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How to Install Hardie Board Siding by Yourself

How to Install Hardie Board Siding by Yourself

Installing Hardie Board siding can be a daunting task. If you are not experienced with installing it, then the process of cutting and fitting the boards into place can seem impossible to do by yourself.

That’s where we come in! This article will show you how to install Hardie Board siding by yourself, so you don’t have to hire an expensive contractor for this job.

What is a Hardie Board Siding?

The term “Hardie Board” is used to describe a cement board siding manufactured by James Hardie. It is typically gray in color, but it can be painted any color desired.

James Hardie is the world leader in fiber cement. James Hardie is now manufacturing products that are engineered for climate. The company has products for any climate.

James Hardie manufactures two different types of siding product that are often referred to as “Hardie Board”. One type is the original exterior fiber cement siding material, and the other is a new type of vinyl siding called “James Hardie ColorPlus”.

Most people assume that Hardie Board is a type of vinyl siding, but in fact it is not. It is an exterior-grade fiber cement product that will never need painting.

The surface is made to mimic the look of wood, but unlike wood it can never rot or warp. James Hardie ColorPlus is a vinyl product similar to the siding offered by companies such as Alcoa and Certainteed.

What Is Fiber Cement Siding?

Fiber cement siding is a specially engineered product that looks like wood, but it is made from cement and various types of other materials.

It comes in three main classifications: Class 1, Class 3 and Class 4. It is much more durable than wood, but it requires no painting and little to no maintenance.

How to Install a Hardie Board Siding

This text contains a step-by-step guide about how to install hardie board. Here are the steps to take in order to ensure a smooth process.

1. To prepare for your siding installation project, you’ll need to do these three things. First, cover the walls with foam or plywood. After that, you should mark the locations of the studs with chalk lines.

2. Using a circular saw is the most popular method for cutting siding, but it also produces the most dust. Follow the safety steps from the manufacturer.

3. The siding can either be fastened with a pneumatic nailer, hand nailing, screws or galvanized nails. You can nail the siding by either blind nailing it at the top or face nailing it at the bottom.

4. Install the trim so that it is on the inside and outside of the wall. To cover the edge of a house, you will need to add at least ¼” in thickness for caulking.

5. Install the siding to avoid water damage. There should be a gap between the surface of one horizontal area and another.

If you’re working alone, use overlap gauges to support the siding. First, take a pole and mark the course locations for how to install siding.

When installing trim, make sure that the butt joints don’t overlap and leave a gap of about ⅛” between the corner trim and siding.

The fiber cement should be painted as soon as possible, but the product needs to be clean and dry before painting.

If you are using James Hardie siding and trim, use high-quality exterior acrylic topcoats. You need to prime your James Hardie products first before painting them.

What Are the Benefits of Hardie Board Siding?

Hardie board is considered to be an environmentally friendly building product because it does not off-gas or produce any volatile organic compounds. It also has low moisture absorption, so it will not expand or contract across the grain.

Fading is not an issue with Hardie board because there are no waxes or resins on the surface that can fade. Finally, since James Hardie siding is technically a type of cement board, it is very resistant to damage from impact and is highly rot-resistant.

  • James Hardie produces custom siding for any type of house to be installed.
  • James Hardie offers a large variety of colors and styles to match any home.
  • James Hardie offers a design tool on their website to experiment with different designs for your home.
  • James Hardie is a company that makes products for houses, such as durable cement.
  • James Hardie has a superior durability fiber for your house.
  • James Hardie home improvement products are continually being updated.
  • James Hardie for your house has a variety of colors that last, including ColorPlus Technology.

Mistakes in Installing Hardie Board Siding

There are a couple of mistakes that can be made during installation that will produce defective results.

These problems might not be apparent initially, but will cause major damage to the building’s exterior appearance and insulation if not corrected. Familiarity with these potential glitches will help ensure a job well done.

1. There are instructions on the bag of James Hardie, but installers still store it incorrectly. Hardie products should be stored indoors or under a waterproof cover, and on level ground to avoid moisture.

2. The installers of Hardie Panels need to be fastened to the studs in a consistent pattern. Some nail and screw patterns have been tested and approved by James Hardie, so it’s important that whoever is installing knows them.

3. At first glance, it seems like getting the boards together is easy. But many people still mess up on this mistake.

Many installation errors that may leave gaps when there should be moderate contact. The butt joints can occur on a house if the wrong siding is installed.

