We invest time and money in home improvement projects for various reasons. Some homeowners focus on needed repairs after years of use. Others work to increase the value of their home or enhance the comfort. Depending on budget, both repairs and improvements are the goals.
Whatever the reason, you always want to choose products that are durable and high-quality for any project. It’s also important to remember that no structural component, no matter how well made, will provide the reliability and quality a homeowner expects unless it is properly installed.
What Is a James Hardie Preferred Contractor?
James Hardie prides itself on the superiority of its fiber cement products. They continue to raise the bar for the rest of the industry, but even the best products can fail when they are not properly installed by trained and knowledgeable professionals. That’s why the company stresses the importance of hiring only Certified James Hardie contractors to install their siding.
James Hardie wants homeowners to feel confident that their products will be installed properly to get the ultimate performance. That’s why they developed their James Hardie Contractor Alliance Program. This program is designed to match homeowners with trained James Hardie installers. These Hardie board contractors are trained and available to help you meet your needs for siding repair and replacement.
James Hardie installation must be done properly to get optimal performance from your siding products for years to come. Choosing a certified James Hardie board installer ensures your installation will be done to standards set by the James Hardie company. It will give you peace of mind to know your siding installation has been done right the first time, ensuring your happiness and satisfaction with the long-term results.
Only the top Hardie siding contractors qualify as James Hardie Preferred Contractors. By hiring one of them, you get their amazing warranty coverage.
The value of a comprehensive warranty from a company as trustworthy as James Hardie can’t be underestimated. Rest with confidence you can enjoy your beautiful siding while knowing that it’s backed by a 30-year warranty.
How Contractors Qualify for the James Hardie Contractor Alliance Program
To receive the James Hardie preferred status, contractors must have a proven track record of quality results, satisfied customers, and demonstrate high standards. Elite Preferred Contractor status is a measure of efficiency and standardized business processes. It is the highest level awarded to any contractor.
The James Hardie Contractor Alliance Program requires contractors to:
- Receive regular and random installation audits by James Hardie
- Have a satisfactory record with the BBB or other accredited agencies
- Be professionally licensed and fully bonded
- Maintain liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 per occurrence
- Have worker’s compensation insurance
- Comply with James Hardie Installation Best Practices
- Successfully pass background checks
- Implement a professional sales approach
- Maintain a satisfactory credit report
After getting siding installed by a certified James Hardie siding installater, a third-party surveying service is used to assess all contractors by soliciting input from customers. This feedback assists in the selection of contractors for the James Hardie preferred status.
All of these affiliations and credentials are important so that James Hardie certified installers can provide you with the highest level of confidence, professionalism, and customer service.
Issues Resulting from Improper Installation
James Hardie fiber cement siding is a top-quality product that can last for many years. The vast majority of complaints about their fiber cement siding are due to improper installation. If Hardie board is installed according to the manufacturer specifications, it’s a dependable, aesthetic, and long-lasting siding product
Most siding installation companies are not a James Hardie certified contractor. They aren’t trained or experienced enough to install James Hardie fiber cement siding the right way. Issues could result in deteriorated performance, premature damage. or a voided product warranty if not properly installed.
Fiber cement siding is considered a premium siding product. Fiber cement doesn’t install like siding made from vinyl, wood, or other materials. It has its own set of unique installation guidelines which are very different from other siding materials.
Hardie board installation issues are a huge problem because if installed the wrong way. Make sure you hire a certified James Hardie contractor to get your siding installed right the first time. If not, your siding may be subject to premature damage and deterioration. Other issues that could result from improper installation include:
- Improper Clearances. The siding must be installed with the appropriate clearance spaces—from roofs, decks, driveways, steps, gutters, and flashing. When installing fiber cement you must comply with the manufacturer’s recommended clearances. There should be a space between the bottom, the Hardie siding, and the cement.
Not following the recommended clearances can cause Hardie siding installation problems like water damage. Water or snow will sit against the siding and eventually find its way in because of the flaws of installation. This will cause a long list of moisture problems with Hardie siding. These problems can be easily avoided with proper installation from a James Hardie certified installer.
- Improper Attachment. Nails should be either blind-nailed or face-nailed, but not a combination of both. Nails must be a certain size and driven in straight.
- Improper Caulking. Caulking should not be applied to James Hardie ColorPlus siding. A Hardie siding contractor understands that good building practices include sealing the joints to prevent moisture from penetrating the wall cavity. Caulking around eaves and trim edges ensures that leaks will not occur. Contractors must allow the caulk to dry to prevent paint from cracking over the caulked joint.
- Improper Cutting. Fiber cement siding requires special types of saws to cut the boards. A James Hardie certified installer will have the right tools to provide a quality siding installation.
- Improper Flashing. Flashing installed incorrectly or siding installed without the proper gap between the siding and flashing will result in water damage to both and a voided warranty.
For these reasons, choosing a certified James Hardie contractor is important. These top-rated contractors know how to properly implement each step of the siding installation process using James Hardie’s recommended techniques and tools.
Why Fiber Cement Siding Is Superior to Other Materials
Choosing a siding material should never be taken lightly. After all, new siding will not only give your home a beautiful, finished look that increases its value and curb appeal, but more importantly, it also acts as a protective barrier against the elements.
