For the past 10 months we’ve pretty much been decided on James Hardie’s hardi-plank; at least as decided as you need to be when you’re still well out from it actually being installed. The exterior is something we brain-stormed over for quite some time and had such high expectations for. I guess back then (in 2007) when we were young and idealistic, we really thought it was possible to get one of those fancy new products, which was 100% green (not possible btw) and reasonably priced.
So out of nowhere the other day the siding guy was on-site making his final preparations to place the product order and luckily I was there. He was double checking which hardie product we wanted, the size, finish, color, etc. Then I made mention of the space between the slats (the reveal) and he wasn’t diggin it. So we probed further down this path and realized that he wasn’t aware he was installing this in a rain-screen application, nor had he ever heard of a rain-screen.
Now this isn’t all that odd, since rain-screens have only become popular in the northwest in the last few years after being used throughout europe for the last few decades. And like many other professions there is always some resistance to doing something differently, such as “even if them Seattle boys have proven it works don’t mean it gonna work here in Missoura.” Okay, that wasn’t his voice or actual response, but needless to say he was refusing to do the rain-screen install until the architect talked him off the ledge.
I was actually quite concerned at the moment cause it looked as though we’d have to find another siding guy or go w/ having it lapped. In any case it appears right now we’re going to get what we want and like we expected this installation will void the warranty for the product. This was always the case, but I was holding out some hope that Hardie might change their tune on warrantying rain-screen installations and I even had someone email me saying that they knew a Hardie engineer who might give us some inside info on future warranties. But this was all to no avail.
On the up-side, my architect is so confident in the performance of this installation (and why wouldn’t he be if tons of installs are happening?) that he’s offered to come back in 8 years if it all falls off the wall. Just not sure how to hold him to this promise. Youtube video maybe?
Will let you know how it all shakes out.
And if i didn’t mention it, we’re going w/ the smooth 6.25″ plank w/ the factory painting on the rain-screen side and smooth panels (w/ factory painting) on the other side.