Hardie Plank Siding vs. LP SmartSide For Huntsville, AL, Homes

Find The Right Siding For Your Home

Are you tired of the constant upkeep that your home’s exterior requires? Or perhaps you’re looking to give your home a fresh, new look?

If so, you’ve likely come across two popular siding options: Hardie Plank siding and LP SmartSide siding. But which one is the best choice for your Huntsville, AL home?

This blog post will delve into the details of both siding materials, comparing their durability, installation, aesthetics, maintenance, and more.

By this post’s end, you’ll have a clear understanding of which siding material is the best fit for your Huntsville Metro siding installation or replacement project.

What Is Hardie Plank Siding?

White Hardie Plank siding and a blue door

Hardie Plank siding, often referred to as HardiePlank or Hardie Board, is a type of fiber cement siding that has become a popular brand choice among homeowners and siding contractors alike.

Known for its durability, resistance to weather and pests, and its wide variety of styles and colors, Hardie Plank siding offers a balance of aesthetics and practicality.

The Composition Of Hardie Plank Fiber Cement Siding

Hardie Plank siding is made from a blend of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers. This unique combination results in a siding material that is incredibly durable and resistant to many common issues that plague other siding materials.

For instance, unlike wood siding, Hardie Plank siding is resistant to damage from termites and other pests. It’s also non-combustible, making it a safer choice in areas that need to watch out for wildfires.

What Is LP SmartSide Siding?

LP SmartSide siding is another popular choice in the siding market. This engineered wood siding product is known for its easy installation, durability, and the natural wood appearance it offers.

The Composition Of LP SmartSide Siding

LP SmartSide siding is made from wood strands that are coated with a wax for moisture resistance. These strands are then combined with resin and other binders for added strength.

To protect against pests and rot, zinc borate is added to the mix. This results in a siding material that offers the look of traditional wood siding, but with enhanced durability and resistance to common issues like decay and termite damage.

Comparison: Hardie Plank Siding vs. LP SmartSide

White James Hardie siding front entrance with blue double doors

Local Considerations For Homes In Huntsville, AL

When choosing siding for your home in Huntsville, AL, it’s important to consider our local climate and common weather conditions. Huntsville experiences hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters, with occasional heavy rainfall and thunderstorms.

Hardie Plank siding is resistant to UV rays, which can be beneficial in the hot summer months. It’s also designed to withstand bad weather conditions, such as heavy rains.

LP SmartSide siding is designed to resist impact damage, which can be beneficial in areas prone to thunderstorms. Its unique construction process also makes it moisture-resistant, which can be a big plus in our humid climate.

Durability And Resistance

When it comes to durability and resistance, both Hardie Plank and LP SmartSide have a lot to offer.

Hardie Plank siding is known for standing up to bad weather conditions, including freezing temperatures, heavy rains, and strong winds. It’s also UV ray-resistant, which means it won’t easily fade in the sun.

On the other hand, LP SmartSide siding is also highly durable. It’s designed to resist impact damage, making it a great choice for areas prone to hail storms. Additionally, its unique manufacturing process makes it resistant to moisture, decay, and termite damage.


Installing siding on a home

In terms of installation, LP SmartSide siding generally has the edge. It’s lighter than Hardie Plank siding, making it easier to handle and install. Additionally, it comes in longer lengths, which can result in fewer seams for a cleaner, more streamlined appearance.

Hardie Plank siding, while heavier and potentially more challenging to install, is still a favorite among many siding contractors. It’s important to note that due to its weight, Hardie Plank siding must be installed by professionals with experience in handling this type of material.


Both Hardie Plank and LP SmartSide offer a wide range of aesthetic options, allowing homeowners to choose the look that best suits their homes.

Hardie Plank siding is available in many different styles, including HardiePlank lap siding, HardieShingle siding, and HardiePanel vertical siding. It also comes in a wide array of colors, going from neutral tones to more colorful hues.

LP SmartSide siding also offers a variety of styles, including lap siding, panel and vertical siding, and shakes and shingles. One of its best features is its ability to look like natural wood, making it a great choice for homeowners who want the look of wood siding without the same maintenance.


When it comes to maintenance, both siding options are relatively low-maintenance compared to traditional wood siding.

Hardie Plank siding requires a simple wash down every 6 to 12 months to remove dirt and debris. For stubborn stains, a mild detergent can be used.

LP SmartSide siding can be cleaned with a garden hose and a soft brush or cloth. For tougher stains, a mild detergent can be used. It’s important to note that neither siding should be cleaned with a pressure washer, as this can cause damage.

Style And Color Options

Hardie Plank and LP SmartSide both offer a wide range of styles and color options.

Hardie Plank siding is available in over 20 different colors and several different styles, including lap siding, shingle siding, and vertical siding. They also offer a line of “Aspyre” siding, which includes extra thick boards for a more modern look.

