CHICAGO, Jan. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- James Hardie Building Products Inc. (NYSE: JHX) is introducing a new version of HardieShingle ® siding that has improved visual authenticity with modifications in shingle widths and a reengineered texture. Traditionally, shingles are used in combination with lap siding or other siding styles. With a full line of products, James Hardie enables homeowners and builders to achieve a distinctive shingle-style combination and capitalize on the long-lasting, low-maintenance benefits of a complete fiber cement exterior. " James Hardie is dedicated to creating durable design solutions. Homeowners have a variety of personal style options to choose from for a custom look, and builders now have a viable option for creating the look of a shingled house without the drawback of maintenance and durability concerns," affirms Alan Miller, HardieShingle Product Manager. New HardieShingle ® siding is available in both four foot panels and individuals with straight, staggered, or rounded edges to achieve a unique, textured combination. Shingles are one of the most recognizable design features from the coastal region. The popularity of this look dates back to the early American settlers. The natural grain texture of cedar shingle adds instant character and dimension to a house, but they require regular maintenance to protect the wood from rot and color change. Applying protective sealants can become a cumbersome process of maneuvering around the cervices of each shingle to ensure total protection. Additionally, cedar shingles are vulnerable to moisture, which causes the wood to cup, curl, or swell; over time, cedar shingles may need to be replaced because of rotting and splitting from ongoing exposure to moisture. The natural oils of cedar wood can deter some insects, but fiber cement siding offers a definitive safeguard against termite and wood pecker damage.