install Hardie board siding - alone

I need to hang Hardie board siding on my house but can't find anybody to help me. Funny how that happens. Anyhow, is there some sort of jig that I can use to help me hang the siding in place while I nail it.
Thanks, David
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David Axt wrote:

i know people who hang it alone by nailing a small nail in the preceding course to hold up the end of the next. you can also get a malco overlap gauge (http://www.supersavestore.com/r-551236/m-Tools/b-552984/a-B0000WU19I/Default.aspx ).
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David Axt wrote:

Ask your siding supplier for break-off siding clips. They'll know what you're talking about.
You may also want to purchase or make something like: http://siding-tool.com/order/index.php?main_page=popup_image&pID=3
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David Axt wrote:

When I put on Hardi-backer siding, mostly by myself, I created a measuring stick out of a piece of OSB scrap, wide enough so that it also allowed me to balance and hold up the board flush into position over the lap below, while I struggled momentarily to drill and then screw in the Middle screw along a section. Then, I checked, drilled, and screwed each end, and then completed the process for each stud between.
If you haven't started yet, I highly recommend putting a layer of 3/4" R-Guard Insulfoam over the wrapped OSB. This stuff is sold at Home Depot in our area for a rather low price and has major benefits--insulation of the framing and exterior is the best place to put insulation, especially from extremes of summer and winter weather, and the a bug and another vapor barrier is much better than house wrap alone. During the heat wave we experienced recently, the side of the house with this was by far the most comfortable and less in need of a/c. We found same thing last winter for these rooms.
Before installation of the foam layer, the OSB is fully wrapped with roofing felt or house wrapp, or both, and then I put non-rusting bi-metal flashing along the sill plate, stepping up the foam 1/2" up from the foundation. I caulked along the foundation flashing, inside, outside and along the foam edge. I used a couple cans of spray glue to tack on foam sheets to the felt, and then used the pink Owens-Corning house wrap tape to seal seams between foam sheets. The glue just holds long enough to get the Hardi-backer siding in place, that's all. The flashing at the sill plate will eliminate the need to have a bottom starter course to raise the bottom edge of the hardi-backer siding, but I also raised the bottom lap 1/2" off the foundation to eliminate water wicking into the Hardi-backer, and then caulked again along this edge.
The Hardi-backer when screwed on with good quality deck screws will pull up snug and compress the foam material slightly. Use one of those quick-set reversible bits, to quickly swap between the drill and screw bit on your cordless drill. Make sure to recess the screw heads a bit for flush layers, and put a wide bead of caulk along the screw heads before you fumble to get the next board up. After installing all the siding, caulk the foundation and overlaps again. I many contractor boxes of 35 yr white caulk, but you don't want any cracks where insects or anything can climb inside. But, if they do, the foam will be there.
Good luck...
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There's a bunch of odd ideas in this... some of the advice is be OK, but...
Alan wrote:

I am guessing you're using Hardiplank, so if you are using the panels this doesn't apply: There is a tool that can be used to hold one end. It will still be a lot slower than having two people. It's hard to describe: Get some thin 0.050" or so steel, about an inch wide and 10" long. Bend like a "J", and drill a hole in the top. Tack a nail in the nail hole into your house and rest the plank on the bottom of the "J". Nail the plank to the house, remove nail, slide jig out, and repeat process. Not fast, but works.

It's not Hardi-backer, it's Hardiplank or else HardiPanel. The OP doesn't say. HardiBacker is backerboard, a product used in kitchens and restrooms as a "moisture and mold resistant substitute for drywall".
mostly by myself, I created a

Sounds like this will work OK.

Foam is awful stuff if you want your house to "breath". In some climates foam will trap moisture and cause condensation problems, leading to rot and insect problems. The wood inside your walls will stay wetter.
During the heat wave we experienced recently, the side of the

Flashing and wrap = good. Felt = good.
Fussing with glue will make the job very tedious and messy. It's not needed.

You could drill and screw, and if you're having to work with delicate foam underneath, then that's probably mandatory. But Hardie says you can use a framing nailer... this will be much faster. For close to the edges a drill *is* a good idea, since the Hardiboard can fracture near edges.
After installing all the

It's highly unlikely that caulk will keep out insects. Or foam. There will always be uneveness where bugs can get in, and they will if there's a food source (rotting material, and other bugs that eat the bugs that eat the rotting material). Trying to seal everything with caulk will take way too long. Sealing things up too much can slow drying.

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Dry studs and OSB are important, if you are applying siding over green lumber the above issue can be a major one. Mine is the dry climate of California, I had time to wait for the lumber to dry out quite a bit during the summer. The foam reduces condensation problems because the interior wall temperatures are more stable. House wrap is supposed to be a moisture barrier as is roofing felt for the most part. The top plate of the wall does breath into the attic a bit.

The spray glue was quick and easy, and simply tacked the foam to the wall long enough to install the siding.

Framing nailer is not really a good idea with Hardibacker as the backside of the material chips off, making a large hole. If you are in a hurry like construction teams building track homes often are, then nail, if you have time drilling and screws will be the better way to go for sure. Nails tend to pull out over time. With screws, the siding becomes a structural improvement on the wall. You can also control just how snug you want the layers to be over the foam much easier.

