Hardie board installation allows DIYers to reap the benefits of this durable fiber cement siding with proper planning and preparation. While professional install is recommended for flawless results, motivated homeowners can tackle Hardie board siding on their own. This step-by-step guide provides a walkthrough of the Hardie board installation process from start to finish. We cover everything from assembling materials and safety gear for cutting, to attaching starter strips and corner boards, measuring and hanging the Hardie planks in rows, sealing seams, and installing trim. With manufacturer guidelines followed, the right tools, and these key DIY installation steps, homeowners can achieve beautiful Hardie board siding that adds curb appeal and long-lasting protection.
Step 1: Prep the Work Area
First, prepare your workspace by clearing plants, debris, equipment or other obstructions from the installation area. Use tarps and drop cloths to protect patios, plants or other surfaces from dust and debris during cutting. Have a clear 10-15 foot workspace around the installation zone. Gather all necessary tools, equipment and materials before starting including safety gear like masks, goggles, gloves and ear protection. Ensure you have the right type of power saw with a dust collection system as cutting fiber cement creates silica dust.
Step 2: Install House Wrap
Before Hardie board siding goes up, install a permeable house wrap like Tyvek Pro or equivalent to act as a water-resistive barrier. Run horizontally overlapping joints 6 inches and integrate flashing around windows and doors. Tape all seams for an airtight seal. The wrap allows vapor to pass through while blocking bulk water. Take extra care properly sealing around openings. Let the wrap hang over 1-2 inches at the bottom to integrate with flashing later. The right house wrap improves Hardie board performance.
Step 3: Hang Starter Strip
The bottom edge of Hardie siding must not be exposed so it can shed water properly. Install starter strip or Z flashing along the base to create a level surface to start Hardie board on. Use corrosion-resistant nails to securely fasten into the studs every 6-8 inches. Keep the starter piece level as any unevenness transfers to siding above. For concrete foundation walls, attach furring strips first to create a solid nailing base. Flashing should overlap the water barrier below. Take precautions not to puncture the house wrap. The starter strip anchors the first siding course.
Step 4: Attach Corner Boards
Before siding, measure and mark 4 ft from the corner of your home on adjacent walls. Install prefabricated Hardie corner boards vertically at the 4 ft marks using nails. Create watertight corners with proper seam caulking. Corner boards provide a flush, finished edge and prevent cracks. For inside corners, cut a filler strip from a plank to go behind where boards intersect. Similarly, add trim boards around windows, under eaves, and for band boards between floors for polished finished edges. Always keep a 1/8 inch gap between boards. Trim pieces give edges a clean look.
Step 5: Hang Siding
Starting at the bottom, align the grooved edge of the first plank over the starter strip and nail into studs every 8-12 inches. Use a level and chalk line to ensure straight courses. Leave a minimum 1/8 inch gap between planks and seams for expansion. Stack subsequent rows overlapped by at least 1 inch with staggered seams. Around windows and openings, measure and mark planks for precise trimming leaving 1/8 inch gaps. Use a circular saw with Hardie blade to cut boards. Inspect for any cracks, gaps or misalignments as you go and make corrections. The reveal line printed on planks ensures consistent reveals between courses. Work methodically up the wall, using spacers behind to hold rows in position if needed.
With proper planning and care, motivated DIYers can successfully install Hardie plank siding and boost their home’s curb appeal. Allow ample time for the project and exercise caution when cutting fiber cement. Following manufacturer guidelines for fastening, sealing, and spacing ensures optimal durability and performance. With some perseverance, the right tools, and these fundamental installation steps, you can transform your exterior with long-lasting low-maintenance Hardie board siding installation.