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How to Install Hardie Board in 2024 – DIY Guide

siding replacement in process

The exterior of your home is crucial to its durability and appearance. Have you ever considered Hardie Board siding for your house? This increasingly popular siding option could be the perfect solution for you. In this DIY guide, we’ll explore the benefits of Hardie Board siding, how to install Hardie Board, and how to maintain it for lasting results. Get ready to transform your home’s exterior!

Short Summary

  • Fiber cement siding offers exceptional fire resistance, long-lasting durability and paintability.
  • Install Hardie Board Siding using the appropriate safety measures, house wrap and trim details for a polished look.
  • Maintain its longevity with regular cleaning, painting and caulking to ensure optimal protection.

Understanding Fiber Cement Siding

A house with fiber cement siding

Fiber cement siding has become a popular choice for homeowners looking for a durable and visually appealing exterior solution, as an alternative to vinyl siding. James Hardie, the world’s leading manufacturer of fiber cement products, offers an extensive range of siding materials, including their renowned Hardie Board siding.

This innovative product is made from a unique blend of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers, providing exceptional resistance to fire, rot, and pests.

What is Fiber Cement?

Fiber cement is a versatile building material that combines cement, water, sand, and cellulose fibers to create a durable and weather-resistant siding product. James Hardie offers various styles of fiber cement siding, including:

  • Shingle
  • Vertical
  • Panels
  • Trim
  • Soffit panel

These styles make it easy for homeowners to find the perfect match for their home’s exterior design.

James Hardie fiber cement siding, also known as James Hardie siding, is a popular choice among homeowners due to the quality and reputation of the James Hardie brand. Designed to withstand even the harshest weather conditions, from hurricanes and hailstorms to blizzards and heavy rain, it’s no wonder why so many choose this durable option and other James Hardie products.

Advantages of Fiber Cement Siding

Lake Stevens, WA siding replacement finished

One of the most significant advantages of fiber cement siding is its longevity. When properly installed and maintained, James Hardie fiber cement siding can last up to 50 years. This durable siding option offers exceptional fire resistance, helping to inhibit the spread of fire and protect your home.

In addition, fiber cement siding is highly resistant to rot and insects, non-combustible, and can be painted easily, making it a preferred choice among various siding materials. Furthermore, self-installing James Hardie fiber cement siding can result in considerable savings in labor costs.

Preparing for Hardie Board Siding Installation

Siding installation process

Before diving into the installation process, it’s essential to properly prepare the area for your new Hardie Board siding. We need to take off the existing siding. We also have to caulk and flash around windows and doors, plus trimming the sheathing.

You’ll also need the right tools and materials for the job, such as:

  • a workbench
  • circular saw or miter saw
  • dust collector
  • siding gauge
  • fiber cement circular saw blade
  • siding nailer
  • 15 gauge trim nailer

Safety First: Handling Fiber Cement

Safety is paramount when working with fiber cement. Before you begin, make sure you have the appropriate personal protective equipment, such as safety glasses, cut-resistant gloves, and a respirator when cutting and drilling the sheets.

Additionally, use wet cutting and drilling or dust extraction equipment to control dust and minimize the risk of respiratory issues such as silicosis.

Assessing and Prepping the Area

Once you’ve gathered your tools and protective gear, it’s time to assess and prepare the installation area. Start by removing any nails or staples from the existing siding before installing your James Hardie fiber cement siding.

When replacing old siding, always wear a mask, gloves, and a long sleeve shirt, as some older siding materials may contain asbestos, which is toxic.

Installing Hardie Board Siding: Step-by-Step Guide

A person measuring and cutting siding panels

Now that your area is prepped and you’ve taken the necessary safety precautions, it’s time to begin the installation process. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through each phase of the Hardie Board siding installation, including:

  1. Applying house wrap
  2. Marking studs
  3. Measuring and cutting siding panels
  4. Installing siding courses
  5. Installing corner trim

Applying House Wrap and Marking Studs

First, you’ll need to apply house wrap to create a weather barrier and protect your home from moisture. Once the house wrap is in place, use a stud finder to locate and mark the studs on your wall sheathing. This will ensure accurate nailing and proper support for your siding panels.

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Cutting and Measuring Siding Panels

Next measure your siding panels and cut them to size using a circular saw or miter saw with a diamond blade designed for cutting fiber cement. Be sure to wear a dust mask and follow safety precautions when cutting the siding panels.

To fit the siding around windows and doors, follow these steps:

  1. Measure from the chalk line to the top of the siding.
  2. Add 1/8 inch to the measurement.
  3. Notch the siding accordingly, leaving a 1/8-inch gap between the siding and the window trim and sill.

Installing Siding Courses and Staggering Joints

With your siding panels cut to size, it’s time to install them. Begin by installing the first row of siding, ensuring the panels are level and properly aligned. As you install each subsequent row, stagger the joints to create a professional and visually appealing finish.

