[Posted on October 24th, 2013 by Aaron Presley]
Rough Cedar lumber and similar woods are a perennial favorite choice for siding options throughout the United States and Canada. Whether it is vertical siding like board and batten, or horizontal siding like clapboards, shakes, and shingles, there are a few species and grades commonly used for all applications.
A local builder or installer knows what species are readily available in the regional market. If you set your sights on wood that comes from a distance, is not frequently harvested, or is not suited to your region, you could hold up a project and raise the budget considerably. Before settling on a siding material, ask questions about rot resistance, splitting, checking, or cupping. A good rule of thumb is to buy the best grade of siding you can afford. Look for clear grains whenever possible, and make certain that the wood acclimates on site, is properly sealed, and is thoroughly protected upon installation.
Pine has long been a standard for exterior siding. Knot-free pine can be difficult to get in longer lengths, though, which can make a project more labor-intensive and costly. Pine holds a finish well, and is preferable when painting or staining horizontal siding. It is typically used for clapboards, but some contractors are wary of fast-growth pine for siding because it can be prone to cupping, splitting, and checking. Pine is not a rot-resistant wood, so it is important to keep it sealed and well maintained.
Like pine and spruce, fir is used as an economical siding option. It comes in long lengths, is easy to cut and install, takes a finish well, and is readily available regionally in the West. Like the other softwoods, fir is easily milled to a pattern, be it shiplap, tongue-and-groove, or board-and-batten.
Rough cedar lumber siding is known for its grain and its rot resistance. It is straight and resists splitting. Cedar takes a stain well and reveals a rich character. It is commonly used in shakes and shingles because it is dimensionally stable, resists swelling, and has less cupping and splitting. For its grain and texture, cedar is preferred for stain applications and treated pilings. Cedar siding is naturally more moisture and insect-resistant than pine, but must be treated and maintained to retain these qualities. All woods must be sealed and stained or painted to resist moisture, damage, and decay.
Our company offers a great variety of rough cedar lumber. Before installing, make sure that edges and ends are properly sealed. Freshly cut ends must always be primed and sealed before nailing.
Our excellent rough cedar lumber siding will last for many, many years, but it must be properly maintained. Proper maintenance includes power washing, staining and sealing whenever the heat of the sun fades the finish, or moisture starts to turn to mold or mildew. Always allow wood to dry well before applying a new stain or finish.