COVID-19 READINESS—Client and employee safety is our number one priority. We are open and scheduling Virtual Consultations. Call or email to set an appointment to come into our office or view our Maryland Showroom.

Learn More >>

James Hardie Siding Guide

All You Need to Know About Hardie Board Fiber Cement Siding for Your DC Home

As a homeowner, it might be clear when it’s time to replace your home siding, but it might be less clear what options are the right choice for your home. If you’re considering James Hardie fiber cement siding, there’s a lot of information to sift through. Do you know what design options are the best fit for your home? What will your home siding replacement project cost?

Selecting James Hardie siding is a wise investment in your home; it’s durable, low maintenance and incredibly beautiful. Hardie siding can solve many of your design challenges, and it will last for decades with a great warranty. All of these benefits make James Hardie siding one of the most popular siding options among homeowners across the country.

Your home’s siding is the first line of defense against weather and pests. A bad installation job from an unqualified contractor or subpar building materials puts your home at risk. James Hardie siding, also called HardiePlank siding, Hardie Board siding, or Hardie siding, is a great way to defend your home from these exterior threats.

Alco Products has been distinguished as a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor, and using our knowledge and expertise, we want to play a pivotal role in your home exterior’s transformation.

Have questions about James Hardie siding? Here’s the essential guide to America’s #1 choice for fiber cement siding.

What Is James Hardie Siding?

What Is James Hardie Siding?

James Hardie siding is a kind of siding material that most closely resembles wood siding. Instead of being made from wood, James Hardie siding is a manmade product that has the texture of wood siding, but it’s much more durable and requires very little maintenance comparatively.

Hardie siding, otherwise known as Hardie Board, is a brand of fiber cement siding. It is made from cement, sand and cellulose. It’s versatile, comes in lots of styles, shapes and colors, and is so strong in construction that it comes with a 30-year limited warranty. It’s also fire resistant and pest resistant and is an environmentally friendly home siding material.

Fiber cement is shaped into planks, panels and shingles. It either can be painted at the factory or primed and painted later for ultimate customization. James Hardie siding is also much more sustainably made than other siding options like vinyl, with processes that are designed to be eco-friendly. It’s even been given the 2020 Green Builder “Greenest Siding Brand” award for its manufacturing processes and long lifespan to keep building materials out of landfills.

The Benefits of Choosing James Hardie Siding

James Hardie Benefits

When is it time to replace the siding on your home? Why should you choose James Hardie siding?

Signs Your Home Needs New Siding

If you’re unsure whether or not your home’s siding needs to be replaced, here are the telltale signs that it’s time:

  • Bubbled or blistered siding panels
  • Hail damage
  • Outdated colors
  • Damage from pests likes woodpeckers and termites
  • Dry rot
  • Cracked or loose siding
  • High energy costs
  • Faded siding that’s lost its luster
  • Peeling wallpaper and interior paint or other signs of moisture damage

You also may feel ready to replace your home’s siding if you’ve just installed a new addition, if you feel like your home is lacking curb appeal, or if your current siding requires a lot of maintenance that you don’t want to manage anymore.

The Benefits of a James Hardie Siding Replacement

Why should you choose James Hardie fiber cement siding for your home exterior renovations? Why is James Hardie siding such a popular choice?

Low Maintenance - James Hardie siding products require very little maintenance or painting; you don’t have the same level of upkeep that you find with other siding materials like wood.

Durable - Hardie siding products are built to last. Vinyl siding has a shorter lifespan than fiber cement siding. James Hardie siding can last anywhere from 30 to 50 years—or more—depending on how well it is maintained.

Insulated - James Hardie siding is thicker than vinyl siding, which can be 0.04 inches thick and backed with a separate insulating material. James Hardie siding is 0.25 inches thick and is much stronger than vinyl siding. It’s also designed to be more energy efficient.

Pest Resistant - Fiber cement siding is resistant to pests like woodpeckers and termites that can penetrate wood siding and create substantial structural issues in your home.

30-Year Non-Prorated Warranty - All Hardie siding products come with an exceptional warranty, including a 30-year limited warranty on siding paneling and a 15-year warranty on trim and paint.

Fire Resistant - Fiber cement siding is not combustible the way that wood and vinyl siding are. Both wood and vinyl siding will feed a fire, but James Hardie siding is a much safer option as it does not contribute to a fire.

HardieZone SystemJames Hardie siding is designed for different regions based on each region’s specific climate. Here in D.C., that means that Hardie products are created to best accommodate hot summers, moisture and even the chilly winters. In terms of HardieZones, our region best fits the HZ5 HardieZone. You can rest easy knowing that your siding has been engineered to withstand moisture and humidity that can take a toll on D.C. area homes.

