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Should You Replace Your Home’s Siding with Hardi Board?

Pair of Weathered WindowsJared: All right, let’s go to an email question, this is from John Inokawa, and he writes, “I’m thinking about replacing the siding on my house, right now I have siding that I believe is called T1-11, I was thinking about replacing it with Hardi board, what are your thoughts?”

Ken: Well, T1-11 is a plywood product which is wood and doesn’t hold up real well in the brutal heat and sun that we have here in Florida and the only way to make it last is to get great paint from Sherwin-Williams and prime it well and keep it painted because once the weather starts getting to it, it’s going to deteriorate very rapidly.

Jared: Yeah. Basically, T1-11 is exactly that. It’s exterior siding, it’s exterior plywood. Basically it’s plywood that they put a little bit better adhesives in and some regular plywood and has a little bit of materialist design to make it last a little bit longer on the outside. But it’s still plywood and woods exposed to the elements are going to dry. It’s going to crack. It’s going to deteriorate.

So it’s extremely common for T1-11 to rot especially around edges where it connects around windows down at the bottom edge where the sprinklers splash on it, so T1-11 is just–is really just known for rotting. Getting rid of that and going with a different type of siding, I think is a very good idea.

You mentioned John in his email, he mentioned Hardi board, which is a specific brand of cement board siding. It is a material that they add, it has kind of concrete fibers in it. Much more durable that what just regular wood siding would be. You still have to do the same maintenance to it that you have to do with wood. It still has to be caulked. It still has to be painted, but it certainly is much more durable that what the T1-11 is going to be, so I think that that is a good option.

Ken: Vinyl’s another option. Vinyl siding is better than it used to be in the past. Used to be you could just look at the house and see, hey that house has vinyl siding, where now they’ve done a good job of that, and the colors are better, you can get the darker colors and they don’t fade as well or as much. You can also stucco it or masonry.

Those kinds of things really hold up a lot better in Florida. Good paint job like we’ve been talking about pretty much all day, is important to every one of this things especially in Florida when majority of the houses seem not have gutters, so that means the rainwater runs off the roof, splashes on the ground and splashes up on the house and causes some real issues.

Jared: Yeah. One of the important things John with whatever material you decide to go back with, is you need to remove the rotted material that is there. This is a big mistake that I see a lot of people make. It”™s that they try to go over the top of material that has already been deteriorated. Has already rotted, or already has some sort of problem. And so whether you go with Hardi board siding, whether you go with stucco, whether you go with vinyl, whether”

”Whatever it is that you go back with, you definitely want to make sure that you get rid of any rot that is on that now. Now, you can remove all of the T1-11 and then add some insulation if you want, get it a good house wrap, add a new material of sheeting, exterior grade plywood and then put the siding over the top of it or stucco or whatever it is that you’re going back with. If you are going to go over the top of the T1-11 though, I do want you to cut out any rotted areas. Find any rot, cut all of that out and just fill in those spots with equal thickness; some form of exterior sheeting.

Ken: That’s really important that you bring that up Jared because it’s like going to the dentist, you wouldn’t go to the dentist and get a crown put over the top of a tooth that had decay on it and you got to treat it the same way, or those organisms just keep growing, and you got to get them cut out of there. Cut it out, get down to the base and start all over and build something that’s going to last.

Jared: It is very important, whether it’s the Hardi board, or let’s say that you stucco it or any other of the exterior materials; you want to make sure that you use a good quality exterior paint. You want to prepare it properly. For example if you go with stucco, you want that stucco to cure for probably 28 days before you paint it, at least a couple weeks, but 28 days is what a lot of them recommend.

You want to go to use good primer sealer on it. Caulk all of the openings with a good quality caulking. Don’t use the cheap stuff and then get a good quality exterior paint on there as well.

Ken: One of the things I like to do””if you’re going to do a siding on your house, I think the first time you put it up, you need to put two coats on it. Put one on the ground before you ever-”

Jared: What are you saying, paint the ground? Is that what you’re saying?

Ken: No, paint the siding before you cut it then.

Jared: Oh, before you ever put it on. I understand.

Ken: Never put it on. Then where you make the miters and the cuts, go ahead and paint that, and then put it on your house and then paint it all again. That’s the way to do it.

Jared: Yeah. You get a lot better coverage that way and then make sure that you have a good quality paint job and the transition of the siding, the caulking is extremely important. John, thank you for that email question. If you want to email us your question, you can go to our website:, and there’s a little link there to email us a question, we will read it live on the air, and then we will answer that question and then send you an mp3 of the answer as well.

That way you can listen to it over and over again, take notes and just use that for whatever you want to in the future. Again, you can do that through our website; All right, so let’s go to the phones real quick before the end of the show. Brian, quickly go ahead with your question.

Caller 6: Yes sir. I have a question about the Hardi board. I had heard some bad things about the Hardi pipe, and I was wondering what the difference between the pipe and the board is?

Jared: I don’t know that I’ve heard anything about the Hardi pipe. I don’t know. Well I mean a Hardi board is a cement board siding and so it’s used on the exterior and James Hardi also makes concrete pipes. I know that but I don’t think that has anything to do with the exterior siding. So I haven’t heard of any problems with the exterior siding itself.

Ken: I haven’t either. I think if you keep it painted right and do it, you can expect 50 years of life out of that Hardi siding.

Caller 6: Do you know if they, if Hardi uses these cellulous material in the siding like they use in the pipe?

Jared: I’m not sure actually. I’m not sure the actual breakdown of it because I haven’t, but I’ll do a little bit of research and that I’ll have answer for you next week.