4. Most installers use air nailers to install HardiePlank siding. If a construction worker moves too quickly, they may lose track of where the nails are.

How is Hardie Board Siding Manufactured?

James Hardie manufactures their products by combining cement, sand, cellulose fibers and mineral pigments with water.

This mixture is then poured into a mold that gives it the final shape of any desired siding product. The material is then dried in an oven before it is sent to market.

When installed on exterior surfaces, Hardie board siding is typically installed over sheathing that is made of plywood or Oriented Strand Board (OSB). The nails used to attach the boards can be galvanized or coated in an acrylic finish.

How Much Does James Hardie Siding Cost?

Hardie Plank siding is more expensive than other types of siding but it’s worth the investment. Hardie Plank costs anywhere between $0.80 and $6.00 per square foot.

Hardie Panel siding is slightly cheaper, with prices ranging anywhere between $0.67 and $5.00 per square foot.

Why Hardie Siding is Advisable for DIY Homeowners

If you are planning to install Hardie Board siding yourself, then there are a few things that must be done before installation.

Since the material is heavy and typically requires two people for lifting, it’s best to make sure the surface where the boards will be attached is level. This means having an even grade of soil or sand where the siding will be attached.

Hardie Board is very resistant to chipping or breaking, but that does not mean it cannot get damaged at all.

When nailing a Hardie board in place, use a new nail every six inches on each side of the boards. This must be done carefully because if you do not hit solid sheathing, then you will punch a hole in the siding.

Hardie board is not advised for installation on homes with stucco cladding because it can be punctured by needles from the path that holds the stucco together.

Finally, when cutting Hardie Plank or Panel boards to fit around windows and doors, use a fine toothed blade.

Hardie Board Siding is an excellent exterior building material that can never rot, warp or fade and it will also save you a lot of time because it does not need painting!

If you want the benefits of James Hardie’s fiber cement siding but don’t have a big budget for installation, then do-it-yourself installation may be for you.

Is it Safe to Install Hardie On Your Own?

The sales for James Hardie siding have increased due to more people wanting replacement windows for their homes. The reason is because of its superior good looks, durability and energy efficiency.

Some homeowners are trying to get the work done themselves so they can save on labor fees or just get it done in a faster time frame.

There are many factors that cause homeowners to question if doing the work themselves is a good idea.

There are serious health and safety risks involved in working with fiber cement siding and many untrained and unqualified people get into trouble when they try to install it on their own.

If you want to save money by doing the hardiplank installation yourself, then there are two options for you to consider. You can do it on your own which is a very big risk and the other option is hiring a professional who has experience in this type of job.

How can I hire someone with the correct qualifications?

You should ask for references from their previous customers that can testify as to his or her skill set, their work ethic and reliability.

When you speak with the references, pose questions about how well they communicated, if they showed up on time, did the job as promised and any other relevant questions.

If possible hire someone who has done work for you before so that there is no surprise in quality or missed deadlines.

Having a professional do this work is much more feasible in terms of safety. If you choose to do the work yourself, make sure that you are aware of all the safety precautions involved in working with fiber cement siding.

There are many who have tried their hand at doing this job on their own without any real knowledge or training and they run into disasters because they were not aware of the risks involved.

Things like not wearing a dust mask when you’re cutting fiber cement, or if it gets wet and is not allowed to dry properly, can give rise to serious health problems like inhalation problems and bleeding in the lungs.

Working with raw material gives off toxic fumes and this problem becomes very prominent when you do not wear the proper safety gear.

Also, the use of power tools can lead to serious injuries if they are not used properly. Do not use any power tools unless you have received appropriate training on how to work with them safely.

There is very little margin for error when working with this type of material so it is always advisable to hire a professional.

Working with fiber cement siding can be very rewarding if you hire the right professional to do the job.

It requires attention to detail and this will give your home that touch of class that you desire. You can always ask for some references before hiring someone to do the work for you.

What is a Fiber Cement?

Cement itself has been around for quite a while. It was first used in Ancient Rome. Since then, there have been many different versions of the material that is now called cement (cement is another word for glue).

Even today, there are still versions that are being tested and developed. Cement comes in many forms; it can be used for stucco, grout, mortar, and even concrete.

Cement comes in many forms; it can be used for stucco, grout, mortar, and even concrete.

