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Adding hose bib mounting block to existing fiber-cement siding

Adding hose bib mounting block to existing fiber-cement siding

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Old 08-10-15, 12:28 PM
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Adding hose bib mounting block to existing fiber-cement siding

I recently purchased a home that uses fiber-cement siding (Hardie Plank, I think). I would like to add a new hose bib to the house. The other hose bibs are mounted on blocks (example in this picture, Imgur). I have never worked with fiber-cement siding before. Is there a special tool or process to cut into the siding so I can add the mounting block?
 
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Old 08-10-15, 03:28 PM
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Cutting fiber cement siding can be cut with carbide and diamond tools. A grinder with a diamond wheel like you use for tile should work well as would a Roto-zip (or equivalent) with a carbide or Diamond bit. Lastly a vibratory saw like a Fein Multi Master (or equivalent) will cut through fiber cement siding but it will be the slowest in the bunch, however might be the easiest to control.

When you add your mounting block be sure to add flashing as shown in your picture so water does not get behind the siding.
 
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Old 08-10-15, 03:37 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I assume that I need to be very careful when cutting through the fiber cement siding to keep from damaging whatever is underneath the siding (i.e., a waterproof barrier). Or is it just unavoidable and I need to repair the damage by patching the barrier and applying caulk?
 
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Old 08-10-15, 03:44 PM
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Yes your most likely to cut what's under the siding, not a big deal.
Slip in a piece of Z flashing at the top before setting the block in place and caulk the sides and bottom with Latex caulking.
 
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Old 08-10-15, 03:51 PM
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You can add the mounting block if you want, as the others have instructed... but I would also suggest that it is not absolutely necessary to put the hose bib on a mounting block. Just use a hole saw to drill through the siding from the outside, and make sure the hose bib is going to be somewhere toward the bottom 3" of a lap. Clean the dust off the siding, caulk around the perimeter of the hole then slide your hose bib in and use two 2" stainless steel screws to hold it on. Predrill a pilot hole for the screws with an 1/8" masonry bit.

The hole saw will likely be dull by the time you are done drilling. Personally, I would not use a latex caulking on fiber cement... I prefer OSI Quad.

Regarding caulk, from their installation manual:

For best results use an Elastomeric Joint Sealant complying with
ASTM C920 Grade NS, Class 25 or higher or a Latex Joint Sealant
complying with ASTM C834. Caulking/Sealant must be applied in
accordance with the caulking/sealant manufacturer’s written
instructions. Note: OSI Quad as well as some other caulking
manufacturers do not allow tooling.
 
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Old 08-10-15, 03:59 PM
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Thanks! I suspected that the mounting block isn't necessary but wouldn't mind matching the look of the other hose bibs if possible. Is there any advantage to using a mounting block (other than looks)?
 
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Old 08-10-15, 04:03 PM
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I don't own any of the tools suggested as this is the first time I've had to do any type of wall-cutting (e.g., grinder, Roto-zip or Fein Multi Master) but purchasing one is no problem. Which one is generally the most versatile for someone who does DIY work?
 
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Old 08-10-15, 04:14 PM
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The only advantage to using the mounting block is that if you reside someday, the mounting block and hose bib can probably stay as is. Mounting blocks are usually added as needed when the siding is being done so that all the siding guys have to do is side around that kind of stuff, rather than monkey with running it through the siding. If the siding is already up, I prefer to just drill a hole.

Unfortunately, your fiber cement siding will probably outlast the wood mounting block, which will probably rot off and need to be replaced in < 20 yrs. If I make a mounting block, I make it out of a PVC board like Azek, since it will never rot.
 
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Old 08-10-15, 05:34 PM
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A grinder would be the least expensive tool and is one of the most handy tools. You can do many things with a grinder: cut, grind, sharpen, clean, sand, etc. Bad side is it can be difficult to control for a first timer, but with a little practice you will do ok.

2nd in the group would be the Multi Master. The Fein is a very nice tool but it has the price tag to show for it. Also the attachments are fairly expensive. I have a cheap one from Harbor Freight that works fairly well. I also have one from from the big orange store which is also fairly nice. They do the job, however it will be the slowest in the bunch. It will be easy to control as the blade only oscillates 3 degrees either way.

The Roto-zip type tool really does one thing, but does it well, plunge cutting into material. Whether it is cutting out boxes in drywall, to cutting an opening for a window in OSB, this tool was made to do it. Only complaint I would have is the bits breaking/getting dull VERY fast, and not being able to cut a straight line. With thicker material you have to make multiple passes and may go through a few bits, especially in cement board.
 
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Old 08-11-15, 08:48 AM
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Thanks again for all your great advice! I now know what I need to do to get this hose bib installed.
 
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