James Hardie ColorPlus Technology vs. Primed Siding: Is The Extra Cost Worth It?

A Fresh Perspective On Siding Choices

Ever found yourself wondering if that extra dollar on your home’s siding is genuinely worth it? Or perhaps, pondering if the vibrant allure of James Hardie ColorPlus Technology can truly outshine the flexibility of primed siding?

Well, by reading this blog post, you’re about to embark on a journey that unravels these mysteries.

By the end of this read, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make an informed decision for your siding installation in Huntsville, AL, ensuring your home not only looks stunning but also stands the test of time.

What Is James Hardie Siding ColorPlus Technology?

Front of house with blue Hardie siding
ColorPlus Deep Ocean HardiePlank Siding (Cedarmill)

At its core, ColorPlus Technology is a unique, patented technique developed by the James Hardie company. It involves baking color onto the Hardie fiber cement siding in a closely controlled factory environment.

This is not regular paint or a typical paint job; it’s a proprietary finish that ensures consistent coverage and resists chipping, peeling, cracking, and fading. It also has multiple coats of paint, more than boards painted by hand.

What Is Primed Siding?

Primed siding is a type of siding that comes pre-coated with a primer, preparing it for the final paint application.

This pre-priming process ensures that the siding material, whether it’s wood, fiber cement, or another material, is sealed and protected from moisture and other external factors.

Hardie ColorPlus Technology Siding vs. Primed Siding

When it comes to James Hardie siding products, homeowners in Huntsville, AL, are often torn between the vibrant James Hardie ColorPlus siding and the customizable primed siding.

Each has its merits, but which one truly stands out?

AspectColorPlus TechnologyPrimed Siding
ColorsVibrant, baked-on colors.Customizable post-install.
DurabilityResists chipping, peeling, cracking, and fading.Depends on paint quality.
CostHigher upfront, but potential long-term savings.More affordable initially, but potential future costs.
Installation SpeedFaster due to no post-install painting.Slower due to post-install painting.
Eco-friendlinessReduced VOCs.Depends on paint used.
Warranty CoverageRobust warranty options.Varies based on paint used.
CustomizationLimited to available ColorPlus colors.High level of customization.
MaintenanceLow maintenance.Potential for higher maintenance.


ColorPlus Technology: This patented technique offers homeowners a range of vibrant, baked-on colors that are consistent and designed to resist fading from UV rays. The controlled factory setting ensures that each James Hardie siding product has a uniform and durable appearance.

Primed Siding: Primed siding is essentially a blank canvas. It offers homeowners the flexibility to choose any color they desire. Once installed, the siding can be painted in the field, allowing for a customized look tailored to the homeowner’s preferences.


ColorPlus Technology: The multiple baked-on layers in a controlled environment ensure that the siding resists chipping, peeling, cracking, and fading. This results in a longer-lasting finish that requires less maintenance over time.

Primed Siding: While primed siding offers flexibility in color choices, it might not have the same longevity as ColorPlus when it comes to the paint’s durability. Regular paint might be susceptible to the elements, leading to potential chipping and fading over time.


ColorPlus Technology: Generally, James Hardie ColorPlus siding might have a higher upfront cost due to the specialized manufacturing process. However, homeowners might save in the long run as there’s no need for immediate painting and reduced maintenance costs.

Primed Siding: Primed siding might be more affordable initially. However, homeowners should factor in the costs of painting post-installation and potential maintenance or repainting costs in the future.

Discover the cost of James Hardie siding in Huntsville, AL.

Installation Speed

ColorPlus Technology: One of the standout benefits of James Hardie ColorPlus Technology is the speed of installation. Since there’s no need for post-installation painting, homeowners in Huntsville, AL, can enjoy their new siding sooner.

Primed Siding: Installation might be a tad slower for primed siding due to the additional step of post-install painting. This can extend the completion time of the James Hardie siding replacement or installation project.


ColorPlus Technology: With its reduced VOCs, James Hardie ColorPlus Technology is a greener choice, making it an eco-friendly option for homeowners who are environmentally conscious.

