Nichiha makes three lines of fiber cement siding, though most homeowners are interested mostly in the cost friendly NichiProducts line of planks, panels, shingles and shakes that competes with James Hardie siding.
NichiProducts siding costs $8.50 to $15.00 per square foot installed.
Premium Plank Siding runs $11.00 to $17.50 per square foot. And Nichiha Architectural Wall Panels are $18.00 to $33.00 installed.
*Professional, warrantied installation costs are around $6.00 to $10.00 per square foot. The rest is the siding, trim, soffit, and accessories needed for installation.
The bulk of this Nichiha siding review is about NichiProducts and includes a comparison of Nichiha to James Hardie in this category.
Nichiha Siding Options
1) NichiProducts is the least expensive option, most popular and the series that competes directly with James Hardie fiber cement siding.
Like Hardie, NichiProducts are manufactured in plank, panel, and shingle/shake styles. The names are NichiBoard, NichiPanel, NichiShake, NichiStraight shingles and NichiStaggered shingles.
But there’s a distribution problem…
Where is NichiProducts siding available? NichiProducts siding is only sold in the MidAtlantic and Southeast US, a total of 13 states and Washington DC: Alabama, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
So that is the first thing to be aware of – this page might not have relevant information for you if you want basic fiber cement siding and are comparing brands to James Hardie.
Why is Nichiha sold in such a limited area? A Nichiha representative told us that the company doesn’t sell this product where freezing temperatures (North) or excessive rain (Northwest) are common. That is because those climates are hard on fiber cement siding in ways, they don’t affect vinyl siding.
Hardie is sold in all climates. But the company formulates its siding differently for sale in the northern half of the US, which covers most of the areas that have freezing or cold and damp seasons.
Nichiha siding would perform well in the drier areas of the West, but Nichiha hasn’t chosen to make an investment in production facilities in that region.
2) Premium Plank Siding might be strike two, potentially, for Nichiha – This is because the siding is not currently available anywhere, apart from some local distributors having limited quantities. One Nichiha Rep at headquarters told us that there “is no timeline” for when it will be obtainable, though another said they’re “hoping” to have full distribution by Fall 2023.
3) Architectural Wall Panels are beautiful, interesting, and long-lasting. But they are pricey. You’ll find them installed on high-end homes, often but not always with modern design. They are also a popular commercial siding product adorning retail stores, medical offices, restaurants, educational facilities, and general office space.
How much does it cost to side a house with Nichiha siding?
Siding a typical 2,000 square foot home with attached garage costs $17,000 to $32,000 using NichiProducts.
Premium siding on the same house would run $22K to $36K. Using Architectural Wall Panels, or AWPs, the cost soars to $30K to $50K.
Nichiha Siding Price List
These costs include siding, trim, accessories, fasteners, and professional, warrantied installation.
|NichiBoard||Primed||$2.90 – $4.00||$8.50 – $14.25|
|NichiPanel||Primed or Painted||$2.75 – $4.15||$8.80 – $14.50|
|NichiShake||Primed||$3.15 – $4.35||$9.25 – $14.75|
|NichiStraight (Shingle)||Primed||$3.15 – $4.35||$9.25 – $14.75|
|NichiStaggered (Shingle)||Primed||$3.15 – $4.35||$9.25 – $14.75|
|Premium Plank Siding||Finish||Materials/sq.ft.||Installed Cost/sq.ft.|
|Savannah Smooth Lap Siding||Primed or Painted||$4.75 – $6.00||$11.00 – $16.75|
|Sierra Premium Shake Siding||Primed or Painted||$5.00 – $6.50||$11.50 – $17.50|
|Architectural Wall Panel||Finish||Materials/sq.ft.||Installed Cost/sq.ft.|
|Planks||Painted||$9.00 – $12.00||$18.00 – $27.00|
|LaTura V-groove||Painted||$15.00 – $17.00||$24.00 – $33.00|
|Stone Look||Painted||$11.00 – $14.00||$19.00 – $29.00|
Siding Calculator Tables
|NichiProducts||1,000 Sq. Ft.||1,250 Sq. Ft.||1,500 Sq. Ft.||2,000 Sq. Ft.|
|NichiBoard||$8,500 – $15,000||$11,000 – $19,000||$13,000 – $23,000||$17,000 – $32,000|
|NichiPanel||$9,000 – $15,500||$11,500 – $19,500||$14,000 – $24,000||$18,000 – $33,000|
|NichiShake||$9,300 – $16,000||$12,000 – $20,000||$14,500 – $25,000||$19,000 – $34,000|
|NichiStraight (Shingle)||$9,300 – $16,000||$12,000 – $20,000||$14,500 – $25,000||$19,000 – $34,000|
|NichiStaggered (Shingle)||$9,300 – $16,000||$12,000 – $20,000||$14,500 – $25,000||$19,000 – $34,000|
|Premium Siding||1,000 Sq. Ft.||1,250 Sq. Ft.||1,500 Sq. Ft.||2,000 Sq. Ft.|
|Savannah Smooth Lap Siding||$11,000 – $17,000||$14,000 – $21,000||$16,500 – $26,000||$22,000 – $34,000|
|Sierra Premium Shake Siding||$12,000 – $18,000||$15,000 – $23,000||$17,000 – $28,000||$24,000 – $36,000|
|AWPs||1,000 Sq. Ft.||1,250 Sq. Ft.||1,500 Sq. Ft.||2,000 Sq. Ft.|
|Planks||$18,000 – $27,000||$22,500 – $33,750||$27,000 – $41,000||$36,000 – $54,000|
|LaTura V-groove||$24,000 – $33,000||$30,000 – $41,500||$36,000 – $50,000||$48,000 – $66,000|
|Stone Look||$19,000 – $29,000||$23,750 – $36,250||$28,500 – $44,000||$38,000 – $58,000|
NichiBoard & Premium Plank Siding: 30-year warranty, prorated in years 4 through 20 by 2% per year.
