Need a recomendation for siding, facia, soffit

I’m rebuilding my home after a fire earlier this year. Most of the damage is to the interior of the kids’ bedrooms, but the flames got out one window and torched the eaves, and there is soot on all exterior walls.

The lower half of my exterior walls is brick. Above that is what looks like white painted plywood. There is mildew on the facia, and the 43-year-old soffit is rotted out in a few places. Plus all the soot and melted vents.

My insurance is paying to remove and replace “hardwood panel - paint grade” on one exterior wall. My builder is proposing to upgrade the siding, soffit, and facia on all exterior walls to Hardie “fiber cement lap siding”. They’re asking $5.73/ft for facia, $5.38/sf for soffit, and $4.62/sf for the siding itself. Total upgrade cost is $6900. Between my insurance payout for my belongings, and generous donations from friends and family, I’m able to replace my stuff and still have enough left over to cover this. Is this upgrade worth the cost?

Need answer fast; there’s a break in the weather next week so the builder wants to start on Monday.

TL;DR: I’m fixing my siding. Is it worth $7k to upgrade from painted plywood to Hardie board?

Part depends on the overall value of your home.

We did Hardieboard a couple of years back. It is a superior product in terms of sound/temp insulation and durability, and durability. Will need to be painted eventually, but should be far less frequent than wood.

Looks very much like wood.

No termite/carpenter bee damage.

Given our level of income/savings, and the total amount of money we put into renovating our home, it was an easy decision.

One thing, make sure your installer is experienced. I forget the specifics, but there are some ways an inexperienced installer can screw it up.

We got Hardie board for the fascia boards on our house, and to rebuild a bay window that had rotted. Seems like really good stuff. It won’t rot, shrink, warp, get eaten by bugs, etc…

Thanks for the replies. I’m gonna do the upgrade. The all-new interior will get an all-new exterior to match.

Good plan. The newer Hardie siding doesn’t require caulked joints, either, since they changed the way the siding is installed. Just make sure they butt the siding up tight to the windows. There shouldn’t be more than about a 1/8" gap.

HardiePlank, -Trim and -Soffit are great products. They were used on my place in 1997 and are still in mint condition. Painted in 1998 I have not had to repaint any of it. My wooden windows and doors yes, but not the Hardie material.

I’ll second Chefguy. Newer material is installed with flashing under each butt joint and doors and windows need proper attention. Read up on installation techniques and verify proper installation.

P.S. I am not a James Hardie Co. representative, just a satisfied customer.

Decision made and a good one, but I will add a couple things. I currently rebuild homes for insurance claims. I used to build luxury infills and also quite a few renovations.

If your neighbour’s home is within 12’/4m, I would consider installing non vented soffit on the sides. I see a lot fires where the flames ran up the siding got in the soffit and then spread through the roof rapidly. This is actually building code now where I live (Alberta) and it does require additional roof venting properly installed.

Also metal fascia and soffit are a lot cheaper for those applications than Hardie board, not as fire resistant though. LP Smartside is an engineered wood product that is similar to Hardie board. It is a step down from Hardie in rot and fire resistance but still very good. Its a good consideration for trim, fascia and exterior features.

Hardie is pretty strict about installation by qualified trades, there is a certification.