Handling Siding Materials Ronkonkoma NY

Like all siding materials, fiber cement has a learning curve. With a few simple steps, however, you can achieve excellent results on a consistent basis. Here are the biggest mistakes to avoid.

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Source: REPLACEMENT CONTRACTOR Magazine
Publication date: September 1, 2005

By Carl Sperry

Like all siding materials, fiber cement has a learning curve. With a few simple steps, however, you can achieve excellent results on a consistent basis. Here are the biggest mistakes to avoid:

Improper fastening. By far the most common error. Most manufacturers recommend setting your nails flush with the surface of the piece and snug to the wall. “I've seen brand new, blind-nailed sided houses where you could pull the siding off with two fingers,” says Mark Parlee, owner of Parlee Builders, in Des Moines, Iowa. Eliminate this by using the proper nail gun; that is, one with a depth-of-drive adjustment. Turning down the compression will also help, but it may not be enough. Another option is to hand-nail or screw the pieces on. Both will increase labor burden but help you avoid this mistake.

Fitting pieces too tightly to trim or to each other. This may seem like a good idea, but it often results in the piece(s) bowing during expansion, causing unsightly waves. It's especially noticeable on long straight walls. Avoid it by leaving a 1/16- to 1/8-inch gap where the siding butts the trim and apply high-quality sealant to the gap. This will allow the siding to expand and contract without bowing.

Not nailing on the studs. A huge no-no. Fiber-cement siding is heavy (2.2 pounds per foot). Not hitting the studs is a recipe for disaster in high-wind areas.

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