My lessons learned.
Did my Hardiboard horizontal lap siding alone.
All siding was pre-primed retail siding.
Used: Diamond tipped masonary blade on an inexpensive circular saw, and a
All cuts were supported with 2X12 beneath the siding. This included cross
cuts, diagonal cuts, and ripping.
The router was used for holes for conduit entry, and external electrical
outlets. Again, a 2X12 supported the siding during hole cutout with support
mods for hole area like 2X4s.
The only cuts that are somewhat critical are outside corners for accuracy to
give a good appearance. The remainder, caulking can fill any short or
The method I used for cutting was: Always cut outdoors, wind left to right,
adjust the height of the circular saw to just barely score the 2X12, use
unventilated goggles when actually cutting. The mark or line made for
cutting reference will be just to the left of the blade. If too much dust
accumulates in the air while cutting, stop paying attention to not let the
saw wander, let air dissipate, begin again. Cut slower to cut down on dust,
depends on wind conditions. Wear coveralls.
Run the starter strip on the wall per Hardie guidance. Measure up at
corners to properly start the first run of siding, pop a chalk line. At the
outside corner, make a butt stop from the wall around the corner. Measure
properly for the first piece of siding, cut to length. Double up exterior
wall studs to accomodate siding joints. Butt the siding to the butt stop,
nail or screw the siding somewhere in the middle. Do not let go of siding
yet. Nail or screw siding to the adjoining stud as well. Afterwards, check
both ends for proper alignment. Then nail or screw siding remainder if
correct. I used galvanized box nails.
Always use the bottom of the first run of siding for reference. Pop another
chalkline for the next run of siding etc.
A router does holes very well in Hardie horizontal siding. The dust is
worse than cutting with a circular saw. Consider both the unventilated
goggles, coveralls, and a dust mask. Siding must be supported to allow
clearance of router bit. You may have to turn the siding to accomodate wind
direction as you go. Seeing cutting lines is difficult at best due to dust.
Very windy day is a plus.
Painting: Caulk with appropriate caulk. Smooth overflow as needed.
Liberally prime all corners,joints, other type cuts as you cut this area, no
priming present. Caulking does not have to color match, but has to take
primer and paint well. Two coats of paint is what I did. Used paint
formula referenced at Hardie for this type siding.
Used similar techniques on Hardie ventilated soffit as well. "Helpers" can
be made to assist in this. A person assistant is best I found when
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