James Hardie Siding and Trim Products Best Practices – Installation Guide

April 9th, 2020 / Premier Building

James Hardie Siding and Installation

James Hardie Installation

When it comes to James Hardie installation there are a few best practices we follow for all of the James Hardie siding installation and trim products we use here at Premier Building. Follow along with this James Hardie installation guide in order to ensure that you are storing and handling your James Hardie products properly.

James Hardie Products

James Hardie specializes in many different products for your home. The two main products are James Hardie siding and James Hardie trim.

James Hardie Siding

Premier Building are expert installers of James Hardie siding products. Also known as “Hardie Plank,” this innovative siding product is manufactured from a new type of Fiber Cement and provides superior quality and longevity over other options like vinyl or wood siding. James Hardie prides itself on being one of the most aesthetically pleasing sidings available, coming in beautiful color choices and finishes. You can choose from a variety of looks that will compliment and enhance the style and beauty of your home.

When it comes to James Hardie siding installation, you can work with us in order to facilitate the installation of your James Hardie siding. Feel free to contact us today to learn more!

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.