Consumer GuidesRoofing, Siding & Gutters

Siding Basics

Trim: If your home is already built, when you have the siding job done, make sure you have all the trim done as well. Most of your painting expense is in the trim, so failing to cover it will mean your painting costs won’t go down by much. Also, ask your contractor about adding more wall insulation along with the siding.

Access: You should let your service professional know if there are any difficulties with access to the area where he’ll be working. It will help him make decisions about how the work will be done and what equipment he’ll be able to use.

Removing old siding: Removing siding can be a dirty and difficult job requiring specialized equipment and protective gear. It’s best to leave this job to your service professional.

Wood panel types: Wooden lap boards are an expensive material choice, common and popular for the long horizontal lines they give a house. They should last at least 30 years.

Hardboard lap is an inexpensive composite lap siding often found covering the exteriors of track homes.

Lapped wood looks like solid wood lap siding and consists of pieces of lap boards stacking on each other in a regular horizontal pattern.

Ship lap is another horizontal pattern with tight joints similar to tongue and groove, but it laps over.

Channel, a lap type of siding also called “channel rustic,” has a pattern of one-inch wide grooves spaced out every eight inches.

Tongue and groove is a pattern of boards (six, seven or 10 inches wide) that fit and lock together at the edges.

Board and batten is a piece of cedar or fir sheet plywood that has a one- by two-inch strip attached to it every six or eight inches apart.

Split log looks like a log cabin exterior.

Other options: Your service professional can further protect water damage and leakage around window and door trim by placing a J-channel piece around the edges.

He can add soffits, those vents under the roof overhang that allow your attic to breathe.

Fascia board is the exposed end of your roof. Normally the gutter is attached to it.

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