Architectural Wall Panels (AWP): 15-year warranty, prorated in years 2 through 15 by 5% per year.
James Hardie’s fiber cement siding warranty is 30 years, and it is not prorated. Hardie offers a superior warranty.
LP SmartSide wood composite siding is another siding often considered alongside Hardie and Nichiha. Its warranty is 50 years, though prorated beginning in the second year.
NichiProducts – Planks, Panels, Shakes and Shingles
|NichiBoard||12 feet||6 sizes 5.25” to 12”||Cedar, Smooth||Primed|
|NichiPanel||8, 10, 12 Feet||4 Feet||Cedar, Smooth, Stucco, Grooved||Primed|
|NichiShake||18 Inches||6.25”, 8.25”, 12”||Cedar||Primed|
|NichiStraight (Shingle)||4 Feet||16”||Cedar||Primed|
|NichiStaggered (Shingle)||4 Feet||16”||Cedar||Primed|
|Premium Plank Siding||Lengths||Widths||Texture||Finish|
|Savannah Smooth Lap||9 Feet 4 Inches||6.25”, 7.25”, 8.25”||Smooth||Primed|
|Sierra Premium Shake||9 Feet 4 Inches||8.875”||Cedar||Primed or Painted|
|Architectural Wall Panel||Lengths||Widths||Texture||Finish|
|Planks||6 Feet||18”||Cedar, Stone, Brick, Stucco, Block, Ribbed||Painted|
|LaTura V-groove||6 or 10 Feet||18”||Wood||Painted|
|Stone Look||25, 15, 10 Inches||6”||Ledge Stone, Stacked Stone, Cut Stone||Painted|
These products are often used alone – a home sided with just planks, for example.
But many homeowners mix them – planks or panels on most walls with shakes or shingles in the gables is a common option.
Manufactured in 12-foot lengths, NichiBoard comes in six widths: 5.25”, 6.25”, 7.25”, 8.25”, 9.25” and 12”.
The product is 5/16” thick, or .3125”, the same thickness as standard Hardie plank and panel siding.
This gives you options for appearance. Narrower planks give a home a classic lap siding look. Wider planks complement a range of styles from rustic to modern depending on the architectural design of the home.
Finish – Plank siding is primed at the factory and must be painted once installed. This adds $1.00 to $2.00 per square foot unless you DIY. When you add the cost of painting, Nichiha doesn’t save money compared to Hardie siding.
Texture – Your choices are Cedar and Smooth. The Cedar siding wood texture is produced with genuine cedar boards.
Panels are 4-feet wide and come in lengths of 8, 10 and 12 feet. They can be installed horizontally, though most are applied vertically and can be finished with a board & batten look.
Finish – Primed only.
Texture – Smooth, Cedar, Grooved cedar, and Stucco.
These are individual pieces rather than planks molded to look like individual shakes.
Size options are all 18” long with widths of 6.25”, 8.25” and 12”.
Homeowners often choose shakes for accents in gables, around entryways or on the lower third of exterior front walls. When used to side an entire home, the look becomes a little “busy,” especially on large homes.
Finish – Primed only.
Texture – Cedar.
NichiStraight and NichiStaggered
These products are planks formed to look like individual wood shingles. Each plank is 4 feet long and 16” high.
NichiStraight features shingles with a uniform lower edge – lines are straight across.
NichiStaggered are designed with non-uniform shingles, so the horizontal lines rise and fall.
Vertical lines are staggered in both products.
Finish – Primed only.
Texture – Cedar.
Nichiha NichiBoard Pros and Cons
This is inexpensive fiber cement siding costing in the range of premium vinyl siding like CertainTeed Monogram. In other words, this is not premium house siding, so plan to replace it in 15-25 years depending on your climate, attention to maintenance and how hard you are on your home’s exterior (kids? Grandkids?).
