Hardie Plank siding is a beautiful option for a high-end exterior remodel project.
Whether you are planning to stay a while or sell your house, Hardie siding can tremendously improve the curb appeal and value of your home.
In addition to great looks, Hardie offers great durability, longevity and low maintenance, so you can enjoy your new siding for years without any headaches.
Find out how much it will cost to install Hardie Plank siding on your house. Here is an depth materials and installation price guide, a long with money saving tips from the siding pros.
How Much Does Hardie Plank Siding Cost?
On average, homeowners across the US, reports spending $7 – $9.5/sq.ft. to install Hardie Plank siding. This estimate includes materials and installation.
Thus, installing Hardie board on an average one storie house of 1,600 sq.ft. without any complex architectural details will cost $11,000-15,200.
This is comparable to the cost of good quality wood siding, such as cedar or redwood.
In addition to the above pricing, you should factor in the cost to remove old siding. This can be quite expensive, especially because in some areas dumpster fees are very high.
Depending on the size of your house and the type of siding you have, expect to spend $1,000-3,500 to remove old siding (vinyl or aluminum). You can try to cut down on these costs if you can remove siding on your own, without hiring a professional contractor.
You can use our siding calculator to accurately estimate the total cost of Hardie Plank siding for your house. You can also calculate other popular siding materials to compare pricing.
Hardie Plank Siding Installation Costs
Depending on the size of your house, number of stories, and architectural details, it will cost $4-7 dollars to install Hardie board (materials excluded).
On average, siding contractors charge $45-65/hr for installation. The price difference largely depends on where the company is located. In high-income areas with a booming housing market, contractors charge very high fees for their work. Conversely, in lower income areas, or contractor labor rates can be 10-15% lower than the national average.
Pricing also depends on the size and reputation of the company. Large companies that have an established brand will charge you a lot more, just because they can. However, paying them extra, may not necessarily result in good quality work. In fact, smaller companies often to a much better job on the installation, because the owner is personally overseeing the quality of work his contractors do.
We recommend getting 3-4 detailed price quotes from local siding companies to get the best deal. It is best to avoid very low bids, because these companies most likely hire undocumented workers, have no insurance or worker’s comp, and do not have excellent references.
While you may save money on the initial install, you may end up loosing a lot more, if your siding is not properly installed and will need to be redone after only a year or two.
One good way to save money on installation is to schedule your project during the slow season (this time varies depending on the region). Summer will typically be the busiest time in most places, with the highest price quotes from contractors.
If you schedule your project during the slow season, you may get 10-15% of normal installation prices and you will have a lot more negotiating power.
Money Saving Tip 1: Select Wider Exposure Boards
Hardie material and installation costs greatly depends on the “exposure” of the boards. Exposure means how much of the board is visible vs how much of it is concealed.
Common exposures for clap board are 4″, 5″ 6″ and 7″ wide. This means that each row will be 4-7″ apart.
It turns out that the wider exposure you have, the less it costs per square foot. This is because each board has a 1.25″ nailing strip, so you end up using less material percentage wise with wider exposure.
Compared to 4 inch exposure, you can save about 9% on the cost of materials, if you go for 7 inch exposure.
Moreover, 7 inch exposure boards are quicker to install as compared to 4 inch ones, because there is about 40% fewer boards to nail. This can also reduce your installation cost by as much as 10-15%
Thus, for optimal savings, you should select 7 inch wide exposure for your install.
However, there is a secret that contractors will never tell you! Because wider exposure boards create a more “premium” look, contractors will actually charge you extra for wider exposure, even though they are spending less time on the install and less money on materials.
So the best way to save money is to ask for wider exposure and to explain that you are aware that this actually costs less!!! Reasonable contractors will be willing to negotiate with you. This way you will get a premium look for a lot less.
Money Saving Tip 2: Choose Factory Painted Boards
Hardie Plank Siding is available in 2 options: factory painted or Pre-primed (unpainted) boards.
Factory painted boards are available in 24 stock colors, which you can view on the James Hardie website. On average, these boards cost $1.9-2.00/sq.ft. Depending on the color you choose you may get a 5-10% mark up in price.
Pre-primed (unpainted boards) cost $1.6/sq.ft. While this is a much lower price than for painted boards, you have to consider the cost of paint and labor to hire a professional contractor. Depending on the paint you choose (ceramic paint is a lot more expensive and longer lasting than regular exterior paint) and the size of your house, this project can cost you $3,000-6,000 or more extra.
Thus, you can save at least a few thousand dollars by choosing the factory painted boards. Another great benefit of these boards is that the color that has been applied at the factory during the manufacturing process will last a long longer and will not fade for many years.
Money Saving Tip 3: Go for House Brand Trim Boards
One of the big expenses in your siding renovation will be the cost of trim board. Brand name Hardie trim boards will be about 20% more expensive than house brand boards made of PVC. The most important thing to look for in trim boards is high density, as these will last the longest and will not rot.
With this consideration in mind, the best products are either AZEK trim board or house brand PVC trim boards. AZEK is often more expensive, because it has high density. However, if you find PVC boards that have similar density, we recommend purchasing them. This way you will be saving money without compromising quality.
However, if you plan to paint your trim boards, it is best to go with Hardie brand trim, because they come pre-painted. This paint will last a lot longer than if you paint it yourself. This way you will also be saving a significant amount of money on the cost to paint the trim.
Cost of Hardie vs other fiber cement siding brands
Many homeowners think that the brand name James Hardie is identical to fiber cement siding. However, this is not the case. Hardie Plank siding is the most famous and oldest fiber cement siding in the US, but there are other brands to consider.
With Hardie Plank siding, you are basically paying a huge premium for the brand that everyone knows. To be fair, you are also paying for top quality siding that has years of research and innovation behind it. Especially when it comes to curb appeal, many designers and builders choose Hardie Plank, because of its superior looks. Moreover, James Hardie siding offers very good warranties, which shows that the company really stands by its product.
That said, there are other high quality fiber cement siding choices out there. Some popular ones are by GAF, and Allura ( formerly a division of CertainTeed). If you go with one of these brands, you can save up to 15% off on the cost of your materials. This can add up to hundreds of dollars in savings!
Keep in mind, that these fiber cement siding alternatives are also manufactured by giant, highly reputable companies. All of them produce a wide range of home improvement materials for roofing, decking, siding, and more.
Hardie Plank Siding vs Wood
Hardie and wood siding are most similar in price, as compared to other siding materials. So which should you choose?
Interestingly, Hardie Plank siding was initially designed to replicate the look of wood clapboard. This makes Hardie ideal for homeowners who love the look of wood, but don’t want regular and costly maintenance.
To keep wood siding looking good and to prevent it from rotting, you will need to stain and/or paint it every 2-5 years. This project will cost you a few thousand dollars every time, if you hire a professional contractor.
Hardie board does not require such regular and costly maintenance. Factory painted boards can last for many years and will hold color very well, before they need to be repainted. If you paint Hadie siding yourself, it can still last over 5 years before you would need to paint it again.
Finally, real wood is susceptible to moisture and rot. So if you live in a coastal area, or other places that get a lot moisture, Hardie would be a more durable, longer-lasting choice. Fiber cement does not easily rot or warp. Unlike wood, it is not susceptible to insect infestation.
We would recommend going for wood siding if your house style calls for a natural unpainted look of wood, and it is something you truly love. Also, if you want to install wood shingle siding as opposed to clapboard, real wood will look better than Hardie Plank.