James Hardie VS. Masonite


James Hardie Vs Masonite Siding

James Hardie’s fiber cement siding has a lasting beauty that is made to be tougher than the elements.  They are one of the leaders in the siding industry due to their durability and design. There are a lot of different types of siding for you to choose from, and they are definitely not all designed equally.  

A popular choice for siding is masonite siding.  Masonite siding has been around for a long time. It is also known as hardboard.  This can get somewhat confusing, if you are not careful. This is because James Hardie’s siding is also known as Hardie Board.  This is often confused with hardboard, or masonite, but it is really two different things

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between James Hardie fiber cement siding and masonite siding.  


All About Hardie Fiber Cement Siding

James Hardie’s fiber cement siding is made up of a mixture of fibers, water, and other particles.  It is then pressed together to form a strong fiber cement material that is made into boards. It is one of the most durable options on the market when it comes to siding and other building materials.  

James Hardie’s siding has been around for decades now, and they have been perfecting their formula to ensure that it is made to last.  Over the years, they have really designed a material that is second to none. This is why they are one of the most popular options for siding today across the globe.  

What is Masonite Siding?  

Masonite siding is made up of a pressboard type material.  It look a lot like particle board. It is made up of resins, glues and wood fibers.  These materials are joined together in a high pressure and heat process, making it into a seamless board.  It is very inexpensive to make, but it is also not really made to be very durable. It can have a lot of really big problems that can lead to some serious infrastructure issues down the road.


Issues Found With Masonite Siding

If you have masonite siding on your home, then you may have already started to notice some of the problems that come along with it.  The biggest issues that we see with masonite siding is that it does not repel water. It instead absorbs water. This causes the siding to swell and warp.  It can also make it soften, rot or blister up. Either way, it does not stay looking great for years to come unlike the Hardie Board siding. In fact, it can penetrate all the way through to your dry wall, and cause issues with your insulation and your infrastructure.  

They have made some advancements in the way that they seal masonite siding, but there are still complications that can arise down the road.  For something that is such a big investment, it seems that superior materials like the fiber cement would be the better option. Before determining what is best for you, let’s look at a few other factors.  

Caring for Your Siding Properly

To ensure that you care for your siding properly, you really need to know the type of siding and the brand that is used on your home.  If you are building a new home, then you likely know the materials that are being used. If you bought an existing home, you may not be very sure.  If you are trying to see if your home has masonite siding, there are a few things that you can look for.

One of the best ways to find out what type of siding is used in your home is to find a piece that is unfinished.  This is often times found around your attic or your garage. There, you can usually find markings that let you know who the manufacturer is for the siding.  Then, you can do the proper research to find out how to properly care for your siding.

What if You Have Masonite Siding Currently?  

If you find that you have masonite, or hardboard siding, on your existing home, then you will want to inspect it to see how it is holding up.  You can either do this yourself, or have a professional come out and take a look at it for you. Start by looking for damage to the siding. If there is apparent damage, such as swelling, rotting, blistering, cracking or peeling, the you may need to go ahead and have the siding replaced.

Sometimes, there are just some minor problems with your siding.  This may include discoloration and chipping of paint. These may not require you to replace the siding, but you should definitely keep a close eye on it to protect your home.  These small problems can quickly turn into larger problems that can cost you a whole lot of money in repairs to your home’s infrastructure.

If you have determined that the damage is irreparable, then you will want to replace the damaged siding boards.  Sometimes it makes more sense to replace the siding altogether. If you are considering replacing your siding, maybe consider James Hardie’s fiber cement siding.  It is made to last, and does not warp and deteriorate over time like the masonite siding.


Maintaining Your Masonite Siding

If your masonite siding is still in good condition, you may can hold off on replacing it.  There are a few things that you can do to keep it well maintained and looking great. You just have to put forth the effort.  First, start by keeping a close eye on your siding. Look for any issues on a regular basis. This can prevent further problems down the road.  It is a good idea to take a look around the base of your siding at least every few months, to catch any issues early on to avoid bigger problems.  

It is also important that you have a good drainage system going for your home.  Having the ground slope downward, and away from your siding is important. This keeps water from pooling up on the siding that is closer to the ground.  It also helps to keep mold and mildew away, by keeping it dry. Another good way to keep it dry is to ensure that it is installed at least 6 inches off the ground.  

Other ways to keep the masonite siding in good shape and dry include cleaning out your gutters and making sure that they function properly, cleaning the siding, and making repairs promptly when you notice that something is wrong.  This can help your masonite siding stay in good shape.

The problem is, maintaining the masonite can take a lot of time and work.  If you do not want to really deal with the upkeep of it, then the James Hardie fiber cement siding may be a great option for you.  It is pretty much maintenance free, and does not require you to do much along the lines of upkeep.

The Cost Differences Between James Hardie Fiber Cement and Masonite Siding

Clearly, masonite siding is going to be more affordable.  Masonite siding is essentially like particle board, which is very cheap to make.  It does not require a whole lot of materials, or a whole lot of work to make it. This means you will spend less for it.  It is also not as expensive to install. Just remember that most of the time you get what you pay for.

James Hardie’s fiber cement siding is definitely a bit pricier.  This is because it is made to last. The durability and low maintenance qualities of this siding make it a better investment.  This is because it is going to last longer, and require you to replace your siding far less often. This can save you more money down the road, although it may look like a larger investment up front.  Ultimately, it can save you thousand of dollars later, especially if you consider the fact that it can protect your home’s infrastructure.


Choosing the Right Siding For Your Home

It is clear to see that the fiber cement siding is the superior choice.  If you have decided that James Hardie’s fiber cement siding is right for your home, then give us a call at Hatch Homes today.  We can discuss all of your options, including the various different types of fiber cement siding options from the Hardie collection.  We can also give you a free estimate, and give you a good idea of what to expect out of your home improvement project.

The siding project for your home is not something to take lightly.  Hire a team of professionals that has a lot of experience in the industry.  If you have your fiber cement siding installed incorrectly, it can really cost you a lot down the road.  Avoid this by having it installed right the first time around. Leave it to the experts here at Hatch Homes to get the job done right, so you can have peace of mind with your investment.