LP SmartSide Siding vs Fiber Cement (HardiePlank) Siding

LP SmartSide Siding Fiber Cement HardiePlank or LP SmartSide Siding?

I get asked this question often working Texas Home Exteriors, “Greg, which is better, Fiber Cement/HardiePlank Siding or LP SmartSide Siding for my Houston TX home?” I have had many homeowners and builders alike asking me this question.

I respond with information based on my research and opinion having much experience in installing the two building products, as well as discussion with other home exterior professional contractors. Both fiber cement (HardiePlank) and LP SmartSide siding are outstanding siding products, however there are some differences you should be aware of.

The information in this siding article is based on many years of my experience in the Houston Texas metro area, and as the owner of Texas Home Exteriors. In this post I will cite information from some of the most credible resources I know of on the internet presenting their accumulative input including Google Books (James Hardie), Wikipedia (James Hardie) and Wikipedia LP (Louisiana Pacific SmartSide). These are creditable websites and resources that you can and SHOULD check as well to learn more and research what people just like you and me are saying around the country and the world.

Below I present for you the good, the bad and the ugly so as a Houston Southeast Texas homeowner, you can make an informed and intelligent decision. I encourage you to click on the links as well and doing some of your own research. After reading this Hardie vs. SmartSide Siding article, please take a moment to voice your opinion or share additional information below the estimate form.

Here are our findings

Both Fiber Cement (Hardie) and LP SmartSide Siding are outstanding and high quality building products. They both exhibit excellent qualities in their performance and longevity as excellent siding product choices for your home’s exterior. Keep in mind that each has great qualities as well as some not-so-great qualities. I will point this out based on my many years of experience in home exteriors here in the Houston southeast Texas area in using both products, (fiber cement – LP SmartSide Siding) as well as research I have done on the products and their overall performance.

Supporting evidence via GOOGLE search Google logo

When being asked about one siding product vs another, one might share their opinion from their experience, of course this is OK. However, I will also provide examples of what other home exterior professionals are saying from around the country.

Fiber_Cement_Siding_Defects – Inspectapedia …. read more

Problems with Fiber Cement Siding installations – Structuretech1 Forums….. read more

Fiber Cement Problems – Inspectors Journals Forums….. read more

Smart Side Siding JLC Online Forums…. read more

LP SmartSide Siding vs Fiber Cement – Hot Spot Outdoors Forum….(read more)

Fiber Cement/HardiePlank- 15 Trim 30 Yr Siding Warranty

James Hardie warranty

Click – 30 YR Warranty

As you can see from exploring the links above, there have been some issues reported from around the country. Fiber cement has become more and more popular since the late 1990s in re-siding as well as in new construction throughout North America.

The reported issues range from cracking and flaking paint to installation problems as well as other issues with the fiber cement siding product. The siding most often used siding product in America is fiber cement. Many of the problems with this product have stemmed from the improper installation of the fiber cement product. However, there are also some issues to be aware of that actually stem from fiber cement product failure itself.

 LP SmartSide Siding – 50 Year Trim 50 Year Siding Warranty

LP SmartSide Warranty

Click – 50 YR Warranty

LP SmartSide has also been around since 1997, I have done extensive research via the internet and have not found nearly as many, or for that matter, any issues reported with this product at all, no reported problems, even LP SmartSide reports there have been no claims on product failure of the the LP SmartSide Engineered Wood Siding Products in the past 14 years it has been being installed on homes.

In all fairness, I will share that there was an issue I came across regarding Louisiana Pacific (LP) and their OLD Product, called LP Inner Seal which has since been discontinued. This was a pre-1997 SmartSide product that failed, recalled and any claims paid responsively and quickly- very impressive on the part of Louisiana Pacific. In my opinion, this product should not have been used on homes in areas of the country that receive a lot of precipitation, thus the failures. (Note, that the “Inner-Seal” siding did very well in other areas of the country that are more arid and the product continues to stand up well in those climates to this day).

Louisiana Pacific SmartSide Wikipedia info

LP SmartSide:  (LP) “Two years after the first suit, LP had settled all related disputes. LP re-engineered the product, now marketed as LP®SmartSide® and since 1997 has sold approximately 3 billion square feet of SmartSide siding with no warranty claims for fungal decay.” This was reported on Wikipedia in 2014 of this product that has been around since 1997.

Fiber Cement (Hardie) Wikipedia info

Fiber Cement: per Wikipedia, “Fiber cement siding (or “fibre cement cladding” in the UK and Australasia) is a building material used to cover the exterior of a building in both commercial and domestic applications. Fiber cement is a composite material Fiber cement is a composite made of sandcement and cellulose fibers. Read more about Fiber Cement by clicking on the link at the top of this article which will take you to Wiki and Build Direct FAQs.

The Silica Dust Issue – New York Times Dust Mask For Cutting Fiber Cement Siding

Both the Fiber Cement (aka as hardiplank and hardieplank) and LP SmartSide siding products will produce dust plumes when cutting the product. LP SmartSide siding is wood based and makes less dust as opposed to the Fiber Cement that contains Silica. Having said that, the Silica is a much finer dust and gets airborne and tends to make billowing clouds of fine dust that can be dangerous for workers to install if respirators are not used. Here is a recent article from the New York Times about silica dust exposure that you should be aware of on this issue.

Crumble a Plank Anyone?

