Installing James Hardie Planks on our home’s exterior

Yesterday’s conversation before Scot left work:

Scot: Babe, let’s just rent a roofing nailer so that it won’t be as difficult/take as long!

Me: Nah, we’re good! Let’s just do it old school. A couple hammers and some roofing nails and we’ll be good to go…

Five minutes into the install…



Here’s the planked wall in all it’s glory!

If we could turn back time we would go and spend the damn $29 on renting the roofing nailer, BUT we managed to tackle it without one. Can we just take a second to recognize how good these planks look?! This project is definitely a two man job, and on a scale from 1-5 (5 being the most difficult), we would give it a 2. The main thing you need to worry about with these planks are the length and how flaccid they are. Scot had to go back into Home Depot and purchase two 2×12’s for the planks to sit on because there’s no way they were sturdy enough to drive with (aka, they touched they ground).

The entire install took roughly 3 hours, but that’s only because we had to stop and cook dinner, eat, then get everyone settled in so we could head back out. To install we used these nails and this hammer. Scot measured the studs before we started, and drew lines on the vapor barrier with a sharpie. Once the grid was in place, we could start putting the boards up. Side note: These would have made this project even easier, HOWEVER going back to the roofing nailer rental, we wanted to save money where we could so we could splurge on the interior.

We started from the bottom with a small trim piece. We tried to make it as square as possible, but when you’re working with an older home, which happens to be brick, you do what you can. Overall, we we’re pleased with the spacing, which ultimately will only require minimum caulk on the sides.

We did a horizontal offset so that the seams didn’t line up the same way on each row. You can see from this photo where the shorter planks and longer planks sit. Windows were discussed prior to landing on this final design, however window placement is one of our biggest issues in our bedrooms right now. If we were to install two windows to mimic the front, we wouldn’t be able to place anything on this wall. Later down the road, since our laundry room will be our new entrance, we might place one in the brick wall to the left of the garage. Overall, there’s plenty of light inside from the two front windows.

We took a time lapse video of the entire install. The beginning of the video, when it was still light out, was prior to dinner. Towards the end of the video we had to turn Scot’s truck lights on so we could see where we were nailing.

Don’t mind us, we’re just over here daydreaming about caulking and painting this bad boy!

So what’s next on the list? Obviously we can start on the interior now that the exterior wall is secured and ready to go. However, we have a few more bigger projects that need to happen for this outdoor space. Here’s a breakdown:

  • CAULK + SEAL + PAINT the new Hardie planks.

  • Remove the concrete along the entire length of the garage (We will most likely do this renting a jack hammer. We will definitely be sharing this!)

  • Install a french drain along the wall. Water pools on the right side of wall, which we obviously want to avoid.

  • Pour concrete to widen the driveway ( We haven’t shared photos of this spot yet, but we will when we get there).

  • Create a flower bed along the entire wall and landscape it. Since we opted for no windows, we want to make sure its landscaped so looks as original as possible to the aesthetic of the house.

  • Install a walking area in front of the ‘flower bed’ leading to the back of the house where our new entrance will be.

  • Build stairs to the new entrance.

That seems like a pretty extensive list, however it shouldn’t take too long to bring to life. Excited to share that entire process with you guys. If you don’t follow us on Instagram, what are you waiting for? We share so many behind the scenes moments on our Instagram stories so go give us a follow and say HI!

If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out step one, step two, and step three of our garage renovation! We even have a fun hashtag on Instagram for it #TMHgaragerenovation.


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