One of the newer types of cement that has been created is fiber cement siding. Fiber cement siding is also referred to as weatherboard, board-and-batten, and hardiplank.

Fiber cement siding is also referred to as weatherboard, board-and-batten, and hardiplank.

Installing Hardie Board Siding by Yourself

What Are the Benefits of Fiber Cement Siding?

There are several benefits associated with fiber cement siding. One benefit is that it looks like wood siding, but it is actually much more durable.

Another benefit is that fiber cement siding does not need to be painted, so you can save time and money there. 

What Are the Different Types of Fiber Cement Siding?

There are three main types of fiber cement siding:

Class 1 – This type of fiber cement siding is considered to be the most durable.

Class 3 – Class 3 fiber cement siding has an incredibly smooth surface that makes it resistant to water, mildew, and fungi growth.

Class 4 – This type of fiber cement siding is meant to have a traditional wood grain finish on it. In order for this type of fiber cement siding to match the look of real wood, it must be painted.

What Nails to Use for Hardie Board Siding Installation?

The nails used for installation will effect how well the siding holds up. The most commonly recommended type of nail is a ring shanked, smooth shank or plastic coated smooth shank nail.

A galvanized finish on the nails is also suggested in order to prevent rusting after repeated exposures to moisture.

These type of fasteners need to be consistent in size and type with the fasteners that were used when the Hardie Board was manufactured.

The nails need to have a minimum shank diameter of 0.113 inches with a 0.120 inch head. This is the same as saying they need to have a minimum shank thickness of 1/8th inch and a minimum head diameter of 0.120 inches.

The nails should be at least 1 1/2 inches long and no longer than 2-1/2 inches in length.

The nail should also have a ring shank and not a cut or smooth shank. Ring shanks provide better holding power than any other type of nail because they grip better into the hardie board product.

While smaller fasteners are sometimes used, they will not be as strong as larger nails and they may pull out more easily. If you use a nail that is too long it can cause the siding to buckle or crack, so be careful when choosing your nail size.

A cleat is also recommended to be installed using ring shanked nails. The cleat should be attached with two nails every six inches on the top and bottom of the board.

The Hardie Board Installation Manual, the inspector’s standards of practice and building codes provide specific details about what nails should be used to attach Hardie Board siding.

Is Caulking Hardie Board Siding Advisable?

When you’re trying to install Hardie Board Siding, there are several options that come into play. It’s important that you carefully consider each detail and ensure that your home looks just as great when the job is finished as it did before construction began.

One of the most overlooked details is caulking around your Hardie Board siding. Caulking is a very important part of the installation process, but it seems that many people forget to include it.

While it isn’t required for your siding project to be successful, caulking can actually help extend the life of your home. If you’re wondering if you should caulk or not, here’s a quick explanation:

Hardie Board Siding is made of a cement-based material which is very hard.

When Hardie Board siding comes into contact with different elements, it can erode over time because it’s so porous. This could eventually lead to your siding becoming damaged or even deteriorating completely.

Caulking around Hardie Board Siding is designed to protect that porous surface from absorbing water or any other substance which could cause your siding to erode.

If your home is in a windy area, you might even discover that small particles begin to chip away at the edges of your Hardie Board Siding over time. Caulking around the home will help keep this problem from occurring.

Caulking is a very important part of any siding installation, and while some types of siding don’t require it, Hardie Board Siding is one that does.

If you want to make sure your home looks great for years to come, make sure you add a fresh coat of caulk around each section of Hardie Board Siding.

Are Hardie Board Sidings Termite Proof?

Hardie Board siding is resistant to termites and other pests. Termites cannot eat the cement in James Hardie siding. Termites are active for longer periods in warmer climates.

Thus, some parts of the country might be more prone to termites. Areas with natural predators are less likely to have problems because the predators keep pests in check.

So the answer is Yes, Hardie Board siding is termite proof. If you are concerned about termite damage it may be wise to have a pest inspection before installation.

A two foot strip running around the outside of your house and inside any window or door is a good place to look for evidence of termites.

Final Thoughts

Hardie Plank is more expensive than other types of siding, but it will be worth the cost in the long run. James Hardie is a more durable type of siding without breaking the bank.

Vinyl is more expensive than vinyl, but it’s still within the budget of many American homeowners. And that’s one of the many reasons why James Hardie is so popular.

A Guide on how to Install Hardie Board Siding by Yourself