LP Smartside Comparison to HardiePlank Fiber Cement Siding

Click Image- Read The Rest Of The Story

You have to see this to believe what is happening. After Hardie Siding (fiber cement) has been up for a while, homeowners have been reporting on how that their lawnmowers wheels had bumped the lower run of the siding and broken off edges with some mild unintended impacts.

If you click on that (broken off edges) link above, you will clearly see photos of what homeowners across the country are reporting as well as the phone calls that we are receiving on the issue here at our Texas Home Exteriors office.

You will also see how SmartSide Siding is much more resistant to the same impact of objects such as lawnmowers, baseballs and the everyday accidental impacts that most homeowners experience.

Benefits Fiber Cement/HardiePlank Siding Products

Fiber Cement has the upper hand by far in the category of Fire Resistance so if you are looking for a siding product that specifically is more Resistant to fires, Fiber Cement is the better choice. Fiber cement is one of the most resistant materials there is for your exterior.  If installed properly, it is also insect-proof, because it offers no food source to insects.  It is fire-resistant, moisture-resistant, and is not prone to warping or cracking, thanks to the cellulose fibers which boost its dimensional stability.  And, manufacturers offer a variety of pre-painted colors to choose from.

Disadvantages of Fiber Cement Siding Products

Fiber Cement is much heavier than other siding types and requires two or more workers to install a single plank increasing labor costs. Fiber cement siding can also be difficult to work with, as workers cut the material it creates silica dust plumes that can be harmful if breathed in.

Benefits of LP SmartSide Siding – What the crews are saying about installation

Texas Home Exteriors Siding Crew

  • Length – With Longer planks” 16’ foot vs 12’ allowing workers to cover more with one plank and less joints to finish.
  • Lighter – The product is 39% lighter on average, the material does not break when being carried or moved. 
  • Damage – Hammer marks do not show up as easily due to its increased impact resistance.
  • Cutting – No special saw blades or equipment is needed (no need for $100 special blades, regular carbide wood saw blades work just fine).
  • Nailing – No nail gun pressure issues or need to lower presser due to overdriven nails. 
  • Dust- Much less dust than the fiber cement product, silica plume issues gone.
  • Strength – Installation of this product increases wall strength and structure so walls remain straight for the lifetime of the product.
  • Installers prefer working with the product due to the reasons listed above. As a matter of fact, once an installer uses this product they do not want to go back to using the fiber cement.

Disadvantages of LP SmartSide Siding

SmartSide siding is constructed of wood based fibers, leaving it vulnerable to fire from combustion and or through the melting of the resin add-ons when exposed to high heat. If fire resistance is a concern I would consider the James Hardie (hardiplank) siding over the LP SmartSide siding. You should take a moment to read this article about James Hardie Siding and it’s superior resistance to fire.

Louisiana Pacific and NASDAQ Stock JumpNasdaq logo

Just as recent as May 18th of 2015 the stock for Louisiana Pacific (LP) LPX has seen a 52 week all time high is stock increase due to consumer interest and sales increase in the LP SmartSide Siding Product. This has been exciting news for some time as contractors are liking having a choice to present to homeowners besides fiber cement.


Well there you have it, the good, the bad and the ugly. Both the Hardiplank and LP SmartSide Siding products will serve your home will and keep your love ones protected from the weather for many years to come.

While there are differences and benefits to both siding products, we have noticed a shift in homeowners moving towards the LP Smart Siding due to the many benefits vs fiber cement (Hardie). What you have read above is from an article I wrote. You can find more information on our website Texas Home Exteriors – Houston TX about home siding options and you can also learn more about silica dust and it’s affects.

We hope that you have found this informative article most helpful in making a siding choice for your home exterior. Both the fiber cement (Hardie siding) and the LP SmartSide siding are great products with some differences. Should you have any questions my email address you can email us at: [email protected] or if you would like a Free Estimate from Texas Home Exteriors call, 281.919.6999 anytime.


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PS – I look forward to hearing from you in the comments section below.

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144 Responses to LP SmartSide Siding vs Fiber Cement (HardiePlank) Siding

  1. 廣告 says:

    Great blog here! Also your site loads up very
    fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to
    your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  2. Dana says:

    Do you recommend a certain paint and type that will last on the Smart Siding? Or any that you have seen that you know to stay away from.

  3. Reblogged this on Kapitan The Siding Man and commented:

    This is a great article if you are considering HardiePlank vs. LP SmartSide Siding for your Houston TX metro area home exterior.

  4. Kimm H. says:

    Great article as I have done some research myself and found this to be most informative. Kimm.

    • Greg Kapitan says:

      Kimm, thank you for your response. I have spent a good amount of time putting together this article with all of the facts from all over the internet. Many homeowners are not aware that there is a difference between the two siding products. They are both durable however, each are different when it comes to how they are made and the warranties that are offered.

  5. Karnas says:

    Enjoyed reading this, really excellent stuff, appreciate it.

    • Greg Kapitan says:

      Yes, thank you for your compliment on this post as I have put a lot of research into the differance between SmartSide and Hardie Siding. Many homeowners are not aware of the differences between LP SmartSide and Hardie (fiber cement) siding and that Hardie comes with a 30 year warranty and the SmartSide siding comes with a 50 year warranty. The strength differences when on the walls of the home are also a big deal to Houston Texas area homeowners when considering what siding product to chouse. We are getting feedback that homeowners are liking the deeper woodgrain that SmartSide has over the Hardie as well.

  6. Gary T says:

    Good article I was just researching the internet about siding products and came across this one.

