What is wood siding on a house? Wood siding on a house can be board and batten, which is vertically laid, clapboarding which is horizontal or shakes and shingles. All these styles of wood siding can come in many varieties of wood.
Which kind of wood siding should you use? Local builders and siding installers are the best informants for what species of wood are available in your areas. If your choice of wood is one that comes from a great distance, or is a slow growing wood, or a wood that may not be suited to your region, be aware that this can add cost and time to your project. Before setting your heart on a particular species of wood, ask your local siding installers about splitting, rot resistance, checking (cracking in the surface of the wood due to the surface drying faster than the inside) or cupping (a curved warp in the wood due to moisture intake or drying out). A good buyer’s tip is to find the best grade of siding for your budget. Look for wood with clear grains and make sure the wood chosen is good for your environment. Also make sure the wood is properly sealed for protection against the elements.
What are the different types of wood siding? See below for some pros and cons for each type of wood.
A softwood, Pine (as well as Spruce and Fir) has been a standard for wooden siding. Pine siding is an inexpensive alternative in comparison to other woods. Pine wood has a very knotty nature and because of this it may be difficult to find it in very long lengths. This means more wood must be bought and may add to the overall cost of the project. Pine siding can hold a finish well, but it is preferable to paint or stain this wood, especially when used as clapboard siding. Pine can grow very fast, making it more prone to cup (warp), split or check (crack in the surface). This makes contractors wary when using it for wooden siding. Pine is not a rot-resistant wood, making it very important to keep it properly sealed and maintained.
Spruce is in the pine family and also a softwood. Spruce is a substitute on the East Coast due to its availability. It is less knotty than pine and therefore can be made in longer lengths. It carries many similar characteristics of pine and is typically used for clapboarding. Just like pine, spruce siding is not rot-resistant and so regular sealing and maintenance must be performed.
Fir is another type of softwood. Fir is easy to cut and install, and comes in long lengths, making this siding option an economical choice. Fir also absorbs finishes well. Fir is available in any western region. Because it’s a softwood in can be easily shaped. This makes it a good choice for shiplap, tongue-and-groove or board-and-batten wooden siding.
Cedar is a hard wood. Because Cedar is not a soft wood, it resists splitting and is very straight; it absorbs stains well, allowing the rich color of the wood to show. Because it is a stable wood, resistant to swelling, warping, cupping and splitting, it is most commonly used for shake and shingle wooden siding; however, cedar is also a popular choice for clapboard siding. One of the best characteristics of Cedar is its naturally rot resistant nature. Also, unlike Pine, Spruce and Fir, it is more naturally resistant to moisture and insects. Grade A Cedar can be a costly siding option, but it is a preferred siding wood. Be aware, although it is resistant to rot, moisture and insects, Cedar must still be regularly maintained to last its full life. In fact, there is no wooden siding that it totally maintenance free.
Redwood is a hardwood and one of the highest of wood grades. Redwood siding is rich in texture and tone. It avoids shrinking, splitting, and warping and absorbs finishes well. Redwood requires less maintenance than other wood siding choices, making it preferable to many homeowners. Because of its hardy nature, Redwood is a good choice for all climates and weather, but since it is only found in the west, it may be difficult and expensive to obtain in other areas. Redwood also has a specialty unlike other woods. It is insect resistant on the face of the wood as well as the inside of the wood. Redwood is a preferred but expensive choice.
Price and Options
Wood prices are very volatile and change weekly. Your contractor will be able to give you an estimate of the cost of wood for your home, but prices change constantly and based upon when you decide to start your project, you may have to add in additional costs for siding. Also, be aware that certain woods are not harvest frequently. When supply is low, cost is high. IronClad will be able to inform you about all options available by talking to local Salt Lake and Park City lumber suppliers about their current stock and prices.
Why should you choose wood siding? Wood siding lasts for many, many years with proper maintenance and care. Maintenance can include power washing, along with regular sealing and staining. Remember, when applying a new stain or finish, it is important to be certain the wood is completely dry to avoid mold and mildew.