Wood cladding siding: everything you need to know

The front elevation is its real showcase. However, not only the appearance depends on it. The facade also affects the comfort of living in a building. Among other things, it influences the thermal and acoustic insulation, as well as the cost of its maintenance. Therefore, let’s consider what is worth knowing about wood cladding siding.

What is wood cladding siding?         

Wood siding or “cladding” is a natural wooden veneer for outdoor use that provides weather protection and visual enhancement to a building. Its production uses different types of soft and hard wood. Depending on the durability rating, these types of wood can be untreated or treated. Timbers such as bleached wood, sequoia, and pine are usually processing, while, fir, cedar, and oak are often untreated. Cladding styles generally include serrated lap, tapered lap, shiplap, and diagonal plate.

Wood cladding typically forms the exterior of structures that use double walls. The interior wall usually consists of gypsum board, gypsum, or cladding. Exterior cladding is often used in conjunction with a vapor or moisture barrier. The cavity between two walls is often filled with electrical wiring, pipes, and insulation. Wood cladding siding may be used as the only exterior façade or may be attached to façade panels.

Both soft and hard wood is used for paneling. Facade boards can be treated with a wood preservative or weatherproofed over time. The type of wood in question usually determines the need for maintenance. Softwoods such as pine, white wood, and sequoia require maintenance. Other softwoods, such as cedar, fir, and larch, generally are maintenance-free.

What’s the best wood for exterior cladding?

The wood used for wood cladding siding is typically graded by total life expectancy. Timber siding life values typically range from moderate to high durability. Moderately durable wood cladding on walls generally requires no maintenance for 10 to 15 years. Exterior wood cladding that is classified as especially durable does not need to be maintained for 15 to 25 years. Oak and cedar tend to be the most durable cladding materials, while pine and fir tend to be the least durable.

How is wood siding installed?

Wood cladding siding is typically installed horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Thin wooden wall panels, called battens, are usually attached to the interior wall before the exterior cladding material is installed. These slats are usually installed perpendicular to the direction of the cladding. There are different types of cladding in construction. The most common styles are serrated lap, tapered lap, shiplap, and beveled plank.

Serrated lap typically has a cutout at the top and bottom of each piece. These notches allow for a partial overlap and fit. The facing is usually nailed to the strips directly below the tab area. Tapered cladding is slightly thinner at the top, allowing the bottom piece to slide under the top piece. This type of cladding is installed like notch cladding, but has a slightly larger overlap.

The overlapping panels have a slightly slanted cutout for additional design. This piping has approximately the same degree of overlap as tapered piping but has exposed nails. Plank cladding is also known as Dutch round siding. This type of facing has a longer angle than shiplap and approximately the same overlap as notch facing. The upholstery also has exposed nails.

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