When deciding which type of siding is best for you, you need to weigh factors like appearance, durability, maintenance, and cost. Vinyl, wood, or brick are decent choices, but fiber cement is another alternative that offers many advantages over the other materials. Homeowners across the country choose fiber cement siding for several reasons.
1. Durability. Fiber cement siding is five times thicker than vinyl siding. It won’t crack, warp or shrink. James Harding siding is also rot and insect resistant, saving homeowners time and money on maintenance. Fiber cement siding can resist damage from strong winds, hailstorms, high humidity, and freezing conditions.
James Hardie products are Engineered for Climate®. After studying how different climates affect siding, James Hardie developed the HardieZone system to ensure that you have the right product for your climate.
Even the changes in seasons can negatively impact other siding materials like vinyl and wood. Fiber cement does not expand and contract, so its surface remains smooth and beautiful for decades.
2. Performance. James Hardie Fiber Cement siding is resistant to fire, whereas vinyl will melt and wood will be quickly consumed. Fiber cement siding is non-combustible, so it’s resistant to open flames or extreme heat. It’s suitable for any climate and withstands even the most extreme heat or cold.
Fiber cement’s non-combustible properties can even allow discounts from some insurance companies on coverage if homes use James Hardie siding. Fiber cement products are also resistant to pests. Woodpeckers, termites, and other critters that love to destroy wood aren’t attracted to fiber cement.
3. Design. James Hardie Fiber Cement siding comes in a variety of textures, profiles, widths, and colors. There are many options when choosing the style that you prefer. Some styles to consider:
HardiePlank Lap Siding presents a classic look that melds with many architectural styles.
4. Colors. The color options of James Hardie siding are practically endless. If you want color on your siding upon installation, you have pre-colored options with ColorPlus Technology. ColorPlus is a proprietary finish applied in a controlled factory setting to provide a brilliant and lasting paint finish. This ensures that the siding won’t chip, peel, or crack.
You can choose from color schemes that fit your design style. James Hardie even provides you with a Home Color Tool for your area where you can experiment with matching colors with different styles and accents to design your perfect exterior. You can choose trim and eaves colors that complement the siding.
5. Low Maintenance. Fiber cement siding is a breeze to maintain. Simply spraying it with a garden hose every six to 12 months is all it takes to clean it. An inspection of the joints every few years is also recommended. If the paint finish of your fiber cement siding is factory applied, you can expect it to last 15-20 years.
6. The Recognized Leader. Over 8 million homes across North America include James Hardie products. They are backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. This accolade is the result of rigorous evaluation and testing of their products to ensure quality and trust that they meet their specifications. The appearance and performance of this durable material have made it the number one siding choice for homeowners and remodeling contractors for decades.
James Hardie continues to improve its products through rigorous evaluations and testing to ensure that homeowners are provided with a high-quality long-lasting product. They have also been recognized by other organizations and publications as a green builder, providing high-quality products at a great value.
Can You Install Fiber Cement Products Yourself?
There are those individuals that consider themselves very handy and believe they can install James Hardie Fiber Cement products themselves. There are how-to videos and guides for this purpose, but it’s important to know the problems that you may encounter in this effort.
Lack of experience. Installing any type of siding is a daunting task, and fiber cement has its extra challenges. Fiber cement is heavier than other types of siding, often requiring more than one person to handle it. If you’re new at siding installation, you may be plunging into uncharted territory and wind up having to call in a certified James Hardie contractor to complete the job.
You don’t have the right tools. Special tools are needed for installing fiber cement siding, many of which the typical homeowner doesn’t keep on hand. If you try to use your regular household tools, you may damage the siding or install it improperly.
You need extra protection. The process and tools used for installing fiber cement siding can generate a lot of dust. Cutting the fiber cement panels should be done outdoors with a dust collector attached to the saw. You need to wear special respirator masks to avoid breathing in the dust, safety glasses to protect your eyes, and high-performance earplugs.
You’re not comfortable with the process. If you don’t understand the Hardie board installation process, you aren’t ready for this overwhelming project. For a James Hardie siding project to be successful, you need a certified James Hardie contractor who understands and can carry out the instructions.
You don’t have a lot of extra time. You’ll need to dedicate a lot of time to this project, often several weeks to complete. If you have a full-time job, the duration will be extended considerably.
Your warranty is voided. James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding has an outstanding warranty—30 to 50 years, depending on the type you buy. If you damage the products during installation, or there are issues down the road, the warranty could be invalid if the siding is installed improperly.
These issues could present a deterrent to installing James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding yourself. You would be better off in the long run hiring a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor instead.
You’ll save a lot of work and time and will be able to enjoy other preferred leisure activities. You may even save money on tools and supplies. Let a certified James Hardie contractor give you peace of mind in knowing that your siding is installed correctly, and the warranty remains valid.
Choose Banner Construction to Install Your James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding Products
Don't make the mistake of hiring any contractor to install your James Hardie fiber cement siding or try to do it yourself. Get peace of mind knowing that your siding will be installed properly by experts who have completed the training and have resources at their disposal.
Banner Construction has undergone all specialized training required of a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor with a proven track record of quality results. Hiring us to install your fiber cement siding will ensure your siding will last for many years and the warranty will be in effect in case you ever need to use it.