  7. Eric says:

    Thank you for this information! I am in the Chicagoland area considering both of these products. We will be replacing cedar and stuccoboards. Our biggest problem has been damage, or should I say repeated damage from carpenter bees, woodpeckers, and squirrels. I know the fiber cement will stay safe from those critters. However, I’m not sure about the Smartside in this situation as it has a higher wood content? Have you heard of anyone having issues with pests damaging Smartside siding?

    • Greg Kapitan says:

      Great question Eric! We have a intense bug infestation here in the Houston Texas metro area as well. Having said that, keep in mind that historically some of those bugs are attracted to the cedar wood by it’s natural smell. By removing that cedar wood will help greatly because the smell is now gone. Smell cedar? Just cut a piece and you will personally be able to smell the scent and or odor that cedar gives off that attracts them bugs and varmints alike. It is a toss up as to whether the Hardie (fiber cement) or SmartSide would be better. I would say the Hardie would be my choice in this situation. I hope this helps and gives you some insight Eric?

  8. Janeil Stevens says:

    We are getting ready to build a house in Kansas and considering the two options listed above. It is very humid and we obviously have 4 seasons. Is there one that is better in this situation?

    • Greg Kapitan says:

      Janeil, it is a tossup, both the LP SmartSide and James Hardie (hardiplank) are great siding products that will last for many years to come. The LP does offer the longer siding and trim warranty by 20 years. Correction, siding by 20 years and trim by 35 years since James Hardie only offers a 15 year trim warranty. What kind of exteriors paint are you considering using may I ask?

    • Greg f says:

      Yes the lp is much better in this scenario! Hardie has the tendency to get soft and mushy in those kind of moist wet and sticky conditions which means it needs to get on ur house quick caulked and painted before anything happens to the product. It’s funny haven’t heard of anyone talking about the certainteed hardie product that failed miserably and was falling off every bodies house! LP ALL THE WAY

  9. David A says:

    Great article!

    I have a question- can I use a Hardie siding nailer to install SmartSide?

    What brand/ size do you recommend for nails?

    Im a newbie!

  10. Sean says:

    We have quite a few rental properties that are 100% Hardie lap siding and we have experienced multiple damaged siding boards from lawn mowers hitting the bottom course. I will try smart side on our next project. I just wish I could find a window trim board that has the backside notched for window flanges to get flush joints at the corners.

    • Greg Kapitan says:

      Sean, you are correct about the Hardie lap siding that is made from fiber cement will break off at the bottom when bumped by lawnmowers. You will NOT have that experience with the Smart Side Siding due to it’s impact resistance and strength. Gosh, that would not be good that you have to now go around to all of those properties and fix the broken edges of siding with new planks.

  11. Samuel S Stevenson says:

    Great article on the siding wars between smart side and Hardie Plank! I think the smart side wins, what are your thoughts?

    • Greg Kapitan says:

      To answer your question Samuel, they are both great siding products with great track records. If you are concerned with fire safety and resistance, I would go with the James Hardie (hardiplank) (fiber cement) siding. If you are looking for strength, durability and energy efficiency, I would recommend the LP SmartSide siding over Hardie. There is also the Hardie 30 year warranty vs. the LP SmartSide siding 50 year issue to consider as well. I hope this helps answer your question Samuel? Most sincerely, Greg Kapitan.

  12. Theresa says:

    Hey, this is great info that I am going to pass on to my husband Timothoy. He will be calling you guys for an estimate on both the smart side and hardiplank siding. We reside in NW Houston Texas and we have a home that needs the siding replaced. Thanks, Theresa!!

    • Greg Kapitan says:

      Hello Theresa. Most Texas homeowners have no idea about the differences between the two siding products. The Hardie siding is more popular than the LP SmartSide in our area. We are looking forward to hearing from you and your husband for a free siding estimate on your Houston home.

  13. Roz says:

    Hi! Great article about both products. Did you find any information about how LP compares to Hardiplank in regards to long term maintenance? Does LP smartside need to be repainted more often, or does it have expansion/contraction issues due to seasonal changes that requires frequent re-caulking and maintenance? We live in NJ with extreme temperature swings and are looking for a low-maintenance product to side our house. Thanks in advance for you your insight!

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      That is a great question Roz that has not been asked by others. With the LP SmartSide siding, were experiencing that paint is holding up better because the product is not so in layman’s terms…. so dry and porris as to suck the life out of the paint like fiber cement is. However, unlike fiber cement, the LP SmartSide does need to have room for a one time expansion when it is first installed. The fiber cement might have a problem with just the opposite, contraction that might leave a seam open after time. I hope this helps answer your question.

  14. Marc in VT says:

    Greg- thanks for a unbiased comparo of the two products. I have a 1968 ranch house in central VT with 8″ cedar clapboard siding. We will be adding on new and renovating existing so we will re-side the whole job. Originally had chosen the Hardie product but am now leaning towads the LP. Needless to say, the weather conditions here are a little different from TX! Is installing the Smartside that much different from clapboard? I’m a fairly skilled DIY’er so anything I can do to keep costs down is a +.

    • Greg Kapitan says:

      Marc, thanks for your comments. Considering the location that you reside in I would suggest that you install the LP SmartSide siding in the summer time. The SS has a one time expansion issue that is most prominent in the warmer months of the first 3-4 months of installation. Don’t forget to install with the recommended 3/16″ gap then click. I hope this helps answer your question? May I ask, what are the approximate measurements of the walls that you will be re siding?

