HardieWrap Weather Barrier

July 23rd, 2020 / Premier Building

HardieWrap weather barrier defends against weather elements that may get beneath external coverings of housing and other structures. It is a non-perforated, non-woven and water-resistant barrier. HardieWrap barrier is coated with a unique finish (MicroTech) that prevents water invasion while also allowing water vapor to escape the cavity of a wall. At 11-mil thick, this weather barrier ensures durability and strength. HardieWrap barriers are offered in two styles, each with a different climatic application – one used in cold/wet regions, and another in hot/humid areas.

Barrier Installation

HardieWrap weather barrier is recommended to be installed prior to installing doors or windows. It is intended to be installed over sheathing or dry framing. A sharp utility knife is recommended to cut the barrier. It should be applied a minimum of 6” around the corner of the nearby wall, print side facing out, and then secured using HardieWrap seam tape. When doing this, avoid interfering with any drainage details. Using staples (preferably galvanized) or roofing nails, fasten the weather barrier to sheathing material or studs, with a maximum of 18” increments both horizontally and vertically. The weather barrier’s lower edge should extend past the foundation interference and sill plate by a minimum of 1”. Upper layers of the weather barrier should overlap by a minimum of 6” beneath the horizontal edge. The horizontal seam line should then be taped down using HardieWrap seam tape. Any exposed weather barrier should ideally be covered up within 6 months from the date of installation. If applying HardieWrap weather barrier directly to Oriented Strand Board, or any other surface that does not require extra adhesion, a spray adhesive is suggested to be used in conjunction.

HardieWrap Flashing

When dealing with plumbing or electrical penetrations, it is recommended to secure a seal using flashing. James Hardie offers two different flashing products to be used alongside their weather barriers. HardieWrap Pro-Flashing is designed for a peel-and-stick installation. Meanwhile, HardieWrap Flex Flashing is stretchable and seals around windows and doors. Both flashing products are self-adhering, self-sealing and tear-resistant.

Flashing Installation

Begin the flashing proces by cutting HardieWrap flashing a minimum of 12” longer than the opening’s width. Center the flashing on the stud of the windowsill framing, and then stick the flashing into the opening. The rear edge of the flashing should extend onto the inner edge of the stud of the sill framing, and a minimum of 6” up every jamb framing stud. Note that it should never wrap onto the wall’s interior, and material should never be stretched along the sill of the jamb. HardieWrap Flex Flashing is intended to be cut and set around the opening of a window prior to being applied on top of the weather barrier. Prior to installing a window, apply sealant to the interior of the mounting flange on the outer edge of the window. Alternatively, apply a seal to the opening to confirm connection with the interior of the mounting flange of the window

For side jamb flashing, apply HardieWrap Pro-Flashing alongside the upright sides of the opening. Apply flash over the side window mounting flange. Extend flashing by at least 3” past the sill flashing that was installed prior (HardieWrap Flex Flashing). Be sure to also extend this flashing at least 3” past the top of the opening.

Lastly, to flash the head of the window, apply HardieWrap Pro Flashing over the mounting flange of the window alongside the header opening. Extend this flashing past jamb flashing by 3”. Apply pressure to ensure flashing stays in place. Use seam tape to seal all seams and joints.

For circular windows, begin by measuring the window and adding 12”. Cut this length of HardieWrap Flex Flashing to be used as head flashing. Remove roughly 20” of release paper and place flex flashing alongside the initial edge of window. Use pressure to secure flash into place. Continue this process for the entire circular section of the window. Each end of the head flashing must overlap sill flashing by a minimum of 6”.


HardiePlank Siding Installation

June 26th, 2020 / Premier Building

HardiePlank Siding

HardiePlank lap siding is a pre-primed, cement-fiber siding that provides high performance and an attractive appearance. It is resistant to water absorption, which helps prevent damage from swelling, cracking or mold. HardiePlank lap siding is also hail-damage resistant and non-combustible. This siding is offered with an exclusive finish, better known as ColorPlus Technology, which uses a multi-coating procedure to oven-bake color onto the siding. This process helps to prevent color fading from high UV levels. HardiePlank lap siding was engineered with a focus on providing an extra level of defense against various climatic issues. The HZ5 product line is the result of multiple generations of testing and designing. Its substrate composition is ideal for structures located in climates with snow, ice, freezing temperatures and variations in seasonal temperature. HardiePlank HZ5 lap siding also features a drip edge to assist with water control in conditions related to these climates.


