I'm replacing the hardboard (Masonite-type) lap siding on the front of my house with Hardie Plank siding. Since the Hardie product doesn't take screws, what's the best way to install items that are typically screwed into the siding -- outdoor lights, shutters, and the doorbell?
The first thing that occurs to me is to use screws long enough to reach the studs. This will work well, in the spots in front of the studs.
If I need to support something between the studs, since there's no wood behind the siding, maybe I should add some. Maybe a 1/4 inch thick piece of wood nailed to the studs, behind the new siding? (What kind of wood? Exterior-grade plywood? Should it be painted?)
Or do I need a different approach?