  15. Painting Supplies says:

    My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was totally right.
    This post actually made my day. You can not imagine simply
    how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

    • Greg Kapitan says:

      Wow, what a nice compliment thank you! I have sent a good amount of time doing research as well as having experiences with both of the two Hardie and SmartSide siding product and their warranties.

    • Greg Kapitan says:

      Wow, please tell your brother I said thank you! We have put a good amount of info out there on the web about the differences between the Hardie and SmartSide siding products for all to learn from, enjoy!

  16. D Hayes says:

    How can we keep bugs from leaving black spots on our siding? We are removing 30 year old vinyl siding as well as the wood siding under the vinyl and replacing with lp smartside. I have washed the old siding multiple times and within a few weeks the spots are back. I am quite frustrated.

  17. Will says:

    Its like you read my mind as I have read this siding post! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some more pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is excellent blog. A great read. I will certainly be back, Will.

    • Greg Kapitan says:

      Will, I have not ever had anyone put it quite like that but thank you! The Hardie vs. SmartSide option has become a concern for many homeowners as they explore their siding options. Thanks again, Greg Kapitan.

  18. Jim Pipkin says:

    I am so glad That I got to read your information BEFORE I started my siding replacement. And, I will pass on the information to anyone I know that may or may not use it. GREAT WORK!! THANK YOU!!!

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Thank you for reading the information that I posted on our LP SmartSide siding vs. Hardie blog page. We are glad that you made the best decision for you and your home. Keep us posted with some photos of your siding job!

  19. steve says:

    Can you tell me what the cost of labor and material compared to James Hardie. Is there a big difference in the two?

  20. steve says:

    Can you tell me what the price difference in material and labor is on the two products?

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Thanks for asking about the cost difference between the two siding products. Tell me about your siding job and what are you looking to do? In most cases the material is a bit less but the labor could be more depending the job application?

  21. Pete Rowen says:

    This is a great article as I did not have any idea on how much difference there was between the two products. I am going to show my wife when she gets home this article and we will be calling you soon for an estimate!

  22. Manny says:

    I enjoy the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the great posts.

  23. mike says:

    Greg, great comparison. I’m in a stucco house in PA and with all the moisture problems, we’re replacing it. All the contractors are pushing Hardie, not LP. Is there an incentive on their part or another major reason? By all measures, it seems to me LP is superior. Have you heard this before? Thoughts?

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Hey thanks so much for your compliment. A few thoughts here and that is: 1, Most contractors go the path of least resistance. 2, They are often uncomfortable installing something new. 3, The other manufacture might have told them, “if you start to install another competitors siding product, we will take off of our preferred contractors list” Mike, you should have good results with the other (not LP) siding product. However, should you choose LP, I would wait till you find a competent contractor to install the product. What are your thoughts Mike?

  24. K Dario Heinlen says:

    Excellent siding blog post. Thanx pertaining to composing this particular insightful posting and informative all of us with your perspectives. I am hoping you will continue to keep this specific good work in future also.

  25. Darwin Goerdt says:

    An interesting discussion is worth comment for Hardie VS. LP Smart Siding. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  26. Casey says:

    The LP smartside comes primed on one side only. Is it recommended to prime the back? We plan to use rigid foam behind the lap siding so I’m not sure if it matters. Thanks for all your great info

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Thank you for your comment and great question. You do not have to prime the back even going over foam. The only time that might be recommended if it was to be used as a fence divider and have the other side exposed. Good luck with your project.

  27. Charlotte says:

    Thanks for all great information! I found very useful information, but I have another question about the paint durability for LP and JH. I saw in an answer above that paint lasts longer on LP, approximately how often do you think I would have to repaint on a 100 year old home in NJ using either of these two siding products? Also, would the pre-painted JH be a superior choice, or would those need repainting as well? I tend to like the qualities of LP, but my husband wants to get a product with the least amount of maintenance as possible and he seems to be in favor of the prepainted JH. What do you recommend, LP (paint on site), JH prepainted or JH painted on site?

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Thank you for your compliment as well as your question about the two different siding products. I can tell that you are making a well thought out decision. Having said that, as my memory serves me the JH painted has a 15 year warranty. Whereas if you get for instance the Sherwin-Williams Resilience paint, it has a lifetime warranty. Being that your husband wants the least maintenance I would go with the lifetime warranty paint. I also might suggest the LP over the JH being that you might have some breakage issues at the lower rows if getting hit by the lawn mowing service. Please let me know your thoughts?

  28. Lorie says:

    I’ve chosen LP to reside my Dfw home but I’m not sure about which paint to use. While I know no paint lasts forever, do you have a recommendation? I see you mention two different kinds in the thread here: Sherwin Williams Super and their Resilience. Do you see any differences in performance? I’ve got no trees on my corner lot to shield or to interfere with the paint. But that also means the house gets hit with sun on the east and west and wind and rain from those directions too. Thanks!!

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Good for you and your siding decision. We do see some minimal differences between the two. The big differance that we see is for the extra money to go with the Resilience, you will get a lifetime warranty over the 25 year with Supper Paint. Either way, you should be fine for a good amount of years. Please let me know your thoughts? Greg

  29. naveen says:

    That was very great article… thanks for putting it up. Actually, I am planning to get a new home in Carmel Indiana. My builder wants to use LP smart side but after I read about the lawsuit against them before 1997, I am afraid. and also, one of the disadvantage with LP siding that you said is that about resin add-ons due to high heat. I did not understand that. So, just your opinion, is it ok to go with LP smart siding in Carmel, Indiana – 46032? I just need your opinion with pros and cons. Thanks in advance.

