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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    5

    Default Siding or Roofing Nailer for Hardiplank

    I'm about to start my first Hardiplank job, so I'm trying to decide which is the better tool for me to buy. I've been doing primarily interior remodels and decks, but as the business is growing, I'm starting to get requests to bid siding jobs and additions. I have no interest in running a full-time production siding crew - I really only anticipate four or five siding jobs a year.

    So I'm ready to invest in two nailers, and I'd love some advice. I've read through a whole bunch of threads here, and I've read this week's version of Hardie's installation instruction, and as best I can tell, my options for blind-nailing are to use either a siding nailer or a roofing nailer.

    My take on it is that the siding nailer is really the right tool for the job. The problem is cost and availability. The only siding nailer available locally is about $150 more than a decent roofing run I can get all over town. I'm a small business, and don't have a big annual tool budget. Three hundred extra dollars seems a bit extravagant for tools I'll only use on a few jobs a year. And if the gun is hard to find, I worry that fasteners might also be difficult to get from local suppliers.

    The pros for the roofing nailer are then exactly the problems for the siding nailer - cost and availability. However, are coil roofing nails typically hot-dipped or electroplated? Of course, I'll want hot-dipped. Another concern that I read in several threads is that roofing nailers can somtimes be a little underpowered for fiber cement.

    Finally, how about versatility? Are there other applications for these tools that might affect my decision? I'll most likely always sub out any actual roofing work, so the obvious use of the roofing gun is off the table.

    I'd really appreciate any thoughts or advice.

    On a side note, WTF is up with Hardie's ever-changing installation instruction? My partner and I drove all over town yesterday looking for siding nailers, and at the end of the day at the Orange Box, he pulled the instruction sheet off the Hardiplank display. It allowed for a 6d full-round head nail for blind-nailing. A nail our framing guns will shoot. I thought he was going to kill me. Heck, I was ready to kill myself. But I felt like I wasn't crazy for wanting the siding gun. I got home, looked at the Hardie web site, and checked here. Apparently, Orange Box had an old version of the instructions. The current version allows for those 6d nails only for face nailing. So if I were buying the material there, and picked up those old instructions, would I have been okay using the framers for blind nailing? I'm sure the building inspector would love that argument.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Western suburbs of Chicago
    Posts
    5,554

    Default Re: Siding or Roofing Nailer for Hardiplank

    Where to start...
    We've used both roofing & siding nailers for Hardi. You're right about making sure the roofing gun has enough power. We have an older Makita & a new Bostitch that are fine. Used a Hitachi once, & it would leave the nails proud a good 1/4" My advice is to make sure you test before you buy.

    As far as other uses for the guns, we also use our roofing gun to nail off backer board & gypsum sheathing. We use our siding guns (Bostitch & Makita, also) for siding & exterior trim, sheathing, misc. deck parts (railings, lattice, etc.), & the occasional fence (usually an access repair, after we're done with the addition, or whatever larger project that neccessitated the removal of the fence).

    IMHO, you can't go wrong with a siding nailer. You can get stainless nails for it, use it on both wood & Hardi, & probably find other uses for it as well. The nails can sometimes be tough to find, but there are always online stores that carry them. Here are a few links...
    http://manasquanfasteners.com/
    http://www.stainless-fasteners.com/
    http://www.mcfeelys.com/nails.asp

    Oh, as far as nailing, any full round head nail is okay, IIRC. Just don't use a clipped head gun.

    Greg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Fayetteville, Georgia
    Posts
    346

    Default Re: Siding or Roofing Nailer for Hardiplank

    Let me suggest the Hitachi NV75AG. It is a coil gun that shoots nails from 1 3/4" to 3". The gun uses standard 15 degree wire or plastic collated nails. It has enough power to drive nails thru the Hardi plank. If you use the gun, set the depth of drive adjustment. We use it for everyhting from framing to fascia to nailing subfloor. I hope this helps.

