We are in the process of changing out our clapboard siding with hardie
board, and so far I have 3 completed walls out of 8. I like it, it is a
bit fragile, but once you learn its limitations it works ok. You never
lift full boards lying flat, they can break, on its edge it is ok.
cutting it is a challenge, it responds well to most tools, but the
circular saw with a blade in backwards seems the best. A sawzall with
wood blades works ok, but stock up on blades, they don't last long. You
can score it with a utility knife and break it like drywall, but it has
to be scored deep or it won't break straight and that process is slow
though it produces the best looking cuts. They make power shears based
on a drill motor, I haven't tried those.
I'm using stainless steel self drilling screws, and I prefer that to
nails, as you can fix your mistakes and if you had to remove a panel to
repair infrastructure, you would have a removable panel.
It holds paint well, and looks fantastic once painted. the 1 X 4 Hardie
trim is nice too, that seems to be the first thing to go when made of
wood, those will out live me. I use those for window trim and corners.
We plan to make ceiling for the porch out of the Hardie soffit board, I
haven't attempted that yet