Home Exterior Lap Siding Installation

Lap siding, also called clapboard, runs horizontally around the outside of a home with each row tilting the row under it to create a water-resistant surface. Classic lap siding is made of wood, but today you might also find it offered in a fiber cement boards. A more modern stuff, fiber cement planks cost less, withstand decay simpler than wood and are available in a variety of textures and colors. But installing fiber cement doesn’t require some specific considerations.

Prepare the Wall

Create a smooth surface to support the siding. For new construction, attach plywood or oriented strand board to studs first according to local building code requirements. On existing walls, remove any old shingles and fasteners, and repair the wood sheathing where necessary. Lap siding can conform to a few shapes in the wall, but the smoother the surface the better. Attach a vapor barrier or felt into the sheathing before adding the siding material. Install metal flashing around all windows and doors. Mark the location of wall studs with vertical strips of felt. This secures the siding to studs when nailing and also prevents moisture from penetrating nail holes.

Plan Your Layout

Determine how much of each board that you are interested in being exposed. Generally, manufacturers expect a minimum overlap of 1 inch. Consider changing your design so that full-width boards run across the tops of windows or doors. Plan your design so you have a complete piece on your top course and much less than a full-width piece as your bottom class if necessary. Some siding is manufactured with grooves that determine the number of overlap and make it possible for you to just stack the planks on top of each other to maintain a constant width involving planks. Do not put in a course of siding where the finish cuts line up with the class above or under it.

Install Trim

Attach trim pieces to outside and inside corners and around windows and doorways. To trim an outside corner, nail one-by-three lumber to one wall flush with the corner. Follow this by nailing a one-by-four into the other wall flush with the exterior edge of the one-by-three. For inside corners, then attach the one-by-four first butted from the corner, and then attach the one-by-three.

Starter Strip and First Course

Rip pieces of siding to 1 1/4-inch wide to use as a starter strip and protected to the bottom edge of the wall with nails at each stud. Snap a level chalk line where you would like the very top of the first course of siding. Install the first class nailing it into the studs. Some siding is nailed only at the very top to ensure that the overlapping class above it conceals the fasteners. Other kinds of shingles have been nailed both top and bottom. Assess your product’s literature for nailing directions. Use a level as you install personal boards to ensure that the lines on the shingles remain straight across the home.

Consistent Layout

Create a story pole by marking a board with evenly spaced lines that indicate the width of each vaccine class that will be subjected after the overlap. Hold the story pole against the corner trim and then transfer the marks into the wall. Put in the next course of siding, starting it at the mark you’ve made for it. Check that the class stays level as you move horizontally across the wall. Continue installing courses in this manner. Where one board will not span the width involving trim pieces, cut the board so that its end falls onto a stud. Butt a different board adjacent to it and caulk the joint between them.

Special Considerations for Fiber Cement

Fiber cement siding installation follows the same steps, but the methods used to cut, nail and lay out fiber cement is a bit different. Reducing fiber cement generates extremely high amounts of dust. Use a saw specially designed to collect a blade designed to make less dust on fibre cement. When nailing iron cement, drill pilot holes and nail by hand or use a pneumatic nail gun specifically designed for this type of siding. Rather than butting pieces of fibre cement siding together on a large span, leave a 1/8-inch gap and then fill it up with caulk. Similarly leave a 1/8-inch gap between trim and siding.

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