If its on the front of a house i would go with brick, but as for the rest of the house hardi is a great alternative to vinyl. If you buy the pre painted hardi, it has a 20 year warranty on paint, and a lifetime on the material. No guarantees on brick. And we usually charge about $120-$140 a SQ. for hardi.
I believe a good combo of both materials makes for a nice looking structure. I myself own an all Brick home with an Asphalt shingle covered dormer (I recently purchased) which was built in the 1930's and I am in the process changing the Asphalt shingle over to Hardishake, I just recently Rebuilt the Front Steps and Brick walls attached (my stoop is about 42" off the ground). Anyhoo, both Brick and Hardi are excellent GREEN building products and I always encourage my customers to consider Hardi over Vinyl anyday. Brick has always been a favorite and seems to stand the test of time when installed properly ,the old fashioned way (speaking in my english accent, I meant no Brickface).
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