Lap Siding - James Hardi Cement Board or LP SmartSide?

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John151

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Our current wood siding has been destroyed by wood peckers and moisture.  Down to two options:  James Hardi or LP SmartSide. 

Looking for something that will be trouble free for 25+ years (including painting).

Any reason to pick one over the other?

benguin

Re: Lap Siding - James Hardi Cement Board or LP SmartSide?
« Reply #1 on: 17 Feb 2013, 06:10 pm »
Smartside is a wood based product, Hardi is cement based.  Both have pro/cons based on your climate and install teams.

The Smartside cuts easier, but you are still taking a wood based product that may or may not stand up to the woodpeckers.  It is probably at a better cost point, and has a more authentic wood grain look (if you are using their grained products).  It seems to be a good product.

The Hardi product really needs a qualified install team that knows how to properly cut and install it, but it will likely outlive the structure when installed well.  It's essentially fire, insect, and woodpecker proof.    I built a shed with fc lap siding and the stain held beautifully for about ten years.  The factory finished products should do even better.

I've used the LP product for trimming out our garage doors and like it for that application.  We also have some woodpeckers that love our old cedar board and batten siding on our house and we are planning a combo of Hardi lap and Nichiha shingle cement for the body of the house. 

thunderbrick

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Re: Lap Siding - James Hardi Cement Board or LP SmartSide?
« Reply #2 on: 17 Feb 2013, 06:24 pm »
Woodpeckers are after insects in the wood.  Smart Siding has a bug deterrent in it, so that should make it unappealing to the little peckers.  I put up LP lap siding 15 years ago.  Still looks like new and it's a breeze to work with.

I've used Hardie siding and like it, but I'd stay away from the corner trim pieces.  If it gets dinged up it can absorb moisture and swell if not immediately repainted.  Our local lumberyard normally sells composite corner pieces with Hardie Board to prevent that problem.

And If you pick up a long piece of FB trim in the middle you may suddenly find yourself holding TWO pieces of FB.  It's fragile until installed.

John151

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Re: Lap Siding - James Hardi Cement Board or LP SmartSide?
« Reply #3 on: 17 Feb 2013, 06:53 pm »
Thanks for the input guys. 

A few more details that might be significant:

1)  House is two story, with siding only on the top half (sides and back, front is all brick).  Thus, the siding will NOT be near the ground.  Thus, no worries about termites, lawn mower rash, moisture from ground splashes, etc.
2)  House is in the suburbs of Chicago, so extreme hot and cold temps, and plenty of humidity in the summer.
3)  Install will be done by a professional outfit that I believe are top notch and are experienced with both products. 

My only real concern with the LP Smartside is water getting to the back side and causing the siding to warp, swell, or de-laminate.  There are some posts on the internet about LP failures (but then again, no product is w/o such things).  Is this a concern?

As for the wood peckers, these knuckle head birds are about as dumb as they come.  Neighbors have dryvit and they have the same problem.  I am not sure than anything other than brick will stop these little buggers.  My contractor states that the LP SmartSide is easier to repair, so bonus there I guess.




John151

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Re: Lap Siding - James Hardi Cement Board or LP SmartSide?
« Reply #4 on: 17 Feb 2013, 06:54 pm »
x

thunderbrick

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Re: Lap Siding - James Hardi Cement Board or LP SmartSide?
« Reply #5 on: 17 Feb 2013, 07:04 pm »
Also put Smart Lap on my wife's lake-side cabin with no issues, though in one or two locations I put a course of Hardie board right along the ground, but I painted the concrete board front and back before installation.  Just to be sure.

Good caulking is a MUST at all joints. regardless of product.

konut

Re: Lap Siding - James Hardi Cement Board or LP SmartSide?
« Reply #6 on: 17 Feb 2013, 09:51 pm »
Had the house redone with Hardi last year. My carpenter said that the ends needed to be primed with oil based primer in order for the guaranty to apply. Easy enough to do. The house looks great after spraying with latex exterior.

Big Red Machine

Re: Lap Siding - James Hardi Cement Board or LP SmartSide?
« Reply #7 on: 17 Feb 2013, 10:13 pm »
You won't have any rotting issues with the Hardi Plank.  I replaced many a wood trim piece all around the 8 year old house and the HP never even flinched in that time.  No swelling, no delaminations, no rot. When a trim piece rotted out and leaked onto the back sides of the HP there were no defects in the HP.

Another benefit of the HP density is a more sound building structure and a quieter interior.