    Brian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Branford, CT 06405
    Posts
    3,656

    Default Re: Siding or Roofing Nailer for Hardiplank

    OK, I'm still biased to the MAXX cr5500? siding guns, never had to do anything to them for the last three+ years. I agree with Greg that you can and will use a siding gun for many things.
    Just be sure to have an adjustable depth of drive on whichever gun you buy so you can leave the compressor alone!
    By the way, I would read every thread here about Hardi spacing because it has changed thru the years. I now install it "whisper tight" or just slightly close, hard to explain, but I do not caulk joints, period.
    Last edited by James Eggert; 08-13-2005 at 10:44 AM.
    Take Care

    Jim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    4,087

    Default Re: Siding or Roofing Nailer for Hardiplank

    The Maxx one is a bit better than the others.

    You can buy "Hardie" nails for some framing guns, HDG from Maze
    http://www.mazenails.com/catalog/sidingnails.htm.

    They are plastic colated.

    A coil siding nailer will save you SO much time.

    If you can't amortize the cost of one of these tools maybe you are not charging enough for the work.

    Buy the coil nailer. You will be gald at the end of the first day of using it.

    Bill R

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Portland, ME
    Posts
    6,302

    Default Re: Siding or Roofing Nailer for Hardiplank

    I've been using my Bostitch magnesium roofer for blind nailing - the big head makes me feel more secure. No jokes please. It's worked great. I had the same problem with a borrowed Hitachi roofer - left the nails proud.

    On the other hand, I use my Hitachi coil sider a lot - nail off all my exterior trim with SS ring shanks, what little siding we do, etc. If you can only buy one gun, I'd go with that one over a roofer- I've got the NV65AH.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    jacksonville, fl
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Siding or Roofing Nailer for Hardiplank

    I install Hardibacker for tile. Hitachi sells a gun designed for HBB. It is power pack equipped, and the gun number is NV45AB2H. This can be found at 18005986657www.hitachi.us/powertools.com.

    The HBB I install is 1/2 inch thick.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Carl Owens; 08-13-2005 at 02:05 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Posts
    3,826

    Default Re: Siding or Roofing Nailer for Hardiplank

    Cornbread
    Come on give us your first name, it seems kind of corny to call you cordbread.
    Some questions for you:
    Do you really want to gear up to install Hardiplank?
    Do you have the scaffold it takes to do the job in a reasonably safe and time efficient manner?
    How are you going to cut the stuff?
    Shears or a saw?
    If a saw, what blade, or do I use both?
    What about the dust?
    What is the best caulk to use?
    What trim at the corners?
    What material are you siding over, wood, foam, or impregnated sheathing?
    Just a few of the questions.
    There are a lot of people installing Hardi around my area.
    99% of the install around here is technically deficient as far as correct sound detailing goes
    There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t get a couple of calls to come look at some job to see if “my contractor” installed the siding right. I haven’t found a “good job” yet. Most generally the problems are in the clearances, the nailing, the caulking, and the flashing.
    Right now I have three jobs lined up just to repair the siding details that someone else installed.
    I use the Hitachi NV75AG for siding and the NV65AH for soffit, “most of the time”
    I set the depth of drive to leave the nail aprox. 1/8” proud, then tap set it home. This draws the siding up better than any method I have yet found.
    If you really are going to pursue this there really are a lot of posts here that we have discussed most of these issues.
    Please give consideration to my questions and let me know if you have any questions of your own as you get started.

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central SD
    Posts
    606

    Default Re: Siding or Roofing Nailer for Hardiplank

    I have been using my Bostitch roofing gun for blind nailing. The larger heads hold better and give me the wind rating I need for my area. I also have less rattling with the larger head. I use a Makaita siding nailer for all surface nails. It is nearly identical to the Hitachi. Mark is correct if you want to do this learn how to do it right. The other thing not mentioned in the posts is cement board siding dose not work well on crooked walls. So if you are siding on some one else's frame make sure the wall is straight or you probably have unhappy customers.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Siding or Roofing Nailer for Hardiplank

