I received this comment on James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding from Tom yesterday;
Been reading your blog. I really like it. I know you live in Chappaqua and you are a fan of fiber cement. I would like to hear your opinion about replacing wood clapboard siding with Hardie or building with Hardie in more affluent areas in Westchester, i.e. Chappaqua, Scarsdale etc, where there have been certain ’standards’ in place for years. Is there pushback?
Thanks for the comment Tom.
We have specified Hardie fiber cement siding products on several homes throughout Westchester County and have several more projects on the boards slated for Hardie siding.
For about a year it has been our standard spec for clapboard siding. The cost is comparable to cedar and it comes with a 50 year warranty (cedar doesn’t). It’s available with ColorPlus pre-finished coating in many popular colors. The ColorPlus coating has a 15 year warranty, so essentially its a low maintenance material as well.
The true test with any material is how it looks when its installed, and that is where this product really shines. When specified in the smooth texture (I’m not so keen on fake wood textures), it is virtually impossible to tell it apart from the more “traditional” cedar siding… even close up. The only way to determine that it is not wood, is to give it a knock with your knuckles.
And to top off all the benefits of Hardie siding… it’s green too.
So, with all that going for it, it’s a “no-brainer” for our standard clapboard spec.
The Hardie shingle siding is a bit different. Although I still like it and specify it, my opinion is that the perfect consistency of the shingle spacing gives it away as a fake (if you know what cedar is suppose to look like). Most people are still fooled and all the other benefits listed above keep it on our materials list.
As for acceptance in the affluent towns of Westchester… we have had zero push back. If they cannot see the difference, how can they complain?
Keep an eye out for Hardie’s newest siding product, Artisan architectural grade siding (pictured above). It is currently available in the Atlanta metro region only, but I’m sure it’s heading our way soon. It has all the benefits of their standard siding with a heavier profile and crisper edges. It looks fabulous!