Reviewed by Tomas Kalkys. President.
Qualifications: More than 20 years of experience in residential and commercial exterior remodeling.
Founding farther of Legacy Service.
Written by LegacyUSA Team
posted on May 20, 2022
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From vinyl to fiber cement, there are a variety of options for homeowners to choose from when installing new siding on their house’s exterior. Each type has its pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages. It’s all about selecting the type that matches your tastes and preferences.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the different types of wood siding. Wood siding is a natural, durable, and beautiful material that’s perfect for traditional architecture, including cottages, Cape Cod exteriors, and similar homes. The price can significantly vary depending on the style and material type you choose, but it’s designed to have an impressive lifespan with the proper maintenance, which always makes it a good choice.
Even when you’ve decided on wood siding for your home, there are still a few more decisions you have to make before you begin your project. Now, it’s time to determine which style you’d like for your house.
In this section, we’ll review seven different wood siding styles, including lap, board and batten, drop channel, shake, split logs, shingle, and tongue and groove. Each style is a good choice, but for different reasons. Continue reading to get a better idea of which of the different styles of wood siding would work best with your home’s preferences. You can also contact your local siding company to schedule a free consultation.
Lap siding, also known as bevel or clapboard, is a traditional style that goes all the way back to the early days of the United States. Its appearance and durability still make it a popular type of wood siding today. Starting with the first board placed at the bottom of the wall, the contractor will overlap the boards, which is where the term “lap siding” originates.
Board and batten is another historic style that’s still quite popular among homeowners today. It’s frequently used on the exteriors of barns and other farm buildings. This style is installed vertically, consisting of wide boards that are spaced evenly and battens that are nailed over the space. Battens are narrow strips of wood.
Drop channel is one of the most popular wood siding options for cabins. It’s a versatile style that can be installed vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, and it’s designed to create an overlap that shows the sculpturing without having a ledge where water can bead. An advantage of drop channel is that it gives the wood plenty of room to expand and contract. It requires about the same maintenance as other styles.
People often mistake shakes for shingles because they look so similar, but shakes are typically thicker and more durable. In many cases, the shakes aren’t uniform in thickness, giving them a rustic, coarse look, which is part of their appeal. They’re mostly available in cedar and redwood. Remember to check your local building codes if you’d like to install shakes.
Split logs are used by those who’d like a traditional cabin appearance. It’s quite beautiful and known for the cozy ambiance it provides. This type is normally custom-made from a hardwood, including cedar, oak, or cypress. Maintenance for split log is similar to other wood siding options for homes.
Wood shingles are popular for various siding applications and even preferred for oddly-shaped walls like turrets. This is due to their smoothness and consistency. Shingles can be made from any wood that’s used with other types of wood siding for homes. However, they’ll have to be treated to be fire retardant. Maintenance is also necessary to keep the shingles from becoming damaged or insect-infested.
Last but not least, tongue-and-groove is actually one of the most sturdy construction methods since there’s uninterrupted contact between the boards. Like with drop channel, tongue-and-groove can be installed in any direction: horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. It’s available in smooth cut or rough cut and made with either knotty pines or clear wood.
Enough about style; let’s get into the different types of wood materials. There’s a wide variety of wood types of siding for homeowners to choose from, including cedar, cypress, engineered wood, redwood, spruce, fir, pine, shiplap, wood fiber cement, shingle, shake, panels, split log, tongue-and-groove, charred wood, Siberian larch, oak, ash, firwood, Cumaru, Accoya, Thermowood, Douglas fir, Tatajuba, Garapa, Iroko, and Massaranduba.
If you need help selecting the right material for your home, continue reading! Learning about each material will give you the insight you need to choose the best one for your specific needs. You can also consult with a siding contractor to receive a professional’s opinion.