When it comes to the value, curb appeal and endurance of James Hardie siding, there’s no real competition. It surpasses other siding options while still delivering a high-quality, totally customizable product.

Customizing the Style and Design of Your James Hardie Exterior

James Hardie Design
There are all kinds of ways to customize your home using available Hardie siding products and styles. You can’t beat the personalization you get with James Hardie, from the shape, style and texture of siding products to the wide array of color customizations you can choose for long-lasting, brilliant colors and a stunning result.

Hardie Siding Products

James Hardie offers a huge selection of styles of siding to achieve the overall look you want to create for your home. You can choose from several styles of siding to ensure your siding project honors the look and feel of your personal style.

HardiePlank Lap Siding

This is the most traditional looking siding option, but that doesn’t have to mean it’s a safe one! HardiePlank is used to achieve a traditional lap-siding look found often in colonial-style homes and comes in a wide array of colors.





Beaded Cedarmill

Beaded Cedarmill

Beaded Smooth

Beaded Smooth

Colonial Roughsawn

Colonial Roughsawn

Colonial Smooth

Colonial Smooth

HardiePanel Vertical Siding

HardiePanels are used to create vertical siding. It’s currently being used frequently to create minimalist and modern farmhouse styles, but its uses are varied and can add extra interest to a gable or other point of interest on your home.







Sierra 8

Sierra 8


Like shake shingle siding, HardieShingles are great for Cape Cod style cottages and craftsman-style bungalows, but they also work as a great accent to many other home styles, providing lots of charm.

Straight Edge

Straight Edge

Staggered Edge

Staggered Edge

Hardie siding products don’t just stop with the siding itself. Hardie is also a leading manufacturer in trim and soffits, which gives homeowners the option to completely customize their home from roof to foundation with lots of color and texture varieties to create a whole-house color palette and feel. You can customize everything, from the texture of your soffit to the color of your trim. It’s all up to you!

James Hardie’s Countless Colors

If you think there are lots of choices when it comes to Hardie siding styles, that pales in comparison to the number of Hardie siding colors to choose from! James Hardie products can come from the factory with the color already applied. It’s “baked into” the siding itself at the factory. This is called ColorPlus technology. It’s unique to James Hardie siding, and it makes for truly beautiful, long-lasting colors.

Some home siding products start out one color, but fade and lose their luster over time because of exposure to the sun’s UV rays. This doesn’t happen with ColorPlus technology, which comes with its own 15-year limited warranty for the paint application.

ColorPlus technology was designed to last for many years, so unlike vinyl siding that loses its color or wood siding that needs to be repainted or refinished, James Hardie’s ColorPlus technology siding will last without the need for repainting or replacement. It doesn’t peel or chip, and it stays true to the color you chose for years and years.

James Hardie Colors

What if you have your heart set on a particular color and it’s just not available? While James Hardie’s Dream Collection offers more than 700 colors from which to choose, you may have a very specific color in mind. You can buy your siding pre-painted, but you also have the option to purchase it primed and then have it painted any color you choose. You still get the durability of James Hardie siding, but you also get the home exterior color you’ve been dreaming about.

Having trouble deciding what colors and styles to choose from? That’s OK! At Alco products, you can use our Hover Visualizer tool to personalize your home look and see how it will come together. You don’t have to worry about whether or not it will look the way you want it to—you can see it for yourself!

James Hardie Siding to Restore Historical Homes

James Hardie Historic Homes

Everywhere you look in the D.C. area, you’re surrounded by history! Historical homes need special care and attention to maintain their look and integrity and keep up with historical siding replacement code and requirements.

In D.C., each neighborhood and city has their own guide to handling historic homes. You need a contractor who understands these needs and will communicate with these organizations to preserve the historic feel of your home. Oftentimes new siding has to match the original siding installed in a historic home, with narrower siding styles.

In some places like Georgetown, what is seen from the street is crucial to building regulations. In these cases, brick or wood siding may need to be installed on the front of the home with James Hardie siding installed in the back of the home for less upkeep, giving homeowners added ease and convenience. Even the kind of window trim you use has specifications to follow. We understand, and at Alco Products, we are here to help.

Is James Hardie siding right for you? You can take our siding quiz today to ensure James Hardie siding is the right fit for your historic home. Hardie siding is designed to preserve your home’s history using modern materials, rehabilitating the charm and appeal of older buildings.

Here’s how we help:

  1. We’ll consult with you about your home.
  2. We’ll provide you with a quote.
  3. We’ll help submit the plans for review.
  4. We’ll finalize our plans with you.

