Vinyl - no paint, Hardie-Paint. The problem with any siding job is maintenance. You have to keep the windows, etc., caulked or you will have water seepage problems down the road. Vinyl gets a bad rap because it is installed wrong or a quality product is not used. If you do not keep Hardie painted, you will have problems also.
Hardi, the paint lasts a LONG time compared to wood, masonite, etc. Vinyl just seems to hide problems. Also, who wants a house to be the same color for 30 years? I have installed both and will always choose hardi, no question.
My fishing partner has smart panel which is just a dimensional vinyl/foam panel. It looks a lot better than most narrow vinyl which looks like a cheap plastic trailer to me. (not slammin' cheap plastic trailers)
I've seen a lot of peeled vinyl after every storm (i don't care who or how it's installed), but not hardi. I used the primed hardi and painted it with two slightly thinned coats of high quality paint. It won't need repainting for 20 years I bet. IMO
Most ins. companies will rate hardi plank with a brick veneer rating vs vinyl which gets a frame rating. With ins. costs going up along the coastal areas that could make a big difference over several years. Also most vinyl products I've seen scream 'vinyl'. Hardi has come out with some new looks and some I've been pretty impressed with.
If I had the choice, I'ld go with hardi-plank for the added structural stability and the durability of the product. I don't mind the painting part of it because it allows me to change the color of my house periodically without having to reside the thing.
I resided the south side of my house with hardy and cut 40 a month of my AC bill. Plus it's not going to be eaten by the termites or rot if the paint gets dinged. The only thing you have to make sure is install a vapor barrier because in high winds it was shown that silicon particles will come off into the house. It's part of the code now I believe. Had a neighbor that had to have them come and redo his because of this. I now just built an office on my home...you guessed it. Hardi with Low E glass. Un-insulated and not completely sealed the room is 10-15 degrees cooler with no AC!
The Hardi will give your house more re-sale value if you decide to sell... can't say the same for vinyl. I know there are good vinyl products out there but they suffer with the stigma from the bad ones. Good luck!
Kenny, the reason Vinyl blows off at the beach is the nails rust all the way thru. lol I have seen whole walls loose. Barely hanging on. They'll probably change the windstorm code one day and require stainless steel nails. Don't have that rust problem up here in the big city. Installation of Hardie is very important also. Can't drive the nails too deep. Flashing, etc. very important. If Hardie gets wet, it will fall apart eventually. Its already starting to show up on poorly installed jobs. Thats why they started to prime it at the factory. Maintenance is the key. Nothing is forever.
you are right noyhing is forever, but it is better to get a insurance credit for hardie that get penalized for vynl, when i applied for my ins, i presented the certificate that was given to me by the certified installer a got a credit for the hardie plank, and the key to it is a good primer coat and a good paint job then it stays looking good. but having to leave the nail heads proud on the coast makes for some extra priming work to prevent rust.
Sugarland, FYI- Hardie runs about $6 a sqaure foot installed, Vinyl runs about $3.50 a sqaure foot. Replacing soffit and facia can really add to the cost. $10-$15 a linear foot. Vinyl or Hardie. I do not know anyone in Sugarland that I would recommend.
I used to work for a vinyl siding manufacturer at one of their plants as a safety guy. Their rule of thumb was get white because its eventually going to be white no matter what it started out as. That's not quite true but it will fade. The less titanium dixoide in the color mix the faster its going to fade. That stuff is expensive so the lower priced vinyl has less of it.
Vinyl also deforms at 180 degrees or so and dark colors will heat that much with UV in the summer with air temps as high as they get down here. Its going to at least stretch / sag significantly and when that happens you'll have siding pull loose in any kind of wind. The manufacturer I worked for would not warranty their siding in AZ and southern NM / SW Texas. I can't remember how many problems they had along the gulf.
Vinyl makes a nice low cost covering but I wouldn't have it in the south or in windy areas.
Gary, Vinyl has nail slots, the nail can slide back and forth in the slot and the panels overlap, so it is made to "move". If you nail it tight, it cannot move, aka bad installation, not many know it but it actually hangs on the nails, with all the panels locked together. I have to check the wind ratings but they go up to at least 100 miles per hour, I'm pretty sure. Much of the siding that looks deformed, is actually installed wrong or it is the cheap stuff. I know many, many people at the beach that would not have anything else. I'd say 80% of the new homes have it. Unfortunately, most of the builders use the cheap stuff. With the Kynar finishes they have now, fading is much less a problem. Bottom line, use the good stuff, only cost $200 more on most houses.