James Hardie Siding

The world leader in durability and long-lasting color.


The James Hardie Story

James Hardie emigrated from Ireland to Australia in the second half of the 19th Century. There, he began a tanning business in partnership with a man named Andrew Reid. In due course, the company started producing fiber cement board, the enterprise that made it famous. So famous, in fact, that today HardiePlank siding is the best-known cement fiber siding to contractors and the general public alike. You can find it on 5.5 million homes across America. Of course, reputation isn’t the only thing a savvy homeowner should consider when selecting materials for a major home improvement project. So let’s take an in-depth look at Hardie board siding to help determine if it’s the right choice for you.

James Hardie

Hardieplank® Lap Siding

Traditional and timeless. Sleek and strong. HardiePlank® lap siding is not just our best-selling product—it’s the most popular brand of siding in North America, protecting and beautifying more homes from coast to coast. All styles are Engineered for Climate® and come primed, or with baked-on ColorPlus® Technology.

"It's little known that HardiePlank siding products are actually more durable than most traditional masonry products"


What is Hardie Board Siding?

HardiePlank is made from a slurry of cellulose fibers, sand, wood pulp, and cement. (You may have concerns because you’ve heard of cement fiber siding that contained asbestos, but no one has manufactured that kind since the 1980’s.) Often the slurry receives its color in the factory, but Hardie board can also be painted after it’s installed, and it costs somewhat less if a buyer chooses that option. (Although it’s worth knowing that Hardie’s ColorPlus process, which involves applying multiple coats of a paint that’s both visually appealing and engineered to resist the stresses imposed by climate, results in a finish that typically lasts up to two times longer.)

Because it’s mostly made of sand and cement, Hardie Board siding, while not actually fireproof, is resistant to fire. It’s impervious to termites, woodpeckers, and carpenter ants as well. They can’t eat a material infused with cement.

Its composition likewise makes it resistant to storms, high winds, and other severe weather conditions that simply have little to no effect on something largely made of cement. Water, for example, can’t make it swell, cup, bow, or rot. Moreover, if you opt for James Hardie siding, you’ll get fiber cement siding specifically prepared to withstand the weather in the Indianapolis area.

James Hardie

Hardieshingle® Lap Siding

While most often associated with Cape Cod-style homes, shingle siding (also referred to as shake siding) can add instant character to any style home, anywhere. For the distinct look of cedar shake with less maintenance, choose HardieShingle siding. Shingles are a timeless design element. Whether used to enhance a home’s architectural features or as siding for a whole house, shingles embody classic beauty.

"Once we decided that the cottage should be shingle style, there was no doubt that we would be using HardieShingle"

Gaf Timberline HD Shingles



James Hardie Industries now uses the Hardie zone system that enables it to tailor its product to the climate of a particular region

Thanks to its composition, Hardie board is also an environmentally friendly choice. There’s plenty of sand and cement in the world, and all the wood in the wood pulp comes from sustainable species and never endangered ones. Nothing toxic goes into the manufacture of Hardie board. Originally, HardiePlank siding was only available as, well, planks. Today, however, the product is available in the form of lap siding, shingles, panel vertical siding, trim boards, and soffit panels.

Lap siding is the most popular and currently protects and enhances the curb appeal of over 4 million homes. Hardie shingle siding provides the visual appeal of cedar shingles without the vulnerability to cracks, splits, and rot. It looks good by itself or in combination with other styles. Trim and fascia serve as visual accents and create abundant options for giving a home a unique appearance, while soffit panels come either vented or non-vented in a number of pre-cut sizes. Hardie siding comes in a variety of styles and can be made to look like wood lapboards, cedar shakes, or shingles. Embossing produces the various textures.

James Hardie

HardiePanel® Vertical Siding

Re-siding your house with HardiePanel vertical siding—or combining it with HardiePlank® lap siding—is sure to add visual punch to your design. The beauty of HardiePanel vertical siding is that it is unique without being too trendy. Crisp, clean lines make it a smart choice for strong, contemporary designs.

"We use James Hardie for many reasons - quality, durability, brand awareness, cost effectiveness and architectural design."


Cost cutting tips for your James Hardie Indianapolis installation

As mentioned above, your HardiePlank product may cost somewhat less if, instead of having the factory add the color, you’re willing to paint it yourself. It’s also worth getting several estimates, which contractors generally provide free of charge. Just be sure each comes from a company with a solid reputation and the necessary specialized skillset.