Primed Siding: The eco-friendliness of primed siding largely depends on the type of paint used post-installation. Some paints might have higher VOCs, which can be less environmentally friendly.

Warranty Coverage

ColorPlus Technology: James Hardie has a warranty for ColorPlus Technology, giving homeowners peace of mind.

Primed Siding: The warranty for primed siding can vary based on the paint used. It’s essential for homeowners to be aware of the warranty terms when choosing their paint.


ColorPlus Technology: While ColorPlus offers a range of colors, it might not provide the same level of customization as primed siding. Homeowners are limited to the available ColorPlus colors.

Primed Siding: Primed siding shines in the customization department. Homeowners can choose any color, allowing for a truly personalized look.


ColorPlus Technology: One of the significant advantages of James Hardie ColorPlus is its low maintenance. The baked-on color is designed to last, reducing the need for frequent touch-ups.

Primed Siding: Maintenance can be higher for primed siding, especially if the paint used is not of high quality. Homeowners might find themselves repainting or touching up more frequently.

See the differences in how James Hardie siding vs. vinyl siding stack up.

Cost Implications: ColorPlus vs. Primed

Home Size And Design Intricacy

Both siding types are influenced by the home’s size and design intricacy.

However, the primed siding, given its flexibility, might be chosen for more intricate designs where customization is key.

Larger homes might lean towards ColorPlus for its consistent finish and reduced post-installation work.

Geographic Location

While the cost of both ColorPlus and primed siding can vary based on location, homeowners might find that ColorPlus is more consistently priced across regions due to its standardized manufacturing process.

In contrast, primed siding costs can fluctuate more based on local painting and installation rates.

Siding Style Selection

The initial cost of ColorPlus is generally higher due to its specialized manufacturing and baked-on color.

In contrast, primed boards might seem more budget-friendly at first glance. However, when considering the subsequent costs of painting and potential touch-ups, the expenses can add up.

Paint Options

Primed siding offers the flexibility of choosing a specific paint type and color, but this comes with the added costs of paint and labor.

ColorPlus, with its factory-applied color, eliminates the need for immediate post-installation painting, potentially offering long-term savings despite the higher upfront cost.

Current Siding Removal And Associated Labor

The removal of existing siding and the associated labor costs apply to both siding types.

However, with ColorPlus, once the old siding is removed, the installation process can be quicker since there’s no waiting for the paint to dry, as with primed siding.

We are going to remove the siding on every re-side. Some contractors will install siding over siding; we never recommend that. We always remove existing siding and dispose of it, we always install new house wrap, and sometimes we even replace the base layer of OSB/foam board if needed. That all goes into the cost as well.

– Jordan Rodriguez, owner of Freedom Exteriors

ColorPlus Technology Pros And Cons


  • Consistent, vibrant colors.
  • Durable finish that resists chipping and fading.
  • Faster installation without the need for post-install painting.
  • Eco-friendly with reduced VOCs.


  • Higher upfront cost.
  • Limited to available ColorPlus colors.

Primed Siding Pros And Cons


  • Flexibility in color choices.
  • Potential for a more customized look.
  • Might be more affordable upfront.


  • Requires post-installation painting.
  • Potential for higher maintenance costs.
  • Durability depends on the quality of the paint used.

Making The Right Choice: Which is Better?

If longevity, low maintenance, and a consistent coat are top priorities, ColorPlus might be the way to go.

However, if customization and budget considerations weigh heavily on your decision, primed siding offers flexibility.

Step Into A New Era Of Home Design With Freedom Exteriors

There’s no denying the value of investing in James Hardie siding. Whether you opt for the vibrant allure of James Hardie ColorPlus or the flexibility of primed siding, you’re ensuring durability, beauty, and low maintenance for your home exterior.

Discover the transformative power of top-tier siding and trim products. With Freedom Exteriors, you’re not just getting siding; you’re investing in a promise of quality, expertise, and unmatched beauty.

Ready to redefine your home’s exterior with a gorgeous color and durable material that will both look amazing for years? Fill out our contact form today, or give us a call.

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