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When it comes to home construction, one of the most important factors to think about is which siding to use on the exterior of the home. There are so many options available on the market today that the choice can be a difficult one to make. It is crucial to look at all the advantages and disadvantages of the various types and compare them to find the best solution according to individual needs. One of the oldest players in the siding market is wood siding.

Wood siding has been used to protect the interior structures of homes since colonial times. At the time it was the only viable material available, and the most commonly used woods for siding in the Northeast were eastern white pine and cedar. Of the two, cedar is considered the better choice when it comes to wood siding durability. The major factors that set cedar apart from other types of wood siding are its water resistance and decreased chance of wood rot.

Some woods, like cedar, are incredibly strong and water-resistant. When used as siding on houses, most wood can6 withstand even the strongest of winds and the strongest of winters in the Northeast if properly treated. Treated wood naturally repels any sort of water with which it comes into contact, ensuring that minimal water damage will occur. Homeowners who do not have homes with wood siding that is especially water-resistant will have to worry about mold build-up, wood rot, cupping, swelling and splitting.

If left to itself, wood siding will last for a number of years without sustaining any major damage. While beautiful, this type of siding can be very expensive. For an even longer lasting, cheaper siding option, homeowners would do well to choose Everlast composite siding. Everlast is made from a special combination of polymeric resin and stone with granules, giving it both durability and long-lasting strength without compromising its beauty. And, unlike other types of composite siding, this product contains absolutely no wood. This is a major benefit because it will not be prone to any cracking or bulging when coming into contact with water.

Composite siding is still a relative newcomer in the siding market, but laboratory tests have shown promising 7results. Time after time, these tests have shown that composite siding products repeatedly outperform wood in regards to resisting, cracking, rotting, and even major impact damage from severe storms. This type of siding is also much easier to maintain than wood siding. It does not need to be painted or treated nearly as often to maintain its longevity. In fact, Everlast siding does not require any painting at all.

Everlast also comes with a Lifetime Performance Warranty. Thanks to its ColorHold acrylic polymer that is completely UV-stable, this composite siding is also covered by a Lifetime Fade Protection guarantee. Everlast is even protected against damage from hail, which regular homeowner’s insurance might not cover. This is a clear choice for any homeowner looking for the best value in home siding. For more information on siding, visit our main siding page!

depositphotos_3449007_original-resized-600

Homeowners looking into installing cedar shingles for their siding are often faced with two main choices: white or red. These two kinds of shingles vary in significant ways when it comes to color, style, durability, resistance to natural forces and eco-friendliness.

United Home Experts has experience working with both types of cedar shingles. The best way for homeowners to make an informed decision about which kind is best for them and their home is to review the pros and cons associated with both types of shingles while considering what factors are most important to them.

Color and styleCedarShingles-resized-600

In the color department, shingles come with many possibilities. Left unpainted or unfinished, white shingles come to take on a pretty silver-gray color. Red shingles, on the other hand, appear rich and classic in their natural state. However, red cedar shingles cannot be painted, while white shingles can be painted any desired color as they naturally absorb paint well. Stained or painted white shingles will be better protected from the elements than unpainted or unstained white cedar shingles.

Durability and resistance

White shingles possess natural qualities that enhance their resistance to insects and decay, which are two of the most common threats to wood insulation. However, due to their fibrous nature, white shingles are more likely to split or crack (possibly during installation), and this makes them a less durable option than red shingles. In comparison, red shingles require less maintenance and, when installed properly, can last multiple lifetimes. As for resistance, red shingles do well resisting moisture, which keeps them from warping. However, even though they are more durable than white shingles, red shingles contain an acid that will cause them to become darker and blotchy and in appearance over time, which is a problem that does not affect white shingles.

Eco-friendlinessCedarShingles2-resized-600

Overall, red cedar shingles are more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than white cedar shingles. This is partly due to the red shingles’ unique cellular composition that results in the capturing of small pockets of air and improves insulation capabilities. In comparison, white shingles can deteriorate early and often, thus requiring regular maintenance and weaker insulation.

Regardless of which type of cedar shingle homeowners decide is best suited for their siding, the team at United Home Experts has the skill and experience to ensure proper installation. Countless satisfied customers across New England agree that United Home Experts is the right choice for any kind of home improvement.

