James Hardie is a well-recognized brand name fiber cement siding that boasts exceptional durability and curb appeal. Hardie Board siding also has a high ROI and can boost your home’s resale value.
The average cost to reside a 1,500 sq.ft. house with Hardie siding is $12,000-18,000. In lower income areas, homeowners may pay less to install Hardie Board siding, around $10,000-14,500 for the same size house.
Many homeowners and architects prefer houses that are sided with James Hardie compared to cheaper siding alternatives. This is another reason why so many people choose to replace their old siding with Hardie Board and why its the preferred siding for many upscale new construction homes.
We will take a close look at the materials and installation costs to put up Hardie siding, how much you can expect to spend on repainting and maintenance costs, pros and cons of Hardie siding and your expected return on investment (ROI).
If you are ready to install new siding on your house, contact your local verified siding pros for FREE siding replacement estimates.
What is the difference between Hardie Board and HardiePlank Siding?
James Hardie is a cement board siding, that is made of a mixture of wood pulp, sand, cellulose fibers, cement and other organic materials, which are molded to replicate the authentic look of wood siding. As such, fiber cement siding is extremely durable, low maintenance, impervious to insects, rot and fire damage. Essentially, it offers homeowners the look and feel of real wood (or close enough to it), without the high cost and the hassle of taking care of real wood siding.
Did you know? The terms Hardie Board and HardiePlank siding are used interchangeably and mean the same thing. Moreover, many people make the mistake of equating Hardie Board siding with fiber cement siding. However, this is not the case. There are a number of fiber cement, or cement board siding manufacturers and James Hardie happens to be the most famous one.
James Hardie makes exclusively fiber cement siding and has a number of product lines:
1. HardiePlank (board) siding – this is a lap siding that comes in 6 different product options.
2. HardiePanel siding – this is a vertical siding that comes in 4 different product options
3. HardieShingle siding – this is a shingle siding that comes in 4 product options
Average Hardie Board siding cost
Hardie Board siding costs $7 to 13 per square foot installed. This price includes all materials and installation. Putting up Hardie Board on a 2,000 sq.ft. house will cost $14,000-26,000.
The cost is notably higher compared to other types of siding, since James Hardie is considered a premium quality product among other fiber cement and engineered wood siding options.
Factors like accessibility, location and job complexity can greatly increase or lower your total siding installation cost.
Moreover, depending on your desired siding board exposure and color, material prices for James Hardie will vary significantly. Also, keep in mind that you need to include the cost of trim, be it wood or PVC / AZEK trim board. We will discuss trim prices below.
Lastly, siding removal and disposal will add $1,500-2,500 to the total cost, depending on the size of the house and the type of old siding you have.
You can use our dedicated Hardie Siding Calculator to estimate how much it will cost to install James Hardie on your home.
Compare cost of Hardie Board siding vs. vinyl vs. fiber cement vs. wood
Lets take a closer look at how the cost of Hardie Board siding stacks up against its competitors: vinyl siding, other popular fiber cement siding, such as Allura, engineered wood siding, real cedar wood siding, and stucco.
Estimated prices include both materials and installation.
|Material||Cost per sq.ft.||Cost to install 2,000 sq.ft.|
|Hardie Board siding||$7 – 13||$14,000 – 26,000|
|Fiber Cement siding||$4.5 – 9||$9,000 – 18,000|
|Vinyl Siding||$2.5 – 5.5||$5,000 – 11,000|
|Aluminum Siding||$2.75 – 4.5||$5,500 – 9,000|
|Engineered Wood Siding||$6.5 – 11||$13,000 – 22,000|
|Cedar Wood Siding (mid grade)||$6 – 7.5||$12,000 -14,000|
|Cedar Wood Siding (top grade)||$8 – 15||$16,000 – 30,000|
|Stucco||$7.5 – 11.5||$15,000 – 23,000|
|Stone Veneer||$15 – 30||$30,000 – 60,000|
HardiePlank cost for materials
Overall, Hardie siding materials cost $3.75-4.5 per square foot. This includes the cost of the siding boards, stainless steel nails, trim (at least $1 -2 per 1 square foot of the job size), house wrap (underlayment/vapor barrier) and any other materials needed for the install.
