The Ultimate Guide to Hardie Board Siding: Is It Right for Your Denver Home?

Guide to Hardie Board Siding

Choosing the right siding for your home is a significant decision that affects its aesthetic and protects it against the elements. For Denver homeowners, where weather can be as varied as the landscape, durability and resistance are primary concerns. Enter Hardie Board siding—a material that promises longevity, low maintenance, and a lasting look.

In this in-depth guide, we'll explore every facet of Hardie Board siding to help you determine if it's the perfect fit for your home.

What is Hardie Board Siding?

Hardie Board, or fiber cement siding, is a composite material of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers. Developed by James Hardie, this siding has been revolutionizing how homes are built and maintained since its inception. It offers the look of natural wood without the inherent vulnerabilities that come with it, making it a prime choice for homeowners looking for a versatile and robust siding solution.

The Top Benefits of Hardie Board Siding

Hardie Board offers some unique advantages that are hard to ignore.

Durability

One of the top reasons homeowners choose Hardie Board siding is its exceptional durability. This siding material is manufactured from fiber cement and is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, hailstorms, heavy winds, or even intense heat. It doesn't warp or crack easily and can maintain its structural integrity for years. In fact, with proper maintenance, Hardie Board siding can last up to 50 years.

Low-Maintenance Features

When it comes to home maintenance, we all want less of it, right?

Hardie Board siding is a low-maintenance option requiring minimal upkeep. Unlike wood siding, it doesn't need to be repainted frequently. And unlike vinyl, it won't fade or crack over time. A simple wash with a garden hose now and then is usually enough to keep it looking fresh and clean.

Fire and Pest Protection

Safety is paramount in any home, and Hardie Board siding excels in this aspect, too. It's non-combustible, meaning it won't contribute to a fire should one occur. Knowing your home's exterior adds an extra layer of protection against potential fires can provide significant peace of mind.

This siding is also resistant to pests, including termites and woodpeckers. Its fiber cement composition makes it unappealing to these creatures, so they're less likely to cause damage to your home.

Aesthetic Appeal

Finally, let's talk about looks. Hardie Board siding is available in various textures, profiles, and colors. Whether you prefer a traditional lap style, a rustic board-and-batten look, or a sleek, modern aesthetic, there is a product that fits your style. Plus, their ColorPlus® Technology offers vibrant, baked-on color that stands the test of time.

Cost Considerations: Upfront Versus Lifetime Value

When planning a home renovation project, one of the most significant decisions you'll make is the type of siding to install. Before you decide, you must understand several factors, including the cost considerations involved in the installation process.

Hiring a Contractor

Hardie Board siding installation is not a DIY project. It requires professional skills to ensure proper fitting and sealing. Urban Exteriors has proven expertise in installing Hardie Board. Our team of professionals is trained to adhere to the highest installation standards, ensuring your home's siding looks great and performs well for years.

Labor Costs

Labor costs are typically included in the contractor's quote, but it's still important to understand what you're paying for. Hardie Board installation is labor-intensive. The project's complexity can significantly impact the overall labor cost. For instance, the labor cost might increase if your house has many corners, angles, or story heights.

Hidden Costs

Please keep in mind potential hidden costs. These may include removing and disposing of old siding, repairing underlying damage, and preparing the house for new siding. If your home is older, it may require updates to meet current building codes, which can add to the cost.

Saving Money Without Sacrificing Quality

While Hardie Board siding can be more expensive upfront than other siding options, there are ways to save money without compromising quality:

  1. Plan Ahead: Knowing precisely what you want regarding style, texture, and color can save you from costly changes.
  2. Off-Peak Season: Consider scheduling your project during the off-peak season. Contractors are usually less busy during these times and may offer discounts.
  3. Talk with an Expert: Talking with a professional Hardie Board installer can help you plan your project. They can suggest ways to save money without sacrificing quality.

The Installation Process: Setting the Foundation for a Strong Exterior

Installing Hardie Board siding is a detailed and labor-intensive process that requires professional expertise. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you understand the process:

1. Preparing the Work Area

The first step involves preparing the work area. This includes removing any obstacles around the house that may interfere with the installation process, such as outdoor furniture, grills, and potted plants.

2. Removing Old Siding

If the house has existing siding, it must be removed before the new siding can be installed. The old siding is carefully stripped off and properly disposed of.