    Thanks for all the replies. I've decided to go with the siding nailer. I can buy the same gun online for $375 that my local supplier wants almost $500 for. I know some of y'all would give me a hard time for not buying from the local business, but the $250 saved on two guns is real money to me. Plus, shipping - even FedEx overnight - is cheaper than our ridiculous 9.25% sales tax. Also, the local guy scared me off when he insisted that you should never use ring shanks on Hardi. He claims that "studies have shown" that rings blow out the back of the siding "like a BB on glass." Funny, James Hardie never says that you shouldn't use rings, I never read that in any of the gazillion posts here, and my google-fu doesn't turn up any of those studies. Anyone ever heard that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Parlee
    Cornbread
    Come on give us your first name, it seems kind of corny to call you cordbread.
    Fair enough, I'm Ben, good to meet you. But some people actually do call me Cornbread - it's not that uncommon a nickname in the South. Yes, we're hillbillies.

    Some questions for you:
    Do you really want to gear up to install Hardiplank?
    Yes. Because I know I'll take the time to learn and do it right. Then I don't have to worry about a sub half-assing it.

    Do you have the scaffold it takes to do the job in a reasonably safe and time efficient manner?
    Scaffold rents for dirt cheap around here - less than $1/day per section. And I'll only do a few siding jobs a year, so there's really no need for me to buy it.

    How are you going to cut the stuff?
    Shears or a saw?
    If a saw, what blade, or do I use both?
    What about the dust?
    Outside with a circular saw with dust collection and Hardiblade. I just might even wear my respirator.

    What is the best caulk to use?
    Per James Hardie, "a latex sealant that complies with either ASTM C834 or ASTM C920 (Grade NS, Class 25)." Is there something particularly difficult that I'm missing? Yes, I do know what ASTM standards are - I used to do geotechnical QA/QC consulting and a large part of my job was setting up soils testing labs to perform testing in accordance with ASTM standards. And no, I won't be caulking butt joints - that whole "moderate contact" thing. If I understand James Hardie right, they say that caulking isn't even required at corners, but that seems like it's asking for trouble down the road.

    What trim at the corners?
    Harditrim.

    What material are you siding over, wood, foam, or impregnated sheathing?
    On this job, plywood sheathing.

    I haven’t found a “good job” yet. Most generally the problems are in the clearances, the nailing, the caulking, and the flashing.
    You can come check out my work when I'm done. I appreciate your concerns, but I really have done my research and planning on the product and its proper installation. I may even try to get the local Hardi rep to come by my job. There's a lot of discussion about right and wrong ways to install Hardi, but I haven't seen much on the relative pros and cons of two right ways.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Posts
    3,826

    Default Re: Siding or Roofing Nailer for Hardiplank

    Thanks Ben
    As I said let us know how it goes and of any questions
    Caulking = vulkem or some other good brand of urathane based caulk. Some here have refered to the 25 year siliconized caulks, don't do it they will fail in the short term.
    The new best practices manual from Hardie does say not to use ring shank nails

    Mark

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    West Coast of Canada
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Siding or Roofing Nailer for Hardiplank

    Hi Mark, i have read before where you refer to the "best practices manual" Where did you get that from? My supplier can not get it either and i was wondering if i can get it online anywhere.

    Monty

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Fayetteville, Georgia
    Posts
    346

    Default Re: Siding or Roofing Nailer for Hardiplank

    Just Google Hardiplank. I downloaded it and printed the
    information from their website. Everything is broken up into seperate materials( Hardiplank siding, Hardipanel, sofit, trim etc.).

    Brian

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Posts
    3,826

    Default Re: Siding or Roofing Nailer for Hardiplank

    Monty
    I go it from the person Hadie hired to go around to all the suppliers and set training seminars. Each attendee receives one. Don’t know where you can get yours. I wll make a call and see how widespread this training is going to be

    Brian
    What you downloaded is the application instructions.
    The manual that I am referring to is an entirely different piece of information

    Mark

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Fayetteville, Georgia
    Posts
    346

    Default Re: Siding or Roofing Nailer for Hardiplank

    Mark:
    Thanks for the information. I'll see if I can locate the best practices booklet.

    Brian

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