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Hardboard Siding Price Guide

Hardboard siding is wood-based and was the most common form of siding for several years in home construction. It also offers the most variety in terms of texture and how the wood is processed. Traditional hardboard siding has been improved since the 1970s to reduce moisture infiltration and rot over the years. These various styles of hardboard planks make it a very popular form of siding for any home improvement or construction project.

The Costs

  • Minimum Cost: $3.50 per square foot

  • Maximum Cost: $9.00 per square foot 

Removing the original siding will also incur additional labor costs. Vinyl siding is typically easier to remove than other forms of siding. Brick siding may be more labor intensive and difficult to remove. The average price to remove vinyl siding is $1,000 - $3,000, which includes total disposal and removal for the entire house. The cost to remove brick, as long as it is not structural, costs roughly double. Many homeowners opt to install engineered products with a vapor barrier that can go directly over the old bricks.

Caulking is required for most projects that used hardboard siding panels. The caulking is required at the butt joints and along the trim joints that interlock between the panels. Caulking that is watertight is approximately $4 per 10 ounce tube. This cost can come down using bulk construction pricing. Each tube will cover approximately 60 linear feet at a depth of 2 inches.

Depending on the type of hardboard used, a substrate may require additional costs associated with waterproofing the sheathing. Some types of planks typically require OSB sheathing that may not require a vapor barrier. Rigid foam insulation and vapor barriers such as HardieWrap are used around the substrate of the house. A 9x100 foot sheet runs approximately $120-140 per roll of coverage.


Composite hardboard is made up of recycled wood fibers. The surface is typically painted and primed to resemble a word surface. Composite is considered more environmentally sound since it uses materials from the waste product of trees. This can include sawdust and bits of wood material in the panels. These are engineered panels that lack the look of a wood grain surface. They appear more streamlined and are comparable to vinyl siding.

A true wood surface can be found in a surfaced panel. They are an improved variety over the wood siding products used prior to the 1970s. The panels are primed and coated with a sealer to prevent rot. Surface style is in a large variety and vary from panel to panel. They are available in surface finishes such as rough-sawn and striated. The rough-sawn and striated styles are popular for their rustic appeal. A smooth or brushed surface can create the illusion of symmetry and look similar to vinyl from afar.

Lap siding was common in the clapboard look of older historical homes across the country. They are also popular for their ease of installation and rustic appeal. Lap siding is typically made from several types of wood and is designed to connect to each board using tongue and groove seams. Beaded lap siding is a newer variety of this wood product that have fewer seams and is much lighter than other styles of hardboard. They are also used in making repairs to Masonite style siding. Masonite siding was originally used in homes as a form of wood siding that used to be difficult to replace.

Standard plain lap siding is a thinner variety of lap hardboard that is more flexible. The substrate is treated and is less likely to crack compared to fiber cement. Standard lap requires more precise measurements for correct installation. They typically come in widths that range from 8"- 12" wide with a smooth or textured surface. 

Finally, triple 4 and 5 siding is used for greater lengths and less cutting. The groove pattern is already created in the wood as well.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hardboard Siding

Traditional hardboard siding is an inexpensive and classic looking siding that is easy to install. Hardboard siding can be painted in almost any color and is a great choice for creating vibrant contrast on soffits and windows. Composite and surfaced plank board is a variety of hardboard that resists cracks and surface variations associated with traditional wood. Surfaced panels use a real wood surface that can create a thermal break to aid in insulation rating. Hardboard lap siding has the benefit of having the largest variety of bead trims and surface preparations. They are also the easiest to install on homes that have older style Masonite or clapboard siding that need small repairs. The material will match older installations.

However, there are a few disadvantages to having a wood-based siding product. An improper installation can lead to moisture problems that can degrade the sheathing of a home. Improperly stained and sealed material can also allow moisture to infiltrate the substrate below the siding and cause mildew. Surfaced panels may also require additional prep work to make the suitable for application. This requires sorting additional panels to find the best grain lines for matching horizontal or vertical installation. Lap siding will have various degrees of quality control. This is why it is important to inspect the panels and inquire about the treated fiber material. The best hardboard has a long warranty lifespan and is treated well to prevent any rotting from the environment.

Last updated on Jul 30, 2014

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