Common Sense Wood Siding Seasoning, Storage and Installation Tips for Do It Yourself Homeowner and Builder.
ACCLIMATE your wood siding
Allow your wood to acclimate before installation. This is the most common installation mistake and the most costly. When the wood arrives it will begin to change sizes to adjust to its new climate. The worst thing you can do is install siding during this phase. This is true of ALL seasoning grades. Allow 1 – 2 weeks for your wood to acclimate. The last thing you want to do is install it DURING the change.
Let Wood Siding “Breathe”
The fact is that all wood no matter how it is dried (seasoned) will expand and contract during the year due to moisture changes in the air. Most wood expansion and contraction is across the width of the board. Selection of a LAP Siding pattern minimizes the affect of that movement. Movement length wise is minimal. But to minimize gaps, take the time to miter (angle) cut and treat the ends as you install and the results will last for years.
Choose Your Installer Wisely
It’s not rocket science but it has to be done right. Our Do It Yourself Customers do a better job than professionals sometimes because they take the time to read the instructions and do the job exactly right. You have to take your time with wood. You can’t be in a hurry.
Yes we want a builder with wood experience, but above all else give me someone who CARES about the end result.
Have a Drainage Plan
Not paying enough attention to where water goes and how it flows is the most frequently made mistake we see. Concentrated water carved the Grand Canyon. It will damn sure take some stain off your wall.
Plan for AIR SPACE
Water will get behind the wood, whether it migrates out from the inside through condensation or finds its way in from outside it will get there. The important thing once again is to give it a place to go. We recommend Furring Strips for this in most cases.
Sometimes Furring strips are not realistic due to several reasons. In these instances we recommend a drain wrap or mesh wrap. These products are much thinner than furring strips but still allow air and water to flow behind the wood.
Allow for GROUND CLEARANCE
It is important to keep siding at least 18 inches off the ground if possible. This will guard against splash back – rain water hitting the ground and splashing back against the siding which can cause a finish failure.
We see a lot of people installing their wood siding all the way to the ground. We advise against this because that bottom 18 inches will need constant care to keep it looking good. We recommend a stone veneer for lower 18 inches.