Cedar is popular because it’s both sturdy and fairly easy to work with. Since it’s structurally sound and resistant to insects, it’s relatively simple to maintain. Typically, it requires an annual power-washing and renewal of paint or stain about every three years. The price of cedar is usually determined by the amount of heartwood in it.
As a hardwood, cypress is an extremely durable siding application that’s highly sought-after. It’s ideal for many types of wood siding projects due to its reliability and low maintenance costs. It’s even been known to last for generations! However, some variations may have an unpleasant odor and can irritate certain respiratory diseases.
Engineered wood is a strong, lightweight product that’s known to be highly durable and less expensive than other materials. It can last up to 30 years or more when it’s properly maintained. It’s manufactured using sawdust and woodchips along with other castoff wood, and it’s combined with bonding agents. However, it’s not usually natural-looking and will have to be painted.
Redwood is mainly available on the West Coast of the United States, but it may be more difficult to find in other places. However, it’s a tremendous choice for nearly any climate. The wood does not shrink as much as other types, so the shape will not change as much, which reduces warping and cupping. This wood type can also be more expensive than other options.
Spruce is a member of the pine family. Both spruce and pine are similar softwoods with comparable prices. As a softwood, it can be milled into different styles of siding. However, it doesn’t repel insects and it isn’t resistant to rot. It must be maintained to prevent it from absorbing moisture and warping or rotting. It’s commonly available on the East Coast.
Fir is a popular option for types of siding that require more milling, like tongue-and-groove. The wood is easy to cut, especially since there’s little resin or sap to clog the saw blades. Just remember that fir isn’t naturally rot-resistant or insect-resistant, so it requires regular maintenance to remain in good condition. It should also be sealed with paint.
Pine is the most common wood type used for siding in North America. Typically, yellow pine is used for framing, while white pine is most often used in finish projects. White pine can be stained or painted, but paint is its most common application. In fact, paint or stain is usually required since pine isn’t resistant to rot or insects.
Shiplap is a type of siding that creates a waterproof seal by lapping part of a top board over a lower board. It’s flexible enough to allow the house siding to expand and contract while remaining tight enough to keep out wind, rain, and snow. It’s able to provide any home with a charming, timeless look.
Wood fiber cement siding is known for its durability. It’s made with real wood in the form of cellulose fibers, which are mixed with sand, water, and Portland cement. Then, it’s molded so that it has the texture and grain of real wood. While it doesn’t necessarily have a natural wood look, it has greater durability, fire resistance, and insect resistance than other types.
Large wood panels are considered an economical way to side a house. In most cases, the panels will be 8 ft. tall by 4 ft. wide, and they’re made from engineered wood, fiber cement, and plywood. They go up quickly due to their size. While their appearance can be plain, the right paint or stain job can enhance the exterior of any home.
Split log siding is designed to make a house look like a genuine log cabin, appearing as thick logs stacked to form walls. It’s usually custom-made from a type of hardwood, including cedar, cypress, or oak. To seal out moisture and insects, most of the applications are sprayed with a clear coat. Maintenance is similar to other types of wood siding. This type is ideal for vacation homes or homes located in wooded areas.
Charred wood, also known as burnt wood, is highly sought after because it’s a unique material with plenty of benefits. The charring process involves applying an open flame to a wood plank, which creates a slight char on the surface of the wood without weakening it. This helps to keep the wood weatherproof and insect-resistant. With the proper installation and maintenance, this siding type can last up to 80 years.
Although it’s fairly popular, Siberian Larch can be a difficult material to find. It has a high density, so it’s a stable wood that’s naturally resistant to clay. This makes it an excellent choice for climates with lots of precipitation. With a smooth finish, this material can provide any home with a natural aesthetic. The downside to Siberian Larch is that it can be more expensive than other types of wood siding for houses.
Oak provides a beautiful finish that few wood siding types can match. Many different types of oak are available, with the most common being red and white. The general appearance of oak is the reason why it’s such a popular choice among homeowners. However, oak can be heavy and fade quickly when exposed to direct sunlight. Red oak should be limited to indoor applications.