HardiePlank siding. A 1-1/4” piece of siding can be ripped off of full or partial planks and used to make these strips. A starter strip underneath the initial course is required in order to set the siding at the correct angle. This will also form a drip edge at the siding’s bottom. The starter strip should be installed over the weather-resistant barrier, and flush with the sheathing’s bottom edge. Leave intermittent gaps in the starter strip to help drain any moisture that may have accumulated behind the siding.

Ensuring the initial starter course is set up properly is vital to the installation process. The starter course should begin at the lowest point of the building, within the bounds of required clearances. It should be properly aligned using a level, and the course’s straightness should be checked periodically as installation continues along the wall. Drywall shims can help correct flatness over insulation, or other exterior factors. Place the lower edge of the course at a minimum of ¼” underneath the starter strip’s edge and secure it. Next, run siding over to the HardieTrim board while making sure to leave a 1/8” gap in-between the trim and the siding. The bottom of the trim should generally be flush with the bottom of the siding, but if preferred, the trim may hang below the siding. However, the siding should never extend below the trim. A level, speed square or framing square may be used to match up the plank course heights on each side of a corner.

Blind nailing is the generally recommended technique for installing HardiePlank lap siding. This results in every course covering the fasteners on the course underneath it to give the installation a superior look. It is recommended to install fasteners 1” from the plank’s top edge. Fasteners should not be placed any closer than 3/8” from the plank’s ends. The HZ5 product line was designed with a nail line etched into it that can help guide nail placement.

Additional lengths of HardiePlank lap siding need to be butt jointed for any walls exceeding 12 feet in length. Between consecutive courses, butt joints should be spaced apart by one stud bay for 24” o.c. framing, or a minimum of two stud bays for 16” o.c. framing. The joints should ideally be staggered to prevent noticeable patterns. Using this technique, one course’s cut-off piece becomes the starter piece of the course above. This in turn makes the process faster and easier, while making more effective use of materials. Butt joints should land on studs. It is not recommended to land them in-between studs. Both sides of a joint should lie in the center of a stud, with 3/4” landing space on each side. Butt joints should also avoid being placed directly below or above doors or windows. Ideally, finished ends should be placed at butt joints where siding encounters trim, corner, door or anywhere else the joint would be caulked. For products using the patented ColorPlus Technology finish, a color-coded edge coater will help seal any cut ends.

Joint flashing is recommended over other joint treatment options. Flashing behind joints gives an added level of defense against water entry. Flashing material must not react to cement products and must be waterproof, such as water resistant barriers or coil stock. A 6” wide flashing material that overlaps the course underneath by 1” is recommended, although building codes may require alternative sizes.

When the first course of HardiePlank siding is set on the wall, proceed with fitting additional courses using full 12 foot pieces, or until an external opening (such as a door or a window) disturbs the course’s path. Ensure that all cut edges are sealed, and notch planks to fit around any doors or windows as needed.

HardieShingle Installation

June 15th, 2020 / Premier Building

HardieShingle sidewall panels are designed for vertical wall applications, with a fiber-cement construction to give them extra durability. HardieShingle panels are offered in straight-edge or staggered-edge variants (48” L x 16” H), or for more decorative purposes, a half-round style. Additionally, siding panels are sold individually in a variety of sizes for sidewall that requires less coverage. HardieShingle siding is also available pre-finished in ColorPlus Technology – a multi-coating process that oven-bakes color onto siding to provide better fade resistance to high UV levels. Unlike traditional cedar siding, HardieShingle siding is resistant to moisture damage, such as splitting, warping and rotting.

