Want to protect your home with the best siding on the market? You’ve come to the right place to find out which of the two most popular siding manufacturers is a better choice for your house. 

Homeowners often overlook siding despite its great importance in protecting their homes. Siding protects not only the house, but also its foundation and contents within it from rain, snow, wind, and any other strong weather elements. Moreover, much like insulation, a well-installed siding can also protect the interior of the house from the cold weather outside during winter.  

When choosing siding for your house’s exterior, you need to select a brand that offers durable siding, which can withstand wear and tear, but also looks good and matches your home’s exterior design. 

Now, the chances are that you are debating between two brands: James Hardie and LP SmartSide. Every homeowner knows these two siding manufacturer companies. But why these two brands? The answer, for most people, boils down to two words: durability and reliability. 

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We’ve all seen epic battles over competing products before. Take Pepsi vs Coke, for example. Or, iPhone vs Android. The same scenario is now happening for paintable composite siding boards which have raised quite the rivalry between James Hardie and LP SmartSide. 

But why are these two brands the most popular in the siding market? The two brands, James Hardie and LP SmartSide are the choices of many homeowners because they have both gained a good reputation for their siding products. 

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James Hardie siding has attracted many loyal customers, both contractors and homeowners, who have chosen this brand as its siding products resists to mold, and weather conditions such as rain, subzero temperatures and pests. James Hardie siding is the go-to brand for many homeowners looking for non-wood or vinyl siding products. Its siding is designed to resist to punishing ultraviolet light, without rotting, splitting, wrapping, or curling. 

As for LP SmartSide, the brand has attracted an equally loyal fanbase as its competitor for the same reasons. But, one of the advantages of LP SmartSide is that it is lighter and easier to install than James Hardie siding. Compared to James Hardie siding, LP SmartSide siding is made of wood, making it a renewable source of material. Moreover, for those homeowners who prefer a traditional wooden design for their homes, LP SmartSide siding provides this appearance. 

LP SmartSide vs. James Hardie

Both brands have gained a lot of popularity in the siding market and have already grown their loyal base of customers. However, many aspects set them apart from each other, including the material they’re made of, appearance, maintenance, and even cost. Here are the main differences between the two:

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James Hardie siding is produced from a combination of cement materials and cellulose fibers. The cellulose fiber used to create James Hardie siding is designed with a mix of ethers and esters of cellulose that come from plants, leaves, wood, and bark. The siding also contains fly ash and 90% sand and cement. 

As for LP SmartSide siding, as mentioned above, it is made from wood strands which are coated with wax. The strands are also bonded with resin and other binders which provide it more durability. LP SmartSide also adds zinc borate to its siding for extra protection against pests and to prevent rot. 

When it comes to appearance, James Hardie offers various designs that fit the different tastes of any homeowner.

For example, John Campbell, a roofing contractor, from REIT Roofing says, “homeowners who prefer an appearance of cedar shingles, a design that mimics wood, a modern design, and even a rustic board-and-batten appearance can find it at James Hardie.”

LP SmartSide, on the flip note, offers lap siding, panels and vertical siding, and shingles and shakes that have a cedar texture, giving the appearance of cedar wood. 

When it comes to maintenance, both brands require you to wash down and remove dirt and debris from the siding using water, a soft brush or cloth. 

For the LP SmartSide siding, you may also use a mild detergent to clean the dirt. However, you may not use a pressure washer as this can cause moisture intrusion, discoloration, and damage to the paint of the siding. 

The siding from the two brands also differs when it comes to cost. For the James Hardie siding, after material and installation, the cost averages around $10 per square foot, but can also range between $7.50 and $13. 

As for the LP SmartSide, you should expect to pay an average of $9 per square foot, after material and installation. Yet, the price of LP SmartSide siding can range between $5.34 and $ 11.75.

Pros and Cons of LP SmartSide Siding and James Hardie

Both LP SmartSide and James Hardie siding have their pros and cons. 

For example, the James Hardie siding offers a greater range of styles to choose from, can resist hail damage, and you get a 30-year warranty.

However, the cost is higher compared to LP SmartSide siding, its installation can take longer, and the material is more massive than other material types. 

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As for the LP SmartSide siding, its advantages would be the rustic appearance, its durability, being made from sustainable materials, and a 50-year transferable limited warranty. However, the cons of this siding are the fact that the coating needs to be applied by a finisher, not by the manufacturer and the fact that the warranty might not cover damage caused by termite. 

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Which one is best for you?

Now that you know both the particularities of which products and their pros and cons, you can make an informed decision about which one is best for your home. 

Our advice, if you are building your own home or renovating an old home, would be to also discuss with your roofing contractor to choose siding that will match the style and materials of the roof.  When it comes to which siding is better for your home, that’s obviously a matter of taste, and it also depends on your budget. However, use the information in this article to make an informed decision. 

Editorial Contributors
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Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield is an experienced writer specializing in home improvement topics. He has a passion for educating and empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their properties. Matt's writing focuses on a range of topics, including windows, flooring, HVAC, and construction materials. With a background in construction and home renovation, Matt is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques in the industry. His articles offer practical advice and expert insights that help readers tackle their home improvement projects with confidence. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, Matt's writing is sure to provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

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