Should I Choose Fiber Cement James Hardie Siding?
James Hardie has done a remarkable job of appealing to various homeowners and all of their unique desires with Fiber Cement. “But is it for me?” That’s what you’re asking if you are reading this article. I had an enlightening experience several years ago that taught me to be more inquisitive and less assumptive about homeowners.
Time: A few years ago
Location: Milford, MI
I watched the construction of a beautifully designed, architecturally tasteful house each step of the way. As the home was being built, I became more and more eager to see the final product- the builder had designed a true work of art.
Beautiful stone that graced the base of the home, a soaring roof line that gave it a look of prominence, and exquisite exterior molding details were all impressive. But… a disappointing “but” moment brought my satisfaction to a screeching halt!
Everything was coming together beautifully until then- at least, from my point of view.
Coincidentally, my owner happened to know the builder of this home. We put in a phone call to find out whether he was familiar with the James Hardie fiber cement product, to which he replied, “yes, I’m familiar with Hardie but I find vinyl to be much more attractive.”
Honestly, I was quite surprised to hear this. Surely, I could understand why someone would choose vinyl over Hardie; as vinyl is usually the more economical option. However, this homeowner/builder, chose vinyl over Hardie, and it had nothing to do with vinyl being more affordable. This experience was a valuable lesson.
This is not a story intended to disparage the product that I make a living installing… it is a story intended to illustrate that each homeowner is motivated by different desires and perspectives.
So, should you choose Hardie siding? Well….
What kind of buyer are you? What motivates you? Aesthetics? Curb Appeal? Affordability? Warranties? Performance?
Let’s break this down a bit more. Rather than answering the question directly, let’s assess different types of buyers and how Hardie offers solutions for each. I’ll let you determine whether James Hardie fiber cement siding is right for you.
The first time I set eyes on Hardie Lap Siding, I fell in love… I initially thought it was wood, until further education. It’s a fiber cement product!!! I was impressed that something cement based could look so much like wood. I view that as a positive, as wood grains/textures/grooves can be stunning, and usually are.
Their 12” vented soffit is my favorite 12” soffit on the market. I have seen many other types of soffits, but Hardie manufactures my favorite. They have a wide selection to choose from, including multiple shake options, which can be a beautiful accent in your upper dormers or side gables.
Real-wood products require the most upkeep; staining or painting often. On the other hand, Hardie fiber cement does not rot like wood, and requires significantly less upkeep. Additionally, it is not as affected by the sun’s rays like wood is. Hardie stands behind their product, offering a 25-year warranty.
Vinyl is certainly the more economical choice. On average, you will spend less if you choose to install vinyl. You may think, “well, then it’s a slam dunk that vinyl is more financially beneficial.” Even so, that’s where I would stop you. Vinyl does cost less out of pocket…. However, Hardie’s fiber cement tends to increase the overall value of the home; more so than vinyl. Hardie’s curb appeal greatly out-does vinyl, thereby providing home sellers the opportunity to maximize the return on their home when it comes time for selling.
There are other categories that could be covered, but I will let you consider those three points. If you would like to see how fiber cement siding compares with other types of siding, check out the Best Siding for SE Michigan. Please reach our offices when you are ready to outfit your home with Hardie fiber cement upgrades.