Building Series – Siding

Hey guys, today I’m finally kicking off the long awaited building series here on the blog! I have gotten a zillion and one questions about the building process this past year, and I have been compiling them all for this new series including the mistakes we made along the way. Today, I’m talking about siding – how to choose a quality product and doing your research in general.

Friends of ours are building a house and they have been showing me their siding samples. They are going to use HardiePlank® siding by James Hardie® siding. I’m excited to be partnering with James Hardie®  for this post, but all opinions are my own. This siding is gorgeous. They have several different styles of siding and the colors are beautiful. I have a major case of siding envy going on over here if you couldn’t tell.

I love the color of our siding, but I wish we would have gone the HardieShingle® route vs the vinyl shake we used. I actually had a few of you message me asking me why we didn’t use it and the answer is I didn’t do my research!

James Hardie Siding Samples

Some of the perks of James Hardie® siding versus regular siding are the gorgeous color choices that are actually baked onto the boards so there is no chipping, peeling or fading. Fading is a major concern for me with how dark our siding is and the fact that our house is south facing so that would be a major bonus. Their products also stand up to harsh weather (hello Michigan winters), resists damage from pests (hello living in the middle of the woods and all the creepy crawlers that come with that), and is more fire resistant than vinyl and wood siding (hello paranoid mom).

James Hardie siding

Ok, that’s the practical stuff I should have checked into, but let’s talk about the design side. First off, the color combos and choices are fantastic. They have classic HardiePlank® lap siding, HardieShingle® (this is what I wish we had used), which looks so realistic and cedar like it’s crazy, and HardiePanel® vertical siding. So, you can really customize the look of your house whether you are going for a classic look like I love or a more modern approach. I love that you can mix and match the finishes for a totally unique look like the photo above, it really has a timeless feel.

My parent’s home in Florida is actually sided in HardiePlank® siding. A fact that their realtor pointed out on their listing, because it’s a great selling point. It is in perfect condition even after 20 years.

James Hardie Siding

If you are like me, the process of choosing a siding color was SO nerve wracking. It’s a huge decision to make and it can be hard to visualize. I love the interactive Home Color Tool on their website that makes it easy to see different color choices together. This would have saved me a lot of sleepless nights!

james hardie siding

I spent so much time researching products for the interior of the house, testing counter tops, flooring and paint colors, but I sort of dropped the ball with the outside. I’ve learned through this whole building process that it’s important to pick and choose where you use quality materials and where you can cut corners. Let me tell you, the siding on your house is not the place to skimp because it’s not like paint where it’s easy to switch out.

The good news is that I have another chance to get it right on our pool house across the street! I have big dreams for that building over there (a bunk room, new bathroom, wet bar, balcony…I could go on!). I’m hoping to get started on plans for that in the next year. It’s just a cinder block building that we painted to match our house for now, but I would love to side it in the HardieShingle® siding some day.

james hardie siding

If you are in the building process or in the market for siding, be sure to check out James Hardie’s site here for more information on how you can get free samples sent to you. You can also check out the Home Color tool I mentioned on their site here. They also have a great inspiration guide available for download here if you need ideas for your project.

Next up in the building series, I’ll be talking about trim work and paint finishes so stay tuned.

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  1. Hello, is the color of the gray house a James Garfield color? If so can you please share which one?! The house with the yellow flowers in front.

  2. I am picking colors for my hardie board and I love the grey on the 3rd house in this article.Is there a way that I can find out what color it actually is?

  3. Im confused….dont you have hardie shingles on your home?
    Whats the difference in product and price?

  4. We have HardiePlank and love it! We used the pre-primed boards and painted them ourselves. We live in the forest in an area prone to wildfire. Our insurance company gave us a nice discount because we installed HardiePlank!

  5. I’m currently picking hardie right now for our new 2 story build. I’m so torn btw night grey (dark but a nice little blue undertone) and grey slate (just grey) what would u pick?

    1. It all depends on what look you want (I don’t think you can go wrong bc they are both beautiful!) if you have seen the outside of our house you know I love the dark grey with the blue undertone myself ;)

  6. We have Hardie plank. I love the look… it looks like real wood siding. We have a combo of all three types… shingle, vertical with batons and regular planks, in blue and white. Downside…it’s very heavy… you need to hit all the studs installing it. Hard to do with foam board on the plywood. So it is a challenge for do it yourselfers, but my husband did it! Takes five times as long to install so installation is expensive. Then comes trim… we used mostly Azec, HardiePlank easily cracks when face nailing narrower pieces. We painted the vertical board and baton with a high quality paint to match the blue of the planks. After 8 years, there is no difference and no fading that I can see. Paint does not peel off because it is not wood, it is cement board and therefore does not retain water which cause paint to chip and peel.

