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Community and Q&A

Hardie or Boral or Cedar Channel

jrwilliams | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

Looking at siding options for my client.
We want the nickel gap or v-groove look.
I can find some not-so-nice info on fiber cement – does anyone have an opinion on ash products like Boral True Exterior?  Or what about untreated or treated cedar? 
Project is on Cape Cod

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  1. Expert Member
    Peter Yost | | #1

    Hi Jessica -

    Looks as though longtime GBAer Carl Seville used this cladding on his own project just a couple of years ago.

    Let me ping Carl and see what he thinks of his cladding choice.

    Best - Peter

  2. Expert Member
    CARL SEVILLE | | #2

    I used Boral Tru Exterior for all the exterior on my house with the exception of some soffit lookouts and miscellaneous trim. While I didn't to the installation personally, the crew had no complaints about working with the material and I particularly like the profiles. I used the traditional lap siding, which they no longer produce, as well as their solid stock for all the corners and casings, and the beadboard pattern for the porch ceilings. There has been a little longitudinal shrinkage creating small gaps at the butt ends of the siding this winter, I expect that it will close back up when the weather warms up. If not, I will have a little paint touch up to do. It has been installed since early 2017 and no signs of any failures or movement other than noted above. Overall I am very pleased with the product, and appreciate the variety of patterns and sizes that offer more options than other composite products. All the siding and trim in the attached photo is Tru Exterior except for the column caps and bases and the bed moulding.

    1. jrwilliams | | #5

      Thanks - beautiful

    2. pkelecy | | #13

      Carl, I don't know if you are still following this thread, but I do have a question if so. Did you install your Boral siding on furring strips (i.e. rainscreen) or directly against the WRB? I ask because Boral is rather flexible (like a lot of composites) which, as I understand it, can possible result in some waviness in the siding if installed on furring strips.

      Also, how long were the lengths that opened up and how big were the gaps? Boral is suppose to have very low expansion and contraction (so low, in fact, that adjacent boards can be butted together). Given that, I was surprised to hear about the gaps.

      I'm planning to use Boral in a siding project, hence my interest in this. Thanks!

  3. Stockwell | | #3

    I am going to use the Hardi Artisan V-groove. It is more reasonable priced than the Boral, which I also liked.

  4. jrwilliams | | #4

    Thanks for the replies. I looked at Hardie Artisan but they do not carry it on the east coast unless I just can't find it. I like the Boral profiles better but I'm exploring. My preference would be charred cedar but I think my clients will not like the price.

    1. hughw | | #14

      check out the charred cypress from The price is much more reasonable than others that I've looked at.

  5. Stockwell | | #6

    Jessica--do a search for Mitchell Carpentry in West Lafayette, Indiana. Give Mitch a call about the charred cedar. He has started producing various charred woods and is much more reasonably priced than the current suppliers.

    1. STEPHEN SHEEHY | | #8

      Does anyone but me hate the look of charred wood siding? A friend put it on her house. It looks awful, especially after a few years. And you can't touch it without getting soot all over yourself. Plain old untreated cedar lasts a very long time, for a much lower cost.

      1. JC72 | | #9

        I like it as accent pieces. Charred siding requires oil treatment much like wood painted with linseed oil. The deeper the char coupled with the require care the longer it'll last (50+ years)

      2. Expert Member
        MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #10


        Black siding on modernist style boxes became fashionable a few years ago. I suspect (admittedly on no evidence except that they coincided) the enthusiasm for Shou Shugi ban comes from providing a cultural provenance or justification for having a black house. I can't think of may landscapes where a black building adds much.

        1. jollygreenshortguy | | #16

          I suspect that 10 years from now people will be saying, "Oh that's so 2023!"

  6. STEPHEN SHEEHY | | #7

    On Cape Cod, why not use the traditional white cedar shingles? Long lasting, no maintenance.

  7. Expert Member
    Michael Maines | | #11

    Mike Guertin used Boral Nickelgap siding on this house I designed in Rhode Island: I have not installed it myself but have mostly heard good things about it from the field. It's nearly indestructible, and uses a waste product (fly ash). Personal protective gear is necessary. It has a bigger carbon footprint than most wood siding, though.

    While I don't agree with Stephen on the aesthetics of shou sugi ban--I think it's beautiful, if done well, on the right projects--I do agree that natural cedar is also beautiful, plus it's local, renewable, and naturally rot-resistant. It's my first choice on most projects, usually as shingle siding, but it's also available in board form. It's definitely popular on Cape Cod.

  8. Deleted | | #12


  9. PeterRS | | #15

    My experience with Boral was a nightmare. Within a year, the product started to warp profoundly under certain atmospheric conditions. I contacted the TruExterior/Boral/Westlake and wrestled with them for six months. My experts tell me the Boral just lacks the rigidity of a HardieBoard product and warps in harsh sunlight. Boral gave me the runaround, stating both that my installation was “beautiful” AND ridiculously that the contractor should have used materials that EXCEEDED those specified in Boral’s written specs. Specifically, Boral told me post-facto that Tyvek House Wrap is an INADEQUATE WRB for Boral and will cause warping. They refused to honor their warranty. Take a look

  10. deedub | | #17

    Have a look at NU-cedar shakes. I used them on a house I designed. Nice product and very appropriate for out on the Cape.

    1. nynick | | #19

      Love the product but VERY expensive versus Hardie or Boral.

  11. johnnyrico | | #18


    Can you share your general location? I have been considering Boral TruExterior over Nichiha, and I was leaning toward Boral...except I live in the South. With a South-facing exposure. This lack of support warranty support from the company concerns me, and your pictures give me pause, even though I was going to use Solitex Ahero over Tyvek.

  12. TED306 | | #20

    IN CHARLESTON area used Boral TE cove on bottom half of house and Boral trim with Nichiha on top half of house over coravent/corastrip rain screen, with 60 min paper beneath. Strips was stapled then Nichiha screwed with SS screws and siding was nailed with ring shank SS siding nails. Had Boral siding painted first coat prior to application at painting company. Purchased from Buck Lumber. I would use both again. Now on 3 plus years in this climate with no issues. No warp, butted all joints. Easy to cut. Dust mask.

  13. TED306 | | #21

    Used Fortifiber Super Jumbo Tex tar paper under the Boral and Nichiha, Would not use anything without rain screen and would not ever use Tyvek especially with cedar siding due to saponification, In harsh environs with Formosans around having termite sceens is very important. Would not use Hardie again, gets too wet and holds moisture.

    1. Expert Member
      Deleted | | #22


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