In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shares his secrets for working with fiber-cement siding.
1. When cutting fiber-cement siding with circular saw, use a blade that has only four or six teeth.
2. To keep dust to a minimum, use a circular saw that’s equipped with either a dust-collection bag or electric fan that blows dust into a bucket.
3. For a slow, but virtually dustless way to cut siding, use power shears. Shears are available as a dedicated tool or as an attachment for a drill/driver.
4. When installing fiber-cement siding, always leave a gap at the ends of each length of siding.
5. Apply caulk to the joint before and after installing the siding.
6. Install flashing at all end joints where two pieces of siding butt together. Be sure the flashing overlaps the siding course below.
7. Leave a small gap at butt joints and fill with caulk.
8. If hand-nailing fiber-cement siding, use hot-dipped galvanized nails and drive the nails into the wall studs.
9. Drive the nail heads flush to the siding, not below the surface.
10. If using a pneumatic nailer, choose ring-shank stainless-steel nails and adjust the depth setting to drive the nails flush with the surface.