  7. We used HardiePlank® from James Hardie® siding when we resided our home about seven years ago…love it. Still in perfect condition!

  8. Just went to the site and read all about the product. It sounds great to me and I love the colors. We might be residing our cottage in the near future so I am so glad for the information. Thank you for pointing this out to me. Great blog.

  9. Just a note to coastal followers: I have James Hardy siding on part of my house. We started off on the east facing side and planned on working our way around the house as a DIY project. As we started to wrap around the house about a year later, the siding that was put on first had disintegrated, the paint was off on over 25% of the siding and has been repainted numerous times. That side does not see much light and, with our Atlantic coast climate (northeastern Nova Scotia), I would strongly suggest doing your homework before purchasing the siding if you live anywhere near salt water spray. I know a couple who had to have the entire house resided with different material… costly endeavor so please check and double check if it is appropriate for your climate. We are in the process of changing the siding (again…costly endeavor) so it is a work in progress.

    1. Hi Leisa, I’m sorry to hear that has been your experience. I am surprised though because in my parent’s neighborhood in FL all the houses have James Hardie siding. They back up to the marina and the intercoastal and they have had great luck with their siding. Especially over the span of the 20 years when all the homes were built. Good luck with the new siding!

  10. Our hardie board siding (Florida) came primered, we painted ours. Our home was a total remodel down to studs, even changing the layout of the home. I love the look of the hardie board siding. I also want to say I love your blog and look forward to the emails each week.

    1. Thanks so much Brenda I really appreciate you following along each week! So glad you love your hardie board siding and good to know it does well in the Florida heat too! Sounds like you had a fun project :)

  11. Thanks for this post – we are building a new home this spring. I’ve been looking at siding options and I’m going to order some samples, love the inspiration photos! Your blog is the bright spot in my day. Thanks for sharing everything!!!

  12. We live in Northern California, which gets hot in the summer. Temperatures can get up around 108 for three days at a time in the summer. The hardie board projects in our city are pretty obvious, because they all fade terribly in the hot sun. We remodeled 8 years ago and used cedar shingle siding, which also is available pre-stained on both sides, and have been thrilled with the wear.

    1. Hmm, that’s odd we can get super hot here in the summer too and several houses on the lake haven’t had issues with their Hardieplank. Glad you found something that works for you.

  13. This sounds like a wonderful product and has beautiful color choices! Thanks for sharing this product!

  14. I have heard nothing but praise for this product from neighbors who have used it. The homes featured look beautiful! Will definitely consider this product when time comes to build! Thanks for a great informative post!!

  15. When we installed our Hardie plank siding over20 years ago it was ‘t Painted. We painted it and haven’t touched it since. We were told to not pressure wash it, so I use a purchased house wash and it looks like new.

  16. Can you paint Hardie siding? I recall that your parent’s Florida home was painted a different color. Wouldn’t that negate the value of the “gorgeous color choices that are actually baked onto the boards so ther is no chipping, peeling or fading”? Once you’ve painted, you will have to deal with chipping and peeling, and possibly fading, irrespective of the underlying surface.

    1. My parent’s painted it only because they didn’t like the color the previous owners had picked 20 years ago. Otherwise it was in perfect condition and didn’t need painting. Also if you prep properly and use quality paint you shouldn’t have to deal with chipping or peeling for many years.

      1. Thanks, Kelly! We live in a circa 1900 brick house, so it’s a moot point for me, but have heard lots of great comments on Hardie board so was curious!

  17. Hi Kelly. We did check into Hardie siding for our new build and I loved the look of it as well. However, we were under the impression this siding needs to be painted as the years go on ? Maybe I dropped the ball too? :(

    1. They have painted and unpainted siding. We were going to do Hardie on our house but decided to go with LP smartside instead,because it is easier to work with . That was a big bonus for us because we installed it ourselves in less than a week!

    2. Hi Lisa, my parent’s siding hadn’t been painted for 20 years and it was in perfect shape so I don’t believe you need to paint it but I’m double checking and I’ll let you know for sure!

    3. Hi Lisa, I checked this out and you can buy primed Hardie siding that needs to be painted or you can buy it already in a color you like! Thanks :)

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