Correctly Nailing HardiePlank Siding

Proper nailing hardieplank siding technique Texas Home Exteriors Houston

Fig 9 – HardiePlank siding cracked from improper nailing & shrinkage

Hardie Siding Products Nailing Issues

In all my years in home improvement, I have witnessed what works as well as what does not perform well.  I cannot begin to tell you how many HardiePlank (James Hardie) Siding jobs I have come across with face nails and just after a few years are showing cracks in the surface due to the improper nailing procedure that was used. James Hardie is the manufacture and here is the instructions for Hardie Siding Installation for reference.

In our extreme Southeast Texas summer heat and humidity, there will be some expansion and contraction in the James Hardie siding product.

If the HardiePlank Siding is face nailed at the vertical edges (the ends of the plank), this is what could happen (Figure 9 at the right). When HardiePlank is face nailed, it should always be nailed in the main run areas away from vertical edges so cracking does not occur. 

Two Methods of Nailing (fastening) 

Face Nailing Hardie Siding Texas Home Exteriors Houston

Fig 10 – Proper Face Nailing Technique (click to enlarge)

Face Nailing Method

If face nailing should be needed, it should be kept at a minimal distance and away from each end of the plank if possible.  If face nailing should ever be required, for instance, let’s say if a plank is not lying flat, it should be nailed at least ¾” away from either edge (see Figure 10).

Blind Nailing Method

90% of the blind nailing should occur at the top of the lower panel of the siding that is being installed (see Figure 11).

By nailing this way, the nails will also be covered and hidden by the next panel that is installed above it which is more visually appealing.

Blind nailing procedure diagram Texas Home Exteriors

Fig 11 – Blind nailing procedure diagram (click to enlarge) 

This will ensure that there is no chance of breakage due to expansion and contraction after the HardiePlank crews are long gone.

Voiding The Warranty 

There is also the issue that James Hardie the manufacture of the siding product will void the warranty should the siding be nailed improperly. That is why it is so important to install the product to what the manufacturer specifies and recommends.

It is not uncommon for siding products to be installed incorrectly to varying degrees. Nailing is one of the most important aspects.   


Suggested Galvanized Fasteners  (nails) For Coastal Applications

Fasteners must be corrosion resistant, galvanized fiber cement HardiPlank nails, or stainless steel. Electro-galvanized are acceptable but may exhibit premature corrosion.
Hardie recommends the use of quality, hot dipped galvanized nails.

Stainless Steel fasteners (nails) 

Hardie Siding Installation Job by Texas Home Exteriors

Hardie Siding Installation Job

Stainless steel fasteners are recommended when installing James Hardie products near the ocean, large bodies of water, or in very humid climates. The beauty of properly installing HardiePlank siding will result in no cracking from the installation.

This in turn will provide a HardiePlank exterior siding job that will last for many years to come. This is the kind of siding job that you can expect from Texas Home Exteriors serving the greater southeast Houston east Texas metro area.

We hope that you have enjoyed this post on how to correctly nailing Hardie Siding article. We have 1% Texas EZ Pay 100% Financing with no money down no prepayment penalties  and instant approval! Keep your money in the bank and use ours for your Hardie Siding Project. Thank you for all of us at Texas Home Exteriors! Call or Text for FREE Estimate with NO Pressure 281.919.6999.


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13 Responses to Correctly Nailing HardiePlank Siding

  1. Donna says:

    I was just looking at your correctly nailing hardiePlank siding page as this is good advise for me. The stuff breaks so easily so I have to be more careful with the hardie siding, thanks.

    • Greg Kapitan says:

      Donna, that is quite true that the Hardie – fiber cement siding is quite brittle and requires special handling procedures.

  2. Sully says:


    This is good information as many will install this siding product and not nail it correctly. Thanks, Sully

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Thanks my friend for your comment. Yes, most homeowners have no itea how to correctly nail Hardie Siding. Thanks again!!

  3. Conner says:

    Hey there! I’m at work browsing your siding and home improvement blog from my new apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the excellent work!

  4. Will says:

    Face nailing is required by Texas Dept of Insurance for the coastal counties and certain cities in Harris County east of 146 (like Pasadena)

    • texashomeexteriors says:


      That is a great and valid point you made about the face nailing! Thank you for sharing this fact with us.


  5. john mallicoat says:

    I have a question we bought a Pulte home 2013 the siding on the south side of the house looks like the drawing at the top of this page( the incorrect way to nail it). I called and met with the builder and he told me normal for it to do that. the joints looked caulked in some spots and not in others. that it would be up to me to fix or he could recommend some people to do this. should this be a warranty issue what can I do

    • John,

      Thant is a good question and thank you for asking. With large home builders in general they do not care about the fine dealates when it comes to their work. They often use subcontractor crews that gelerley don’t care as well. At this point I would say that you need to get someone else out to take care of the siding issues such as what you have spoken of. This will be completely out of your pocket. Most home builders only give a one year warranty on their siding (hardie) work.

    • Charlie says:

      I am not from Texas but will assume that builders there have a requirement to deliver a professionally built home. Professional being the operative word.
      If the siding was not installed professionally and this can be proven, the builder is liable. Ultimately he will try and shuffle the responsibility off on the sub-crew that installed it and that actually is the sub-crews responsibility. However, that is not your fight to undertake.
      I would advise you to seek out an attorney but check around your neighborhood to see how many other homes you can find that were incorrectly assembled.
      One other important note is that you need to be the original buyer. If not, you’re basically SOL.
      Remember the basics of what was stated to you: “normal for it to do that”. That’s akin to everyone telling you a lie makes that lie a truth. Not so.
      Hardi is clear in their assembly instruction and if it was improperly installed, then your product warranty is void. Any other advice would have to come from an attorney.
      If there are enough original buyers from that builder, you could easily have a class action suit.
      Good luck!!

  6. Tim says:

    I’ve been working on the math. It doesn’t work. It is recommended 3/4 to 1 in from the siding edge, but the overlap is 1 1/4, one of the pieces is going to be too close to the edge.

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