HARDIE Siding Prices: Find Out How You Can Save

Modern-Vinyl-SidingIf you are planning to install new house siding you will have about 4 choices, and the costs will vary greatly.

Here we will review in detail how much it costs to buy and install James Hardie Siding.

Many people dislike vinyl siding because “it looks cheap” or because “it looks fake”, but there aren’t many alternatives. There is basically Wood or Composite / Fiber Cement board, such as Hardie Plank siding.

I want to concentrate on the “cheap” aspect of vinyl in contrast with the cost of Hardie or Wood. The fact is that vinyl IS cheap compared to both Composite and Wood siding – about half the price of the latter two.

You can see our detailed review of vinyl siding prices here.

 Cost to Install HARDIE Siding
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Let’s take a look at REAL Hardie Siding Prices

There are different ways to calculate Hardie siding prices. The same goes for other similar fiber cement materials. The calculations are all based on “exposure”, or how much of each board is visible, and how much is concealed.

You can have your clap board exposure to be 4″, 5″ 6″ and 7″ wide, meaning each row is 4-7″ apart vertically. The most popular exposures are 4 and 5″, while 6 and 7″ are more “premium” type.

Hardie siding prices also vary depending on how the boards are painted. There are two options:

  1. Pre – Primed: you can paint it any color you want after the installation is complete.
  2. Factory – painted (initially more expensive) : you pre-order the color you want and you  have a choice of 24 stock colors. There are pros and cons to both pre-primed and factory painted Hardie Plank Lap Siding, and we will discuss these separately, as there is no clear answer to which is better.


Hardie Board Dimensions:

The planks come in 12 foot length, and to accommodate for different exposures, each board can be different width. See the table below:

Board Size (width) Board Exposure Board Length Pisces / Square (100 sq. ft.)
5.25″ 4″ 12 feet 25 pcs.
6.25″ 5″ 12 feet 20 pcs.
7.25″ 6″ 12 feet 17 pcs.
8.25″ 7″ 12 feet 14 pcs.

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Depending on your desired exposure and color, the prices for materials will vary significantly, but it is more or less a straight line mathematical progression.

Also, keep in mind that when it comes to Hardie siding prices, you need to account for the cost of trim, be it wood or PVC / AZEK trim board. We will discuss these trim costs below.

Cost of pre primed (unpainted) Hardie Plank.

As you will see in the table below, the bigger exposure you have, the less it costs per square foot. The cost difference comes from the fact that each board has a 1.25″ nailing strip, so the wider the exposure the less material you actually use (percentage wise).

At the same time, contractors usually charge MORE for wider exposure siding, because it’s considered “premium”. This makes no sense at all, so if you plan to have Hardie installed on your house, you should NOT pay more for wider exposure.

Board Exposure Cost per 12′ Board Cost / Square (100 sq. ft.)
4″ exposure $6.62 $165 / square
5″ exposure $7.98 $159.60 / square
6″ exposure $9.24 $157.08 / square
7″ exposure $10.51 $147.14 / square

Note that these prices are for pre-primed (unpainted) boards, so you also need to account for hiring a painter to give your siding a finished look.

The cost of painting your house also varies greatly depending on who you hire for the job, and what type of paint you use. For example, ceramic paint will cost much more than regular exterior paint, but will last much longer. You can use our Painting Calculator to estimate the cost of painting your home.

Cost of Painted Hardie Plank Siding

Prices below are for Hardie LIGHT MIST color, and may be different for other colors. Because there is total of 24 stock colors it would take forever to create a complete database of all color prices. Basically your cost may differ by 5-10% up or down, depending on the color and supplier.

Board Exposure Cost per 12′ Board Cost / Square (100 sq. ft.)
4″ exposure $8.11 $202.75 / square
5″ exposure $9.64 $192.80 / square
6″ exposure $11.20 $190.40 / square
7″ exposure $13.27 $185.78 / square

We are once again looking at the same pricing pattern – the wider the exposure, the less materials cost.

