Best wood species for bare clapboard siding

fasola-shapenoteOctober 16, 2010

Hey all - I'm building a barn in my backyard, and am going to be putting up traditional wood clapboard siding.

I am going for the vintage/historic/weathered "farmhouse" look, and so will be painting with oil-base paint, so that it will craze and crack and chip off over time, for that authentic look.

Thus, the bare surface of the wood will be exposed to the elements (though all the cracks and missing paint chips), which includes plenty of moisture, since I live in eastern North Carolina.

What wood would be the best to use for this project?

The boards will be 1/2" thick and 5-1/2" wide (basically thin 1x6's), installed with a 1" overlap for a 4-1/2" exposure.

Obviously the traditional wood around here would have been southern yellow pine, but that old-growth virgin wood which could stand up to bare exposure is long gone, and the modern stuff is crap that will warp, split, check, and rot within months.

I need something dimensionally stable, that won't warp/split/crack/twist/cup/etc. with the exposure to the elements.

I had been considering sugar pine, ponderosa pine, western red cedar, clear-vertical-grain douglas fir, and baldcypress. Perhaps none of these are good ideas. Perhaps there's another idea I haven't thought of yet.

Obviously, pressure-treated is out of the question. So is reclaimed old-growth SYP, since it would be full of nail-holes, and of odd short lengths.

Oh, and no redwood or tropical hardwoods (mahogany, paduak, jatoba, etc.)!

And while a very few small, sound knots are okay, something with a ton of knots (even if they're just pin knots) is out of the no knotty pine!


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Here in the Northeast everyone uses hemlock- a nonporous wood that weathers very well.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 10:38AM
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