Published: May 2015
Working efficiently ensures durability and profitability
Horizontal lap siding, or clapboard as it’s known in some areas, has been widely used as an exterior cladding on American houses for centuries. And while it’s relatively simple to in- stall, new generations of materials require installers to pay closer attention to details to ensure durable, trouble-free installations.
As the quality of lumber has diminished over the years, manufacturers have developed siding that is composed of synthetic, com- posite, or engineered materials. These materials are durable but less tolerant of installation errors, and each has a unique set of installation guidelines that must be followed to avoid failure. It would be impractical to cover the nuances of all engineered siding products in one article—and most manufacturers provide clear instructions for installing their products, and many offer online courses or other programs—so I’ll focus instead on general techniques and best prac- tices learned over the 30-plus years that I’ve been installing siding.