Many people may not be familiar with ash wood, but most have probably used it at some point. This type of wood is often used to make garden equipment, like shovels and rakes, as well as high-quality furniture. It’s also an excellent choice for exteriors because it’s so dense and stable, and it comes in a variety of colors, including brown, red, and yellow. Keep in mind that ash can be more difficult to come by than other home wood siding options, and the price can vary dramatically.
Firwood is one of the more popular wood house siding types for several reasons. It’s a softwood that’s available in long sections. Since there’s little sap or resin to clog saw blades, it’s easy to cut and a popular choice for siding that requires milling, including tongue-and-groove. It also stains and finishes well. The downside is that firwood can be difficult to maintain over the years.
Cumaru may not be as familiar as one of the other wood siding options for houses, like spruce or pine, but it’s steadily increasing in popularity for residential and commercial buildings. This is due to the fact that it’s a highly durable wood that can stand up to the elements and potentially last for generations. It’s also a cost-effective option that can be recycled at the end of its lifespan. However, it’s a heavy and dense wood, so it may not be suitable for all projects.
Accoya is a modern type of siding that’s ideal for a wide variety of residential renovation projects, including siding, windows, doors, and decking. It doesn’t swell or shrink even in the harshest weather conditions, which makes it one of the most reliable wood siding options for a house. It’s also designed to last longer and require less maintenance than other types. However, Accoya can be expensive and hard to find.
Thermowood is a sustainable wood that’s an excellent option for both outdoor and indoor projects. It’s naturally produced by both heat and steam, which helps reduce the carbon footprint from manufacturing the siding material. Since it’s free of resin, it’s highly resistant to rot and decay. Keep in mind that because it’s a lighter wood, it will need to be sealed and protected to maintain its beauty.
Douglas fir is an excellent siding material for homes in rural environments or rustic settings. It’s available in warm red and blonde tones, both of which provide a beautiful and vibrant color. Due to its impressive aesthetic, Douglas fir has been a popular material for century-old homes that are still standing today. The downside is that it’s usually pretty expensive and hard to find.
Tatajuba wood comes from South America, and it’s known for its strength and durability. It’s a popular choice for patios and decks. Since the material hails from a primarily wet climate, it tends to be resilient to rot and insect damage. Its durability makes it an excellent choice for anyone. It’s important to know that Tatajuba requires regular upkeep to maintain its appearance.
Garapa is a Brazilian timber that’s quickly becoming a popular material for modern siding due to its strength and durability. Its light color pigment helps it stand up to sun exposure by reflecting the heat outward and preventing the home from becoming too warm. This makes it an ideal choice for hotter climates. The problem is that Garapa is difficult to find and it can be quite expensive.
Iroko is great for homeowners seeking a different wood siding style. It’s a highly sought after timber that’s known for its durability and light amber color. There’s little color variation between boards, which provides it with a sense of elegance. It’s also one of the best types of wood to use in warm, wet climates. However, Iroko is one of the heaviest woods, making it a challenge to work with.
Massaranduba is also known as the “Brazilian Redwood.” It’s able to provide a beautiful, textured appearance while maintaining its reputation as one of the world’s most durable species of timber. Its ability to withstand the elements and its resistance to rot makes Massaranduba ideal for exterior projects. However, this material can be more expensive than others and harder to maintain.
Siding orientation will greatly affect the appearance of your home. Homeowners typically have the choice between three options: horizontal, vertical, and diagonal. We’ll discuss each orientation in greater detail below to help you determine which one would work best for you. Let’s take a look at the different wood siding orientations!
Just take a drive through a residential neighborhood, and you’ll notice that most homeowners opt for their siding to be installed horizontally. This helps the house appear much longer than it actually is. However, horizontal siding does have a few downsides. One of its main issues is that it can be easily damaged by water, so regular maintenance is required. It’s essential to ensure that there isn’t space for water to hide in between the panels because this can cause mildew, mold, and rot to form. Horizontal siding types include clapboard, shingles, shakes, and more.