Remember to follow the recommended nailing guidelines for fiber cement siding to ensure a secure and lasting installation.

Perfecting Trim and Corner Details


A polished look is achieved by properly installing trim and corner details. In this section, we’ll focus on how to install window and door trim, as well as corner trim, for a seamless and professional finish.

Installing window and door trim is a relatively simple process. Start by measuring the opening and cutting.

Installing Window and Door Trim

Installing trim around windows and doors not only enhances the appearance of your siding, but also provides a clean, finished look. To install window and door trim, first, affix a Hardie Tab to the backside of the pre-cut Hardie Trim board, allowing it to extend beyond the edge of the trim by one inch. Secure the trim using stainless steel finish nails.

Don’t forget to apply caulk around windows, doors, eaves, and trim edges to prevent moisture from entering the wall cavity.

Working with Corner Trim

Corner trim allows for a smooth transition between siding panels. To install corner trim, follow these steps:

  1. Position one board flush with the corner of the house.
  2. Overlap it with another board on the perpendicular corner.
  3. This creates a seamless and visually appealing transition between siding panels, adding the finishing touch to your Hardie Board siding installation.

Installing corner trim is a simple process that can be completed in a few steps. Start.

Avoiding Common Mistakes in Hardie Board Installation

Siding panels in process of installation

To ensure your Hardie Board siding installation is a success, it’s important to be aware of common mistakes and how to avoid them. In this section, we’ll explore incorrect nailing techniques and improper clearances, as well as their potential consequences and solutions.

Incorrect nailing techniques can lead to siding that is not properly secured to the wall, potentially due to the misuse of siding nails or improper trim nails usage.

Nailing Techniques

Proper nailing techniques are crucial for a successful Hardie Board installation. Utilize stainless steel or hot-dipped galvanized nails and install them at the appropriate depth and spacing to ensure the siding is securely fastened to the studs.

For HardiePlank lap siding, also known as hardie plank, blind nailing is the recommended method.

Ensuring Proper Clearances

Maintaining appropriate clearances between siding and other surfaces is essential for preventing water damage and deterioration. James Hardie suggests a 6” ground clearance for Hardie board.

Be sure to follow these guidelines and maintain proper clearances around windows, doors, and other surfaces to protect your home’s exterior.

Tips for Maintaining Your Hardie Board Siding

 Hardie Board siding installed on a house

After your Hardie Board siding is installed, regular maintenance is key to preserving its appearance and longevity. In this section, we’ll offer tips on cleaning, painting, and caulking to keep your siding looking its best.

Cleaning your siding is the first step in maintaining its appearance. Use a soft brush.

Cleaning and Maintenance

To maintain the appearance of your Hardie Board siding, wash down the exterior surfaces every 6 to 12 months with a garden hose to remove dirt and debris. Use a mild biodegradable soap and a soft brush or cloth for cleaning.

Avoid power washers, acid, or high-pressure washing, which can damage the fiber cement surface.

Painting and Caulking

Painting and caulking are essential for protecting your Hardie Board siding from moisture and ensuring its longevity. Use 100% acrylic topcoats for painting and permanently flexible caulks and sealants when caulking your siding.

By following these tips, you’ll ensure your Hardie Board siding remains in top condition for years to come.


In conclusion, Hardie Board siding is an excellent choice for homeowners seeking a durable, aesthetically pleasing, and low-maintenance siding option. By following the steps KV construction LLC outlined in this DIY guide, you can successfully install and maintain your Hardie Board siding, ensuring your home’s exterior remains protected and visually appealing for years to come. So, are you ready to transform your home with Hardie Board siding?

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you nail or screw Hardie board?

When installing Hardie board, it’s best to use either stainless steel or hot-dipped galvanized nails. Hand nailing or using a pneumatic nailer is acceptable, but blind nailing should be used at the top and face nailing at the bottom to ensure fasteners are properly hidden.

Can you install Hardie board yourself?

It is not recommended to attempt installing Hardie board yourself, as it typically requires a team of contractors and is not suited for one-person jobs.

What goes under HardiePlank siding?

HardiePlank lap siding should be installed over braced wood or steel studs spaced a maximum of 24” o.c. or directly to minimum 7/16” thick OSB sheathing.

You can either make your own starter strip for it or purchase a prefabricated third-party starter strip.

Do you nail the bottom of Hardie siding?

For Hardie siding, it’s recommended to use stainless steel or hot-dipped galvanized nails and nail by hand or using a pneumatic nailer. Face nailing should be used at the bottom and blind nailing at the top.

What type of nails should I use for Hardie Board siding?

For optimal performance, stainless steel or hot-dipped galvanized nails are recommended for Hardie Board siding.