Being confident in your Chicago home is a must, so when the exterior siding isn’t looking or performing at its best, it can be frustrating to find the right solution. But when you consider the many advantages of James Hardie siding for your home exterior, the choice becomes a lot clearer.
There are so many benefits to Hardie Board that Chicago area homeowners appreciate. And like any product, there are a few things to keep in mind as you consider what’s best for you. To make your decision easier, we’ve put together the top pros and cons of James Hardie siding so you’ll know why 8 million homeowners across the country have made the switch to this beautiful siding.
What Is Hardie Board Siding?
Hardie Board is another name for the highly popular, lasting fiber cement siding manufactured by the James Hardie company. Fiber cement is made from a mix of water, wood pulp, sand, and Portland cement. This strong, lasting material can be molded to create numerous style options that look fantastic on any home. With its impressive performance and great warranty, James Hardie is the #1 fiber cement siding brand in America.
The Pros of Hardie Board Siding
1. Beautiful Curb Appeal
If you’re thinking about a home exterior upgrade, it’s likely that your home’s appearance is uppermost in your mind. Sagging wood siding, dinged or cracked vinyl siding, loose brick and crumbling mortar can all leave a home looking lackluster.
By contrast, Hardie Board is attractive and eye-catching both from a distance and close up. Its beauty makes homeowners proud.
2. Lasting Durability
Fiber cement siding lasts a long time, and retains its fresh, attractive appearance for years. It holds up well compared to other homebuilding materials.
Wood rots and needs frequent replacement, while vinyl siding fades and can be damaged by impacts from rocks and hail. Stone and brick can come loose. But Hardie Board siding can last up to 50 years on a home before needing replacement. That’s impressive!
3. Great Style Options
James Hardie has created several product designs that offer a versatile set of options for homeowners. Choose from a smooth, sleek modern style or textured selections that mimic the look of wood or brick.
Want more ideas? Hardie’s lap siding is pleasing to the eye and popular, while the luxurious Aspyre Collection gives you one-of-a-kind, customized design options. And those are just two of many selections available.
4. Lasting Color Choices
Along with delightful styles, Hardie Board siding comes in a wide array of beautiful colors to fit your home’s architecture and your personal preferences. Either choose pre-primed boards ready for painting immediately after installation, or enjoy the ColorPlus® Technology that bakes on layers of vibrant color, warrantied to last up to 15 years.
While you’ll eventually need to repaint your siding, you’ll do so much less frequently than you will with wood. And you do have the freedom to repaint if you want to switch colors, which is not possible with vinyl siding.
Not sure what color to choose? Play with the handy James Hardie Visualizer Tool to see what different colors will look like on your home.
5. Easy Cleaning and Care
If you’re looking for a simpler way to maintain your home exterior, Hardie Board is well worth the investment. Unlike wood, fiber cement siding resists rot and moisture damage. It won’t get dented or cracked easily, as vinyl does. So it doesn’t need regular repairs or replacements.
It’s also a breeze to clean. Simply wipe away dust and dirt with soapy water and a nylon brush with soft bristles. Then rinse the residue away with your garden hose. Talk about simple!
6. Eco-friendly Material
Creating new wood siding requires the cutting down of trees, which many homeowners prefer to avoid. Vinyl wears out faster than fiber cement, meaning it makes its way to landfills where it sits and sits.
But not so with James Hardie siding! Between its sustainable manufacturing practices and its long-lasting performance, Hardie Board is considered a green material, and has won the Green Builder Media’s Readers’ Choice Award for many years.
7. Resistance to Pests and Fire
Wood siding attracts termites and carpenter ants, as well as woodpeckers. But fiber cement is unappealing to pests.
Even better is its performance against heat and flames. Wood burns easily, and vinyl can melt under extreme temperatures. But James Hardie siding is rated as noncombustible—which means it won’t contribute fuel to a house fire.
8. Engineered for Climate® Ratings
Chicago’s weather elements are tough on a home’s exterior. But Hardie siding stands up well against ice, snow, cold, wind, moisture off Lake Michigan, and more.
James Hardie siding also stands out because it is “Engineered for Climate”—designed to give homeowners in different regions of the country the most lasting siding products. For the Chicago area, choose HardieZone 5 (HZ5) products, which perform well against seasonal changes, cold temperatures, and wintery weather.
9. Impressive Warranty
James Hardie doesn’t just promise great performance—they guarantee it with their 30-year, non-prorated, transferable warranty on siding and 15-year warranty on their ColorPlus finish, giving you peace of mind for years to come.
The Cons — and There Aren’t Many!
As you consider the pros and cons, there are two facts you should weigh before committing to a Hardie Board siding installation.
1. Requires Precise Installation
Before you hire a siding contractor, look to see their qualifications. Siding & Windows Group is an Elite Preferred James Hardie Contractor—trained to meet James Hardie’s exacting standards so your siding is installed properly and your warranty is protected.
2. Involves Significant Labor Cost
The reason proper installation matters is that fiber cement is weighty. Each piece of siding must be carried by two people to ensure it isn’t damaged. The additional cost for a larger crew is offset by the many advantages of Hardie Board siding.