Expert Home Improvement Advice

  • Circular Saw: While this is the most common method of cutting, it produces the most dust. Use a polycrystalline diamond toothed blade made for cutting FCS. Cut from the back side using a rafter square as a guide for right angle cuts. Several pieces may be stacked and cut at the same time.
  • Fiber Cement Shears: Special handheld electric shears can be used to make straight and curved cuts. An attachment called the TurboShear converts an electric drill into fiber cement shears. When using shears, cut with the back of the siding facing up.
  • Jigsaw: When fitted with a carbide coated blade, a jigsaw can be used to cut holes and curves. Cut from the back of the siding.
  • Scoring: Fiber cement siding can be scored and snapped like drywall, though the cuts are not very smooth. Score the face of the siding then pull up to break. A carbide tipped scoring knife lasts much longer than a standard utility knife blade.

Fastening Siding

Fiber cement siding can be nailed by hand or with a pneumatic nailer. It can also be attached using corrosion resistant screws.

  • Use hot-dipped galvanized or stainless steel nails.
  • Nails should penetrate through the sheathing and at least 1” into studs.
  • Position nails ¾” to 1” from the edge of the siding.
  • Siding can either be blind nailed at the top or face nailed at the bottom.
  • Use roofing nails for blind nailing and siding nails for face nailing.

Installing Siding

Fiber cement siding should be installed 6” or more above the grade level of the house with a 1”– 2” gap between horizontal surfaces like decks, steps, or adjacent roofs. Flash above doors and windows, leaving a ¼” gap between the flashing and siding. If you’re working alone, overlap gauges can be used to support the siding while you nail it.

Begin by attaching a 1¼” wide strip of FCS 1/8” above the bottom of the first row to provide the proper angle for the siding. Next, nail the first row of siding into the studs, leaving 1/8” gaps at the corner boards to allow for caulking. Blind nailing is preferable to face nailing, since any nail heads are hidden by the next row of siding. Nails do not need to be predrilled except near the ends.

Center joints over studs unless special metal off stud joiners are used. Joints should be butted loosely together with a 4” wide strip of 30 pound felt positioned behind each one. Make sure the felt overhangs the previous row of siding to keep water from running behind it if the caulking fails.

Each row of siding should overlap by 1¼” or more. A spacer stick with a notch cut the length of the exposed part of the siding makes alignment easy.

Blind nailing fiber cement siding Nailing up fiber cement siding on an exterior wall Safety equipment


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House wrap first or window flashing?

Perhaps a newbie question...
After framing and sheathing a wood-framed house, is the house wrap (aka Tyvek, etc) installed first to the edge of wall openings, then window/door flashing lapped over that?
Or is window flashing (10" strips of that black stuff) installed first directly on wood studs/sheathing, then house wrap lapped over that?
Siding will be stucco.
What's your vote?

Ogdensburg home rehabilitation program gears up for phase two, on schedule  —
Some homes will receive extensive and visible rehabilitation, including the installation of vinyl siding, roofing and windows. Other homes won't have an obvious exterior update but will have new furnaces or flooring put in.

Improtec Improtec Boardmate - Drywall and Siding Support Tool
Home Improvement (Improtec)
  • The multi-function support handle easily holds material in place.
  • Allows person to work alone, eliminating the need for a bulky deadman.
  • Temporarily attach The Boardmate with a 1.5 roof tack when installing siding or plywood.
  • Fits in a tool pouch and weighs less than 8 ounces/227 grams.
  • Simply pry off The Boardmate before fixing when installing hardie board siding or plywood.

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  • Avatar sweetdeysies What is proper way to install cement siding.?
    Jul 12, 2008 by sweetdeysies | Posted in Maintenance & Repairs

    I hire a contractor to replace and removed the old siding form my house. i have seen siding install before and there is normally an woord frame or plywood that is underneat the siding. the contractor stated that is no … based on that he refused to continue with the work. i then proceeded to put a stop payment on the downpayment what are my options now! can i hired someone else to do the work without bein held liable for his expenses?

    • He removed the old siding and found no wall sheathing? ( plywood) and then started to install new hardiplank? so he just put back like it was before but with diff. type of material...
      hmmm, unless it was stated in … either way he should have told u when he found no sheathing under the old siding what was going old is the house and where do u live ( state) me for more help....

      lic. gen. contractor