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Hardie vs LP vs Cedar

arkitkt | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

Looking to remove the old clapboards on our house (remove the vinyl first), reinsulate the walls and reside with either Hardie Plank, LP Smartside or Cedar. Any opinions on pros and cons of each in climate zone 4? I hope to use 1″ Zip R sheathing with the Obdyke Slicker Max rainscreen.

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  1. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #1

    Is that zone 4A, 4B, or 4C?

  2. arkitkt | | #2

    Zone 4A, mixed-humid. Also thought about leaving the old clapboards and trying to fill in some gaps in the cellulose insulation in the wall now, but I'm concerned the existing siding will have too many holes and possibly splits from the vinyl.

  3. Stockwell | | #3

    I did this same exercise in siding choice:
    1) LP --it's OSB with a shell on the front. I hate OSB. It's a no.
    2)Cedar--woodpeckers and maintenance--it's a no.
    3) Hardie-less maintenance, not so attractive to woodpeckers--went with the Artisan V-groove

  4. arkitkt | | #4

    I've heard bad things about Hardie as well, which is why I'm confused. I'd also like some input on the whole wall system. I hope to use open cell spray foam applied from the exterior between full 4" studs, the the Zip R sheathing, Slicker rain screen then the siding. Any issues with moisture, condensation, etc. on this wall system?

  5. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #5

    Q. "I hope to use open-cell spray foam applied from the exterior between full 4-inch studs, the the Zip R sheathing, Slicker rain screen, then the siding. Any issues with moisture, condensation, etc. on this wall system?"

    A. No.

  6. arkitkt | | #6

    I've also researched Boral truexterior siding - more expensive than the others but seams to have some benefits. Any experience with this product?

  7. Stockwell | | #7

    Extremely expensive. I liked almost everything about it though. When you get a sample, it's like glorified MDF. It has great attributes, but it seems to dent easily. I am specifying it be used as our trim instead of the more common Miratec(another OSB-ish product). In the end, it was just far more expensive than even the Hardie Artisan we chose, which is itself more expensive than regular Hardie lap siding. You can check if someone would mill down the Boral trim into whatever siding flavor you desire. The siding is just trim board milled into the various siding profiles. It may come out cheaper.
    You might look at Nichiha as well. If you really want to spend some dough and look cool, get Longboard aluminum. It is the most solid siding I have seen yet.

  8. hudson_valley_gregg | | #8

    Cedar with 50/50 pine tar and raw linseed oil seems a low-maintenance high-performance option.

  9. Greenconfusion | | #9

    Cedar Shakes or Beveled siding ? I have purchased some beveled cedar from (big box) store it seems real thin and fragile. Anyone have advice on brands or best cedar option ?

  10. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #10

    The answer depends on where you live. Here in northern New England, a lot of builders choose white cedar shingles (manufactured by a mill in Maine or Quebec). White cedar shingles don't have to be painted or stained.

  11. arkitkt | | #11

    Climate Zone 4 - Ohio River valley. Won't be shakes, will be lap siding. We will paint a color, we don't plan to leave them as a natural wood look.

  12. dankolbert | | #12

    Almost every contractor I know, including several who were nationally known experts on fiber cement, have switched to smart side. I wouldn't hesitate to use it.

  13. Stockwell | | #13

    Cheaper and easier don't = better in this case. Smartside is OSB with a coating on it, and raw OSB on the backside. How can that be superior?I think price and lack of silica dust when cutting play the biggest role in popularity. Marketing seems to focus on ability to resist impact--not sure that is #1 on my list of "reasons to buy." Our houses are already using too many pressed and glued wood products--do we need as out cladding as well? I, for one, do not.

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