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James Hardie introduced ‘Color Plus Technology’ within their popular line of fibre cement cladding products a few years ago, however, it does not appear that many consumers are aware of this.

Traditionally, Hardie products were purchased with a factory applied primer and either painted with two coats in the field, or pre-coated with one coat of a chosen colour, installed, and then coated with a final coat in the field.

With Color Plus, the products come with a factory applied, baked-on finish, which comes in a number of different colors.  The result is a product that does not require any painting after installation.  The individual planks come with a release film to protect the material which is removed immediately following installation.

From a consumer’s perspective, there are a couple of key considerations with Color Plus products, as follows:

1.  If you are considering Hardie products, try to select a color theme from within their palette.  There is a wide spectrum for wall colors, however trim colors are a bit more limited.

2.  All of their products come in Color Plus.  Basic primed products are essentially a plain white Color Plus finish.  If you can’t find a color in their palette you like, know that you will be paying to paint over a ‘finished product’ purely for aesthetics.  From a performance standpoint, this is wasted time and money.

What do we think of the Color Plus products?

You cannot argue with the quality and durability of a factory applied, baked on finish versus a field applied paint coating.  Many warranty issues with Hardie products in the past were attributed to issues with field applied coatings, therefore the introduction of Color Plus allowed Hardie to re-gain control of the finish process.

Despite the quality of the finish, the Color Plus products place a greater onus on the field installer’s workmanship.  Previously, panel and plank joints were caulked and then painted over, leaving a reasonably well concealed joint.  With Color Plus, there is no post-installation treatment, thus joint cuts and installation tolerances require careful attention.

Other New Products 

James Hardie’s Artisan siding products are a new and promising addition to the lineup, providing a much deeper, more defined shadow line compared to the traditional lapped siding products.  Check it out at www.jameshardie.com

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