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Thank you for your compliment and a great question that you are asking. The 1997 LP Lawsuit was on a faulty product that was a masonite like siding that we in the business call “fiber”. The “fiber” was not treated like it is today if you were to build with Smart Siding. However the SmartSiding Lap now comes in a stranded product and it is much improved. Tell your builder that you want the 38 series Lap Siding that is STRANDED.

  30. Larry says:

    Hello, I’m in the Raleigh, NC area.

    I’m I correct, LP Smart Side gets nailed at the top and bottom of the board while HardiPlank gets nailed at the top or the bottom but not both?

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      That is a great question. It has become more of a preference than a requirement. With the LP SmartSide siding we will nail the top and bottom on the 12″ and on the 8″ the same but less on the bottom if one is not needed to make for a smooth surface. With Hardie (hardiplank) siding, we will try to avoid the bottom if at all possible to avoid the possibility of cracking of being nailed to closely to the edge. I hope that helps? Greg

  31. Nate says:

    Old house on the East side of Houston built in the late 40’s. Thinking of replacing cedar shakes with LP smartside.

    • Greg Kapitan says:

      Hi Nate, it is a great product for sure. One of our Texas Home Exteriors reps will be happy to come out, bring some samples for you to see and feel and provide you with a free estimate. Thank you for coming by to learn more about the product!

  32. Brian Tinns says:

    Great siding information bud! This has some great information about the different siding products that I have never thought of. I personally think that the James hardie plank siding is a great product. Now I also believe that the LP smart-side siding might just be better. Brian.

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Thanks for your thoughts. Here at Texas Home Exteriors we feel from experience that the LP SmartSide siding has the winning edge over the James Hardie siding product.

  33. Jasper says:

    Hey, this is a good comparison over the two siding products and I like what you have said here. The LP smart side is a terrific product that you can not go wrong with.

  34. Greg says:

    Good read about siding!

  35. Mike Botello says:

    Greg Kapitan. Your a good dude man!! I’ve been selling Hardie plank siding for several years and I’ve never met anyone that has taken the time to acquire the knowledge you have about siding. You are the “siding man”!!! Look forward to working with you. Good article. A must read for the sales professional…

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Wow, thank you so much for the complement! I have put a good deal of time into this siding products post to make homeowners aware of their options. Needless to say I am thrilled that you found it informative!


  36. Eileen says:

    Hi Greg – I am having huge issues and sleepless nights with Hardie vs LP. I live in Ky. In the country surrounded by woods. I am building a new home and always knew it would be all brick. Then I found a house plan that just wouldn’t work with brick and the dilemma begins, Hardie vs LP. You have a very informative website and I thank you for sharing your knowledge. I have read it over and over. I wanted to go with LP for numerous reasons but can’t get past the better fire/combustion performance of Hardie plank. Why would anyone take this risk with LP? What am I missing that others are not? How drastic is the fire protection difference?

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Thanks for your response. I understand your dilemma as that is a concern. If fire protection is what you are looking for and you are losing sleep over that than go with the Fiber Cement (Hardie) siding. Unless you you have a metal roof, the fire is going to consume your home from the roof first and not the siding as this in the past has been most likely the case. Get some sleep and go with the Hardie/ Fiber Cement. Sweet dreams!

  37. Klein Seth says:

    I can definitely see your skills in the home improvement blogs that you write. I do agree with you about the smart siding that it is the smarter choice. I will be calling soon for an estimate for my home in west Houston. Seth.

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Thank you and we here at Texas Home Exteriors agree with you. We will be looking for your call for an LP SmartSide siding estimate for your home in West Houston Texas. Please call us at: 281-919-6999 and ask for me, Greg Kapitan. We will take care of ya!

  38. David says:

    The LP Smartside product catalog has a fiber based product that is treated the same as the stranded and comes in panels of double, triple, and quad 4″ configurations as well as 5″. They have the same warranty as the stranded and would serve my purpose better. What are your thoughts and recommendations concerning this product?

  39. mike bigando says:

    great info, question about the gap in the LP during installation…I live in Omaha, so hot and humid in the summer…would waiting till the fall be a better choice for the installation and do you still need to use a 3/16 inch gap between boards during a cooler weather installation

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Thanks for the compliment! OK, you are asking a valid question. I am going to ask my LP Rep and will have an answer for you here shortly.


      I did ask LP Corporate your question and this was their response… LP’s installation instructions calls out for all SmartSide to be gapped 3/16″ at butt joint. Joints to be caulked/sealed with an Acrylic Latex long life or 30-50 year product then painted.

      Having read their response and going further to answer your question, I would say that it really doesn’t matter. Here in the Houston it is hot and humid for 4-6 months and we are not experiencing any difference when the LP SmartSide Siding is installed in our cooler less humid wintertime. I hope this helps answer your question.

  40. Bob S Mcclure says:

    Great post. I was checking constantly this weblog and I’m inspired!
    Very helpful information specifically the final siding section 🙂 I was looking for this certain information of siding comparison for a very long amount of time.

    Thanks and best of luck, Bob S.

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Hey, thanks for your words about the siding article that we have written for homeowners to enjoy. Greg Kapitan from Texas Home Exteriors!

