Hardiplank Siding – Ritz Without Rot!

Manufactured for nearly 100 years, Hardiplank, or fiber cement siding was made popular by James Hardie in Australia.

Hardieboard Siding is formulated with the primary ingredients of cement, sand, cellulose and water.Surface styles can vary from smooth, to rough; imitation stucco to a wide variety of decorative finishes. They can be purchased unprimed or factory primed. They can also be bought with a baked on color – pre-painted at the factory. Hardie plank siding (as it is sometimes spelled) typically has a 50 year warranty.


Why not just go with wood rather than an “imitation wood”? Following are several reasons you may want to consider hardiplank:

~ Hardiplank siding is   noncombustible 

~ It is termite resistant.

~ It is rot-resistant

~ It’s more crack-resistant than wood

~ Hardie board resists fungus

~ Hardiplank siding resists normal deterioration

~ It requires very little maintenance after initial painting

~ It’s less expensive than wood


Although vinyl siding has some advantages over wood, hardiplank beats out vinyl for the benefits. Among the advantages in comparison:

Vinyl is flammable and may melt in high heat

  • Vinyl is a petroleum based product
  • Vinyl may fade over time
  • Vinyl is easily damaged and may crack if hit
  • Vinyl is difficult to match if replacement is needed
  • Hardiplank is more expensive than the lowest grade of vinyl, but its value and benefits may more than pay for itself in short period of time.


Like any manufactured product, care must be taken to follow manufacturer instructions carefully.

Some areas of caution:

* Siding is heavy and fragile prior to installation

* It must be nailed correctly into place for proper wind resistance

  • Siding must be painted when dry
  • Painting and caulking should be complete and well sealing
  • House wrap should be installed behind the board for moisture resistance
  • Proper precautions must be taken when cutting the board (so as not to inhale silica dust)

Professional installation is recommended, and be certain to have the finished product inspected.

The COST of Hardiplank is more than vinyl, but generally is less expensive than wood or brick coverings.

Also, in some subdivisions where vinyl is not permitted, Hardiboard may be approved. Check with your local governing body to see if Hardiplank is permissible. It is considered to be a “classy” cladding, so it may well be a less expensive way for you to cover your new green home! Keep in mind also, that since this siding has a longer fire rating, your insurance premiums may drop if you opt for fiber cement siding.