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Newbie help! 09-17-2012 08:26 PM

DIY Hardie Shingles
This may seem like a silly question, but I am truly a newbie and don't know a lot. I've been looking at Hardie shingles for my large home addition, (about 2000 sq.ft.) but the cost is very high. I am interested in the straight edge, 48" shingle siding, which runs about $2.75 per sq.ft., primed. Is there any reason why I can't buy the 4 x 8 sheet of 1/4" soffit material and make my own? I would just cut the sheet into 48x16" strips, and then make a jig and run the strips through my table saw up to about 8". As far as I can tell, that would give me an identical product. I know it would be tedious, but I have more time then money right now so I'd be willing to take the time. I could get 6 strips per sheet, which would be about $1.55 per sq.ft. Overall savings would be about $3,000. Any thoughts?

joecaption 09-17-2012 08:50 PM

I guess you have not cut Hardee Board before.
Have you gone on there web site and read the warnings about the dust?
Just trying to handle the sheets without breaking them will be a chore, never mind trying to run them though the saw.
You would end up with all rough edges where the cuts are that would all have to be cleaned up and resealed.

I guess I'm just not a Hardee anything fan.
Unless you go buy a real siding nail gun it's a pain to install, needs a special blade just to cut it, very brittle, near impossable to repair if it gets damaged with out it showing, with even something as simple a a baseball or stone strike.
Needs to have a piece of tar paper under every joint.
Still will need to be painted at some point, and you will have to touch up paint any of the cuts and exposed nail heads.
Can not be installed close to any solid surface, deck, roof, ECT or it delaminates.
There trim board really suck. I gave up on even trying to use them and use 5/4 vinyl instead.

Newbie help! 09-17-2012 10:02 PM

Wow! It sounds like fabricating them would be the least of my problems. I've installed wood siding before but never hardie. It looks so easy on all the videos online!!

Thanks so much for all the info! I will be rethinking this project!

philS 09-17-2012 11:10 PM

a hardie fan
OTOH, I've done three houses now with hardie board and found it simple to install, easy to patch (rope, caulk), and long-lived. The trick, of course, and the one place I agree with Joe, is that you have to have a pair of electric shears designed for cutting the stuff. They're not cheap but maybe you can rent or borrow one (the good ones last forever as they have replaceable blades). Even with the shears you end up using a sabre saw for the inside corners around trim. Doing the cutting out doors is essential, and a dust mask is a really good idea when using the sabre saw.

Ive got lots of tricks I've picked up over the years. Happy to share.

GBrackins 09-18-2012 08:53 AM

if you are thinking of using James Hardie products I would recommend going to their website or local lumber yard and get the contact information for the local James Hardie representative and contact them. They can answer your questions, and I know the rep for my area will come and demonstrate the proper use and installation of their products. Don't know if all reps do that or not.

I know some people do not like their products and others swear by them. I myself prefer their products over vinyl products. I'm one of the lucky people that have the melted vinyl siding from reflected sunlight from my neighbors low-e windows and am planning on installed Hardiplank to prevent this from occurring in the future.

Good luck!

jaydevries 09-18-2012 10:22 PM

i am a fan of hardie have installed thousands of squares using a makita dust saw, shears, tapco siding table, and siding geckos. i also like a guillotine shear.
but the time, dust,priming, and damage on saw i thank i would rather work some extra time to make up the 3,000 since it would be easier than making my own shingle

oodssoo 09-19-2012 12:06 PM

It sounds like you are on the right track here.

One thing to consider: evaluate the cost involved to install the shingle siding and go with the prefered method by you.

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