After receiving an estimate, don’t be afraid to negotiate. A 20% savings is by no means guaranteed, but it’s not unheard of, either. If practical, you may want to get those estimates during the fall or winter. That’s the slow season for contractors, and they may adjust their prices accordingly.

Finally, it may be possible to save money by buying the Hardie siding separately and hiring a crew to install it. But even if it is, you must still make sure the crew is reputable and possesses the knowledge and experience to do the project as it should be done. You don’t want the planks to be damaged, or for the workers to leave gaps that allow moisture into the house. Not only will this lead to expensive repairs, it can even make you ill.

In the short run, Hardie board may not be your cheapest siding option, but it may well be your best one. It’s durable, resistant to fire, weather, and pests, relatively low maintenance, visually appealing, comes in a variety of styles, and will likely recoup much of its cost when it’s time to sell your home. Thus, it’s an option well worth considering. Just be careful to deal with reputable contractors with the proper specialized skills.

James Hardie

Your James Hardie siding Indianapolis warranty

Because cement board siding is in fact so durable, it comes with an excellent set of warranties. The product itself is guaranteed for 50 years. If it comes from the factory already colored, the finish is warrantied for 15.

What will my James Hardie board Indianapolis siding cost? The basic cost of HardiePlank siding per square foot generally ranges from $3.00 to $4.50.

Naturally, to make use of that information, you have to know how many square feet you need. The US Census has determined that the average two-story home has 2250 square feet of space inside. That typically equates to an estimate of about 1500 square feet of cladding outside. You can arrive at a more precise figure by measuring the length and width of your house, estimating nine feet per story, figuring out the area of each rectangle and triangle requiring siding, and adding it all up.

Having done that, though, you’re still not ready to estimate the cost of installing the Hardie board siding. Besides the basic materials, you’ll need to cover additional supplies and accessories, labor, a delivery charge, a builder’s permit, and the removal of old siding.

With all that figured in, the total cost per square foot ranges from $6.03 to $11.72, which means the average installation by a licensed contractor is likely to run from $8000 to $13,800 overall. That’s higher than with certain other siding options. But before you succumb to sticker shock, it’s worth considering why.

As already mentioned, you’re paying for quality and the resulting peace of mind. Your fiber cement Indianapolis siding will hold up despite the worst that tornadoes, rain, snow, the summer sun, pests, and the simple passage of time can do to damage it.

You won’t have to do much in the way of routine maintenance, either. Eventually you may need to caulk around the trim, but that’s the only place re-caulking will be required. You can (and should) leave the butt joints alone. In time, you may also need to clean and repaint, although if the siding came from the factory already finished, the warranty covers the cost of scraping, priming, and repainting for the first 15 years.

The high quality will also work to your benefit when it’s time to sell your home. Remodeling Magazine classifies James Hardie siding as “upscale” and estimates that you’ll get back 78% of what you spent on it when someone else buys the house. That’s impressive considering that the majority of home improvement projects only recover about 20%.

Admittedly, quality per se isn’t the only factor that makes the installation of Hardie board somewhat more expensive than certain other options. There is also, for example, weight.

HardiePlank siding is heavy. Not so heavy that your home is likely to need some sort of reinforcing to support it, but it weighs about 2.5 pounds per square foot.

That means it costs more to ship. It also means that it takes more workers to install it. A single person can’t handle it properly, and it’s likely to crack if handled improperly.

In fact, even multiple people can’t install HardiePlank siding as it needs to be installed unless they have the specialized training and the proper equipment. They’ll need respirator masks and eye protection to protect against the dust that cutting will produce, the knowhow to prime and seal cuts in the required manner, and special cutting tools, fasteners, and nails. They’ll also need to know how high to install the siding to prevent potential water absorption.

So clearly, you shouldn’t try installing James Hardie siding as a DIY project, nor should you hire just any fly-by-night contractor. If you do, you risk voiding factory warranties and setting yourself up for years of unnecessary repairs. Only a reputable company with the proper specialized expertise will get the job done right, and sadly, the services of that company may cost you a bit more. That said, though, there are some things you can try to reduce the cost somewhat.

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