Vertical siding provides a traditional look that can look great on just about any home, especially when installed by professionals. It’s also significantly easier to clean than horizontal siding, which helps your home remain beautiful without having to spend a lot of time on maintenance and repair. However, keep in mind that vertical siding can be much more difficult to install than horizontal siding. It can also be more expensive because of the additional products needed to help prevent water damage. The most common type of vertical siding includes board and batten.
Diagonal siding is normally the least common type chosen by homeowners. This is due to the fact that only certain kinds of wood can be installed this way. However, diagonal siding is quite stunning, creating an interesting look and making your house stand out from the others in the neighborhood. If your heart is set on diagonal, make sure you fully research the type of wood you’re planning to choose before you make any decisions. Siding styles that can be installed diagonally include drop channel as well as tongue-and-groove siding. Get in touch with your local siding contractors to learn more if you’re interested.
The maintenance required for your wood siding will depend on the material you select as well as the style of how it’s installed. However, it’s important to keep in mind that all wood siding requires some kind of regular maintenance to protect it. While factory finishes are designed to last longer, they can be more expensive. Factory primed pieces are an excellent compromise because they just need to be painted or stained afterward. Paint can last up to five years, while stain should typically be reapplied about every two to three years.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s time to choose the wood siding you want for your house. This is where your local siding experts come in. Get in touch with a contractor to schedule a consultation. The experts will know what types of wood will be best for your home and living situation.
In most cases, it’s best to purchase the highest grade of wood possible. Homeowners are encouraged to look for wood that’s rot-resistant, insect-resistant, straight and flat, and also clear of splits and checks. Once your siding is chosen, you can get started with your project!
If you have questions about wood siding types for homes, then you’ve come to the right place! In the section below, we answer some of the questions that we’re most frequently asked about this topic. Whether you’re wondering about the different types, the most durable type, and how long the siding’s supposed to last, continue reading.
There are many different types of wood siding available for homeowners to choose from. Some of the most commonly used materials include cypress, redwood, cedar, fir, spruce, pine, and engineered wood. We review each of these types and others in greater detail in the sections above. Remember that it’s always best to consult with a siding professional before beginning your project.
Many types of wood are excellent for exterior siding. It’s all about finding the best type for you and your home’s needs. Although there are virtually limitless options, pine and cedar are two of the most popular types among homeowners in the United States. Pine is a commonly found wood that’s cost-effective and long-lasting. Cedar is an attractive wood that’s sturdy and easy to work with.
Redwood is considered by many to be one of the most durable types of wood siding. It doesn’t shrink as much as other types, which helps reduce warping and cupping. It also has very little resin, so it accepts stains and other finishes easily. Other noteworthy durable ones include cedar, cypress, and wood fiber cement.
If you’re on a budget, then you may want to choose less expensive siding material. Fortunately, there are plenty of quality options for you to choose from. Some homeowner favorites include plywood, pine, cypress, and engineered wood. If you need help choosing, get in touch with our team to schedule a consultation.
How long your wood siding will last depends on a few factors, including the material chosen, the maintenance required, and how well it’s maintained. Fortunately, even the most cost-effective wood siding can last for decades (20 to 40 years on average) with proper maintenance. It all depends on the material, though. For example, pine is known to last about 20 years, while cedar can last up to 75 years, and cypress can last up to 100 years!
Yes, wood siding is a good choice for many homeowners! It depends on what you’re looking for. There are plenty of options, so whether you’re seeking one that’s more cost-effective, durable, or visually appealing, you’ll be able to find it with the help of an expert.
If you’re interested in siding installation or replacement, please feel free to contact us at any time. We also provide roofing, window, door, and gutter services to homeowners throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Call us at 215-798-9790 to get started!
Posted on May 20, 2022 in Roof
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