Both LP Smartside and HardiePlank are well-known home siding brands with similar features. They both look great, are long-lasting, and protective of a home. The materials stand up to just about anything, including high and low temperatures, ultraviolet light, mold, rain, and pests with no rotting, splitting, warping, or curling.
So, which one is a better siding choice concerning their cost? Well, you can determine that by looking into each one. Here’s more about them both.
About LP SmartSide
LP SmartSide siding and trim materials come from engineered wood that goes through a treatment process that’s identified as SmartGuard. Manufacturers make the siding from strands of wood that go through a wax coating process that resists moisture and bonds with resin and binders. The fibers face compaction for solidity and durability and a final finish with a zinc-borate solution to protect the fibers from rot and insects. The wood goes through four stages of protection, which not only adds strength but resistance to freezing and thawing cycles, extreme humidity, smashes, and fungus and termites.
Many LP SmartSide products are available in both a smooth finish and a cedar texture. LP SmartSide combines the cedar-grain look of more traditional wood siding along with the engineered wood that brings stability and durability to their siding, which gives a more reliable feeling and look than traditional wood panels.
The siding is a good fit for residential approaches and lighter commercial jobs where a high-end look is necessary but where toughness is in combination to fight weather extremes. A board and batten look is easy to incorporate with LP SmartSide and it adds a rustic yet fashionable touch with its vertical lines and textures.
The warranty program (5/50) with LP SmartSide Siding and trim includes a prorated (loses value every year) limited warranty that covers three areas where potential damage could occur, which includes fungal decay and termites, hail coverage (up to 1 and 3/4 inches in diameter) and underlying layers (substrate) where buckling, cracking, peeling and chipping can occur.
The warranty doesn’t cover damage from termites that have no effect on the structural integrity of the siding, swelling, and the wrong storage or misuse of it.
HardiePlank is a fiber-cement lap siding that consists of wood pulp, fine sand, cellulose fibers, water, and cement components. Cement gives the engineered siding strength and resistance to crushes. The cement also holds the fibers together to avoid cracking. HardiePlank materials contain a natural resistance to both insects and rot.
The manufacturer, James Hardie, created the actual term, Hardie Plank. Because of the company’s input into heavy-duty materials, HardiePlank resists warping and rotting and can last for at least 50 years. Another feature of James Hardie products is its award of the Good Housekeeping Seal, which the company received after much testing for fading, fire resistance, weather effects, and moisture. The company also produces vertical siding, cement boards, shingles, and soffit panels, but HardiePlank lap siding is its top product.
A HardiePlank warranty covers 30 years and includes damage from hail or termite attacks. The warranty doesn’t cover any water damage, mold or fungi growth, improper installation, or excess in wind load.
Cost and ROI Comparison
Both LP SmartSide and HardiePlank’s materials have similar costs. If you’re on a tight budget, pricing may or may not be a deciding factor in your purchase.
- With HardiePlank, your costs will run $2.50 to $4.50 per square foot for siding and any trim accessories
- Installation costs for HardiePlank run from $5.50 to $10.50 per square foot
- Total costs of HardiePlank with the installation will run from $8.00 to $15.00 per square foot
- The HardiePlank ROI (or return on investment will show a return of anywhere from 83 percent to 86 percent.
- The costs for LP SmartSide cost run from $2.00 to $4.00 per square foot for siding and any trim accessories
- Installation costs LP SmartSide run from $5.00 to $10.00 per square foot
- Total costs for LP SmartSide run from $7.00 to 14.00 per square foot
- The LP SmartSide ROI (return on investment) will show a return of anywhere from 82 percent to 87 percent
The return on investment or ROI refers to the percentage of the total cost regained by reselling your house. Both enjoying the home and reaping the benefits of energy efficiency savings are not part of the ROI figure.
Say you have an expected ROI on the siding of 80 percent for a renovation and additional siding that cost $20,000, so installation of new siding would increase the value of the sale of a home by $16,000.
Pros and Cons of LP SmartSide
- Many available styles
- LP SmartSide’s warranty brings a warranty coverage of 50 years
- Lightweight and easy to work with for one person
- A quicker installation at a lower cost
- The siding has a powerful impact on resistance from things hitting it
- LP SmartSide plans are available in 16-foot lengths, which means fewer seams at a lower cost
- Cuts are easier to make when using a standard saw blade
- Production of less dust when cutting
- Locking clips speed up and make for a secure installation
- Painting will probably be necessary after 3-10 years
- Any coatings applied could produce flaking
- Edging cut at the time of installation will need primer and paint to prevent moisture buildup
- The wood content in LP SmartSide siding makes it susceptible to fires, though the siding has a fire rating of 1-hour
- The warranty covers defects 100% for just the first 5 years.
- The warranty doesn’t cover the Pacific Northwest and Alaska because of rainfall and high humidity
Pros and Cons of HardiePlank
- Repainting presents no problems
- Resists warping and cracking because of the wood fibers in the mix
- Resistant to fire and insects
- Resists moisture with a well cared for paint finish
- A 30-year warranty that isn’t prorated
- Warranty is transferable one time
- Heavier material than LP SmartSide
- Increased installation costs because of the need for more installers
- Repainting may be necessary every 3-10 years
- With improper fastening of material, cracking can result
- Minor impacts can cause crumbling of the area affected
- Cutting requires a cement blade cement blade
- Should use respirators or dust masks with cutting
Installation considerations for HardiePlank consist of the use of the HardieZone system, which has to do with the climate zones of 1-5 (HZ5). These zones are subject to climates where freezing occurs.
Climate zones 6-10 (HZ10) apply to areas with milder winters. In addition, any elevation above 2,000 feet in California, Oregon, and Washington requires HZ 5 products. You want to make certain that you use the right product for your zone.
There are certain regions in the country where LP SmartSide products don’t receive a warranty. Those states without coverage include Alaska, Hawaii, and Northern California north of 1-80 or west of the Cascades in Washington state, Oregon, and California.
Suppliers of LP SmartSide don’t carry or sell the product because of high amounts of rain and humidity in these regions, so homeowners need to be aware of this policy and make sure they are using materials that are appropriate for the area.
Comparisons with LP SmartSide siding and HardiePlank siding are going to be comparisons of the top siding products in the industry. Both materials have high ratings among homeowners. LP SmartSide products create an upscale look and are structurally sound because of their product content compared to vinyl or cement boards. There is considerable curb appeal with LP SmartSide, even with the more popular appeal of HardiePlank cement siding.
Maybe you’re looking at siding and the costs involved with either LP SmartSide or HardiePlank siding. You’re debating which is a better choice. If you want more of a rundown on costs and projected home value with either of these, look to RGB Construction for the answers you need. We’re a veteran-owned company with a dedication to doing what’s right for you, plus dealing with any construction concerns you may have. Call us at 856-264-9093. We’ll be happy to be of help.