Re: Re: Siding
From: Laura Fitch, A.I.A. (
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 16:10:01 -0600 (MDT)
Fiber Cement siding is manufactured by Hardi (and maybe others) and is known as Hardiplank (looks and is installed like individual clapboards) and Hardipanel (sheets goods with vertical lines). We installed Hardi plank at Pathways and Pioneer Valley Cohousing and it was installed at Cambridge Cohousing and possibly Cornerstones (also cambridge).
These are the reasons we chose to use it.
Not a old growth forest product;
local, non-old growth products are not stable (don't hold paint, warp, etc.)
Couldn't afford white cedar shingles (which most of us really wanted)
cement makes clapboard very stable and therefore paint is supposed to stay on it longer;
paint on this product came with a 15 year (I think) warranty;
wood fiber is a waste product (good environmentally);
look like wood clapboards (Hardi Plank, that is)

Here are the drawbacks as I see them:
Cement is not a sustainable product - much embodied energy (mining, processing, trucking, etc)
It was fairly expensive
Harder than wood to install (need neumatic hammer or pre-drilling, dulls saw blades)

As our experience with the product is only a few years onl in this area of the country (new england), we put a lot of trust in performance info from New Zealand and other areas of the US, and in the 50 year warranty. It looks great so far!

Their website is They caxrry other materials such as soffits, shingles, etc.

I think it is a good recommendation.


Laura Fitch, A.I.A.
Principal Architect

110 Pulpit Hill Rd.
Amherst, MA  01002
413-549-7918 (fax)

lfitch [at]

HeidiNYS [at] wrote:

Dear Wonderful List Serv Contributers,

Have really enjoyed reading sharings re: CommonHouse use....not much to add on that front.

am writing to ask for your advice/experience.

Having been part of development & moving into Co-ho 4 & 1/2 yrs ago..... I'm moving... next door. I married fairly recently. By great good fortune, and a lot of work on the part of one dear neighbor, Cantines Island was able to buy a little adjacent piece of property.... one household is re-habing the older house there, and we hope to have three addt'l.
Steve & I w be building there...
and so, am writing to ask specifically about HOUSE SIDING...... [long preamble, short question]

Our Architect is recommending Fiber Cement.... is installed in sheets, & painted.... I havent yet seen samples.... Any Experience witht his stuff?

Do/don't you recommend?
Ruth Hirsch Cantines Island Co-ho
Saugerties NY.... our gardens/landscaping look great!

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