We’re Cedar Siding Contractors in MA, RI, & NHside_wood_1

United Home Experts & United Painting Co. is your professional siding company. We offer cedar clapboards (also called beveled siding), cedar shingles, and cedar shakes (bigger, rough cut shingles). We also install many different styles and types of novelty wood siding. We believe that when maintained properly, it’s hard to beat the rich look of natural wood. A quality wood exterior should last as long as you own your home, and should improve your home’s appearance and value. We use many of the best grades of red or white cedar shingles or clapboards.

Did you know that cedar siding can last for hundreds of years? A recent siding project of ours in N. Andover, MA, built in the early 1800s, had only a few repairs required to the original clapboard siding. This damage was due mostly to extended snow build-up near the base of the house.

Reasons why some customers choose Cedar Siding

side_wood_2Cedar Siding is Beautiful

Cedar Siding is, above all, a wood of exceptional beauty. In its natural, unfinished state, it has a richly textured, tactile grain combined with a palette of warm, mellow tones ranging from light amber to deep honey brown. Cedar Siding also remains subtly aromatic, and the characteristic fragrance of cedar adds another dimension to Cedar Siding’s universal appeal.

Cedar Siding is Durable

Cedar Siding contains natural oils that act as preservatives to help the wood resist insect attack and decay. Cedar siding is also a dimensionally stable wood that lies flat and stays straight. Properly finished and maintained, cedar siding ages gracefully and endures for many years. When high quality cedar is chosen, it is free of pitch and resin and it finishes to a richly glowing surface that can be enhanced with transparent or full-bodied stains or with paints.

Visit SidingMagazine.com’s Siding Calculatorto get a range of how much it would cost to replace your home’s siding.

Board
Board
Available surfaced or saw textured. Recommended 1″ minimum overlap. Widths 8″ and over use 2 nails 3-4″ apart.
E.W.P - 18
E.W.P – 18
Available in smooth face. Reversible pattern usually used for interior applications.
E.W.P - 11
E.W.P – 11
Available in smooth face. Pattern used for interior ceilings or sidings.
Bevel (clapboard)
Bevel (clapboard)
Plain Bevel may be used with smooth face exposed or sawn face exposed for textured effect. Recommended 1″ minimum overlap on plain bevel siding
E.W.P - 2 & 4
E.W.P – 2 & 4
Combination of #2 & #4 patterns. Can be used on either side.
E.W.P Channel Rustic 7/8 reveal
E.W.P Channel Rustic 7/8″ reveal
Available in saw face. Used as siding.
Dolly Varden
Dolly Varden
Thicker than Bevel Siding. Rabbeted edge.
E.W.P - E & CB
E.W.P – E & CB
Available in smooth face. Reversible pattern. Usually used for porch ceilings.
E.W.P Channel Rustic 1/2 reveal
E.W.P Channel Rustic 1/2″ reveal
Available in saw face. Used as siding.
Log Cabin
Log Cabin
1 1/2″ at thickest point. Nail 1 1/2″ up from lower edge of piece.
E.W.P 106 drop siding
E.W.P 106 drop siding
Available in smooth face. Used as siding, resembles clapboard from a distance.
E.W.P 105 drop siding
Same as pattern 106 in appearance. Milled with a ship lap edge.
E.W.P - 2
E.W.P – 2
Available in smooth face. Usually used in interior applications. Use single finish nail and angle into tongue.
E.W.P double clapboard T&G
E.W.P double clapboard T&G
Available in smooth face. Looks like bevel when installed.
E.W.P double clapboard S/2
E.W.P double clapboard S/2
Available in smooth face. Looks like bevel when installed.
E.W.P - 4
E.W.P – 4
Available in smooth face. Reversible pattern. Usually used for porch ceilings or interior applications
E.W.P 1-inch center match
E.W.P 1″ center match
Available in smooth face. Pattern used for flooring or siding applications.
E.W.P 1-inch shiplap
E.W.P 1″ shiplap
Available in saw or smooth face. Usually used as siding.