You will make an informed buying decision when you understand these advantages and disadvantages.
It costs less than Hardie fiber cement siding – around $0.50 to $1.25 less per square foot installed. But read on before you automatically think it will cost you less.
Quality is decent, though a small step below what Hardie offers.
The selection is good – essentially the same as Hardie with boards/planks, panels, shingles and shakes – except for the paint issue.
The warranty gives you some protection for 30 years. But that’s just half the warranty story. The rest of it isn’t so rosy.
If you don’t live in one of the 13 states in the MidAtlantic or Southeast, Nichiha NichiBoard isn’t available to you.
Your cost savings over James Hardie siding can evaporate immediately when you hire a contractor to paint siding that comes factory primed.
The warranty is prorated starting in the fourth year. Your protection depreciates by 2% each year until year 21 when it remains at 66% until it expires after 30 years. As noted, the Hardie warranty is 30 non-prorated years.
Nichiha vs Hardie
This Hardie Plank vs NichiBoard comparison covers 4 essential factors in a homeowner’s buying decision: Selection, Cost, Warranty and Availability
Distribution – Hardie siding is available in more places.
Nichiha is sold only in Alabama, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Hardie is sold across the continental US.
Selection – It’s about even, with a big exception.
The main difference is that Hardie offers factory-painted styles. Nichiha does not. Its NichiProducts come primed.
This is a big difference if you don’t want the hassle or cost of painting it once it is installed.
Cost – Nichiha is more affordable.
Hardie standard siding costs $10.25 to $15.50 per square foot installed.
Nichiha standard siding (planks, panels, and shake/shingles) is a little lower on the cheap end at $8.50 to $14.75 installed.
*Keep in mind that most NichiProducts are primed and require painting once installed.
Warranty Coverage – Hardie’s warranty is superior.
Hardie fiber cement siding has a 30-year non-prorated warranty.
Nichiha offers a 30-year warranty, but it is prorated starting the fourth year.
Hardie vs Nichiha Products – Bottom Line
Choose Nichiha if it is available where you live and:
- You want to save a little bit on the siding + installation.
- You intend to hold onto your savings by painting it yourself rather than hiring a paint contractor.
Choose Hardie siding if:
- You want pre-painted siding.
- You are willing to pay a little more for a better warranty.
Nichiha Premium Plank Siding
As the name suggests, this is next-level fiber cement plank siding. It compares to the James Hardie Architectural Collection fiber cement siding. Nichiha’s premium siding is ½” thick (.5”) while Hardie’s Architectural Collection is a little thicker at 5/8” thick or .625”.
One difference between Hardie and Nichiha in this tier is that Nichiha’s premium siding is available only in planks. Hardie’s Architectural Collection includes planks and panels.
Nichiha Savannah Smooth plank siding is designed to look like classic lap siding. Your only finish option is factory primed – it will have to be painted once installed on your home.
The planks are 9’4” long. Height options are 6.25”, 7.25” and 8.25”.
Nichiha Sierra Premium Shake plank siding features uniform shake size with straight horizontal and vertical lines. It is prefinished in 4 colors: Mahogany, Maple, Smoke and Charcoal. Ordering it primed for you or a contractor to paint is an option.
Sierra Premium shake planks are also 9’4” long. Height is 7.875” (8 7/8”).
Architectural Wall Panels – AWP
Nichiha’s widest range of products, the Architectural Wall Panels or AWPs, are used in commercial and residential applications. Three styles are produced.
Nichiha AWP Planks are 6’ long and 18” high. Your texture options are Cedar, Stucco, Brick, Ribbed, Block and Stone. The planks come factory-finished in a range of colors. Thicknesses are 5/8” and 7/8”.
Nichiha AWP LaTura V-groove Planks are manufactured in 6’ and 10’ options, both 18” high. The design mimics V-groove textured wood planks. And they are also available in 2 factory-applied colors – White or Gray – plus any custom color you select.
Nichiha AWP Stone Panels are smaller pieces, 10”, 15” or 25” long and 6” high. The designs include ledge stone, stacked stone and cut stone in various color combinations. Thickness is 1 3/8” or 1.375”.
Durability is something of a contradiction. The panels are commercial grade in construction. But the warranty is just 15 years, and it is prorated beginning in the second year.
The Nichiha inside sales rep confirmed the shorter warranty is mainly due to the harder wear that commercial properties receive.
Here’s a complete list of the Nichiha Architectural Wall Panel designs:
VintageWood, RoughSawn, RiftSawn, VintageBrick, CanyonBrick, PlymouthBrick, Ledgestone, StackedStone, Sandstone, Novenry, Ribbed, Illumination, ArchitecturalBlock, EmpireBlock, IndustrialBlock, Miraia, Corbosa, Natura and LaTura V-groove.