Replacing the siding on your historic home doesn’t have to be daunting. For more information on siding replacement for your historic home, you can contact the following organizations:

What Kind of Siding is Best for My D.C. Metro Home?

Are you on the fence about what type of siding will suit your home exterior needs and budget best? Take our siding quiz to help you decide based on what’s most important to you.

Exterior Remodeling Services | Washington D.C. | Maryland | Northern Virginia

How Much Does It Cost to Install James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding?

James Hardie Cost

When you choose to have Hardie siding installed, you end up with way more than just a siding replacement. You increase the look and overall value of your home too. Hardie siding is an investment that lasts for years, boosts your home’s appearance, protects the infrastructure of your home and requires less upkeep than other exterior siding products. It’s quite a remarkable value.

Fiber cement siding can increase the value of your home. Homeowners typically find that they can recoup 80 to 85 percent of the cost of replacing their siding with Hardie siding when they sell their home. It’s a valuable investment!

That being said, what should you plan to pay for James Hardie fiber cement siding? For a Hardie siding installation, you should plan to pay around $10 to $12 per square foot for materials and labor with additional costs to remove old siding.

Is it wise to try and save money in your replacement siding cost by doing it yourself?
In this case, the answer is no.

Installing James Hardie Board the correct way is an incredibly detailed project, and requires careful attention to detail to get it just right. After all, the integrity of your home’s exterior is at stake, and the slightest imperfection can lead to a world of trouble if pests or moisture find their way in. You need to hire a qualified siding contractor who is experienced in Hardie siding installation to handle the job. Why is this?

  • Care & Storage — Hardie siding materials are heavy and need to be carried and stored carefully to prevent cracking or moisture damage.
  • Nail Application — James Hardie recommends a bling nailing process to hide nails, and each board must be installed completely level. Two stories in the air, this can be very challenging to accomplish by yourself if you aren’t a professional!
  • Windows & Doors — Careful measurements must be taken to ensure there’s no gapping, especially near doors, windows, corners, and other architectural features.
  • Texture — There’s even a specific way to remove Hardie siding from the stack to ensure you are getting enough variation in the texture! There are too many specific details for a weekend project. It’s best left to the pros.
  • Warranty — Your Hardie siding materials are all warranted, but only if they are properly installed. The best way to ensure this is to hire a contractor who is experienced in handling Hardie siding installation.

Installing Your Hardie Siding: What to Expect

Siding InstallationWhen you hire an experienced siding contractor, what should you expect? Your home siding project will take somewhere around 10 to 12 days to complete depending on the size of your home. We like to think that we’ve perfected the process:

  1. Request a free consultation.
  2. Get an assessment.
  3. Enjoy trusted results.

That’s it! You leave the hard work, the cleanup, and everything else to us.

What Factors Into the Cost to Replace Hardie Board Fiber Cement Siding?

Your Hardie siding cost estimate and final cost can be affected by several different factors. Aside from the size of your home, what can play a role in the overall cost of your siding replacement?

  • The weight of the siding — James Hardie siding is heavy, which is part of what makes it so durable. You need multiple workers on hand to carefully lift, transport and install the siding so that it remains structurally sound.
  • Your home and property’s unique characteristics — Factors like multiple stories or special architectural details can affect the cost of your siding replacement but so can a sloping yard or a tree or other landscaping located close to the house—all of which require special care and equipment and more manpower to safely work around.
  • The kind of siding you choose — Each kind of siding has its own installation process and requires different amounts of time and attention.
  • Whether you want your siding painted or primed — You get to choose the color for your siding, but having your siding painted or primed can impact the cost.
  • Whether or not you need your existing siding removed — Removing your home’s siding is a complicated job too. You have to be sure not to expose your home to the elements. Again, it’s a job best left to the professionals.

James Hardie Maintenance Requirements and Warranties

James Hardie Maintenance

Your James Hardie Warranty

All of your Hardie siding materials are covered by transferable, non-prorated limited warranties. In the event you notice a defect or issue, you simply have to contact James Hardie within 30 days to alert the company to the problem. What does the Hardie warranty look like?

  • HardiePlank: 30 years
  • HardieShingle: 30 years
  • HardiePanel: 30 years
  • Hardie Soffit: 30 years
  • ColorPlus technology coatings: 15 years
  • HardieTrim boards: 15 years

For your Hardie siding warranty to be granted, you need to hire a contractor who will properly store and install your siding, which is why it’s crucial to hire a qualified contractor to install your siding.

Hardie Siding Maintenance

What maintenance does your Jame Hardie siding need? The short answer is, “Not much!” There are some best practices to care for your siding to ensure it stays looking great and to avoid affecting your warranty.