  41. Milenko Vukas says:

    I’m leaning towards the Smartside, but I’m still confused on the finish. Does LP come pre-painted in different colors or do I have to have a painter come in after install to paint the exterior of the home? Its a new construction. JH comes pre-finished with a number of colors, so I’m wondering if its more cost effective to go with JH? Great site by the way!

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Thanks for your compliment. The LP SmartSide dose come in pre-painted finishes depending on what part of the country that you live in. JH (James Hardie) has a pre-finished product as well called Color Plus. The problem what that is you are receiving a 15 year Color Plus warranty. With LP you can use the Sherwin-Williams Resilience paint that comes with a lifetime warranty and have a good amount of money left over in the bank! The choice is yours!! Greg

  42. Mike Donna says:

    Magnificent siding post, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this sector don’t notice this. You should proceed your writing. I’m confident, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  43. Tom Anderson says:

    Greg, there is a fiber cement product with a 50 year warranty and 25 year trim warranty. I have used it and it looks great. If someone wants to use fiber cement, have them look up Allura.

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Hey thank you so much for your comment about this other fiber cement siding product called Allura. That warranty sounds very good compared to what the competitor is offering. I will be looking them up here in just a few. Thanks again!

    • Richard says:

      Allure uses flyash in their board. It’s a coal by product that cracks more frequently then hardie. I believe they use the same formal or purchased certainteeds board after their 2013 class action lawsuit. It’s not a good option. Or at least look into their reviews before buying it.

  44. Philip Greene says:

    Great info. We need to replace some painted cedar shingles that just can’t hold paint anymore. We want to switch to clapboards.

    I was all set to go with LP Smartside until I read about a relatively new product from Boral called TruExterior. They claim a very low thermal expansion coefficient which seems to be an advantage over the LP Smartside product.

    Would like to know if you what you have heard about this product.

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Hey thanks for your comments about our fiber cement vs. SmartSide siding blog. Yes I have heard of the TruExterior siding product from Boral manufacturing. It is relatively new siding product. It comes with a 20 year warranty as stated on their website, “extends only to the original owner of the structure in which the Siding Product is installed Qualified Owner”. Having said that, I do think that the warranty might be a bit weak in lieu of the LP SmartSide siding comes with a 50 year warranty. That does not make it a bad product by any means. We need to see it out on the market more and installed on more homes to see it’s track record. Having said that, stay with Hardie Siding (hardieplank) (30 year warranty) or the LP SmartSide (50 year warranty) is what I would recommend. Please let me know your thoughts?

  45. Sereatha says:

    Hello Greg. I’m in the process of making a decision on whether to choose fiber cement or LP Smartside and I read that the LP Smartside has a Prefinished Staining Product with a lifetime warranty and a Diamond Kote finish with a 30-year warranty. What are your thoughts on these finishes? Is one any better than the other? Is either better than the other paint choices that you mentioned in your responses to other readers? I’m looking for a finish that looks like the clear wood that I’ve been seeing on some of the commercial structures.

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Thank you for your most intelligent question. This is a great question. Having said that, I would check around on the internet to see what others are reporting about the Diamond Kote. Here in southeast Texas, everything is painted and we have not (yet) had any call of the “clear real wood finish”. My apologies that I do not have a better answer that is based on my experience. Greg Kapitan

  46. Greg Kapitan says:


    Or, Time the siding man shold I dare to say! It sounds like that you have installed much of the SmartSide and Jame Hardie fiber cement product just like I have. Yes sir I totally agree with you, the SS is much easier to install. If you are needing extreme fireproof, one might consider the JH Fiber Cement as it has a better rating than the the LP SmartSide siding. Thanks again..

  47. christina canfield says:

    I appreciate your article. We recently bought a home in Kansas that has LP smartside on it. Im not sure why LP would say they havent ever had a claim because we filed one!?! The ends of the planks were swelling and clearly starting to have issues and the paint was cracking and it was only 8 years old. They said this was normal from wood products and that its not warrantied. Not paying to resolve a claim isn’t the same as not HAVING a claim. In my opinion. I also learned that LPs warranty is prorated after 5 years so i wouldnt have gotten much even if they did help us. Just thought i would share since this is a very infomrative article. Do you know if Hardyplanks warranty is prorated? On their website it looks like its a full 30 years. Thanks Greg.

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Thank you for posting in our blog. With the new LP SmartSide siding, you will not have a swelling problem. The old LP Masonite will. Yes even if the LP is prorated after 5 years you will get 42% of the money back after 8 years. The Hardie warranty is 30 years siding and 15 years trim non prorated. The LP is 50 years 45 prorated siding and trim.

      I hope this helps.. Greg

    • Richard says:

      I agree. Not paying a claim in 14 years is a bad, not good thing.

  48. Michael Sims says:

    Great article! Trying to decide between Hardie and Allura and then ran across this. Very informative. Generally speaking…what is the cost range per sf of the pre-finished LP installed? Thanks again. Michael

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Hey thank you for the input on our LP SmartSide vs Fiber Cement siding article. I just had this same question come up and my response to to stay with the James Hardie (fiber cement) siding product over using a competitor’s product. We need to see the track record of the Allura before one can make a valid judgement call is my opinion.

