A division of SEA Construction, Inc.

The James Hardie Con Artist

Posted by Petalyn Swartalbert

Jul 18, 2013


James hardie con

They say that the best con artist is the one no one knows about yet. Well, we want to help smoke this one out for you.

"Homeowners are disillusioned and legitimate installers angered, naturally."
~Steven Albert

Con artistry isn't new here in the Bay Area, of course. We've always had a healthy share of shady imitators. And now, oddly enough, a new breed of opportunists have arisen with the increasing demand for James Hardie siding products here in California. 

But let's back up here for just a second. What makes James Hardie so attractive to homeowners is not just the30 year warranty of the product itself, nor is it just the 15 year warranty on the pre-painted baked on color process of their ColorPlus products, and it's not even simply that it looks so gosh-darned pretty even after 30 years- which it totally does!

What homeowners really seem to like comes far later down the road than all that fun stuff. Allow me to explain what may be the motivation for installer con-artists. Put simply, it's an amazing product that performs incredibly well and costs about the same a it would to install wood siding -only it looks way better for decades linger than wood...well...would.

OK, so here's how it works. Let's look at the way Hardie likes to work: because Peninsula Siding Company is a preferred remodeler for James Hardie products, they make absolutely sure our installations are up to snuff so that those wonderful (peace of mind) warranties aren't questioned. And it's that certified assurance that mean so much to folks long after their installation is complete and their neighbors are having to fix and repaint every 3-5 years. And it is at this point that they really begin to appreciate that unless they remain in their home for 30+ years, they'll likely never need to do another thing to maintain the exterior of their home. But I digress...

"Oh Ma'am, I can do it for you for a lot less!"

james hardie conAn installer says to you that they can install Hardie siding at a fraction of what the 'other' installers tell you. "Wow'" you think, "..what a deal!"
Problem is, they are only selling you some James Hardie siding. They order just enough to get the James Hardie wrappers and logo to your door... along with another undisclosed brand. Unsuspecting you are so pleased. It's all happening, you're thrilled, and it'll cost so much less than your neighbor paid. Well, buyer beware! How can we put this delicately; you can't buy diamonds -even wholesale- at zircon prices. If it sounds too good to be true, don't close your eyes and hope for the best. Grill the guy. Call Hardie's 1-800 number; protect yourself.

We first heard of shady siding installers about 6 months ago from inspectors of Hardie. And They found out when an elderly homeowner called them to take a look at some siding that was failing. It had only been installed less than 5 years prior. The gentleman who installed the product had assured her that his materials were all James Hardie products and that she was protected by their warranties. Except that she wasn't...because all but only a few of the boards on her home were NOT James Hardie. 

How James Hardie Con got caught?

Since then there have been cases where a homeowner has called a James Hardie rep out to their home at the same time that an installation is about to take place; all the materials were on palates out front and (sure enough) there were James Hardie boards on top. But what was below, indeed the majority of it, was a brand of fiber cement that is of lesser quality being passed off as James Hardie. 

That's some kind of gumption, isn't it? We don't mean to sound light hearted about this practice because we don't find it funny at all. It puts homeowners through an awful and unnecessary expense -all the peace of mind they thought they had dissolving before their eyes and they are left essentially robbed, their confidence damaged, and their wallet violated, and still needing the job to be done.

If this has happened to you or someone you know, we want to hear from you. 

We really do love hearing from you. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this post. We'll be so thrilled that we'll even answer. 

Steven and Petalyn Albert

S.E.A. & Peninsula Siding

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