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What Is James Hardie Siding? Pros And Cons Of Hardie Siding

March 3rd, 2022 | 8 min. read

What Is James Hardie Siding? Pros And Cons Of Hardie Siding

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Replacing your home’s siding is one of the largest investments you can make in your home. Because there are so many options out there, you want to be sure you do thorough research to choose the right one for you. 

As you’re scouring the internet, scrolling page after page about siding costs, different styles, and manufacturers, you see the name “James Hardie” repeatedly. 

You can tell that they are a well-known brand in the siding replacement industry. But, what makes them so well-known?

James Hardie is one of the top-rated names in the siding replacement industry. But why? It’s important for you to know more about the company and what they have to offer before choosing their product. 

At Southwest Exteriors, we offer James Hardie fiber cement siding products for your siding replacement needs. Because we’ve been a siding replacement contractor in San Antonio since 1989, we know how Hardie siding stands up against other types of siding. 

This is why we only offer Hardie siding products, and our installation crews are trained experts on Hardie’s Best Practices for installation. 

Because we love Hardie so much, we want you to understand better who they are, what they have to offer, and what some of the pros and cons are. But, we also want to provide you with utterly unbiased information because we are not just trying to convince you to choose Hardie. 

This article will define who James Hardie is and some of the benefits and drawbacks of Hardie siding. 

After reading, you will have a better idea about the James Hardie siding. Then, you will know if their products will provide you with the right solution for your siding replacement project. 

Who is James Hardie? 

The establishment of James Hardie Industries first dates back to 1888. James Hardie left his family’s tannery business in Scotland and moved to Melbourne, Australia to start a new shipping and importing business. 

There, he met Andrew Reid, who became his partner in business. From 1911 through the rest of the 20th century, Reid and his family expanded the company to what it is now. 

Today, James Hardie Industries is most known for being the leading manufacturer of fiber cement products and construction materials and is one of the top names on the market.

Hardie is the recognized leader for high-quality siding made to last a lifetime. Furthermore, they are recognized and recommended by organizations and magazines like the DIY Network, Money Magazine, and the Qualified Remodeler. 

Since 2013, Hardie has qualified for the Good Housekeeping Seal from the Good Housekeeping Research Institute. This seal symbolizes the reliability of a product to provide homeowners with a higher level of trust for Hardie products. 

Overall, the quality of James Hardie siding products is backed by professional contractors, trusted sources, and real homeowners just like you. 

What are some of the benefits of James Hardie siding? 

Now that you know more about the foundation of James Hardie Industries and its credibility, you want to know more about what makes Hardie the best. 

There are many benefits of James Hardie fiber cement siding. The material, lack of maintenance, and longevity are just a few of the major pros, so let’s dive deeper into those. 

1. James Hardie siding is a fiber cement product

The material that Hardie siding is made of is the greatest benefit. It is made of Portland cement, sand, water, and cellulose fibers. 

It is also made with performance additives that make it non-combustible, resistant to water damage and rot, and able to withstand any climate. 

Because of the materials, James Hardie siding does not come with any common problems that other siding types do. Vinyl, for example, can bend and bow when exposed to changing temperatures, and wood siding can be susceptible to rotting. 

Hardie siding is a long-term solution for a siding replacement, meant to last for 40-50 years. 

2. James Hardie siding is practically maintenance-free

Because of the durability of fiber cement siding, it requires very little maintenance. You will not have to worry about repairing rot or replacing boards that have cracked. 

Hardie has designed their siding to be impervious to woodpeckers, termites, and other pests. The fiber cement does not create an ideal home, causing them to turn away. 

The best maintenance task you can take to your Hardie siding is to power wash it once a year or every couple of years. This will get rid of any dirt and grime buildup on the siding, which will keep it looking fresh and help maintain the paint.

3. James Hardie’s installation best practices secure its lifespan

James Hardie has created many best practices guides for Hardie installers to follow for siding replacements. 

These best practices set a high standard for contractors that install Hardie products. It ensures you receive the highest-quality siding replacement. Some contractors will have a certified Hardie inspector look at your siding replacement to ensure it was done under the best practices.

With any siding, installation is one of the most important aspects of a siding project. Even though Hardie is the best fiber cement siding manufacturer, it will not last as long or protect your home as it should if it isn't installed correctly.

What are some of the drawbacks of James Hardie siding? 

With any product comes the pros and the cons. While James Hardie is a high-quality siding solution with many benefits, there are a couple of drawbacks to consider if you’re thinking of replacing your siding with Hardie siding. 

1. James Hardie siding is more expensive than other siding types

One of the main disadvantages of James Hardie siding is that it is more expensive than other types of siding. This increase in cost is because of the quality of the siding materials and installation. 

The starting cost for one square of James Hardie siding is around $2,000-$3,000. One square of siding is a 10 ft. x 10 ft. area, or 100 ft.2.

For other siding materials, like vinyl or wood, the starting cost for one square of siding can be around $1,000. 

Because a siding replacement is such a significant investment, aligning your goals and your budget is essential. If you are looking for an inexpensive and easy fix for a siding replacement, then Hardie siding is not right for you. 

2. It can be difficult to find an expert Hardie contractor near you

The second downside of James Hardie siding is that it’s difficult to find a trustworthy contractor that knows what they are doing. 

No matter how high the quality of any siding is, it will fail before its lifetime is up if it is not installed properly. Hardie outlines their best practices for installation for contractors to follow for a proper installation. 

However, there are plenty of contractors out there that will cut corners to save money. So, when finding a contractor, it’s important to ask about their installation processes, if they follow Hardie’s best practices, and to read real client reviews. 

Is James Hardie siding right for me? 

Now that you know more about who James Hardie is and what some of the pros and cons of Hardie siding are, you can have a better idea of whether Hardie siding is right for you or not. 

The bottom line is that Hardie siding is an investment. If you are a long-term homeowner and want to replace your home siding, James Hardie fiber cement siding is a great investment for a  durable and long-lasting solution. 

Although Hardie siding is more expensive than other siding types, it is made to last a lifetime in your home. 

On the flip side, if you are looking for the least expensive and easiest solution to replacing your siding, then James Hardie is most likely not the right investment for you. 

If you are interested in James Hardie siding and want to learn more about what they have to offer, your next step is to look at siding options to get an idea of what type of style is right for you. 

This article will provide a full guide to James Hardie’s siding styles and board profiles so you can see what styles Hardie has to offer and narrow down which board styles you like best. Then, you will be more prepared to meet with a contractor, knowing what you are looking for. 

Ready to replace your home exterior with James Hardie siding? 

With Southwest Exteriors, we vow to give you the highest quality James Hardie siding installation in San Antonio. We recommend Hardie fiber cement siding because of its durability, longevity, and ability to withstand harsh Texas weather. 

We also provide a certified Hardie inspection at the end of your installation. This ensures that Hardie’s best practices were followed and that you receive the highest quality outcome. 

If you’re looking for a quick fix for your home siding, then we are not the right contractor for you. But, if you are looking for a lifelong solution to replacing your siding, we may be what you’re looking for. 

Schedule your free, in-home consultation with a design consultant by filling out this form. Get started on your James Hardie siding project today!