      To answer your other question, we are not using the prefinished LP so I can’t make a judgement call. If I had to guess, $900 – $1,200 per square = 100 sq feet. I hope this information helps…


  49. Clyde says:

    Dear Greg:

    We are getting ready to build a new home in central Virginia and are considering using Hardie Plank siding. Thanks so much for your very informative article and blog. Very interesting information presented and lots of pros and cons to consider.

    I goggled “Hardie Plank Problems” and unfortunately there are a huge number of very detailed negative reviews listed on the web about Hardie Plank that have us very concerned. Issues with warranty coverage, peeling and fading of factory applied paint, material degradation, etc. We are now leaning towards use of the LP Smart Siding or perhaps another manufacturer. Have you had experience with Marley siding?

    • Greg Kapitan says:


      Congratulations on building your new home! Yes I agree with you about negative reviews for HardiePlank siding as there have been many siding crews that are installing this fiber cement siding product incorrectly. I have not heard of the Marley siding product. We believe that you will have great success with the LP SmartSide siding product as we have had!


  50. Jamel Lempka says:

    Great Siding Post, Keep Writing!!!

  51. Glen Pfeiffer says:

    I have Hardie Plank siding. It crumbles if allowed to be wet for to long. I have a tri level and where the leaves collected on the roof against the siding the siding deteriated. Same thing with siding near the ground.

  52. Brenda Tubb says:

    I am considering using fibercement board on a focus wall in our guest bathroom. Are both products able to be used indoors. I have researched fiber cement and everything I have read says it makes an excellent option for bathrooms. Are there any advantages to using LP indoors?

    Love your sit and your info.



    • texashomeexteriors says:


      Thank you for your question. I most certainly agree with your research findings. Your best bet for a bathroom wallboard or a sub wallboard will be the fiber cement product such as the HardieBacker.

  53. Steve P says:

    I am having a Chimney resided on a 2 story home in the DFW area. I can’t make up my mind we have our share of hail storms and the contractor said same price for either. I m thinking about fire resistance chimney etc..but may want to do more of the back of the house in the next few months.

    • texashomeexteriors says:


      Thanks for the information on your Texas home in the DFW area. If you are concerned with fire resistance then you might want to consider the fiber cement. Both the LP SmartSide and fiber cement have great fire ratings. However the fiber cement is better suited if fire resistance is your primary concern.

  54. Michael Thibodeaux says:


    I just started building a house. I have always used hardiplank but I am now considering 4×8 smart siding. Have you used this product without osb sheathing before?



    • texashomeexteriors says:


      Yes we have! Because the LP SmartSide Panel Siding is a structurally sound product, you will not need the let in bracing or the osb sheathing underneath. The LP SmartSide panel siding will take the place of the osb and offer the same rigidity. Please make sure that you use 8 D galvanized or larger nails. Please check out this siding link.


    • Richard says:

      Look into prodigy vinyl. It’s a pvc based vinyl that is cost effective, adds insulation, has a 50 year non-prorated warranty that covers hail damage and has a color fade warranty, and has passed amazing impact treats. It’s worth a look. Alside makes great virgin vinyl. Among others.

  55. Stan says:

    My wife and I have a B and B in New Hampshire. We’ve got some areas where with the snow build up on the roof over a porch, the second floor siding has rotted rather quickly. Is the Smartside product going to be able to handle the snow better than standard wood siding, or with the strand board on the backside of this product will this likely to be a failure point?

    • texashomeexteriors says:


      Thank you for your questions as there are good ones. The LP SmartSide siding is an engineered wood product. Having said that, it is wood that has been perfected to withstand the elements. The LP SmartSide has a 50 year warranty, you can’t find that with wood. Because it is stranded with many directions of wood fibers, it is often much stronger than wood and has greater impact resistance.

      We hope that this information helps!


  56. Raymon says:

    This is a great siding article. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  57. jacques says:

    Great Article Greg, thank you for taking the time to post it. We are looking to build a house in Virginia and initially were set on the Hardie Plank siding but now I am leaning towards the LP Smart side. My question is how well does the LP resist bugs, bees and termites?
    I have had a bad experience with termites damaging real wood siding, so bugs is a concern for me.
    Thank you

    • texashomeexteriors says:


      Congratulations on building a home in Virginia! This is a great question. The LP SmartSide siding product is treated with the SmartGuard process and comes with a 5o year siding and trim warranty. We use the LP SmartSiding here in the Houston Texas metro area. We get over 42″ of rain and have lots of insects. We have not had any issues and or warranty claims. Here is a link to the LP SmartSide products that will further help answer any questions or concerns that you might have.


  58. Thomas L Craft says:

    Great siding comparison post with all of the information and details! Have nice day! 🙂

  59. Daniel Lehman says:


    This is one of the bast ever siding comparison that I have seen on the web. Thanks for all of the info!!

  60. Carl Larson says:

    Wow! I just did a quick read of your siding blog here and I have to say that it is by for one of the best ones that I have ever read! Love how you spelled everything out with all of the supporting evidence between lp smart side and hardie siding. Thank so much folks!

  61. Dale says:

    Hundreds of contractors, hundreds of storm chasers in any large metro area. It appears all problems are improper installation. How does a homeowner find the 5 contractors in their area that know how to do it right consistently?