Individual Shingle Installation

Similar to traditional wood-shingle siding, HardieShingle siding requires a starter course and starter strip to be used prior to installing an initial group of shingles. Starter strips are used to set shingles at the correct angle, and can be created by tearing 1-1/4” L strips from HardiePlank siding. These starter strips are recommended to be fitted over a water-resistant barrier. HardiePlank lap siding (8-1/4”) can also be used as a starter course. To assist with installation, use a snapped chalk line 8-1/4” above the bottom edge of the starter strip. The top of the starter course should be situated alongside the chalk line. If a uniform straight edge is preferred, use a straight edge on the bottom of shingles. Once these are in place, install the first course of shingle siding, laying it even with the starter course’s bottom edge. Individual shingles should not be spaced more than ¼” apart from one another, and gaps in-between shingles should not be within 1-1/2” of the gaps in the course above, or the course below. Shingle widths should be applied in a random pattern for optimal appearance. For extra strength and corrosion resistance, it is recommended to perform all installations with stainless steel fasteners. For individual shingles being installed on plywood (min. 15/32” thick) or Oriented Strandboard sheathing (min. 7/16” thick), it is recommended to use .091” x .221” x 1.5” siding nails. Nails should be positioned ½” to 1” from the shingle’s side edges, and 8-1/2” to 9” above the shingle’s bottom edge. HardieShingle siding should be stored flat and kept covered and dry prior to installation.

HardieShingle Panel Installation

HardieShingle Panels are installed by working across the wall from one end to the other. Begin by measuring and cutting the initial panel to ensure that the panel’s end falls over the framing. Next, use a chalk line along the panel’s top edge to create a guide. For straight edge panels, panel edges should be aligned at the bottom to create a uniform straight line. For the best appearance, bottom edges of the siding and trim should be aligned. The upper section of the rear of the panel should be cut even with the edge of the keyway in any cases where the panel begins at a door or window casing, or a corner board. An 1/8” gap should be left between the siding and HardieTrim board where the two meet. Next, cut the first panel for the second course, and land it on the stud before the first course’s panel. The cut end can be used to border the trim. Begin the third course using the edge of the panel touching on the stud before the second course. Switch between these three lengths going up the wall in order to create correct placement of shingle keyways. If using HardieShingle Staggered Edge panels, create a mark 6” from the top of the installed panel and another at an equivalent height on the other end of the wall, making sure to snap a chalk line in-between the two marks. The top of the next panel course should be aligned with this chalk line. The siding bottom should generally be flush with the bottom of the trim. When installing HardieShingle panels directly to Oriented Strandboard (min. 7/16” thick), or with 16” or 24” O.C. wood studs, a .083” x .187” x 1.5” ring shank siding nail is recommended. Nails should be positioned ½” to 1” from the shingle’s side edges, and 8-1/2” to 9” above the shingle’s bottom edge.

Wellbridge Addiction Treatment and Research Center

May 18th, 2020 / Premier Building

Take exit 69 off the Long Island Expressway, and that’s where you’ll immediately find the impressive new Wellbridge Addiction Treatment and Research Center. The 96-acre campus in Calverton, New York consists of six buildings, all of which have composite shake roofing overhead.

Opened in April 2020, the 80-bed facility includes a two-story main building. This structure houses the primary treatment facility, labs, care sections and auditorium. It also has a dining room, chapel and a variety of offices.

Treatment and Research Campus Design

The massive main building connects to other buildings via paved garden paths. The campus, which has 134,000-square-feet of space, includes a short-term care building, wellness center, creative expression center, and maintenance building.

“We designed this complex with low maintenance in mind,” says Ron Whelan, senior project manager for Engel Burman. “The DaVinci Roofscapes composite shake product fits our needs. We want the exteriors of the buildings as easy-care as possible.

“Our company has used DaVinci’s synthetic roofing products in the past. The Bristal Assisted Living project in Garden City, New York also features DaVinci’s low maintenance roofing tiles.

“The product looks great at both facilities. I believe it’s a beautiful composite roofing product that seems to hold up well to the environment with no fading or other problems.”

