First things first: What exactly is Hardie board siding?
Hardie board is a special siding material that uses cement fibers to create a more durable and attractive product. Cement is combined with sand, water and cellulose wood fibers to create a material particularly suited to protect home exteriors, especially in the Kansas City area.
Hardie board is an innovative product, but it’s not new or unproven. In the mid 1980s, the siding manufacturing company James Hardie pioneered its development. As the industry leader for decades, James Hardie and Hardie board have pretty much become a synonym for fiber cement siding.
It’s Been Around For A Long Time, But Does That Make Hardie Board Siding A Good Choice?
Fiber cement siding has a good reputation in the exterior industry and is known for its low maintenance, durability, and especially for its beauty.
However, does is live up to its publicity? Also, does it have any drawbacks compared to other siding choices? Let’s look at the pros and cons of Hardie board siding.
Advantages Of Hardie Board Siding For Kansas City Homeowners
This is the No. 1 reason many Kansas City homeowners choose Hardie board: It looks absolutely beautiful. This brand of fiber cement siding bears an uncanny resemblance to genuine cedar siding, and the customization options are among the most generous in the industry. Hardie board siding has a wide selection of styles, including lap boards and simulated cedar shingles and wood shakes. Moreover, the color options are almost unlimited.
With such a wide variety of styles and colors to choose from, homeowners can adorn their homes in the protective apparel that suits their fancy and their neighborhood.
While Hardie siding has the same visual appeal of its authentic wood counterpart, it does not have the same maintenance headaches and worries about insect infestation. Wood siding, for example, requires arduous scraping, sanding, and repainting every few years to retain its beauty and protective capabilities. Hardie board siding that’s finished with the manufacturer’s ColorPlus® Technology will look beautiful without repainting for 15 years or more. And if you decide to repaint, your task will require far less prep work that real wood siding does.
Hardie board unique blend of concrete and other composite materials makes it impervious to elements like rain, high winds, and humidity. It also is highly resistant to hail and flying debris.
One big key to the longevity is that cement does not retain moisture, so this siding never rots, swells or warps.
To stand behind its claims of durability, James Hardie’s fiber cement siding comes with a 30-year non-prorated, transferable, limited warranty. It’s important to emphasize that this warranty is not prorated. Many siding warranties quickly reduce coverage as time elapses, but this one does not.
There is also additional warranty coverage for the ColorPlus Technology finish and Artisan accent trim of 15 years, which includes all materials and labor. This is protection against peeling, cracking, and chipping.
Since sand and cement form the basis of Hardie board, this siding is very fire-resistant. In fact, James Hardie siding won’t ignite or serve as fuel for a fire. Contrast that to wood siding, which is made from fire’s favorite food, or ordinary vinyl siding, which simply melts when confronted by flame. Thanks to its fire resistance, James Hardie siding offers homeowners an invaluable benefit in terms of protection for their families and their property. In fact, cladding your home with this flame-resistant siding option could lead to a discount on your homeowners’ insurance premium.
Here in Kansas City, we’re subject to some serious weather extremes and our fair share of storms. One of the top advantages of fiber cement siding in a climate like ours is its storm resistance. It is extremely resistant to hail, wind, and UV damage.
Another Hardie Board Advantage To Consider: Knowing Your Installer
A great siding material is important, but just as crucial is the Kansas City siding contractor you choose to install it.
Homeowners who choose fiber cement siding from James Hardie have an advantage because the manufacturer has a certification process known as the James Hardie Contractor Alliance™ program. This program was developed with rigorous certification standards to ensure that the manufacturer maintains its stellar reputation for high quality and to help homeowners feel confident that their siding replacement project will meet their expectations. Indeed, a certification from James Hardie tells homeowners: “Here’s a contractor you can trust to install Hardie board siding – we’ve already screened them for you.”
Contractors who qualify for a designation under the alliance program must have a proven track record for satisfying customers and demonstrate their siding installation expertise, among other requirements. It’s best to partner with a siding company that has James Hardie Preferred Contractor status. To maintain this certification, the contractor is subject to random audits of its work on a regular basis, so quality must be maintained.
James Hardie further distinguishes between installers by bestowing special awards, which provide a reliable indication of expertise and dedication to delivering exceptional customer service. For example, the James Hardie Service Excellence Award is given to fewer than 10 companies nationwide, so you’ll know your siding project is in good hands if your contractor has earned this coveted distinction.
The Disadvantages Of Hardie Board Siding
No siding material is perfect, right?
Hardie board is close, but the one drawback of Hardie board siding is upfront costs. This material is heavier than vinyl, which means installation requires more labor and specialized installation. The material itself is also more costly than most vinyl options.
Some Kansas City homeowners prefer the lower cost of vinyl siding and are willing to take the trade-off in lesser curb appeal.
Is This Weakness Really A Strength?
While the upfront costs are higher for fiber cement siding, many Kansas City homeowners feel they win on costs in the long run with Hardie board. They have some facts to back that up, including this: according to Remodeling magazine’s “Cost vs Value Report”, re-siding your home with fiber cement siding has provided the greatest ROI (Return on Investment) for the last 8 years running.
Insider tip: If you want to make a great long-term investment in your home with Hardie board siding, look for a Kansas City siding company willing to work with you on a payment plan. This lowers the upfront costs for you, but still allows you to install what you really want on your home.
Hardie board siding is a very attractive, versatile choice. It has a proven track record of durability and quality. It costs more upfront than vinyl, but provides a superb return on investment.
Did You Know?
Johnson County Siding & Window Co. is proud to be a Preferred James Hardie® Siding Contractor in Kansas City with a reputation of excellence due to our many years of experience and our very high standards for every remodeling project. James Hardie® is very selective about what companies can earn this status. The designation is only awarded to companies that uphold top installation standards. They even do regular and random installation audits to make sure!
Moreover, we’ve been honored multiple times with the James Hardie Service Excellence Award, as well as numerous awards from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) in recognition of our superior exterior remodeling expertise. What’s more, it’s not just our installation proficiency that sets us apart. The many accolades we’ve racked up over the years are due in large part to our exterior design prowess, which sets us apart from other siding contractors serving this region. When you partner with us for your upcoming James Hardie siding installation, you’ll have the opportunity to meet with our in-house design professional, who can help you evaluate siding styles, colors, trim options, and more so that you get the exact look you want for your home.
If you want to learn more about how JoCo Siding & Window Co. can help you choose the perfect siding for your Kansas City home, give us a call at (913) 782-2878 or fill out our online contact form.