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Your Complete Guide to James Hardie® Fiber Cement Siding

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Choosing the perfect siding for your home takes the right balance of durability, longevity, ease of maintenance, affordability and exceptional looks. Traditional siding products like wood, stone, brick and stucco give you two to three of these with affordability not being one of them. And although vinyl is priced competitively it, the finished look often times leaves a lot to be desired. With fiber cement siding, you have the ideal combination of all these factors and it's no wonder that fiber cement siding is now installed on 15% of new homes. And what's even more impressive, James Hardie® is not only the largest fiber cement manufacturer; they are the single largest siding manufacturer in the country!

James Hardie® Fiber Cement uses 4 simple and Sustainable Ingredients:

Water: Dissolves the wood pulp; activates and hardens the cement.

Sand: Creates superior all weather performance and resilience.

Cellulose Fiber: Acts as filler. (Superior to low-cost fly ash)

Cement: Binds the ingredients. Made with limestone, clay, and iron.

James Hardie® Fiber Cement Siding Benefits

Durability: Resists damage from wet, humid climates as well as cold, dry climates. Holds up against damage from impact such as hail, and resists flame spread as well as inspects.

Longevity: Up to a 30-year limited transferrable product warranty, as well as a 15-year finish warranty covering both paint and labor.

Ease of Maintenance: Unlike wood siding, James Hardie Siding® is warranted not to rot, warp or delaminate giving you peace of mind and ease of ownership.

Affordability: Fiber cement siding is approximately the same cost as high end vinyl siding and about 20-50% less than stone, brick and stucco.

Exceptional Looks: The #1 return on investment of ANY home remodeling project 7 years in a row according to Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost vs. Value Report. (See for yourself at our James Hardie Photo Gallery)

Comparing Fiber Cement Siding to the Competition

Vinyl Siding: Vinyl siding is a petroleum-based product that is essentially plastic on your home. It can warp and even melt due to excessive heat whereas fiber cement is flame retardant. In addition, vinyl siding colors are highly susceptible to fading and can never be repainted whereas fiber cement can last up to 100 years and may only need to be repainted every 30.

Wood-siding-comparisonWood Siding: Fiber cement offers the look and feel of real wood without the maintenance. Because wood is highly susceptible to moisture, it often times rots and decays over time. It also has a much longer paint cycle which can save you thousands of dollars in maintenance costs versus wood.

Stucco: Stucco may look great on your home but unfortunately it is designed for dry climates like Arizona and New Mexico. In PA, NJ and DE, stucco can crack and break apart due to the changing of the seasons and moisture in the air. Hardie Siding has specifically designed products for the Northeast Climate called H5 Zone siding. This ensures a long lasting and durable install every single time!

James Hardie® Product Line

Hardie Plank® Lap Siding: This clap board style siding is Hardie's most popular and can be found on over 5.5 million US homes.

Styles choices include: The woodgrain look and finish of Cedarmill, Smooth Finish, Beaded Cedarmill or Beaded Smooth.

Sizes: All panels come in 12 inch lengths with your option of exposure heights in sizes 4", 5", 6" or 7" (7" only option for beaded panels)

Hardie Shingle® Siding:
This product is made to replicate the look of hand cut cedar shakes giving you home entire a rustic look or can be used for part of the siding to add dimension and character.

Styles choices include: Staggered Edge Panel 6", Straight Edge Panel 5" or 7" and New Half Round Notched Panels.

Hardie Panel® Vertical Siding: Vertical siding is recommended for contemporary homes or mid-century homes that currently have T-111 wood siding.

Styles choices include: Cedarmill© Vertical Panels, Smooth Vertical Panels, or Sierra 8 Panels (made to look like T-111)

Additional Options: It is recommended to install using fiber cement batten strips vertically either 12 or 24 inches apart so that the seams where the panel connects will be hidden. This also adds additional dimension to the project.

Hardie Stucco: Easier to install than traditional stucco and this product is available in 4x8 or 4x10 panels. When installing on large areas it is recommended to use Hardie Trim pieces as battens to create the English Tudor look and design that homeowners love.

Hardie Trim® Boards or AZEK Trim: Fiber cement trim adds the finish touches to any Hardie home with contrasting window trim, door trim, corner posts and can be even used as battens to separate homes using more than one Hardie Siding Product.

Hardie Soffit® Panels: Choose from beaded, smooth or vented soffits to complete your maintenance free and vinyl free exterior.

Artisan® Lap Siding: This is Hardie's Ultra Premium line of siding featuring 5/8" thick panels, tongue and groove install, deeper shadow lines with custom artistry in every exquisite detail.




Do-it-yourself or hire a pro?

Because of its weight—about 2½ pounds per square foot—its tendency to crack if mishandled, and the specialized tools needed to cut and nail it, fiber-cement installation is best left to pros.

How to Choose a Contractor?


That is why it is important to work with James Hardie Preferred Remodeler's like Global Home Improvement. At Global Home Improvement we have gone through hundreds of hours of training and on site installation to provide the best installs in PA, NJ and DE. In addition, all of our installs come with a 100 point audit provided by the manufacturer, yes, James Hardie himself!

For more information on Fiber Cement Siding call Global Home Improvement at 888-234-2929 or online at

Copyright Global Home Improvement 2013. Serving PA, NJ and DE.

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