Hardie Siding Prices Per Square

As you can see from the two tables above, Hardie plank costs about $160 / square for pre-primed (unpainted) boards, and $190 / square for Factory Painted material.

Hardie Plank Siding Material Prices

Hardie Plank Siding Material Prices

An average house will require about 22.5 squares of materials, so you will need to spend between $3600 and $4275 just for siding.

We base these figures on data from our siding cost calculator (which you can use to estimate your costs of installing Hardie Siding). While there is about 7% waste factor on materials, we do not subtract area of windows, so in the end it all works out to be about equal.

Hardie siding prices do not include sales tax which can range in US from 0% in NH to 9.45% in Tennessee.

Hardie Siding Prices for Installation

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We will discuss installation prices in a separate post, but here I quickly want to offer a step by step break down of the installation process. This will give you a better understanding of material prices.

Hardie plank, as well as similar composite and wood materials are installed over flat wall surface with house wrap / moisture barrier installed between siding and house exterior walls.

Before siding is nailed on, all trim must be installed on corners, around windows and doors, and optionally at the bottom and under roof line.

Here is a quick installation overview video:


PVC / AZEK trim board costs

AZEK Trim BoardsBesides the siding itself, we also need to include the following items in our “price quote”. They are:

1) House Wrap
2) Trim boards
3) Nails
4) Caulking

The most expensive item would be the trim board, such as AZEK / PVC, but it is also the best and longest lasting option.

I do not recommend using primed / pressure treated wood, as it will rot in just few short years and you will be repairing / replacing sections all around your house.

PVC trim boards should be 6×1 on all corners, at the bottom, top, and around doors. You can use less expensive 4×1 trim boards around windows.

Figuring out how much trim you will need:

In our 22.5 square house we assume to have:

2 entrance doors
20 total windows
1 garage door
4 outside corners

In our hypothetical example the house has 18 feet of vertical wall to receive siding, and the ground dimensions are 50 x 25 which equals to 22.5 squares of exterior wall.

We will need 50 + 25 x 4 = 300 linear feet of horizontal 1×6 trim.
For corners we will need 18′ x 8 (2 boards for each corner) = 144 feet of 1×6 board.
For doors we will need 18 ln ft each door – 36 feet total.

For windows we will need about 15 feet of 1×4 trim board. 20 widows total x 15 feet each = 300 feet of board.

But the devil is in details!

To minimize waste we want to use appropriate size board. For example, PVC trim comes in 12, 16 and 18 feet lengths. So for doors we can use 18 boards and have almost no waste.

For windows we should use 16 foot boards (assuming each window is about 5 x 2.5′). So we will need twenty 16′ boards to trim all windows.

On vertical corners we can, in most cases, get away using 18′ boards and we will need 8 of these.

On horizontal runs, we can butt-join different lengths, so waste is not so much a factor.

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Total PVC trim materials list:

1×6″ Trim: We will need a total of 17 boards for horizontal runs + 8 boards for vertical runs + 2 boards for doors = 27 boards.

1×4″ Trim: As mentioned above, we will need one 16′ board per 5×2.5′ window. If there are 20 windows, we will need 20 pcs. of 1×4 board.

PVC / AZEK Trim Costs:

First of all let me mention that AZEK will be a little more expensive than store brand PVC trim.

What you should look for is board density. If both the store brand and AZEK have similar density, go for the cheaper option.

BUT, in Home Depot they sell a line of really light PVC board (it is porous and has a lot of air inside), so in this case, go for AZEK or another more dense option.

Harvey BP store brand PVC trim board prices:

Harvey 1×6 PVC Trim Board – 18′ long Harvey 1×4 PVC Trim Board – 18′ long
$37.63 each $21.67 each

So for our example, the cost of PVC trim will be:

1×6 board 27 * $37.63 = $1016.01
1×4 board 20 * $21.67 = $433.40
Total $1449

Source of Hardie Siding Prices or Where to Buy:

I get most of my material quotes from local building material suppliers. Closest to me is Harvey BP in Waltham, MA. Harvey is actually more of an expensive materials supplier AND they are mainly in the North East US (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and New York).

