James Hardie vs. LP SmartSide: Which Is the Best Siding for Your House?

Choosing the right siding for your house is a critical decision. It can dramatically impact your home’s aesthetics, durability, and resale value. Among the top contenders in the market, two names often stand out: James Hardie and LP (Louisiana-Pacific) SmartSide. But which one is the best fit for your home? In this blog post, we’ll delve into a comprehensive comparison of these two popular siding options, exploring their features, benefits, drawbacks, and much more.

James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding

Also known as Hardie Board, this type of siding is made from a composite of sand, cement, and cellulose fibers. Let’s explore the pros and cons of this well-regarded option.



One of the biggest advantages of James Hardie siding is its durability. It’s designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, including extreme temperature changes and high winds. It’s also fire-resistant and impervious to insects and rot, making it a long-lasting option for many homeowners.


Hardie Board is well-known for its visual appeal. It convincingly mimics the look of wood while avoiding the common problems associated with it, such as warping or rotting. Plus, it comes in a wide variety of colors and styles, making it a versatile option for any home design.


James Hardie offers a 30-year non-prorated warranty on its siding, showing the confidence they have in its product’s longevity.



One downside is that Hardie Board requires professional installation. Its weight and the need for specific cutting tools can make it a difficult DIY project.


Compared to other siding options, James Hardie is on the pricier end of the spectrum. However, considering its durability and minimal maintenance, many homeowners find it a worthy long-term investment.

LP SmartSide Engineered Wood Siding

LP SmartSide is an engineered wood product. It’s made from strands of wood coated with a resin binder, then compressed for strength. Let’s consider its advantages and disadvantages.



LP SmartSide is lighter and easier to install than Hardie Board. Its workability makes it a favorite among contractors, potentially reducing labor costs.


Like Hardie Board, LP SmartSide can convincingly mimic the appearance of real wood, and it’s available in a wide array of colors and styles.


SmartSide has been treated with LP’s proprietary SmartGuard process, which helps it resist fungal decay and termites. It’s also designed to withstand harsh weather conditions.


Moisture Issues

While LP SmartSide is treated to resist decay, it can still be susceptible to moisture problems if not properly installed and maintained.


LP offers a 50-year prorated warranty, which may not be as comprehensive as James Hardie’s non-prorated warranty. It’s essential to understand the warranty terms before making a decision.

Cost Comparison

When comparing James Hardie and LP SmartSide, the cost is often a key deciding factor. Both initial installation and long-term maintenance costs should be considered.

James Hardie

James Hardie siding is generally more expensive upfront. The material itself is pricier, and its installation requires professional contractors. However, its durability and low maintenance can make it a cost-effective choice in the long run.

LP SmartSide

LP SmartSide typically has a lower initial cost, both in terms of material and labor due to its easier installation. However, potential maintenance costs should be factored in, particularly in regions with high humidity or frequent severe weather.

Remember, the value of siding is not just in its cost but also in how well it protects your home, enhances its aesthetics, and potentially boosts its resale value.

Environmental Impact

Today’s homeowners are often concerned about the environmental impact of their choices. Both James Hardie and LP SmartSide have made strides to reduce their ecological footprint.

James Hardie

James Hardie siding is made of natural, sustainable ingredients like cement and wood pulp. Furthermore, the company is committed to reducing waste in its manufacturing process.

LP SmartSide

LP SmartSide is made from wood from small, fast-growing trees. LP also uses an energy-efficient process in their manufacturing and aims to utilize nearly 100% of every log they process.

Which Siding Is Right for You?

In the end, the best siding for your house depends on your unique situation. Consider your local climate, budget, aesthetic preferences, and maintenance willingness. Consult with local contractors or real estate professionals to get an understanding of what works best in your area.

Both James Hardie and LP SmartSide are reputable brands with high-quality products. They both offer an array of attractive siding options that enhance curb appeal while providing substantial protection against elements.

Remember, the decision between James Hardie and LP SmartSide is not just about the initial cost but also about the long-term value and satisfaction it will bring. Make sure to consider all aspects before making a decision.

Maintenance Requirements

When choosing between James Hardie and LP SmartSide, it’s important to consider the maintenance requirements of each siding option. How much time, effort, and cost are you willing to commit to keeping your siding in top shape?

James Hardie

James Hardie siding is known for its low maintenance requirements. It does not need to be repainted frequently, thanks to its baked-on color technology. However, despite its durability, it should still be inspected annually for any signs of damage. Any necessary repairs should be carried out promptly to maintain the siding’s integrity and appearance.

LP SmartSide

LP SmartSide also boasts low maintenance. However, it may require more frequent repainting or re-staining than James Hardie to keep its appearance fresh. Regular inspections for moisture damage, especially in humid climates or areas with frequent rainfall, are crucial.

Impact on Home Value

Siding not only protects your home but also contributes significantly to its curb appeal. Thus, it can impact your home’s value, particularly when it comes to resale.

James Hardie

Homes with James Hardie siding often have a higher perceived value. Its reputation for durability and its high-end look can make a house more appealing to potential buyers.

LP SmartSide

LP SmartSide can also boost your home’s value. Its wood-like appearance and resilience against elements can be attractive selling points.

Climate Considerations

Your home’s location and the local climate should play a significant role in deciding between James Hardie and LP SmartSide.

James Hardie

James Hardie siding is engineered for climate, meaning it’s tailored to perform optimally in different weather conditions. Whether you live in a place with harsh winters, hot summers, or high humidity, there’s a Hardie product designed for your region.

LP SmartSide

LP SmartSide is also designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. However, it might require more proactive maintenance in areas with high humidity or rainfall to prevent moisture-related issues.

Final Words

The decision between James Hardie and LP SmartSide should be made based on a combination of factors: your budget, home location, desired aesthetic, and maintenance willingness. Both options offer high-quality, attractive solutions, but the best choice will depend on your unique needs and circumstances.

Don’t rush your decision. Take the time to do your research, consult with professionals, and weigh the pros and cons. After all, siding is a significant investment that will impact your home’s look, durability, and value for years to come.