When choosing a Hardie siding for your house, keep in mind that the cost of materials is based on “exposure”, or how much of each board is visible, and how much is concealed.
Among HardiePlank lap siding options, there is clap board exposure that is 4″, 5″ 6″ and 7″ inches wide. This means that each row is 4-7″ inches apart vertically. The most popular exposures are 4″ and 5″. 6″ and 7″ exposure boards are considered “premium” and cost more.
The bigger exposure you have, the lower is your siding cost per square foot. The difference comes from the fact that each board has a 1.25″ nailing strip, so the wider the exposure, the less siding 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 siding installed on your house, you should negotiate with your installer to avoid paying a premium price for wider exposure.
Hardie Board siding 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.|
Cost of unpainted vs factory painted Hardie Board
Siding cost also varies depending on how the boards are painted. There are two options:
- Pre – primed: you can paint Hardie siding any color you want after the installation is complete.
- Factory – painted (initially more expensive): you pre-order the siding color you want. There are 24 stock colors to choose from. There are pros and cons to both pre-primed and factory painted Hardie Plank lap siding. We will discuss these separately, as there is no clear answer to which is better.
Cost of pre-primed (unpainted) HardiePlank
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.
On average, you can expect to pay $1.5-2.75 per square foot to paint your fiber cement siding. So if your house has 1,800 sq.ft of siding, you will spend $2,700-4,950
Keep in mind that the cost of painting your house will vary greatly depending on local labor rates for painting pros, who you hire for the job, and what type of paint you use. For example, ceramic paint costs much more than regular exterior paint, but will last much longer.
James Hardie recommends painting its siding boards with 100% acrylic exterior paint, such as the Benjamin Moore Exterior SuperSpec.
|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|
Cost of Painted Hardie Plank Siding
Prices below are for Hardie Plank siding LIGHT MIST color, and may be different for other colors. Because there is a total of 24 stock colors it would take forever to create a complete database of Hardie prices for all colors. Basically your cost may differ by 5-6% 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 Cost Per Square Foot
As you can see from the two tables above, Hardie plank costs about $1.60 per square foot for pre-primed (unpainted) boards, and $1.90 per square foot for factory painted siding.
An average house requires about 22.5 squares of siding boards, which costs $3,600 – $4,275.
This siding cost estimate is based on data from our Siding Calculator (which you can use to estimate your costs for installing Hardie as well as other siding materials). While there is about 7-10% waste factor on materials, we do not subtract the area of windows, so in the end it all works out to be about equal.
Prices do not include sales tax which can range in US from 0% in NH to 9.45% in Tennessee.
Labor Cost to Install HardiePlank Siding
When it comes to the cost of siding installation most pros charge 2 to 3 times the cost of materials for a particular job. Thus, a quote from a siding pro includes all materials, labor, overhead and profit in one final price.
So in our example of a 22.5 square job (2,250 sq.ft house) the materials cost $9,000 (2,250 x $4 per square foot). Given this figure, a siding pro will quote you the total installation price between $18,000 – 27,000.
Keep in mind that your location can have a big impact on labor charges. Depending on where you live, local siding installers will have various labor rates. High income areas such as big cities in the Northeast and California will have the highest contractor fees.
On the other hand, Southern states have some of the lowest labor rates in the country. The difference in the final siding installation cost can vary by as much as 20% depending on your location.
Moreover, often contractors charge more to install premium brand name siding, such as James Hardie. This premium can be 5-10%
Other factors that may increase the overall installation cost are:
– Number of windows and doors (installing siding around them requires extra work)
– Configuration of the house (if your home has many gables, corners, or irregular shapes, this will increase the price)
– Number of stories (second/third floor siding installations are more time consuming and complex, and will incur extra charges)
– Overall complexity of the job
– Size of your house (the bigger the job the more it will cost. keep in mind that very small jobs under less than 1500 sq.ft. may actually incur a premium charge because the contractor has to spend time setting up and cleaning in the same as as for a bigger job)
– Additional reinforcement of the house structure to accommodate the heavy weight of Hardie Board siding.
