Q: What is hardy board, and what do you use to cut it? — Erwin, East Providence, Rhode Island

A: Tom says: Hardy board is basically a manmade product of cellulose and masonry, so it's got some wood fiber in it and masonry fiber. You cut hardy board with a diamond masonry blade, or electric metal shears will work. But you should think of it as a cement-based product. It's about 3/8- to 1/2-inch thick, very heavy and very tough. It's mainly used for siding and trim because it paints up very nicely. When installed correctly, the average person could not tell that it's not wood. As an example, we used it on one project house where the finished product looked like it was built in 1885 or 1890. People were amazed to come up and stand beside the house, 5 or 6 feet away and find out that the siding and the trim were a cementitious product rather than wood.
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