Wood Siding Choices

Wood House Siding is still one of the Most Popular House Siding Materials Still Used

By Mark J. Donovan

Even today, with vinyl siding and fiber cement siding options, wood siding is still extremely popular in the United States. Be it clapboards or shakes and shingles, and whether it’s installed horizontally or vertically, wood siding is still used on the majority of homes throughout the U.S. For that natural look, and reasonably affordable costs, other house siding products have a tough time competing with the variety of wood siding choices that are available to the homeowner.

Wood siding choices are plentiful and include species such as pine, cedar, fir, redwood, spruce and even manufactured wood products such as Masonite.

When choosing wood siding, it’s usually best to select one that has been tried and tested in your particular area of the country. Also, find out what wood siding choices are readily available in your area. Finally check how to best protect the wood from rot and insect damage and understand how the wood siding will age over time, e.g. checking, splitting, or weathering. By following these few pieces of advice you can be sure to select a wood house siding that will stand the test of time in your region of the country and that will be reasonably affordable over the life of the product.

Once the wood siding has been installed its important to make sure it is properly sealed and protected from the elements. Ask your local home improvement center what are the best type of sealers for your wood siding choice. Also, before installing the wood siding allow it to acclimate to your jobsite for several days. This is particularly important if you’ve selected a wood species that is not indigenous to your region of the country and that has been recently transported cross country.

Cedar Wood Siding

Cedar wood siding is one of the best wood siding products on the market. It resists rot, insect infestation, and splitting, and comes in either clapboard lengths or shakes and shingles.

 Patching Wood Siding Ebook

Due to the fact that it is a very dimensionally stable wood it holds paint or stain well and resists swelling, cupping and splitting. I’ve owned a home for over 10 years with cedar wood siding and it is still holding up fantastically with it’s original coat of stain. On this particular home we installed pre-primed cedar clapboards, smooth side out.

High quality grade Cedar wood siding is expensive however, and regardless of its high resistance to moisture and insect damage it too needs to be properly and regularly sealed, though fortunately less frequently than other wood siding products.

Pine Wood Siding

Pine has been used for centuries and is probably the least expensive wood siding product you can choose. However it is prone to cupping and twisting and it is often difficult to get it in lengths that are knot-free. Pine is also not rot resistant and as a result it needs frequent painting or sealing to protect it. Also, frequent sealing helps to resist some of the cupping and twisting that is associated with this wood species.

Spruce Wood Siding

Spruce wood siding is in the pine family and as a result has many of the same advantages and disadvantages of pine wood siding.

Wood Siding Choices

Vigilant care and maintenance is required to protect it from cupping and warping, and preventing it from rot. To ensure that it holds up to the test of time and weather conditions it needs to be frequently sealed. It is commonly used on the east coast and typically comes in long clapboard lengths.

Fir Wood Siding

Fir wood siding is another type of house siding that is in the pine family. Again, it is reasonably affordable and easy to install. It is most commonly used on the west coast of the United States where the species is more prevalent. Due to the fact that it is a soft wood it is commonly milled into various patterns including board and batten, shiplap and tongue and groove.

Redwood Wood Siding

Redwood wood siding is commonly found on homes on the west coast of the United States, due to the fact that it is indigenous to that area of the country. Redwood has an exceptionally rich color and look to it. Also, due to the fact that it has little pitch or resin in it, it takes a sealer extremely well and requires less maintenance than other wood siding choices. It is also extremely insect resistance. Due to its high quality it is ideal for virtually any climate, albeit the cost of it can be prohibitive in areas where the species is not grown.

Masonite Wood Siding

Masonite wood siding is a type of house siding that is constructed out of wood chips, glue and resins, and through a combination of heat and pressure is molded into clapboard pieces that resemble natural wood siding species.

Masonite wood siding has a number of benefits. It is inexpensive and easy to install, and it’s also a green product. It’s also resistant to insect damage. It normally comes pre-primed, painted or stained which saves in installation costs. The downside to Masonite wood siding is that if it is not installed properly it is susceptible to moisture damage. If water gets to the backside of it, or if the top surface is damaged in anyway so that moisture can penetrate into it, it will quickly swell and begin to break down. Also during the 1980s and 1990s a major manufacturer of it was found guilty of improperly manufacturing it causing the product to rot and deteriorate quickly. This said, I’ve owned a home for over 20 years that has Masonite wood siding and I’ve had few issues with it. I just make sure to properly paint it every few years.

Wood Siding Installation and Maintenance Tips

Regardless of the type of wood siding you choose, remember that all wood siding needs to be properly primed and sealed, including cut ends during the installation process. Whenever possible lean towards the wood siding choices that come pre-primed, painted or sealed. With wood shakes and shingles order types that have been dipped or spray coated with a sealer at the factory.

To maintain wood siding power wash it periodically, however be careful to not damage the wood grain in the process. Before painting or sealing wood siding, make sure the house siding is completely dry. If you seal wood siding that contains moisture, moisture that’s trapped underneath the sealer will cause the sealer to quickly peel. Also, the wood siding will become susceptible to rot.

Patching Wood Siding Ebook – If you require detailed instructions and pictures for patching wood siding see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Patching Wood Siding Ebook. This Ebook provides very detailed instructions, along with pictures for each key step in the process of patching wood siding.

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