  62. Richard says:

    LP hasn’t paid out any claims in the past 14 years but they have had plenty of claim. If you look at the warranty, it doesn’t cover water damage. No edge checking or swelling of the board is cover as this naturally occurs in wood products as they respond to changes in climate. Something to that affect. That was the biggest change they made to the product since 1997. Water will always ruin wood products if you don’t use the right or recommended paint and follow up with it on regular maintenance cycles. 95% of home owners do not paint every 5 to 7 years. And if they do it’ll cost way more then using a virgin vinyl product or hardie. I think alsides vinyl beats LP in all these areas. It’s a 50 year non-prorated warranty (that covers hail damage) vs hardies 30 and LPs 5 years non-prorated and 45 year prorated (reducing 2.22% per year). And LP clearly won’t pay out your claim so idk if it even matters. I’m not a fan of wood siding myself. Masonite based siding, maybe. But Collins TruWood, LPs SmartSiding,GPs Platinum or whatever they call it now, they all copied LPs 5/50 that covers nothing. Maybe some hail damage. But not much. Just my thoughts based on my experiences. I’ve seen jacked up Smart Siding. I’ve seen horrorible hardie installs. But my last choice would be LPs, GPs, or Collins wood based sidings and their flimpsy warranties.

  63. Paul Blue says:

    Wow, superb siding comparison blog format! How long have you ever been running your home improvement blog for? The whole look of your site is magnificent, as well as the content.

    Thanks, Paul B

  64. Larry James says:

    Hey THE good siding compirrision you have posted here. We have used both siding products in the past and have noticed a differance between the two.

  65. Antonio says:

    Out of all of the sites that i have seen that compares hardie to lp smartside siding i am liking yours the best. Great description and sources of information with photos. Thanks also for all of the helpful links in the article.

    • Antonio,

      Thank you sir for yoir comments on the Hardie siding vs LP SmartSide siding. We feel to give a fair comparison so homeowners can make an educated decision. Please come back again to our site as we are always posting new articles about home improvement.

  66. Frank Sears says:

    Excellent siding materials post. This is great information as I ever knew the difference between two siding products.

    Frank Sears

  67. Chris Felder says:

    Love how you outlined everything out here and gave a balanced opinion on the two siding products. Hardie is better if you want to fireproof your home. The LP Smart side siding is faster for workers to use. I hear that the material costs are about the same.


  68. Jerry Phipps says:

    Great review…..have you looked at a product called Everlast siding….here is its description – Everlast Siding is a beautiful and realistic looking composite siding that is colored through and doesn’t require painting like wood siding or fiber cement siding. 1/4″ thick solid construction means your house is protected from flying debris and high winds. I am trying to decide if it is a better product than either LP Smartside siding or Hardie. It used to be sold thru Norandex. Norandex was purchased by ABC. Everlast composite siding is manufactured by Chelsea Building products. If it does what it claims then it looks like a perfect solution…but nothing is perfect so I am looking for anyone’s views on the product. I realize that composites can shrink and expand with temperature changes but the product seems to have a solution for that as well. Thoughts? I live in the Western Pennsylvania area and was going to go with Hardie but find too many issues with it. I was sold on LP but discovered Everlast and am back to square one.

    • Jerry,

      Thank you sir for your great input on the other siding products. We will look into Everlast for out Houston Texas area homeowners. What is the warranty that is offered with this siding product? Home many years and how long has this product been on the market?

  69. Jerry Phipps says:

    First of all I am just a regular homeowner….I am not affiliated or in any way tied to Everlast. I stumbled across it while at a hockey tournament in Cleveland…don’t ask its a long story. Here is what came from their own website…Everlast has a best-in-category Limited Lifetime Warranty to the original owner with a 100% replacement guarantee*. Upon ownership change, the warranty may be transferred to the new owner(s) as a Fifty (50) Year Prorated Warranty.
    * Warrants against excessive color change, peeling, flaking, cracking, rusting, blistering, and corroding.”. I hope you can dig into the product a bit and let me know what you think.

    • Jerry,

      Thank you sir for all of the great information on the Everlast siding product! I am on the page now looking at all of the details and the warranty that is offered to homeowners. Thanks so much!

  70. Gavin Magliacane says:

    Great siding comparison blog post with lots of good details!!

  71. Chong Tindell says:

    Thank you for such informative home improvement website. Where else could I get that kind of info written in such a perfect way? I have a siding project that I’m just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such information.

  72. Ann Arrendondo says:

    Excellent siding comparison blog that you folks have!

  73. teresa smith says:

    Is lp siding better for older homes in Texas? My house was built in the 60s and has some Hardie already installed but not all around. I have a contractor telling me that Hardie is too heavy for my home and it’s foundation.

    • Teresa,

      It is very true that Hardie siding is much heaver than the LP SmartSide siding. If your home is not on a slab but on pier and beam it is prone to movement I would strongly consider the LP siding. What kind of foundation does your home have and what part of Texas are you in?

  74. Mike Smithfield says:

    Nice siding post Texas. I will be checking continuously this blog and I’m inspired sir’s! Very helpful info particularly the unbiased comparison on the two siding products.


  75. Manny James says:

    Very siding comparison nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished
    to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your home improvement blog posts.

  76. Ron Haje says:

    Greg we are building our retirement home in St. Marys, Georgia. What siding would you believe to be more practical for this area? We want the lowest maintenance product possible. Never heard of LP before I read your blog. Great job

    • Ron,

      Both the Hardie and LP SmartSide are great products with some differences as you have red in the blog. The LP SS are low maintenance just like the Hardie fiber cement. Being close to the water the LP has the strength advantage over the fiber cement. Make sure that you use a Build Smart LP certified siding installer. Look on the LP site to find one in your area.


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