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james hardie common installation

7 James Hardie Common Installation Errors and How To Avoid Them

Just because a company installs James Hardie siding doesn’t mean they do it correctly. 

There are specific rules to follow; the right way is the only option. 

Installing and replacing siding is an investment, so you must hire people who know what they are doing and who are certified James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractors.

In life, you always get what you pay for. 

In the long run, getting the job done right the first time is always the best choice financially. 

Continue reading to learn how to avoid James Hardie installation errors, so you know what to look for when hiring help to install your siding

james hardie common

Table of Contents


What’s the Big Deal About James Hardie Installation? Why It’s Vital You Install It the Right Way

Take the time to learn about James Hardie common installation errors.

When it comes to siding, the installation process is a HUGE deal. If the installer doesn’t do it correctly, it voids the warranty

After researching this topic, you discovered that James Hardie siding is often more expensive than other options. Yet many people agree that it is worth every penny of the investment. 

James Hardie siding has a 30-year warranty, while their other products have between 10 to 15-year warranties

Additionally, you can transfer your warranty to new homeowners if you sell your home before the warranty expires.

7 Common James Hardie Installation Errors

Knowing is always half the battle. Take the time to understand what you should expect when installing or replacing James Hardie siding.

#1: Using the Wrong Nails

Installers must use the proper nail for each product. Using the wrong nail will cause the siding to crack, which voids its warranty.

For example, the trim uses finish nails, while the siding uses a ring shank coil nail with a head on it. Putting the wrong nail into the product will cause issues.

If the installer is incompetent and uses the wrong nails, James Hardie siding can crack on every corner of the home. There is no repair for that. The only fix is to replace the siding and install it with the proper nails, which can get expensive.  

#2: Not Hitting the Nail Line

Air nailers are usually used with siding because they are a pneumatic tool that makes installation quicker. Yet sometimes, the installer can move too fast and lose sight of where the nails are going. 

Installers must not blow through the siding; the pressure needs to be dialed to where the nail is flush with the siding. 

If not done correctly, your siding may:

  • Sag
  • Become loose, and start to move in the wind; or
  • Show nails poking through the bottom of the next piece of siding

To install the siding correctly, remember these two things:  

 1. Put the nail in the right place. 

James Hardie siding has a nail line to indicate the point one inch down from the top, and the nails are supposed to fall between ¾ of an inch to one inch from the top of the siding. 

2. A hand should never fit underneath James Hardie siding. If it does, an inexperienced installer likely put the nails too high. 

james hardie common installation errors

#3: Improper Attachment

To properly attach the siding, choose between face nailing or blind nailing. Decide on one or the other— using both on one job is not an option.

The correct sized nails to use are 6d or siding nails.

Nails should never be driven in at an angle. Installers must put nails in straight. Under-driven or over-driven nails can also cause issues. 

#4: Faulty Clearances

Due to the climate in some areas, most James Hardie requirements have been put into place to help alleviate issues with excess moisture.

All flashing must be installed to state code and follow James Hardie requirements. 

For example, let’s talk about some requirements when installing above the window when there’s a z-metal: 

  • You should have a ¼ inch gap between the z-metal and the siding above the window. 
  • This practice allows water to escape should it ever get behind the siding. 

The siding should not touch the driveway or dirt when installed. This concrete siding will absorb moisture from a driveway or ground. This issue could also cause the paint to bubble and then peel.

When the siding is always wet, it will contract and expand depending on the temperature.

Siding must have eight inches of clearance from other surfaces. The good news is that each piece of siding is covered under its own warranty, so if you don’t follow the standards of that one touching piece, the other ones that are correctly installed will be covered in the warranty.  

#5: Using Too Few Fasteners

James Hardie siding must be connected to studs consistently with full-headed nails or screws. Due to the weight and flexibility, the panels can flex a bit if the wind hits them at the right angle and they are not adequately secured. 

James Hardie has done their research and knows how to fasten nails and screws in the correct patterns. Preferred contractors, such as Elite Home Exteriors, learn how to position nails and screws accurately. 

Contact us today for a free consultation. 

installation errors

#6: Unpainted Joints

Before installing the siding, it must be primed. Then you need to have each panel installed correctly. Even though each piece of siding is 12 feet long, pieces will need to be joined throughout the process. 

All butt joints must be adequately sealed, and installing concrete flashing is necessary to help prevent the siding from absorbing water. 

If the pre-primed siding is not painted, the moisture can lead to warped or cracked siding. 

#7: Incorrect Caulking Techniques

For starters, cheap caulking causes problems. James Hardie recommends using Quad Max caulking to take care of the job.

Quad Max caulking is the top choice because it:

  • Matches the coloring of prefinished ColourPlus siding.
  • Is flexible.
  • Is UV resistant.
  • Shrinks down 30% of its size when it cures.
  • Can be applied in weather that is wet or freezing. 

Improper caulking doesn’t allow water to drain, so it must be removed. You need a quarter-inch clearance in this situation. 

To protect the siding, James Hardie recommends that you:

  • Have a ⅛ inch gap between trim and siding.
  • Use a ⅜ line of caulking to seal the design edge.

You should never see the caulking because it will ruin the look of your exterior. Additionally, water cannot escape when caulking plugs it up, and this will cause future issues. 

james hardie common installation

What’s the Best Way To Avoid Common Installation Errors?

The best way to ensure a job is done right is to hire a James Hardie Elite Preferred contractor, of course!

If you hire the wrong contractor and they do a terrible job, it will cost you a lot more in the long run. Installers who aren’t James Hardie Elite Preferred haven’t committed to adhering to James Hardie requirements. 

When you use a James Hardie Elite Preferred certified installer, that person needs to follow their standards. If not, James Hardie can kick the installer out of their installation program.

At Elite Home Exteriors, We Install Your Siding The Right Way — The First Time

James Hardie siding is synonymous with having a precise installation process. Therefore, to increase your curb appeal, call in the experts to get the job done right the first time. 

Elite Home Exteriors is the company you want to install your siding. 

Since we are a smaller company, we can assist and get to know customers one-on-one. We pride ourselves on building personal relationships by delivering our services with honesty and transparency.

Elite Home Exteriors abides by James Hardie best practices and offers clients a 30-year non-prorated warranty on James Hardie siding products and a 15-year non-prorated warranty on ColorPlus siding.

Let us update your siding and improve the look of your home. Take care of your most important investment. Schedule a free consultation today.

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Posted on by PortlandSEOGrowth
7 James Hardie Common Installation Errors and How To Avoid Them

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