Atlplasma

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Re: Lap Siding - James Hardi Cement Board or LP SmartSide?
« Reply #8 on: 17 Feb 2013, 10:24 pm »
Thanks for the input guys. 

A few more details that might be significant:

1)  House is two story, with siding only on the top half (sides and back, front is all brick).  Thus, the siding will NOT be near the ground.  Thus, no worries about termites, lawn mower rash, moisture from ground splashes, etc.
2)  House is in the suburbs of Chicago, so extreme hot and cold temps, and plenty of humidity in the summer.
3)  Install will be done by a professional outfit that I believe are top notch and are experienced with both products. 

My only real concern with the LP Smartside is water getting to the back side and causing the siding to warp, swell, or de-laminate.  There are some posts on the internet about LP failures (but then again, no product is w/o such things).  Is this a concern?

As for the wood peckers, these knuckle head birds are about as dumb as they come.  Neighbors have dryvit and they have the same problem.  I am not sure than anything other than brick will stop these little buggers.  My contractor states that the LP SmartSide is easier to repair, so bonus there I guess.

Proper installation typically includes a drainage plain and moisture barrier. From what I've read, you want to ensure an air gap so drying can occur whenever water intrudes behind the siding, which it will.

decal

Re: Lap Siding - James Hardi Cement Board or LP SmartSide?
« Reply #9 on: 18 Feb 2013, 01:22 am »
If you decide on Hardie products, get the saw blades made to cut cement board. You will ruin your wood blades cutting it.

benguin

Re: Lap Siding - James Hardi Cement Board or LP SmartSide?
« Reply #10 on: 18 Feb 2013, 02:39 am »
John- several very good points in the posts above.   I will say that woodpeckers are usually looking for bugs- except when you get some that are looking for an easy bore out for nesting or are showing off for the lady woodpeckers in the neighborhood.  We've got one or two that like to use them for Morse code signalling.  Some of the neighbors have even had them on aluminum siding- now THAT is noisy.

I don' t think you were looking to cut the Hardi yourself, but I'll add a note to the post above- there are special shears that work very well for cutting cement based planks without the silica dust that a blade makes.  That stuff can be nasty for one's lungs, so either work with a good tail wind and/or appropriate mask.

If your installer works with both, might be worth it to see which he likes better.  I have heard from mine in some differences in dealing with warranty claims, in the event any problems develop.  Using a product he likes might make for a happier crew, as well as him wanting you to like a product he recommended.

Your house sounds similar to ours- we've got a two story with brick around the first floor and are residing the second floor and replacing the 40+ year old cedar board and battens (well, some of it I've replaced over the last 18 years).  I am very interested in one of the above posts that used a mix of composite trim boards with the Hardi, as that seems to be relatively common.  Azek type (PVC) products also get used extensively for that- but have their own +/-.  My sider has been very comfortable with the Hardiboard trim/soffits, so we're going to give that a go.  Has your installer worked with Hardi's Artisan planks?  They've got a nice shadow line on them and are much thicker at 5/8".  The matching trim boards are much thicker as well. (and much like audio equipment- it's an upgrade in $$ as well).

Good luck on the project- would love to hear back on how the experience goes.




Scott F.

Re: Lap Siding - James Hardi Cement Board or LP SmartSide?
« Reply #11 on: 18 Feb 2013, 02:48 am »
As for the wood peckers, these knuckle head birds are about as dumb as they come.  Neighbors have dryvit and they have the same problem.  I am not sure than anything other than brick will stop these little buggers. 

Woodpeckers. This is going to sound really strange but tell your neighbors to go up to Walmart and buy a couple of rubber snakes and throw them onto their roof on the side where the woodpeckers are pecking. Believe it or not it works. Woodpeckers are [apparently] afraid of snakes.

Short story. Years ago when we first moved into our house we had a woodpecker problem. Every Saturday and Sunday morning about 7am the woodpeckers would start hammering on the side of our house where our bedroom was. After a month or so if being woken up by these little parasites, I'd had enough. I grabbed my 12 gauge, wheeled around the side of my house and let loose about three shells (we live in the county). Needless to say, I blew the corner of the house off and missed the bird. After, I hear my neighbor laughing out loud. He told me about the rubber snakes. We went to Walmart that same day and picked up a pair and the woodpeckers haven't been back. It works.

On the Hardie Board, it's great stuff. I sided my barn in it. One thing, wear a resporator when you are cutting it. this is a concrete product that uses silica (as I'm told) in it. Get finely granulated silica in your lungs and you can develop silicosis.