Your siding and trim should be washed using a soft brush or damp cloth and a garden hose with a low-pressure stream. Wipe each panel with the grain, working from the top of your home down to avoid streaking or dripping.

It’s also wise to keep vegetation and landscaping away from your siding. With ColorPlus Technology, you also can touch up small nicks, scrapes, chips or nail holes with a ColorPlus Touch-up Kit. This is ideal for chips smaller than a dime. Larger areas will need to be replaced with a new section of siding instead of being repainted.

What to Look for in a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor

Elite Preferred Contractor

When you’re ready to get started on your siding replacement project, you need to hire a siding contractor who can protect your home’s outermost layer of defense. There is a lot at stake when dealing with the exterior of your home. Is your siding contractor up to the task?

If you’ve decided to use Hardie siding, the best thing you can do is hire a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor. Why is this?

James Hardie takes care to ensure that the contractors who install its siding are qualified to do so. It wants homeowners with Hardie siding to enjoy the benefits (and the warranty) of its products for many years.

James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor | Washington D.C. Metro AreaAt Alco Products, we are a qualified James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor, which means we are trained in all facets of handling and installing James Hardie fiber cement siding. We’ve also repeatedly demonstrated to James Hardie that we are worthy of the elite distinction of fulfilling its requirements for the title of “Elite Preferred Contractor:”

  • Compliance with installation best practices
  • Professional sales approach
  • Satisfactory credit report
  • State licensed
  • Liability insurance of $1,000,000 per occurrence
  • Workman’s compensation insurance
  • Intensive background checks

Most importantly, the contractor you choose should help mitigate the risk of improper installation for long-lasting siding. We have been trained in the right cutting techniques, clearance regulations, and caulking and attachment requirements so you end up with a stunning, durable result and precise installation.

Hiring a Local James Hardie Siding Contractor

Local James Hardie Contractor

When the time comes to hire a Hardie siding contractor, how do you go about finding one? Of course, you want to hire a Preferred Elite Contractor, but you also want someone who knows your town, who’s invested in your local neighborhood. At Alco Products, we aim to be the preferred local siding contractor and James Hardie siding installer. For us, being chosen by our neighbors for their exterior siding projects is just as important as being chosen by James Hardie as a Preferred Elite Contractor.

When you consider Alco Products as your siding contractor, you won’t hear pushy sales gimmicks, and we won’t work to be in and out the door during your consultation. We listen to your needs and concerns and communicate with you throughout the entire process, keeping you informed every step of the way. We’ll offer you a detailed proposal and then work thoughtfully to stay on budget. We even offer financing options so you never have to wait to replace your home’s siding when the time comes.

Our Alco Products team has high standards for our workmanship and our customer satisfaction. We know that your house siding is an investment in your home’s future, and we work diligently to protect that investment. Choosing Alco Products means you get qualified professionals to handle your James Hardie siding project. Here’s what we bring to the table:

  • Expertise: All of our siding installers have been factory trained and certified and have been working with our team for over a decade, and we have transformed countless homes in that time.
  • Reputable Contractors: We have worked hard to develop a rapport with the families we serve as a dependable contractor.
  • Detailed Service: When it comes to your home’s siding, details matter. We take every tiny step to ensure your siding is built and installed to last—even using the James Hardie preferred fasteners for siding that lasts for decades.
  • A Sense of Community: The D.C. area is our home too. We consider you part of our family, and we treat your home like it is our very own.
  • Outstanding Warranty Coverage: With a 30-year non-prorated James Hardie warranty and a limited lifetime labor warranty from Alco Products, we will replace any defective product with absolutely no labor charge.

We’re available throughout the greater D.C. area for siding replacement services to transform the total look of your home’s exterior with care and craftsmanship. Working with your family is never about making a sale for us; it’s always about starting a relationship and providing you with peace of mind about your home’s exterior.

The Alco FamilyOur team at Alco Products is committed to excellence. We’re ready to take your home’s damaged, deteriorating or out-of-date exterior and change it into a stunning, durable home exterior that lasts made with high-quality James Hardie siding products. We’re here to walk you through each part of the siding replacement process so you feel informed instead of worried.

The next step? Schedule a free Hardie siding consultation. There’s no risk involved, and we won’t push you to get started to make a decision. All you get is a detailed, itemized quote and answers to your initial questions. From there, you can trust that you’ll work with contractors who care, you’ll get a timely installation of stunning siding products done the way it should be, and you’ll be able to rest easy knowing the rest is in our hands. What’s there to risk? Contact us today!

James Hardie Elite PreferredMarvin WindowsCertainteedHouzz550 RemodelingBetter Business Bureau500 Top PerformerAnnual Certification Badge