When I founded JD Hostetter & Associates in 2004, the first thing I did before contracting our first exterior painting job was to meet with our PPG Porter Paints and Sherwin Williams Rep. Why?, I wanted to know the textbook approach to painting houses!
Greg Bond from PPG Porter Paints began to explain the preparation, quality of products in caulking and painting material and then he emphasized the “Bonding Primer” base coat. Of course, this was a thirty minute explanation that was very detailed and when he finished explaining all the details of how to paint houses from a textbook perspective, he looked at me, chuckled and proceeded to proclaim; “Jeff, nobody does this because their repeat business cycle would be much longer and the costs would eat into their profits.” “That’s exactly how I want to run my business,” I touted back.
You see, I wasn’t looking to start a business that simply made a sale and then went on down the road. I wanted to create a business where people would benefit from a quality painting experience on their home and would remember us when it came time to paint again. And, that’s exactly the approach we’ve continued to take 15 years later.
Why is all this important when it comes to James Hardie fiber cement siding and trim? Because when it comes to painting fiber cement siding, the same text book approach needs to be followed in order for our customers to receive not just the quality of a paint job, but the longevity of their paint job as well.
The life of an average paint job in the Mid-West is typically 5 to 7 years. On fiber cement, the average is 6 to 8 years. However, when following a text book approach, we have found that we can usually double that life span on an average of 12 to 14 years! Most, if not all of our competition is happy to simply provide the average paint life to their customers but again, our approach continues to bring us a very high percentage of repeat customers because of the quality we provide.
When I decided to begin installing James Hardie fiber cement siding in 2006, I must admit that my motive at the time was to add more exterior painting jobs. I realized very quickly that I might not be giving those customers the best deal however, because as good as we are at painting, we cannot offer the same warranty that James Hardie offers on their factory painted Color Plus siding and trim, which is a 15 year No Peel, No Chip and No Fade warranty!
So, when it comes to which is better for your home, James Hardie Color Plus siding and trim or primed and then have it painted, my opinion is the Color Plus hands down!
JD Hostetter & Associates is one of only three “Elite Preferred Installers” for James Hardie products in the State of Indiana and as a sought out Exterior Painting Company; we prefer to install the Color Plus version so that our customers benefit from the entire warranty package that James Hardie provides.
Yes, we still install primed fiber cement siding and trim when a customer requests it. We then use our text book approach to the painting process so they can receive on average 12 to 14 years longevity. However, we cannot warranty for 15 years that the paint won’t peel, chip or fade. The environment such as sun, shade, ponds, etc, harshly affects a field painting application in ways that the factory baked on finish coats of the Color Plus can overcome much better. Again, our competitors typically spray on two finish coats over the primed version without applying the Bonded Primer first. (The industry refers to this process as blow and go) And, the average paint life with that process is typically 6 to 8 years if the prep and application is performed correctly. In fact, I’ve seen some of those jobs only last 3 years.
You might ask then, why do some James Hardie installers educate their customers to go with the primed version and then let them paint? I can only speculate as to why. However, in consulting with our James Hardie Rep, we have determined that it can only be a few short reasons:
- Quality of workmanship– It’s easy to hide mistakes when using the primed version because you can cover those mistakes up with paint.
- Faster production– Primed fiber cement doesn’t take as much care or time and when you simply spray on 2 finish coats and go down the road you can speed up production.
- Costs– We pay our installers at the top of the pay scale because Color Plus takes a lot more care and craftsmanship.
- In Stock– Color Plus trim and soffit material are for the most part on a special order basis, which means it can take between 3 to 4 weeks to receive the material from the manufacturer. However, any company worth their salt (especially Elite Preferred Installers) usually have a couple months schedule if they are a quality company.
There are legitimate reasons for choosing the primed version and then having it field painted. Color selections would be the number one reason I can think of. In some cases the Homeowners Association (HOA) will only allow certain colors in a community that may not be available from the Color Plus palette and a field paint is perhaps the only choice.
Speaking of HOA’s, James Hardie creates their color choices by consulting with many HOA’s throughout the country in order to offer the colors that are most popular and their selection of colors on both siding, trim, soffits, etc, continue to grow!
If you are trying to decide if the James Hardie Color Plus siding and trim is better than the primed version with field paint on your home or business, I believe the answers will be found in your research of which contractor you choose to hire. By hiring an Elite Preferred Installer, you can at least know that you are hiring the best of the best from the siding installation.
Then ask questions! Do they love to install the Color Plus? Or, will they install it if they have to in order to get the sale but prefer to install the primed version? If they don’t willingly and excitedly want to offer you the full warranty benefits of James Hardie products, you might want to continue to search for another Elite Preferred Hardie Installer that loves to install either version without any bias towards one or the other.
Author- Jeff Hostette is the owner- JD Hostetter & Associates serving the Central Indiana Market
Contact email: info@Jdhostetter.com
Contact phone: 317-517-7847