Terms & Terminology


Battens
narrow strips of wood placed over joints in vertical wood plank siding to seal the joints

Beveled
clapboards that are tapered rather than cut perfectly rectangular

Brick veneer
a wall construction method in which a layer of bricks is attached to the wood framework of a house using brick ties

Carpenter ants
large black ants that make may make their nests in walls, behind siding, or in insulation; carpenter ants don’t eat wood they excavate wood to build their homes in the cavities left behind

Caulking
waterproof material used to seal joints at intersections of building components, used with some types of siding

Checking
a crack or split along the grain in wood plank siding as a result of cupping

Clapboard
overlapping, horizontal wood plank siding made from either rectangular planks or taped planks

Composition board
planks or sheets of weather resistant compressed wood fibers used as siding

Course
each row of siding material

Cupping
a warp across the board in wood plank siding

Detachment
separation of the siding material-veneer or stucco- from its attachment to the house

Double course
an undercourse of shingles or shakes, not exposed to the weather, is covered completely by a top course

Dust mites
virtually walking stomachs

Flashing
a type of sheet metal used at intersections of building components to prevent water penetration, flashings are commonly used above doors and windows in exterior walls and are used under the siding to prohibit water penetration

Lintel
a steel angle iron or beam over window and door openings that spans the opening and transfers the weight of the masonry to the sides of the opening

Milled planks
various cuts of plank siding, including V-groove, channel, rabbeted bevel, shiplap and drop

Model Building Code
these building codes vary by area of the country and are considered the standard for that area

Moisture permeable
a surface that allows moisture to pass through it

Scarfed joint
joint used in plywood siding where edges of abutting sheets are angle cut to fit snugly and prevent water penetration

Shiplap
a style of milled plank, used in siding, that is laid close enough so as to appear to be butted

Single course
wood shingles or shakes applied where each course is exposed to the weather

Spalling
crumbling and falling away of bricks, concrete or blocks

Stucco
a type of water resistant, plaster like siding material made of cement, sand and water; it may have an acrylic finish

T & G
tongue and groove, a connection system between components, like wood, in which the tab or tongue of one board is placed into the grove at the end of another board

Termites
social insects that live either in the ground or in wood and eat wood, they can cause serious structural damage to a home

Veneer
veneer is one ply or one thickness of something; in siding there are brick and stone veneers; there are also veneers of one wood bonded to another

Wall cladding
another term for siding

Wall sheathing
sheets of plywood or wood planking used to cover the wall framework of the house

Windload Pressure
is a measurement of how well a panel might perform in high wind areas

Wire mesh
a mesh attached to the wall sheathing and studs used to anchor a stucco base coat to the wall

Wood plank siding
rectangular wood planks, installed horizontally or vertically

Wood shakes
thick, rough, uneven shingles that hand split, split and sawn on one side, or sawn on both sides, used as siding

Wood shingles
sawn shingles that are of uniform thickness

When first exploring a siding installation project many homeowners assume the best way to install vinyl siding is right on top of their existing wood shingles or clapboard.

So let’s answer the questions: “Is it a good idea to install vinyl siding over existing wood shingles or clapboards?”

There have been a few select cases in which we as a company were willing to do this, but it’s rare–probably less than 1% of our siding installations.  So our answer is typically “NO, it’s rarely a good idea to install vinyl siding over wood.” Why?

  1. Hidden Rot, Mold, and Deterioration
  2. Lack of Weather Protection
  3. Adds Thickness to Walls

1. Hidden Rot, Mold, and DeteriorationRotted-wall-under-vinyl-sid

1. Most likely there is more rot, damage, or mold under your existing siding than you ever expected.  Installing another layer of siding would not solve the problem and in fact make it worse. We’ve completed thousands of siding projects over the years and in most cases we find some amount of rot, mold, or deterioration that was undetectable from the surface. It’s not usually widespread (Although is some cases it is), but it’s enough that homeowners are usually shocked at what is found. The second reaction from homeowners is that they’re glad they didn’t just go over the old siding with another layer.

2. Lack of Weather Protection

2. When installing a layer of siding over another layer, you forgo the option to wrap the wall with a moisture protection barrier, also known as a vapor barrier. The most common product is Tyvek®, but there are other products like Typar®, and Everwrap®. Although thin, these products perform a significant duty in protecting your home.  A moisture barrier provides protection from outside moisture, but is breathable in order to let built-up moisture escape from your home.  In conjunction with wall insulation, moisture barriers also reduce draftiness.

3. Adds Undesirable Thickness to Walls

bad-windows-with-vinyl-sidiThe most common practice when installing vinyl siding over existing wood shingles or clapboard is to first put up rigid foam or fan fold.  These products are designed primarily to pad imperfections on the walls so the new layer of siding will lay flatter.  However,this means adding 1/2″ padding, and another 3/4″ or 1″ of siding to your existing wall.  It total you’ve added about 2″ of thickness to the walls which means your windows and doors will be set in more than usual.  Most people consider this a rather unattractive look.