Mixed HardiePlank Colors Hightlight School Addition

By Todd Fratzel on Siding & Trim

HardiePlank ColorPlus® Technology Featured On School Addition

We recently built a three story wood framed addition for a local Montessori School which featured HardiePlank® Lap Siding with ColorPlus® Technology. Over the years we’ve become huge fans of HardiePlank® Lap Siding for both residential and light commercial projects.

In this article I wanted to point out how simply using more than one color can add a dramatic look to a project. As  you can see in the adjacent photo we decided to use a darker color siding in the center “tall” portion of the new addition to break up the large gable end of the building.

Fade Resistance

The original school building was built back in 2005 and also featured HardiePlank® Lap Siding with ColorPlus® Technology in the color Monterey Taupe. For the new addition we chose to use Monterey Taupe on the sides and Timber Bark for the “tall” center section.

Because of the fade resistance of ColorPlus® Technology the new siding matched very well with the five year old siding. According to Hardie’s website ColorPlus® Technology boasts a 30% better fade resistance than other paints. This was evident when the new siding was installed adjacent to the old stuff!

Proper Installation

As with any product the real key is proper installation. It’s extremely important to follow the manufacturers installation procedures. With this type of siding it’s very important to leave proper gaps at trim terminations, caulk gaps and use butt joint flashing.

ColorPlus® Technology is really great as you get a good quality baked on finish as soon as the material is installed. However, we’ve always been fans of applying one field top coat of paint after all the caulking and trim work is complete. This combined with Hardie’s 15 year warranty for the ColorPlus® Technology and you’ve got a real solid siding!

James Hardi – Green Building Solution

Lastly I wanted to point out that James Hardie siding products are considered to be Green Construction Products and a great alternative for sustainable design. James Hardie siding products have several benefits for projects seeking USGBC LEED® certification and NAHB’s Voluntary Model Green Home Building Guidelines (Ref.).

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. jeff_williams says:

    I’m in the middle of my first experience with JH siding and we are going with 2 colors as well. I was skeptical of the idea at first but didn’t have much of a choice since the material was free. We are mixing textures as well (a welcomed surprise). Plank on the lower portion and shingle on the upper separated by a band board. So far I think the shingle is way easier to work with but that could mostly be because we are using a 4″ exposure so none of the siding gauges seem to work.

  2. Robin says:

    Hi Todd,

    In your experience what kind of maintenance does this product require? We’re interested in using something like this for when we re-side our house. It seems that the product comes with a factory finish but will need to be painted after that wears off. Is that right? Also how easy is it to work with compared to say vinyl?


    • Todd says:


      Hardi siding is very good. It’s a step up in cost and appearance compared to vinyl but it’s a much better product. It does come with a factory applied finish coat. However, I recommend applying an additional top coat after installation to cover any caulking, etc. With a good coat of paint it will not need refinishing for 15 years. Frankly it’s easier in some ways than vinyl because it goes up much like wood siding. The one downside is it’s weight and the dust during cutting. Overall if you can afford it then I say it’s a great product.

      • Robin says:

        Good to know, thanks Todd. In our area vinyl is by far the standard so I wasn’t familiar with the product. I agree it is a nice looking product! We have a long time to decide though because in our master plan we’re not planning to redo the siding for four more years and that’s if everything goes as planned.

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