Fiber cement board siding is ideal for installing an attractive exterior for your home that will last for decades. It is designed to appear just like wood siding, but you can customize it with different colors, textures, and profiles.
Fiber cement siding is constructed of a combination of sand (silica), Portland cement, cellulose fibers, and water. You can purchase it as lap siding, sheet and trim boards, either prefinished at the factory or painted with acrylic latex paint. It has a number of advantages: It doesn’t decay or rot, resists water damage, is non-combustible, is very hard, and is termite-resistant.
Professional installation is labor intensive, so you can rack up a construction bill fast. You can save lots of money by installing your fiber cement board siding yourself. Here are some tips to get you started on a new look for your home.
Tools and Safety Items
As always, safety is your first concern. For this job, you’ll need safety goggles. A dusk mask is critical for protecting your lungs when cutting fiber cement. You’ll also need a fiber cement blade if you plan to cut with your circular saw.
Follow proper storage and handling guidelines recommended for Denver Hardie board siding. Make sure the boards are dry before installing. If you install them while they are damp or moist, they might shrink on the ends. Use a sheltered storage space when possible to keep the panels dry before installation.
Use a blade with only four or six teeth when cutting fiber cement with a circular saw. It should have a fan that shoots dust into a bucket. Alternatively, use a saw with a dust collection bag. If you don’t want to deal with dust, you can avoid it by using power shears. Either attach the shares to your drill or use dedicated power shares. Always cut cement board outside. Don’t sweep up any accumulated dust — either use a HEPA vacuum cleaner or choose wet suppression. When cutting, check the wind direction to make sure that dust is blown away by you and other people on the job site.
Nail Fastening Fiber Cement Siding
You can fasten fiber cement with roofing nails, as well as select versions of screws, siding nails, and common nails. You can use electroplated fasteners, but it’s better to use stainless steel or hot-dipped galvanized fasteners. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations, because each firm has a chart of preferred fasteners. If you use the wrong one, you might void the warranty. If attaching to metal framing, use corrosive-resistant screws that are made for fiber cement siding. You can also use pneumatic pins that are resistant to corrosion but check with the pin manufacturer for recommended procedures.
Fiber cement trim comes in a variety of styles and colors. Prepare trim for friezes, rake boards, fascias, and soffits by sticking with industry-standard trim sizes for fiber cement. You can use finish nails for installing fiber cement trim. Remember that the nail must enter the framing by at least an inch. Seal up any holes or cots and the trim before installation. You can use acrylic latex primer or paint.
Fiber Cement Board Installation
The layout of fiber cement panels is easy because they butt together at the edge. Shingles and clapboards should overlap each other by one to 1.5 inches. For example, an 8-inch-wide clapboard with 1.5-inch overlap has an exposure of 6.5 inches. Calculating exposure is important, because it determines how much siding you need to purchase and ultimately how it looks on your house.
When you are ready to install, use a nail gun to add corner strips. At the base of the furring strips, add a kicker strip for water runoff. Drive screws or nails through the siding into the studs. Overlap each row by a minimum of 1.25 inches. At any junction where boards come into contact with another surface, use sealant to close up gaps. Alternatively, you can use a corner trim piece.
Hardie Board Siding for Your Denver Home
Use quality fiber cement boards to ensure your handiwork lasts for decades. The leading brand in cement board siding is James Hardie — over 5 million American homes utilize James Hardie products. Denver Hardie board siding is impact-resistant and strong, yet remains flexible to avoid catering and cracking. It also doesn’t need constant cleaning and maintenance.
James Hardie siding stands up to areas of the country with freezing temperatures and blistering heat, easily handling lots of variation in seasonal temperatures, ice, and snow. It has excellent paint adhesion and moisture resistance. It is much thicker than vinyl siding, which makes it easier to create a wood grain that looks just like the real thing.
Customization is easy as well because you don’t have to be concerned with real wood stains or types of lumber — simply select the color coating or synthetic paint in the color you want and relax. It is more durable than vinyl or cedar siding, freeing you from worrying about the condition and quality of your home year after year. It’s an investment that lasts for many decades. Explore the James Hardie installation website for further instructions and how to properly install James Hardie Siding products.
Are you considering Hardie board siding for your Denver home? Contact us today to learn more and get a consultation scheduled as soon as possible!