Correctly Nailing HardiePlank Siding

In all my years in home improvement, I have witnessed what works as well as what does not perform well.  I cannot begin to tell you how many HardiePlank Siding jobs I have come across with face nails and just after a few years are showing cracks in the surface due to the improper nailing procedure that was used.

Siding, nailing siding, proper nailing technique, HardiePlank Siding, The Woodlands, Spring, Conroe, Texas

Figure 9 – HardiePlank siding cracked from improper nailing

In our extreme Southeast Texas summer heat and humidity, there will be some expansion and contraction in the James Hardie siding product.

If the HardiePlank Siding is face nailed at the vertical edges (the ends of the plank), this is what could happen (Figure 9, at the right).

When HardiePlank is face nailed, it should always be nailed in the main run areas away from vertical edges so cracking does not occur.  If face nailing should be needed, it should be kept at a minimal use and away from each end of the plank if possible.  If face nailing should ever be required, for instance, let’s say if a plank is not lying flat, it should be nailed at least ¾” away from either edge (see Figure 11 left).

Face Nailing, Roof Nailing, Shingle Nailing, Roofing, Roof, The Woodlands, Spring, Conroe, Texas

Figure 11 – Proper Face Nailing Technique

90% of the blind nailing should occur at the top of the lower panel of the siding that is being installed (see Figure 10 below).

By nailing this way, the nails will also be covered and hidden by the next panel that is installed above it which is more visually appealing.


Figure 10 – Blind nailing procedure

This will ensure that there is no chance of breakage due to expansion and contraction after the HardiePlank crews are long gone.

The beauty of properly installing HardiePlank siding will result in no cracking from the installation.  This in turn will provide a HardiePlank exterior siding job that will last for years!

Siding Installation, James Hardie Siding, Siding, The Woodlands, Texas, Spring, Conroe

James Hardie Siding Installation

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About Kapitan The Siding Man

I am Greg Kapitan and started in home improvements in 1982 in my hometown of Long Island, New York just outside of NYC. With over 30 years experience, my love Shelly and I now reside in The Woodlands, Texas running our own businesses providing roofing contractor services siding installation and home window replacement services to homeowners in Houston and The Woodlands TX. Be sure to check out our website at and feel free to connect with me and contact me directly at, I would love to hear from you!
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