3. Inspecting and Repairing the Underlying Surface

Next, the contractor will inspect the underlying surface for damage, such as rot or insect infestation. Any necessary repairs ensure a solid foundation for the new siding. A weather-resistant barrier is then applied to the sheathing to protect against moisture.

4. Cutting and Fitting

Hardie Board siding comes in large panels that need to be cut to size. The contractor will measure your home's exterior walls and cut the siding accordingly. Special tools are used to cut the siding to prevent dust and ensure clean edges.

5. Installing the Siding

The Hardie Board panels are then attached to the exterior walls using nails. The contractor will start at the bottom of the house and work their way up, ensuring each piece overlaps the one below it to create a tight seal against the weather.

6. Sealing and Painting

Once the siding is installed, all seams and nail holes are sealed to prevent moisture penetration. Finally, if the siding is not pre-painted, it will be painted after installation.

Maintaining Your Hardie Board Siding

Hardie Board siding is well-known for its durability and low maintenance needs. However, even the most robust materials can benefit from some care to keep them looking their best. Below are some maintenance tips to ensure your siding lasts for years while retaining its aesthetic appeal.

Regular Cleaning

Like any exterior home surface, Hardie Board siding can accumulate dirt, dust, and mildew over time. Plan to clean your siding at least once a year. Use a soft brush or low-pressure power washer, a water mixture, and mild detergent. Avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the siding's finish.

Inspect for Damage

Although this siding is resistant to many common forms of damage, inspecting your siding annually is still a good idea. Look for signs of chips, cracks, or loose boards. If you notice any damage, contact a professional for repairs. Catching issues early can prevent more extensive (and expensive) damage.

Repaint as Needed

One of the benefits of Hardie Board siding is that it holds paint longer than wood siding. However, even the best paint jobs may start to fade or peel over time. Depending on the climate and exposure to sunlight, you'll likely need to repaint your siding every 10-15 years.

Monitor Caulking

The caulking around windows, doors, and where the siding meets trim should be checked regularly. If it starts to crack or peel away, it must be replaced to prevent moisture from seeping in and causing damage.

Professional Inspection

Having a professional inspect your Hardie Board siding every few years is beneficial. They can spot potential problems you might miss and provide expert advice on maintenance and repairs.

Comparing Hardie Board with Other Siding Options

Choosing the right siding for your home is an important decision. Cost, durability, maintenance, weather resistance, and aesthetic appeal play a significant role in this choice. In this section, we'll compare Hardie Board to three popular siding materials: vinyl, wood, and brick.

Hardie Board

Advantages

  • Durability: Hardie Board, also known as fiber-cement siding, is highly resilient. It resists rot, fire, termite damage, and harsh weather conditions.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: This siding can mimic the look of wood, stucco, or masonry, providing a range of design options.
  • Low Maintenance: Unlike wood, Hardie Board doesn't require frequent repainting or staining. A simple wash once or twice a year is usually sufficient.

Disadvantages

  • Cost: Hardie Board is more expensive than vinyl and wood siding. However, its longevity and low maintenance costs could result in long-term savings.
  • Installation: Installation requires professional expertise, adding to the initial cost.

Vinyl Siding

Advantages

  • Cost: Vinyl siding is one of the most affordable options.
  • Low Maintenance: Vinyl doesn't need painting and can be cleaned with soap and water.

Disadvantages

  • Durability: Vinyl doesn't last as long as Hardie Board or brick. It can crack in extreme cold or fade under intense sun exposure.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Vinyl siding doesn't offer the same natural look as Hardie Board, wood, or brick.

Wood Siding

Advantages

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Wood siding provides a classic, timeless look.

Disadvantages

  • Maintenance: Wood requires regular painting or staining to prevent rot and insect damage.
  • Cost: Wood siding is typically more expensive than vinyl and can be on par with or exceed the cost of Hardie Board.

Brick

Advantages

  • Durability: Brick is can last a lifetime with minimal maintenance.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Brick offers a timeless, classic aesthetic.

Disadvantages

  • Cost: Brick is one of the most expensive siding options.
  • Installation: Brick siding requires professional installation, which adds to the cost.

Hardie Board may be your best option despite its higher upfront cost. Vinyl is a good choice if budget is a primary concern, while wood offers a classic look but requires more upkeep. Brick is an excellent long-term investment with a high-end look but a high price tag. Your final decision should balance all these factors based on your needs, preferences, and budget.

