Hardiplank™ is a trademark name for fiber cement siding, but many people use this term as a shorthand for fiber cement siding. Fiber cement siding has several advantages when compared to other types of siding: it is able to resist the fire, insects damage, and rotting that are typical complaints for homeowners with wood siding.
When purchasing any type of fiber cement siding, decide whether or not you wish to paint it once it is in place. Some Hardiplank comes prepainted, saving you time. If you do decide to paint, Hardiplank also comes in a preprimed variety, to save you a step.
Step 1: Make sure the exterior of your home has been properly prepped before attempting to install the Hardiplank or other fiber cement siding. There should be sheathing installed, as well as a useful moisture barrier, such as roofing felt or a similar product.
Step 2: Install ¼ inch lath at the exterior bottom to align your siding when you begin to install it.
Step 3: Install your first row of planks so they are level and flush with the lath and over the moisture barrier. Drive nails 1 inch below the top of the plank, spaced every 8-10 inches. This will hide the heads of the nails and is called face nailing.
TIP: To cut Hardiplank or other fiber cement siding, you can use shears made for this purpose. If you are more comfortable using a saw, use a circular saw with a carbide tipped blade for this project.
Also, when using an new plank, lightly butt the two together and avoid leaving a gap. If there are any gaps, you must use caulk to seal them.
Step 4: Overlap your next row of Hardiplank or other fiber cement siding about an 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inch over the previous row. Your manufacturer may have specific installation instructions. Continue installing the Hardiplank or other fiber cement siding until the exterior walls have been completely covered.
Step 5: With the Hardiplank or other fiber cement siding installed, you can then paint it the desired color. If you purchased prepainted siding, you can skip this step. If you did not purchase preprimed fiber cement, you must prime it before painting.
Step 6: Install any trim, vent covers, and other exterior items now that the siding is installed. Paint the trim, using painter’s tape to protect the fiber cement siding from drips.