by Lindsay Frankel
2 Weeks Ago


Achieve a Distinctive Look with Hardie® Artisan Lap Siding

by Lindsay Frankel
2 Weeks Ago

Whether you’re aiming for a coastal, contemporary, or traditional aesthetic, the details matter when designing a custom exterior. The right siding materials can make the difference between a cookie-cutter house and a sophisticated luxury home that demands the attention of the neighbors. With Hardie® Artisan Lap siding, now available as part of the Hardie™ Architectural Collection, architects can achieve the sophistication homeowners seek while providing the low-maintenance and durability they deserve.

There’s nothing like seeing a gorgeous exterior design come to life in vivid detail and knowing it will be cherished for years to come. That’s the feeling many experienced architects and builders get from working with Hardie® Artisan Lap siding, which they prefer to other siding options. “It is, in my humble opinion, a better product,” says Pete Chmielarski, owner of MCM Construction & Design Co, who has been installing Hardie® Artisan siding since it first became available in California. Here’s how Hardie® Artisan Lap siding can elevate the exterior design of your next project, according to professionals who have used the product to construct stunning homes.

A Versatile and Distinctive Aesthetic

Hardie® Artisan Lap siding lends itself to traditional styles as well as modern house designs, allowing homeowners with a variety of design sensibilities to benefit from its elegant appearance. “It’s thick and rich-looking, with a large shadow line,” explains Chmielarski.

That allows exterior designers to mimic the look of natural wood materials, with a superior fiber cement alternative. “The profile of the product looks like the real thing because it has a really nice bevel to it,” says Doug Leach, owner of Douglas Leach Architecture in Southern California. “So, when the house is finished it looks like real wood, but it’s not, and you don’t have the maintenance issues, and what’s not to like about that?” says Leach, who primarily designs Craftsman, Cape Cod, Farmhouse, and other classic styles.

Modern home exteriors can benefit from the sleek profile of Hardie Artisan Lap siding as well, according to Bill Kennally, President at Oakmont Builders. “You can offer them the mitered corner, and you can offer it with the nickel gap,” which allows for the geometric lines that comprise a striking modern exterior.

Hardie Artisan Lap siding is available in both 7.25” and 8.25” widths. With its smooth texture and distinctive thickness, it’s appropriate for high-end homes that might look out of place with other materials. And because installers can craft mitered corners on-site, even the most detail-oriented homeowners will be pleased with the seamless visual intrigue of the final look. “At the corner, you don’t need a piece of trim. The Hardie Artisan siding gives you a really sharp, nice corner. It’s very attractive,” says Leach.

Hardie Artisan Lap siding also plays well with other Hardie Artisan siding styles, like Hardie Artisan Square Channel and V-Groove siding. Hardie Artisan siding is the perfect companion of Hardie® Panel as well, a combination Leach has relied on again and again. “I did at least 20 beach plantation houses over the last five years,” he recalls. “I used Hardie Artisan siding and Hardie® Plank for the top third of the house every single time, and it looked nice.”

Hardie Artisan siding is primed for paint, giving homeowners the ability to personalize the color. MCM used Hardie Artisan siding to create a California beach house look that became a point of inspiration for the entire neighborhood. “Everything was painted white, so there were no details other than the look of lap siding,” says Chmielarski. The simplicity created an effortless, breezy, beachy aesthetic. “It made it look like it belonged to that city.”

A Beautiful Product That Showcases Craftsmanship

Hardie Artisan products give siding installers the chance to showcase their artistry and skill. “It’s nice and easy to miter and easy to cut around the windows,” says Chmielarski.

With proper sealing and installation, mitered corners also help prevent moisture damage by minimizing gaps that allow water to enter. That’s just one aspect of Hardie Artisan siding that allows the product to withstand the elements.


No matter the location of your project, extreme weather can be a threat. That’s why homeowners are typically relieved to hear that Hardie fiber cement siding is non-combustible and far more water-resistant than wood-based siding alternatives. It’s designed to resist shrinking and swelling even after years of wet or freezing conditions. It won’t burn in a fire, either, and is recognized by fire fighters and fire departments all over the U.S.* And it holds no appeal for woodpeckers, insects, and other pests that might damage other siding materials.

When homeowners aren’t aware of the low-maintenance, weather-resistant properties of Hardie fiber cement siding, Leach is quick to let them know. “Very early in the game, I’ll say, ‘We’re going to do Hardie Artisan Lap siding here because you won’t have the maintenance issues’,” he says, which homeowners are eager to accept. “It’s really a no-brainer.”

Kennally says he used Hardie Artisan siding on a house in Malibu, where fire protection was top-of-mind for homeowners and builders. “We talked them into the Hardie Artisan Lap because of zero flame spread rating in a fire area*,” he says. “To make it a one-hour fire protection, we used DensGlass first and then the Artisan.”

Kennally says the aesthetic appeal and durability of Hardie fiber cement siding products make it stand out from competing products. “Products by James Hardie offer better value. It’s a more stand-up company by far. At least that’s my experience for the last 16 years.”


Unparalleled Support that Inspires Confidence

Just as James Hardie stands behind its siding with top-notch warranties homeowners can trust, like their 30-year non-prorated substrate warranty on Hardie fiber cement siding, trim and soffit products, the company also stands behind the architects, builders, and contractors who use its products, with unwavering support.

“James Hardie has always been very good at helping us out as a partner,” says Kennally. When Oakmont Builders completed its first project with Hardie Artisan siding last year, James Hardie professionals showed up in-person to provide support and training. “It was great because we knew we were doing it right,” says Kennally. “It’s a very good relationship, and I appreciate that even though I’m one of many installers out here, they make each one of us feel worthy,” he adds.

An Artist’s Instrument

From deep shadow lines that add degrees of sophistication to durability that withstands the test of time (and weather), there are plenty of reasons to fall in love with Hardie Artisan Lap siding. We invite you to explore the Hardie Architectural Collection with creative enthusiasm. Whether your next design leans modern or traditional, we hope the Hardie Artisan Lap aesthetic provides for a truly distinctive and timeless look your client will love coming home to.

*Hardie Artisan lap siding exhibits zero flame spread when tested per ASTM E84
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