Installing James Hardie fibre-cement siding is relatively simple on straight runs because the overlaps between strips largely seal the joints. However, the inside and outside corners, and finishings around wall openings require skillful hands and expert knowledge.
That’s because moisture and cold winter air can penetrate even the tiniest gaps in these critical places. You may only know this is happening when you pay your next energy bill. However, by then some damage may already have occurred.
The Best Way to Manage the Outside Corners
There’s inevitably a gap where two walls meet at an outside corner. We need to overlap the edges quite considerably to achieve a perfectly weather-tight joint. In most cases a 4”-wide strip is sufficient, although we do sometimes use a 6”-wide one for a chunkier effect.
We can face-fasten wood grain James Hardie strips, but we need to add the cost of metal tabs where the client prefers a smooth finish.
That just leaves a narrow opening at the peak of the outside corner to seal. However, we may decide to prefabricate a mitered corner strip in the workshop in cases where building surfaces are irregular.
A Different Approach For Inside Corners and Openings
We take a more subtle approach with inside corners, and wall openings because we want the body of the house to appear to flow together. However, we use a ripped 1”- LP Smart Side engineered wood strip painted to suit in this instance.
That’s because James Hardie fibre cement siding is too fragile when trimmed that narrow. We are also able to offer clients custom metal, aluminum, and steel stripping if these are more suitable for their application, or they prefer something different.
And Finally, How About the Doors, Windows and Backing Plates
We leave it to our clients to decide about additional James Hardie trim around doors and windows for a chunkier look. That’s because this is not strictly-speaking technically necessary. But we do recommend it where windows and doors do not have straight edges making them harder to seal perfectly on their own.
However, we do insist on fitting backing plates for exterior lights, and electrical outlets. Here, we offer a choice of painted LP SmartSide, James Hardie, and custom bent aluminum or steel.
We wrote this post to explain how we offer exceptional value despite not being the least expensive provider in Calgary. A quality siding job could last for decades. It is therefore definitely worth partnering with a knowledgeable contractor who attends to the details up front.