiePlank (Lap Siding) and HardiePanel (Vertical Siding) are brand names for fiber cement siding manufactured by James Hardie Building Products. This is a man-made product composed of cement, finely-ground sand, natural cellulose (wood) fibers, and water. The elements are combined and pressed together to form planks or shingles in a manufacturing process. The result is a very durable material. Fiber cement is sometimes difficult to distinguish from real wood and Hardiplank siding comes in different options – lap or clapboard, shingle, and board-and-batten.
What are the advantages of Hardiplank siding?
When you wonder what type of siding to choose for your home, you need to consider a number of factors and it is good to know the advantages and disadvantages of different siding materials. Hardiplank siding will add value to your property and elegance to your homeand can be a great alternative to vinyl or wood.
Hardiplank siding appearance – the material comes in different textures and colors. It can resemble stucco, wood clapboards, or cedar shingles. Different finishes give a different look and you can choose from a modern smooth finish to a more rustic rough look.
Durability and longevity are major advantages of fiber cement. Usually it comes with a 50 year warranty. Hardiplank siding is resistant to rot and is impervious to wood insects- termites, woodpeckers and other pests. In addition, the material is resistant to deterioration from salt and UV rays. Cement fiber does not fade, chip, warp or crack and can withstand extreme weather including rain, snow, hail, hot sun. It is resistant to mold due to the sealing which keeps out moisture.
Fire resistance – another big advantage of fiber cement, which consists of 90 percent sand and cement, is that it will not ignite when exposed to direct flame or extreme heat.
Environmental friendliness – Hardiplank siding is an excellent choice for everyone who values green living. Wood fibers are biodegradable and the inert materials – sand, cement, cellulose fibers, and water – are sustainable and will not release toxins into the environment.
Fiber cement holds paint which means that it will retain a perfect appearance for years on end. Manufacturers offer pre-painted cladding which makes installation very easy. If you chose to paint yours with a custom color, you should wash it and let it dry completely prior applying paint.
Maintenance of fiber cement is very low. To maintain the beautiful appearance of your home all you need to do is a periodic washing with a hose.
What to keep in mind when choosing your home cladding
Cost – although Hardiplank siding is more expensive than vinyl, it offers more benefits and better appearance. It costs considerably less than wood siding but you can have a natural, wood-like appearance for less and when it comes to budget, practicality is something to keep in mind.
The significant weight is a drawback as hardieplank is heavier than wood. Despite the fact that the planks are flexible, during installation they have to be handled with care to avoid damages. The weight of the siding requires more resources to install than other materials, which means bigger cost for installation compared to vinyl or aluminum cladding.
Installation of Hardiplank is hardly a DIY project even if you think you are experienced in home renovation projects. The installation requires special tools and not many contractors have experience with this type of cladding. The installation guidelines should be observed and followed strictly especially the cutting instructions as well as keeping the material dry.
Although Hardiplank usually comes with a warranty of 50 years, the warranty period for the finishes is about 15 years. This would mean that you will probably have to repaint your cladding after 15 years of use.
The variety of textures and wood-like finishes provides a lot of choices to customers. However, those who appreciate the real patina of wood, should consider wood, as hardiplank cannot imitate the worn out appearance of real wood.
Now that you know the pros and cons of Hardiplank you can decide whether it is suitable for your home or not. It is always a personal decision, depending on budget, taste, preferences, but if you are looking for a long-term value for your investment, hardiplank siding will be a good choice.