Largest DaVinci Project

Soon after the project started, the team at Premier Building & Renovations Corp. was brought in.  Their task was to install DaVinci Bellaforté Shake roofing on the structures as they were built. Their work started in February of 2019, and completed 10 months later in October.

“This is the largest DaVinci project we’ve ever tackled,” says Robert Foreman, owner of Premier Building & Renovations Corp. “We had ten people working on this project continually. The Bellaforté Shake product is great to work with. It’s lightweight and installs easily.

“In the five years we’ve been installing DaVinci composite roofing tiles, we average about 3 or 4 major projects a year. No matter how many roofs we do in the future, this project will stand out for many years to come.

“The Weathered Gray shake tiles give both a unified and unique look to this complex of buildings. The composite shake tiles look great and provide the owners with the low maintenance roof they wanted.”

Best Practices – Installation Guide – James Hardie Siding and Trim Products

April 9th, 2020 / Premier Building

James Hardie Siding

Job site storage of James Hardie Products

When storing the James Hardie family of siding and trim products they should always be stored in their original packaging in a garage, shed, or any other location that protects the product from weather. All James Hardie products must be kept covered on a pallet that is off the ground; never store Hardie products directly on the ground.

If James Hardie products are stored outdoors they should always have an extra layer of additional waterproofing protection. It is very important to keep all James Hardie products protected from the elements. If James Hardie products happens to become saturated, it is important to lay it on a flat surface to be allowed to dry completely

Importance of keeping James Hardie Projects Dry

Upon insulation all James Hardie Trim and Siding products must be kept dry at all times. Here are the following problems that will occur if James Hardie products become wet

1) Open Joints Due To Shrinkage – Joints between planks may open and will need to be replaced or repaired if installed wet.
2) Handling Will Become Difficult – When James Hardie Products becomes saturated they become very difficult to handle and greatly increases the weight and flexibility of fiber clement products.
3)Staining – Staining will occur as a result of soluble salts, usually white in color which will sometimes also appear on concrete construction or the surface of masonry work.

Proper Handling of James Hardie products

To help withstand injury and product damage it is important to handle James Hardie Products correctly. Lap Siding, Trim and Soffit Products should always be handled by the edge. James Hardie Recommends two people carry the product, one on each end to help balance the load. If you have to carry a plank solo it is best to grab it by the middle and spread your arms as far ass possible to help support as much of the product as possible. If you carry trim or lap siding flat there is a possibility that the product will bend or break. When two people are carrying a large panel it is important to take extra care to avoid damaging the product do to reduced visibility

Working Safely with James Hardie Products

Manage and Minimize Silica Dust.
As one of the most common minerals found on earth, Silica is a main component in the sand located on our beaches. It is also used to make several household products such as cleaners and polishes, and even glass. Many different kinds of Building materials are made from Silica, such as Granite countertops, concrete, tile, pavers, drywall compound, etc. it is known for its durability and is a major part in the stability of fiber cement. When cutting products that contain silica with a high speed saw or grinder it can generate a very fine dust when inhaled over long periods of time can several different types of lung disease and other health concerns.

OHSA sets an exposure limit for dust, chemicals and other hazards that workers may become exposed to while working on a jobsite. The boundaries cover dust from various types of material. OSHA requires employers to take specific action to protect their workers on job sites based on the amount of silica dust they become exposed too. The Updated Standard by OSHA reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for silica dust by around 80% from 250ug/m3 to 50ug/m3 throughout the course of an 8 hour period.


1) When cutting make sure your cutting station allows the airflow to blow dust away from the user and others near the area that you’re cutting.

2)Cut using one of these methods

a) Best: a circular saw that is equipped with a HardieBlade and an attached vacuum that is used to collect dust. Shears are also a good tool to use for cutting, specifically products that are thicker than 7/16 in.

b)Better: Any circular saw that comes with a dust collection feature and a HardieBlade saw blade

c) Good: Circular saw equipped with a HardieBlade Saw Blade


James Hardie uses a ranking system to best establish the best way to cut their fiber cement products. They system is ranked Best, Better, Good. The chart listed above is provided for informational purposes only to help decifer which cutting options are appropriate for your specific circumstances. If you are unsure about which method to use regarding your circumstances please contact a safety professional or your James Hardie representative for further assistance.

