DIY Hardiboard Siding Installation

Sometimes, when you see your dream home, you see not what is, but what it could be. While friends and family look on, wondering if you’ve lost your mind buying such an eyesore, you’re busy contemplating plans for the future.

So it was for Karah and Joel who found their dream home in a peach colored, tri-level roofed, brick façade and brown shuttered diamond in the rough in Key West Florida.  The house they bought definitely lacked a lot in the “curb appeal” department, but the couple set about to show the world the same vision they had seen when they first discovered it.

The first step in their renovation was to simplify the overly complicated roof line. To accomplish this they hired a professional team of roofers who proceeded to raise the roof line over the front of the house to line up with an existing gable. This face-lift resulted in an additional six feet of vaulted ceiling in the front of the house and incredible improvement in the profile of the house from the street.

The peach siding and brick façade were next on the agenda, to be covered up with all new siding.

The type of siding chosen by Karah and Joel is called “hardiboard” or more properly, “Hardie board”.  This patented siding material is a composite of wood cellulose and cement and is especially durable and hard wearing. This is especially desirable in an area like Key West with its range of unique and sometimes violent weather conditions.

This fiber cement siding is considered an upscale, high end option in contrast to the competing cheap and ubiquitous vinyl siding, but unlike vinyl, when it comes to adding resale value of  a home, recent estimates place Hardie Board siding recouping 78% -100% of the cost of installation which is almost unheard of in the housing industry.

Hardieboard is also fire resistant, adding no combustible matter to a potential blaze. Vinyl on the other hand, is petroleum based and highly combustible. Hardieboard is also impervious to insects (a definite advantage in the southern US which is prone to termite infestations); is manufactured to resemble wood and can be painted.

Karah and Joel’s siding choice was a solid one. The only special equipment required to install the fiber-cement siding is a special blade, a “Hardie blade” that easily cuts through the composite materials. A standard nail gun worked beautifully to fix the siding boards in place.

The couple did the siding installation completely by themselves; no professional siding crew necessary. The result is a house that exudes curb appeal and charm.

Check out Karah and Joel’s blog post for an in depth and exhaustive recounting of their experience and a great series of before, after and in process photos!

Further Reading: Aluminum Vs Vinyl Siding


Jamie Sandford - Owner and Lead Editor at RenoCompareJamie Sandford is the Chief Editor at RenoCompare (find out more). Jamie has been involved in construction for over 30 years. Straight out of college, Jamie worked with construction crews for the television, film and theatre industries for over 12 years. In his thirties, he turned his attention to DIY decorating and construction, working on many house renovations and remodels. During this time he started to specialize in home flooring and in 2013 he launched the Home Flooring Pros website. Two years later he launched RenoCompare.

“I’ve seen interior design, remodeling, and construction from both sides of the street, contractors on one side and homeowners on the other. My aim is to close the gap between the professionals and the consumers and make it easier for both sides to work smoothly and effectively side by side. At RenoCompare we want to save you time and money by giving you the information you need as simply and as quickly as possible!”

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