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Small Cabin Forum / Cabin Construction / Vertical Shiplap Siding vs Board and Batten
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# Posted: 12 Jul 2023 06:11 - Edited by: cvinvt

We have a project underway (we need help with interior and exterior finish work) that has been painful to keep moving forward to say the least. If anyone is in the NH/VT area and has some skills and would like to help a nice couple and of course be compensated please reach out to me.

That being said, we have liked the idea of putting on vertical shiplap pine siding as we really like the smooth look of it but, someone is saying to us that it is not a good idea as water gets behind it so easily and board and batten is a more reliable choice. That if we really want shiplap, it should be installed horizontally, not vertically.

Additionally, we are being told whatever siding we use, to not stain the back side as it's better to leave that as just wood as wood wants to breathe and staining the back could actually trap moisture vs letting it escape.

The cabin is wrapped in HydroGap and the plan was to attach/screw/nail? the siding directly to the Advantech sheathing with the HydroGap barrier in between.

Any experienced opinions are appreciated.

# Posted: 12 Jul 2023 17:31

Question: You mention pine to be used. I assume stained as you also asked about staining the backside.

First, yes I would definitely stain all the sides and also touch up the cut ends as you go along. Stain is not waterproof, it is water-resistant. If the backside of the pine is left natural it will soak up whatever water gets behind it faster than it will dry out the backside. Todays pine will rot out much faster than the pine we used to have.

Vertical shiplap is not wise, IMO. Wind will blow water in. Shiplap is meant to be used horizontally as then the part that overlaps will divert water to the exterior side. Personally, I like traditional horizontal lap siding where the boards are installed bottom to top and the upper boards overlap the lower by an inch or so.

The best, IMO is to use horizontal boards (lap or shiplap) installed over a rainscreen framework. Here is one link, a rather fancy one, but a rainscreen can be made with vertical 1x3s or 1x4s applied over the house wrap or building felt. Google will find may other results for 'rainscreen and siding'. The vertical system provides ventilation of the backside and the air space can assist in the thermal performance of the structure. Shiplap or std lap siding can both benefit immensely from a rainscreen wall. The more it rains the better it can be.

My personal favorite exterior is a rainscreen and cement fiber lap siding because when painted with quality paint that can go 20 years without any maintenance. I hate maintaining stained or oiled real wood. But that is me. Painted cement fiber has never blistered as far as I know whereas painted real wood siding can and does produce blistering paint when moisture conditions are right (or wrong?) Stain does not usually blister of course but then we are back to more probable maintenance to keep it looking great.

# Posted: 12 Jul 2023 19:59

They do make vertical board and batten vinyl siding if your looking for a less maintence intensive siding.

# Posted: 13 Jul 2023 02:24

Quite the system and I see the point. I suppose the HydroGap house wrap to a small degree is designed to help create facilitate that drainage plane behind the siding.

The way this project is going we should probably just throw in the towel and let a company come and put composite siding up and get it done and over with or even vinyl if costs get too high.

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