• Tim Kraemer

LP SmartSide vs James Hardie: Which Exterior Siding to Choose?

LP SmartSide and James Hardie siding are go-to siding materials for many homeowners these days. But why these two brands? For most people the answer boils down to two things: durability and reliability. Both of these brands have a loyal fanbase for similar reasons- they look great, last a long time and protect your home. So which exterior siding should you choose for your home? Let’s break down the differences so you can decide.


Materials:

LP SmartSide siding is made of wood strands coated with wax and bonded with resin. For protection against insects and rot, zinc borate is added as well. This combination makes the siding durable against extreme humidity, rainfall, heat and cold as well as pests and fungus/mildew. LP SmartSide is a lighter material and easier to install compared to fiber cement siding.

James Hardie siding is made of cement, cellulose fibers and fly ash. This combination makes the siding fireproof, rot proof and resistant to cold, wind and pests. This fiber cement siding is heavier and takes more effort to install.

Appearance:

LP SmartSide makes lap siding, panels, vertical siding, shingles and shakes. Textures include cedar texture, colonial beaded, smooth or sequoia texture.

James Hardie makes different styles including HardieShingle which appears like cedar shingles, HardiePlank which comes in smooth or textured finish to mimic wood, HardiPanel which is vertical siding with rustic board-and-batten look, and the Aspyre collection which includes panel systems for a modern look and lap siding with extra thick boards for deeper shadows.

Cost:

LP SmartSide prices can range between $5.34-$11.75 with an average around $9 per square foot.

James Hardie prices can range from $7.50-$13 with an average price of $10 per square foot.


Maintenance:

LP SmartSide maintenance includes rinsing buildup of dust and dirt with a garden hose, cloth, sponge or soft brush. A mild detergent and water can be used as well. Pressure washers should not be used as this can cause moisture intrusion, discoloration and damage to the paint.

James Hardie maintenance includes a wash down every 6-12 months to remove dirt and debris using water, a soft brush or cloth. A mild detergent and soft brush can be used for stubborn stains.

Warranties:

LP SmartSide comes with a 50-year limited warranty. This covers 100% of defects in the first five years . Coverage is then reduced by 2.2% each year through the end of the warranty.

James Hardie comes with a 30-year non-prorated warranty. This is considered one of the best in the industry.

When it comes to siding, there are many choices on the market today. With each project having a different situation, it is important to do research so you can make the right choice for your project. If you have questions about siding materials, contact your builder or general contractor.

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