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Build Your Own Home, Issue #001 -- Hardi Board Siding is it right for Your Home.
November 02, 2004
Hello,

This is it, the first of many to come. What am I talking about? This is the first issue of the Build Your Own Home Newsletter!

In each newsletter I want to cover at least one important topic that will benefit you the Owner Builder or the individual remodeling your own home. The topic of this newsletter is Hardie Board. What the heck is Hardie Board you ask? Well let me explain why we used it on our new home:

One of the most important decisions that you will have to make when building or remodeling your home is, what to cover the Exterior of the house with and what is it going to look like?

Since this was not our first home we had some experience choosing exterior building materials from past experience. This is our 5th home and we have bought some new, and some were... well used. Our experience with the older homes helped us make important decisions when building this one. Let me explain.

Our primary concerns were beauty and longevity. We have always liked the look of siding. Mixed with brick or cultured Stone, it makes for a real Americana look. With this in mind, we set out to find high grade long lasting beautiful siding.

If any of you have owned a home with wooden siding for any length of time you have probably had the same experience as I have. The wooden siding requires regular maintenance and painting or it will deteriorate and need replacing. This of course is very expensive and time consuming if you do it yourself. That ruled out wooden siding and most of the composite wood products do not hold up for the long term either.

Another choice is vinyl siding which I am not too fond of. I am sure they have improved it greatly over the years but my experience with it was not a good one. The vinyl siding we had, disfigured and sagged a little in place making the whole wall look bad.

While reviewing options for siding Hardie Board was recommended to us by a contractor that we were getting a bid from. So I did some research and found out it was a very good product for the southern climate that we are in.

On the plus side Hardie Board is primarily made of concrete. It is a fibrous concrete board that termites don't eat. This is good news for warmer climates where termites stay active most of the year.

Hardie Board is also impervious to moisture. You can put it in a pail of water and leave it for as long as you like and it will not become saturated. It takes paint very well and comes pre-primed. It comes in many designs and patterns that will compliment any style home.

Go have a look at the James Hardie Website for more details.

On the minus side it is brittle. Unlike wood it does not bend very well. It is heavier than wood in the same proportions (remember it is primarily fibrous concrete).

You have to pre-drill holes to hammer nails into it if you are not using a nail gun or it will crack or shatter. Our cornice carpenters had no problem with it, they made installation look easy.

Summing Up

Hardie board is a great product because of longevity and bugs don't like it. If you are doing your own work you are going to have to acquire a little bit of a new technique to install it but I think it is worth the trouble.

I would suggest you go and have a fresh look at my website www.Build-YourOwn-Home.com and see what the end results look like.

By the way I am in the process of putting up a new page about Hardie Board. It won't be all that different than this but it will have some pictures of the product and the house during installation.

I wish you the best while you Build Your Own Home.

George Stevens


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