LP SmartSide offers a variety of styles as well, including lap siding, panel and vertical siding, and shakes and shingles. Their lap siding is available in a cedar texture, colonial beaded, and two types of smooth finishes. The panel and vertical siding come in cedar texture or smooth finish, while the shakes and shingles are available in cedar texture.

LP SmartSide also offers a wide range of prefinished color options through their LP SmartSide ExpertFinish® collection.


The cost of both Hardie Plank and LP SmartSide siding can vary depending on the specifics of your project, including the size of your home, the style of siding you choose, and the complexity of the installation.

However, in general, Hardie Plank siding tends to be more expensive than LP SmartSide siding. This is due in part to the material’s durability and the specialized installation process it requires.

LP SmartSide siding, while generally less expensive than Hardie Plank siding, still offers excellent durability and a wide range of aesthetic options. It’s also often less expensive to install, thanks to its lighter weight and longer lengths.


Both James Hardie and LP SmartSide offer strong warranties on their siding products.

James Hardie provides a 30-year non-prorated warranty on their siding products, which covers both material and labor. This warranty may be transferable, but it doesn’t cover damage from subpar installation or maintenance.

LP SmartSide offers a 50-year prorated limited warranty on their siding products. This transferable warranty covers defects in material and workmanship. However, it doesn’t cover any damage from improper installation or maintenance.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is another factor to consider when choosing siding for your home. Good siding can help insulate your home, reducing energy costs.

Hardie Plank siding, being made of fiber cement, does not have the same insulating properties as some other siding materials. However, contractors often install it with a layer of insulating foam, which can help to improve the energy efficiency of your home.

LP SmartSide, being made from wood strands, has better natural insulating properties than Hardie Plank siding. This can help to better regulate the temperature in your home and lower your energy costs.

Environmental Impact

When selecting siding options, it’s also important to consider the environmental impact.

Hardie Plank siding is made from a mixture of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers. While cement production does have a significant environmental impact due to the energy required and CO2 emissions, Hardie Plank siding’s long lifespan and durability can offset this. The siding is also rot and pest-resistant, reducing the need for potentially harmful chemical treatments.

LP SmartSide siding is made from wood strands and coated with a wax for moisture resistance. Wood is a renewable resource, and the manufacturing process for LP SmartSide is designed to make efficient use of raw materials, reducing waste.

You’ll want to note that some chemicals used in the process, such as zinc borate, can be harmful to the environment.

Hardie Plank Siding Pros And Cons

White Hardie Plank siding on a home above a 3 door garage


  • Presents a wide array of style options.
  • Exhibits resistance to damage from hail.
  • Can endure wind speeds up to 130 mph.
  • All siding products come with matching trim and soffit.
  • Comes with a 30-year warranty.
  • Enhances curb appeal more than vinyl siding.
  • Boasts a distinct look and texture compared to other brands.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Durable and resistant to warping.
  • Requires low maintenance.
  • The look mimics wood but without the associated hassles.
  • Excellent sealing properties.
  • Up to five times thicker than vinyl.
  • Fiber cement material provides ASTM-rated fire protection.


  • Initial cost may be prohibitive for those on a tight budget.
  • The material is heavier than other types, necessitating more labor-intensive installation.
  • Installation process is more time-consuming than other materials.
  • If mishandled or improperly installed, it can crack.
  • Settling of newly constructed homes could lead to cracked siding.
  • Requires experienced professionals for installation.
  • Not the most eco-friendly material.

LP SmartSide Siding Pros And Cons


  • Visually appealing with a deep cedar grain texture.
  • Offers protection against termite damage.
  • Durability enhanced by the use of zinc borate, binders, and resins in manufacturing.
  • Environmentally friendly as it primarily uses wood, a renewable resource.
  • Comes with a 50-year transferable limited warranty.
  • Reduces waste at the job site.
  • Available in long lengths, reducing the number of pieces required.


  • Although the warranty lasts 50 years, it’s prorated from the sixth year, meaning coverage decreases by 2.2 percent annually until the warranty ends.
  • The coating is typically applied by a finisher or applier, not the manufacturer, which could lead to flaking if not done properly.
  • Installers must prime and paint the edges before installation.
  • The inclusion of organic material in the siding means it’s combustible.
  • In regions where termite damage is prevalent, the warranty might not cover such damage.

Elevate Your Home With Freedom Exteriors Siding Installation And Replacement Service

When choosing between Hardie Plank and LP SmartSide siding for your Huntsville, AL home, it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences. Both options offer excellent durability, a wide range of aesthetic options, and strong warranties.

However, the success of your siding project also depends on getting expert installation. That’s where Freedom Exteriors shines. Our team in Huntsville, AL, guarantees a flawless finish with both of these products.

Don’t compromise on your home’s exterior. Fill out our contact form today, or give us a call, and experience the Freedom Exteriors difference.