LP® SmartSide® vs. HardiePlank

In the world of siding there are many options.  Steel siding, aluminum siding, vinyl siding, cement board or fiber board siding.  The two higher end products that are most popular  are James Hardie’s HardiePlank fiber cement and LP® SmartSide® fiber board.  So which product is better?

LP Advantages

LP had its eye on showing advantages to James Hardie from day one. LP has quietly won over more contractors, builders, and homeowners every year.

The features that LP highlights in their materials are:

  • LP® SmartSide® has superior moisture protection and strength

  • The LP boards have longer lengths than Hardie (16′ over 12′)

  • LP has less weight than Hardie

  • LP® SmartSide® is less expensive to install (no special cutting tools needed)

  • LP® SmartSide® is easier to install which means quicker, easier installation

  • LP® SmartSide® is less likely to break or crack than fiber cement

  • LP® SmartSide® comes with a  5/50-Year Limited Warranty which provides a 5-year, 100% labor and replacement feature and a prorated limited warranty on the product.

  • LP® SmartSide® is far more user friendly to the homeowner who is looking for a do-it-yourself type project.

That doesn’t mean the product is perfect.  There are some attributes to LP Siding that some homeowners object to.

  • Because LP® SmartSide® is a wood based product similar to Masonite it is not resistant to woodpeckers.

Hardie Advantages

Hardie now fully realizes the threat that LP poses to them, and is aiming a lot of marketing material back at their competitor. However, Hardie has the huge advantage of more brand name recognition. Customers have asked over the years, “Do you carry Hardie Board?” Only recently have customers started to ask for LP® SmartSide® by name.

The features that James Hardie highlights in their materials are:

  • Hardie is non-combustible, ASTM-rated for fire protection, which is a property of being a fiber cement product.

  • HardiePlank is resistant to woodpeckers

  • Seams can be installed tightly with no additional bands

  • A lot of contractors think Hardie’s shakes look better than the LP shakes. Putting shake siding in the peaks (or gables) of houses has been a very popular way to dress up the front of the house for curb appeal. Hardie’s shake has a laid back cape cod look on both their straight-edge and staggered edge version. LP makes more of a bold, hand-split rustic shake for an up-north look. For the siding boards themselves, LP has a little deeper woodgrain than Hardie, but they are both designed to look like cedar and they both do a very good job.

  • HardiePlank comes with the HardieZone® System.  No matter where you live, now you can own a home with an exterior that’s ideally suited for its local climate. The HardieZone® System offers siding with specific performance attributes relative to the climate where your home is being built. So while other siding companies offer a one-siding-fits-all solution, James Hardie gives you the ability to get the right siding for your climate.

  • Hardie is the only one that comes prefinished from the manufacturer, with the Colors Plus process that has a 15-year warranty.

Again as with everything else there are some cons as well:

  • James Hardie siding should be installed by a trained professional.  There are specific guidelines that need to be followed to make sure this product lasts

  • The product is not as rigid and will follow the coutour of your walls which may result in a little more waving of the siding.

Prefinishing Options

Hardie is the only one that comes prefinished from the manufacturer, with the Colors Plus process that has a 15-year warranty. Both Hardie and LP can also be prefinished through a number of different outlets that are arranged through the contractor. Any color under the sun can be put on your home. Prefinishing warranties have improved over time, but the two favorite prefinishing options are from Prefinished Staining Products and Diamond Kote. Prefinished carries a Lifetime paint warranty for the lifetime of the existing homeowner that includes an excessive fade warranty. It must be noted, however, that these products have a bit of a shine to them so make sure you look at the samples before signing off.

LP Smartside
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NT Window
Home Advisor
MI Windows and Doors
No matter how great our installation services are there is simply no substitute for quality, so we start every job with products that are made to last a lifetime. At Everest we are proud to be affiliated with top manufacturers that have proven success in the home improvement industry.