The James Hardie company is known for its commitment to fiber cement products. Unlike vinyl, aluminum, or wood, Hardie board is a durable siding material consisting of sand, plant fibers and cement. When mixed and formed into lap siding, fiber cement is nearly impenetrable to weathering and pests. To benefit from this high-quality siding, homeowners must weigh the initial cost with the extended value over time.
Average material cost
Hardie board is one of the most well-known fiber cement manufacturers, making them a name brand with a matching price. In general, you’ll see materials and labor adding up to about $10 for each square foot. For a 1,200 square foot exterior wall, your Hardie siding costs you $12,000. However, it may be the last siding you install on the home in your lifetime, making its price a viable option for nearly any homeowner.
Hardie board isn’t a lightweight material, requiring significant manpower to install each lapboard. Construction crews must be larger than standard siding installations to carry, hold and secure each section. Fiber cement siding is also difficult to cut, making it crucial to pay quality contractors for their expertise. Even the fastening process is much more complex as the siding is slowly added to the exterior. All of these difficulty factors add up to high installation costs.
Before contractors even haul Hardie boards to your home, they must evaluate your property’s structural integrity. They’ll look at each stud or beam to verify no damage is compromising its strength. Hardie board is significantly heavy, weighing in at 300 pounds for just a 100 square foot section. Any pest- or water-damaged wood needs replacement or repair before the siding project can begin. The Hardie board contractor or another company may need to quote the repairs as a separate charge.
Siding for life
Although some homeowners cringe at the installation costs, they’re investing in their home’s structural integrity. No pests or water damage can undermine the fiber cement, making it a rot-free material. For any homes near fire-prone areas, fiber cement gives homeowners peace-of-mind because sparks and heat can’t ignite the siding material. Fiber cement-clad homes have been known to stand tall during a nearby fire while other homes ignite around them.
James Hardie has put decades of research and hard work into Hardie board products. With a limited 30-year warranty, they stand by their fiber cement boards longer than most other manufacturers. The materials should stand up against normal weathering with proper installation. If any significant damage occurs to the surface, such as from hail, Hardie’s warranty should cover it. Defects are also naturally covered, allowing homeowners to have nearly perfect siding for many decades.
Although you’ll notice a marked difference in material and installation price, Hardie board has a standing reputation in the construction industry as being tough as nails. If you plan on living in your home for many years to come, this siding selection is a perfect way to preserve the home as it’s passed down through the generations.