Installing HardiPanels - Need Suggestions

Our home is partially covered with a masonite, stucco-like finish siding that is starting to degrade. I want to replace these 4 x 8 panels with Hardipanel cedar mill sidings. Having never done this before, I'm soliciting suggestions that anyone might have to help me do this. I'll have to replace about 1/2 of the house---almost 32 panels. (Rest of house has different siding and most under a porch). The rear will be the toughest. It's two stories tall--about 8 panels up and 12 panels down. I'm going to borrow scaffolding from a neighbor for the upstairs work.
I know I will need eye protection and mask when I cut the material. Is a 7" rotary saw okay? I'll need to buy some kind of masonry blade I suppose. What about nails: size, special type? Hardipanels are heavy. Does this cause any problem when I try to hang it on existing framing?
Thanks for any suggestions you might have.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Many of your questions are addressed here (you may have to paste this link back together):
http://www.jameshardie.com/builder/installation/hardipanel_installation.p hp
There are fiber cement blades for circular saws and I'd recommend one. I had a piece to cut and tried a masonry blade with poor results. The saw bogged down and I couldn't keep the cut straight. It may have been technique but I had no such problems with a $15 carbide fiber cement blade from Home Depot. Cutting with the good side down made for a smoother cut. The dust won't be good for the saw so I wouldn't use a saw with a lot of sentimental value because it may not survive.
I think they only problem you'll have with weight is getting the panels into position. They are heavy and it's fairly easy to damage the edges by banging them into stuff or break the panel by flexing it too much. Your house would have to be in really poor structural condition for it have any problems holding them up.
Doug
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have had problems getting nails to hold. They pop easily especially along the edges. Good stuff otherwise. I used a short 2x2 to hold it while nailing. I tried the masonry blade and ended up with a regular cheap carbide blade.
M Hamlin

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Other resources: Tamlyn produces accessories including starter strips. Cemplank also produces panels.
Tom Baker
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.