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Learn about Shiplap Wood Siding

Shiplap Wood Siding

Shiplap wood siding is a classic exterior cladding made of sawn wood boards where the top and bottom of each board is milled with a rabbet joint, so that boards can overlap and maintain a flat surface. Shiplap can be installed either vertically or horizontally, depending on the look you want for your home.

Pine, cedar or other softwoods are typically used. It can be stained, painted, charred, or allowed to weather.

Look for locally harvested, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood.

Look for high-quality, thicker boards with few knots - it will last longer. Installation can be do-it-yourself or look for a contractor with experience with real wood siding.

While most types of wood siding require preservation treatment such as stain or paint, some types of wood are more naturally weather resistant than others. In North America, woods such as white cedar, red cedar, and douglas fir can be used as siding without treatment, while woods such as pine and spruce should be treated. Besides paint and stain, charring (light burning with a torch before installation) provides a unique look and a protective coating.

Wood is a classic, easy to install, aesthetically desirable, and renewable material. While still having some drawbacks, such as relatively high maintenance (painting, staining, or replacement), it is definitely a preferred material for those considering a more sustainable exterior shell for their home. In forested regions, it can sometimes be obtained from local sawmills.