OSHA has deemed cutting fiber cement products outdoors with a saw blade diameter no less than 8 inches and connected to a commercially available dust collection system per manufactures instructions results in lower exposure to respirable crystalline silica without the need for additional respiratory protection.

Cutting Station Set Up

Make sure when setting up a cutting station it is in a well ventilated outdoor location, and down wind from other coworkers. DO NOT cut inside of enclosed areas or indoors with high speed saws

Clean Up and Disposal of Debris

No special handling is required in the disposal of James Hardie Products, please follow local ordinances. Make sure to not use a broom and dustpan on dry dust from James Hardie Products. Use wet dust suppression methods, sweeping compounds or a vacuum.

How to Put a Creative Touch on the Colonial Style House

March 27th, 2020 / Premier Building

Colonial Style House

Colonial style homes have influences as diverse as America’s first settlers. These houses have common attributes that are still popular today, even as homeowners add creative touches to the traditional style.

Robert Catalfomo, of Premier Building and Renovation (their work is shown above), said homeowners still appreciate the formal elements and aesthetic of Colonial homes, but more often than not, they’re adding features of other styles and using non-traditional colors to make their homes unique.

“People like to express themselves, and with the products available today, the style can easily lend itself to being more creative,” Catalfomo said.

What Is American Colonial Architecture?

Colonial Architecture

American settlers in the 1700s sought to replicate the styles that defined architecture in their native countries, creating a variety of substyles: French Colonial, Spanish Colonial, Dutch Colonial, German Colonial, and others. Among the most popular is the Georgian style house, which is influenced both by ancient Greek and Roman architecture and the Italian Renaissance.

The Colonial style house was especially popular in southern and northeastern regions of the country through the 19th century. In the 1990s, when classical architecture made a comeback, Colonial style homes began popping up all over the country.

What Are the Characteristics of a Colonial Style House?

Symmetry: Georgian style homes are usually designed to be perfectly symmetrical with a central entrance. They’re shaped like a square or rectangle and have evenly spaced windows along the front elevation. The interior is symmetrically designed with a central staircase.

Moulding: Decorative elements, such as crown moulding over the top of the windows, dentil moulding along the roof lines, and decorative bottom window sills are common in Colonial houses.

Pedimented and Gable Dormers: Pedimented dormers extend away from the roof and are supported from the ground by columns, posts or pillars, whereas gable dormers are built completely into the roof gable (the area between the gutters and the peak of the roof).

Columns and Chimneys: Some Colonial style homes have pillars surrounding the front doorway and either a central chimney or one on each side of the house.

Colonial Exteriors

Colonial Exteriors

The Colonial house presents a variety of opportunities when it comes to siding materials and colors. Traditionally, Catalfomo said, Colonial homes were sided with white clapboard and featured a red front door. Now, his firm only uses white siding on a small percentage of the homes they renovate. Homeowners are playing with color, from blues to grays to tans, but one traditional element remains: the vast majority of Colonial homes have white trim.

Catalfomo says he’s seen many Colonial homes sided with brick, lap siding, or shingle siding. Sometimes, homeowners will choose to combine different materials. For example, they might use HardieShingle® siding on the front and HardiePlank® lap siding on the sides and back of the house.

Some homeowners are even going further by fusing the Colonial look with other architectural styles. Catalfomo said he’s seen wood and metal accents and copper accent roofs increase in popularity. The modern farmhouse trend sometimes emerges in the details with some homeowners adding texture by using board-and-batten siding in the roof gables.

The Appeal of the Colonial Style Home

While the Colonial house may seem overly formal to some people, modern updates to this traditional style can appeal to homeowners with a variety of tastes. Plus, the functional interior layout makes this style an ideal choice for families.

“Part of the American dream is owning that type of home … the one with the white picket fence,” Catalfomo said. “It’s a familiar style of home to many people. It’s the type of home that you can raise a family in.”