Nothings perfect, but caulking has pretty much sealed the overlap cracks my house off over the past three years. Caulk also ensures that the hanging edge is more or less glued to the layer below. Obviously, the flashing and foam block off access to the food source of the OSB and framing members better than housewrap alone.
I know the above system works fairly well, because I had to cut into it already when installing an inwall electrical subpanel. The 1-3/4 chunk of OSB, felt, foam, Hardi-back, and caulk has been saved to show future owners a cross section of what the exterior looks like.
You choose the method ultimately...
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Alan wrote:

Good comments, Alan. Your dry climate lets you do things differently than here (central Midwest... current condition at 7pm is 98F, hot and muggy).
There was a trend to "seal things up" here using the 80's "superinsulated house" approach, and that's been a mess... lots of wood rot. Here, what you save in energy costs with the foam you will more than spend in having carpenters replacing your rotting window sills and siding.
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I built my house in '58 and haven't had a rotting window sill yet. Plain old white pine.
I built a garage/shop in '91 and have replaced the two window sills, all of the brickmold and several batts on the sidewall. What did I do different? Nothing. The damn lumber just isn't any good anymore. I guess it's because of all the re-growth timber. The garage isn't heated or insulated so you can't blame it on that. I soak the replacement parts in Woodlife.
you save in energy

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Glenn wrote:

Good point. I had a bunch of rotten wood in the sills in my garage... it's unheated and un-cooled, so there should be no condensation due to temperature differences. And it doesn't have a bathroom in it or other moisture source. It just had low grade wood to begin with.
Maybe the window manufacturers hunt for the very softest wood they can find. It's crap.
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The main part of my house was built in the early 1950's and the doug fir studs are in excellent shape. When I knocked out the south wall to put in the addition with big windows and French doors to face the waterfront, I saved the lumber and reused much of it, right down to the blocking. It has tight grain and fewer knots overall. Due to its hardness, nailing is sometimes a hassle, but I use a lot of screws and Simpson Strong ties anyway.
I was even able to save the redwood bottom sill plates and reuse them! Interestingly, the roof had 3/4" by 5 tongue and groove redwood purloins used to hold the cedar shakes (that had long since been covered over by asphalt shingles). I took these, cut them to size on the table saw, filled in the nail holes with an epoxy/sawdust mix, screwed them on for corner molding over the hardibacker, caulked and painted. I've even used some of this ample supply of once roofing lumber to make corner and baseboard moulding inside the house.
I've had engineers tell me that old wood is not a strong as new lumber, but I don't believe that. I salvaged some long true 2x12 lumber from a stack my neighbor was taking to the dump. I pulled nails, drenched the good boards in clear preservative, stained them, and sealed the grain with a satin polyeurathane, and then used them for a rustic open beam ceiling supports in the family room addition.
As long as the wood is hard and free of rot or cracks, I can't see how the new lumber can be stronger. The redwood is like new if sanded a little, and it won't ever rot or be eaten by termites. I certainly couldn't afford to buy this quality redwood if I were lucky enough to even find it.
Right now, I'm planning to salvage some 3/4 by 6 doug fir purloins to use as flooring in a new garage attic storage space. I'll run use the router to create the overlapping edges, drench in preservative, finish nail, sand, and paint. I'm not sure what I should do on the cheap to insulate and prevent potential squeaks between these boards and the plywood subflooring. I've considered using some thin plastic packing material sent to me by on-line vendors and saved over the past couple of years, but alternative suggestions welcomed.
The mention mold issue is a frightening one, and were we in a high humitiy area, I'd definetly reconsider my methods mentioned above. The high temperatures in Central California could cause some condensation, but external insulation (not just batts between studs) that covers the sheathing and framing should reduce temperature swings, thereby reducing condensation inside the walls. Sealing off the walls should help keep mold spores from sucking their way into the wall cavities. The house wrap generation didn't include external insulation as part of the practice, I believe.
But, for the final question here, the new spray foam (sold by www.tigerfoam.com) eliminate the condensation problem if all dried wood studs and interior sheathing is covered--before placing the batts? They claim it eliminates condensation the wood, and that mold won't grow on the foam.
snipped-for-privacy@ergebnis.de wrote:

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I don't see how they can make that claim. These days they're gluing together plywood to make "beams"... what's next, pressed-wood beams? But as you say, if you could even find the old solid wood, you can't afford it.

I can't speak for California conditions, but here we get a lot of internal moisture due to cooking and showers that needs to exit the house. If the house is sealed tightly on all continuous surfaces with something that won't "breath", then the moisture will travel out through any gaps, and that is usually the windows sills and trim, and between the seams of the hardboard siding (on a house with that siding). So the best strategy if you want the house to last is to always use materials that breath, not vapor barriers.
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In our California home, we have a fans in the bathroom and kitchen, so the need for moisture to exit through cracks in walls should be a non-issue. Even if the fans are turned off, the pressure can escape this way, and through open doors and windows, I suppose.
snipped-for-privacy@ergebnis.de wrote:

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