One of the cons homeowners notice of James Hardie siding initially is its’ high installation costs. James Hardie siding has installation demands that rise up this costs, but the outcome is a home with enormous esthetic appeal and siding that is more durable and resilient than vinyl options. For these reasons, it is recommended to hire a professional to install the product.
Inspecting and Preparing the Siding
While style and color choices of fiber cement siding are typically left to the homeowner to decide, professional installers inspect each piece of siding upon arrival to the home for any cracks or sign of damage. Once declared in good condition, each piece will need to be carried (by the edges only to prevent breaking) to a cool, dark place flat and above ground. This is due to the sidings composition of sand, cellulose fibers, and cement.
Removing Old Siding
Unless your home is a new build, you will need to remove the old existing siding from your home before installing James Hardie siding. Typically, regardless of the type of pre-existing siding you have, removal must be completed by prying off each individual piece of siding.
Since the process of installing new siding on any home usually takes more than a day or two, it is suggested to remove siding by section rather than all at once.
Prepping the Walls
Once the old siding is removed, your walls will be exposed. Use plywood, OSB, or foam to sheath and cover the walls. Then cover the sheathed walls with house wrap or felt paper. The house wrap will then be popped with calk lines to indicate the location of the studs in the wall for installation of the new siding.
Cutting James Hardie Siding
The most common way to cut regular siding is with a circular saw, which doesn’t always work best with fiber cement siding. When cutting James Hardie siding, which is harder and more durable than regular siding, it is recommended to use a polycrystalline diamond toothed blade. In order to cut the siding, you’ll need measurements. One imprecise measurement could effect the entire installation, so make sure they are precise.
You’ll need galvanized steel nails to nail fiber cement siding into the walls manually. Each nail will need to penetrate into your studs by at least one inch and stay an inch away from the edge of the siding.
Installing the Siding
You’ll begin the James Hardie install with the trim. Begin with the inside and outside corners of a wall. Your trim whether, wood, vinyl or thicker fiber cement should be at least a fourth thicker than two stacked pieces of siding so caulking can fit. Once the trim is installed, you can move on to the interior portions of the wall.
The start of your siding installation should be at least 6” above the grade level of the house with a 1”– 2” gap between surfaces like decks, steps, or adjacent roofs. If there is any flash above windows and doors, a 1/4” gap should be left. There should be an overlap of 1.25” or more on each row of siding installed.
Hire a Professional James Hardie Installation Contractor in Cincinnati
Homeowners may very well be capable of installing James Hardie siding themselves, especially if they have had experience with siding before or are extremely handy. James Hardie siding is one of the most difficult types of siding to install and the smallest oversights can compromise the install of your siding investment. Consider at least consulting with a professional contractor before attempting installing James Hardie siding on your own home.
EMA Construction has experience installing fiber cement siding for homeowners in Cincinnati, including Liberty Township and West Chester, Ohio, as well as Northern Kentucky and Dayton. Contact us today to schedule a free estimate for your James Hardie siding installation.