Siding Installation Considerations
Hardie, as well as similar composite and wood siding materials are installed over a 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 the roof line.
Pro Tip: if you plan to install James Hardie or other types of fiber cement siding, its best to install a weather resistant barrier under the siding. This barrier will ensure that moisture will not penetrate under the siding, causing rot and mold. Installing a weather resistant barrier is particularly important if you live in states that have high humidity throughout the year and a lot of rains on a regular basis.
Moreover, if your want the installation to be done correctly, its best to hire a siding pro who has extensive experience with Hardie.
Every siding material has different installation specs and nuances that a contractor needs to know and follow. Moreover, even different brands in the same siding category will have certain variations in how they are installed.
Here is a quick siding installation video:
Siding trim board costs
Besides the siding itself, we also need to include the following items in our “price quote”. They are:
1) House wrap
2) Trim boards
The most expensive item on this list is the siding trim board, if you go for quality products such as AZEK / PVC. While this trim material costs more, it is the most durable and longest lasting option.
I do not recommend using primed / pressure treated wood trim, as it will rot in just few short years and you will be repairing / replacing sections all around your house.
Vinyl siding trim is also not as durable and good looking, but costs a lot less than PVC, so if you are trying to save money, it can be a good option.
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.
Estimate how much siding trim you 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.
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.
Cost of AZEK vs PVC trim board
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.
PVC trim board prices at Harvey BP Supply
|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 = $1,016.01
1×4 board 20 * $21.67 = $433.40
Hardie Siding Pros and Cons
Despite cheaper alternatives, HardiePlank still remains one of the most popular siding materials among homeowners who are looking for premium quality siding with exceptional curb appeal. Here are Hardie’s main advantages:
– Rot and termite resistant
– 100% fire resistant
– Long lasting: you can easily get 25-35 years of service life
– Superior warranty: most Hardie products come with a limited 50 year warranty
– Designer wood grain appearance: masterfully replicates the look of cedar shingles and shakes
– Resists damage from hail and storms
– Multitude of color options: most color options come with a 15 year limited warranty
– Offers a very high ROI – most re-siding projects that use James Hardie siding recoup 78-85% of the initial cost
– Ideal siding for upscale homes
– Green building material
Some disadvantages to consider
Here are some cons to keep in mind when you are researching whether Hardie would work for your house.
– At least 2 – 2.5 times more expensive than quality vinyl siding
– Difficult to find qualified installers
– Installation is longer and more challenging than other types of siding
– Heavy weight. Hardie siding boards typically weigh about 300 lbs, compared to 60-70 lbs for vinyl siding. This extra weight may mean that your house structure will require additional reinforcement. This can add an additional 10-15% to the total siding replacement cost.
– High maintenance: needs to be repainted about 12-16 years.
How You Can Save Money On New Siding
If you find that James Hardie is 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 SmartSide, that cost as much as 25% less than Hardie. 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!
Where To Get Siding Price Quotes
If you are planning to hire a pro to install new siding, you should get 3-4 free quotes from local siding pros.
IF you want to see whether or not you are getting a fair price quote, or if you are considering doing the install yourself, you can visit local siding suppliers in your area.
I get most of my material quotes from local suppliers in the Boston, MA area. Closest to me is Harvey BP in Waltham, MA. Harvey is actually more of an expensive materials supplier AND their stores 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.
Final Verdict: Is Hardie Siding Right For You?
With many attractive siding options out there, how can you figure out whether James Hardie siding is the right choice for your home? Our siding pros share some points that can help you make a smart decision on whether to install HardiePlank or go for a cheaper siding:
1. You love the look of Hardie, and other siding brands you have considered don’t look as good.
2. You live in an upscale neighborhood where installing vinyl siding is not common and will make your house look cheap
3. You plan to stay in your home for at least the next 7-10 years and want to enjoy a high-quality siding
4. You have an expensive house that you are looking to sell and are replacing siding to get the highest ROI
5. You want a siding material with a long proven track record of durability and longevity.
6. You are willing to spend $5,000-10,000 extra on Hardie, compared to more affordable siding materials.
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