You can try ABC supply, Beacon supply, Alside supply, as well as smaller lumber yards and local suppliers of building materials, roofing and siding.

Savings Tips:

  • If you find Hardie siding to be very expensive – the fact is, it is expensive because it’s a well established brand and is often a de-facto product for architects and builders! There are other composite siding materials (such as LP SmartSiding) that cost 25-40% less than Hardie, because they are not as well known, and need to keep prices down, to penetrate the market. However, these materials are very similar in quality (if not better in some cases), and are worth considering!
  • If you plan to have Hardie or other composite siding installed on your house, here are 7 ways to save big bucks on Hardie Siding – get best price on materials and professional installation by following these 7 tips!

Good luck with your project. In my next article I will talk about Hardie installation cost.

Please let me know in comments if this was useful.

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Published/updated on: September 17, 2015

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13 thoughts on “HARDIE Siding Prices: Find Out How You Can Save

    1. Leo B Post author

      You can also use Jig-Saw – you will just go through a lot of blades, if you do a lot of cutting, because cement in Hardie planks will dull your blades fast.

      However, cutting outlets with jig-saw is a lot cleaner and safer that using angle grinder with diamond blade.

      Good luck

  1. Stephan King

    Thank you for sharing this information. Although I am on the west coast this is excellent to use as a checklist to make certain I have covered all the bases.
    The only improvement I would suggest is a note section to cover other circumstances.
    Electrical penetrations
    Flashing requirements
    Window sill trim below window.
    Great job putting it together

  2. John Klein

    I was with you until the calculation of lineal feet required.

    “We will need 50 + 25 x 4 = 300 linear feet ”

    Why x4? I would think it would be x2.

    1. Leo B Post author


      x4 because for hardie siding, contractors usually install trim on top and bottom – neither is necessary, but looks good. Also x4 presumes that your roof is either flat or HIP, meaning your siding/roof line is flat. If roof is Gable, than you need to account for roof angles on top.

      Hardie Siding Trim

      If you want horizontal trim just at the bottom – then it (Width + Length) x 2

      Again – neither top or bottom horizontal trim is necessary. Also some contractors do bottom trim using 2 pieces – 1×6 and 1×3. 1×6 is installed flat to the wall, and 1×3 is installed “almost” perpendicular – it’s cut at an angle on 1 side to give it a little slope down … something like this:

      PVC trim for siding

  3. Hemachandran Krishnan

    When you change the siding, there is always work done on the windows, either repairing or replacing the wood or the window itself. How does that work with the replacement of the siding?

    1. Leo B Post author


      Changing a window does not affect Siding work in any way, unless you have new construction windows.

      Repairing the wood around windows is only needed if that wood is rotten. In most cases only the window sill is rotted, and that’s not often.

      If wood is rotted, it’s usually repaired with wood or PVC boards. If the job is vinyl siding then what is also capped with sheet metal.

      If you’re replacing vinyl with Hardie, then you should probably also replace outside window frame with PVC, but that’s not necessary.

      Basically, this is on case-by-case basis and not always. However if this work needs to be done it’s usually extra money per window.

      I hope this helps. If you have other questions don’t hesitate to ask.

      Sincerely, Leo

  4. Phillip Shemansky

    This information helped tremendously. If you could refer me to a good supplier please do so.
    Phillip Shemansky

    1. Leo B Post author


      I listed suppliers at the end of this guide. You can buy it from big national suppliers or even local lumber yards. I do recommend to avoid Harvey’s because they are 15-20% more expensive that many other suppliers – I have no idea why homeowners and contractors keep paying these crazy premiums for something you can buys elsewhere a lot cheaper!

      On an average house you can save over $1000 by just going with less expensive supplier! 😀

      BTW, here is our 7 tips to save on Hardie Siding

      Good Luck!