Guide to Wood Siding

There is a reason other types of siding such as vinyl and aluminum are often made to resemble wood. The grains in wood provide a natural, rustic look that is both desirable and welcoming. Manufactured siding can't match the beauty and scent of real wood. Not only is it attractive, but wood is also organic, recyclable, renewable and a natural insulator.

Because it's the most natural siding available, precautions need to be taken to protect against water damage, dry rot and insects. To avoid moisture, wood siding should be installed 6 to 8 inches from the ground. Any dirt that builds up along the bottom of the siding could hold moisture and should be cleared to avoid mold, mildew, and rotting.

Paint and stain can help protect against water damage. To ensure the best protection, wood siding should be painted every 5 to 10 years or stained every 2 to 5 years. Cracks and holes should be repaired to keep out moisture and pests out. Damaged areas may need to be replaced. With proper installation and maintenance, wood siding can last for decades.

Types of wood siding include clapboard, rectangular planking, plywood, shingles, shakes, and hardboard.


Clapboard siding consists of long boards installed horizontally and overlapped. Because they are more resistant to decay, clapboard is most commonly made from Cedar or Redwood, but comes in other types of wood as well. The edges can be beveled or tapered to create a smooth look.

Rectangular Planking

Rectangular planking is similar to clapboard, but it's applied vertically and has a smooth look. The joints are covered with battens, which are narrow strips of wood, to help keep out moisture.


Plywood is popular for its natural look and is most commonly made of Yellow Pine, Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar. It's usually applied horizontally, but can be applied vertically as well. Moisture causes it to expand and contract at a different rate than the frame it's attached to, which creates warping and can cause the nails to pull out and the siding to fall off. It's also prone to rotting, so it's important to check for moisture damage and paint or stain regularly.

Shingles and Shakes

Shingles are made of Redwood, Cedar, or Cypress. They are machine cut and uniform. Pieces are applied from the bottom up, so each layer overlaps the one below it. Shingles are prone to cracking and warping. They also fade, which creates a rustic look many people enjoy. However, the fading can be uneven and affected by shadows created by landscape and nearby buildings. Paint and stain can help prevent fading.

Shakes are similar to shingles, except they are hand-split and the size is not uniform. Like shingles, shakes are prone to cracking, warping, and fading.


Authenticated 1946 Ad Ford Station Wagon Classic Car Automobile Convertible Wood Siding Red - Original Print Ad
Home (Authenticated)
  • Product Type: Original Print Ad; Color
  • Grade: Very Fine ++
  • Dimensions: Approximately 10 x 13.5 inches; 25 x 34 cm
  • Authentication: Dual Serial-Numbered Certificates of Authenticity w/ Full Provenance
  • Packaged in custom sleeve w/ archival black board (great for display, gift-giving, and preservation)

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Waxing Nostalgic - Things I miss

Was talking about cars to my 19 nephew today. He things that Civic's, Lexus IS 350 and Mitsubishi's are 'rad cars'.
Maybe I am too old understand.
My first car was a 1974 Pinto wagon, and I thought I was 'the bomb'.
I have my parents 1978 Mercury Colony Park station wagon, complete with 2 miles of fake wood on the side and 8 seat belts...don't think I will ever part with that car, though I never drive it.
Things I miss that my nephew will never understand:
Opera windows, Landau roofs, wire wheels covers, wood grain siding, velour interiors, fender skirts, Continental kits, Gran Fury, Cordoba, Sedan De Ville, Eldorado, LeBaron, Country Squire, Vista Cruiser, Delta 88, Electra 225 (Duece and a quarter!) Riveria, Toronado, Granada (the only car that nuns...

Ogdensburg home rehabilitation program gears up for phase two, on schedule  —
Some homes will receive extensive and visible rehabilitation, including the installation of vinyl siding, roofing and windows. Other homes won't have an obvious exterior update but will have new furnaces or flooring put in.

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  • Avatar fes1974 Home Siding?
    Jun 18, 2007 by fes1974 | Posted in Other - Home & Garden

    What kind should I go with, what has the longest life? Best pricing? In Eastern KY

    • We had cedar siding on our house..... we went with hardy plank.... looks better than the wood and is more durable.... we went to James Hardy website and got alot of info about it and the different styles ..... Just make sure you get a contractor that has installed and worked with it before you have it put on...

  • Avatar Michael L Waxing Engineered Wood Floor?
    Aug 21, 2007 by Michael L | Posted in Decorating & Remodeling

    Is Ok to wax engineered wood floor?

    • NO! Engineered wood floors are 99% of the time, prefinished with the urethane already applied at the factory. I have seen where people have tried to wax them....and it has been a mess that is quite pricey to fix. The bea … they need additional cleaning...Bruce makes a wonderful cleaner that can be purchased at Home Depot. Bruce hardwood a green bottle....just squirt cleaner on floor, and use dust mop that comes with cleaner.