Additional Tips for the Best Hardie Board Experience

Here are some additional tips to ensure you have the best experience with this type of siding:

Choose Reputable Manufacturers

Choosing a reputable manufacturer is critical when investing in any siding. James Hardie, the original creator of fiber-cement siding, is a trusted name in the industry. Their products are known for their superior quality, durability, and performance. By opting for James Hardie products, you can be confident that you're getting a product that will stand up to the test of time.

Understand the Warranties

Always take the time to understand the warranties offered with your siding. James Hardie, for example, provides a 30-year non-prorated warranty on its siding products, one of the strongest warranties in the industry. However, knowing the specifics of the warranty is crucial.

Find out what is covered under the warranty, how long the coverage lasts, and if there are any conditions or maintenance requirements to keep the warranty valid. Also, learn how to make a claim should the need arise to help protect your investment.

Hiring a Contractor: Your Key to a Successful Hardie Board Installation

Hardie Board siding's durability and beauty will only shine when installed correctly. Finding the right contractor for your Denver home is essential! Here's how to ensure you get the expertise you deserve:

  • Seek Hardie Board Specialists: General contractors may be familiar with this siding, but the specific skills and tools are unique. Look for contractors who are certified James Hardie installers—they've undergone specialized training to guarantee top-notch results.
  • Ask About the Denver Difference: Our city's weather shifts, from hailstorms to intense sun, can impact installations. Ask the contractor about their experience with the Denver climate and how they address those challenges.
  • Transparent Cost Breakdowns: Get detailed quotes separating labor and materials. Ask for a contingency plan for any potential weather delays common in our region. This helps avoid unexpected costs down the line.
  • Guarantee the Warranty: Proper installation is crucial to upholding your warranty. Confirm that the contractor's work follows the manufacturer's strict guidelines to protect your investment.

Urban Exteriors: Your Denver Hardie Board Experts

At Urban Exteriors, we are a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor. Our team has years of experience and knows the proper techniques to ensure your siding lasts decades.

Please don't settle for less when it comes to protecting your home. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

FAQs

Is Hardie Board siding better than vinyl siding?

The homeowner's choice depends on their needs and preferences. Vinyl siding wins for lower costs and fast installation. It's cheaper and quicker to install than Hardie Board siding, which is thicker and more durable. Hardie Board imitates wood lap siding for a natural look that vinyl can't always achieve. This siding stays attractive and resists weather, insects, moisture, hail, and heat damage.

What are the signs that you need to replace your Hardie Board siding?

Here are signs it might be time to replace your Hardie Board siding:

  1. Excessive Maintenance: It could be time for a replacement if you always have to fix or maintain your siding.
  2. Loose or Missing Siding: Loose or missing boards may mean your siding isn't protecting your home well.
  3. Pest Damage: Extensive damage from pests could signal a need for replacement.
  4. Uneven Boards or Cuts: Common with improper installation, affecting siding performance.
  5. Excessive Caulk or Improper Substrate: This can lead to long-term siding issues.
  6. Signs of Fire Damage: Even though fire-resistant, visible damage from fire exposure may require replacement.
  7. Gaps and Misalignments: Indicators of poorly installed siding.
  8. Rusty or Popping Nails, Cracking Seams, and Caulk.
  9. Fading or Flaking Paint, Rot, and Mold: Signs of aging and decay prompting replacement.
  10. Swelling, Warping, or Buckling: Caused by water leaks, leading to severe damage.

If you notice any of these signs with your Hardie Board siding, you can contact Urban Exteriors to find out if it's time to consider a replacement.

Can you paint Hardie Board siding?

Yes, you can paint Hardie Board siding. It's necessary for pre-primed Hardie board siding. The ideal time to start painting Hardie plank siding is within 180 days (6 months) of installation. If your siding isn't primed, you should prime it before painting.

Before you paint, it's best to clean the siding to remove oils, dirt, and other substances that might affect the paint's ability to stick to it. Just a heads up, repainting James Hardie ColorPlus® siding will cancel your current finish warranty. When you're ready to paint, use high-quality exterior-grade acrylic paint after the seal has dried and the siding has been washed.

Urban Exteriors

Urban Exteriors

Urban Exteriors is a homegrown roofing and construction company that passionately serves the Front Range from Longmont to Castle Rock. 

Do you need a quote?

Get in touch to get a free estimate from one of our experts.