The first thing to remember when installing clapboard siding is that it will take longer than other types of wood because there are fewer nails required. If you have a small project, then it may not matter too much if your nails aren’t perfectly centered or even straight. However, if you are doing a large job with lots of nails, then you need to make sure they are evenly spaced out.
I’ve found that it is easier to measure the siding with the bottom of each piece, that way you can make sure they are level with each other. Also, if you are working on a ladder or any raised perch, then make sure to nail into the studs. This can be done easily by slightly lifting the siding before nailing it into place. It’s also good to hold it up for a short time to ensure that it isn’t going anywhere before you begin hammering in the nails.
If you want the nails to be centered, then make sure that both the head and the tip of the nail are parallel with the edge of the siding itself. It also helps to place a nail or two before lifting it up. This way you can make sure that the pre-nailed piece isn’t going to move once lifted.
If you aren’t sure about how many nails to put in, then just estimate the middle of the piece for now. You can easily go back later and add or remove nails as you see fit.
Measuring and cutting
One of the most important parts of clapboard siding is measuring and cutting. If you don’t get this right, then you won’t have straight lines across your wall or door. It is also important to measure and cut a little at a time rather than trying to do it all in one deep cut.
If you have measured correctly, then you should end up with a piece that fits together with the other side. Nails should be evenly spaced, not too close and not too far away.
We all make mistakes, so if you find that you have a few that are off-centered, then it is best to pull them out and start over rather than forcing them into place. Also, you may need to remove the clapboard piece if it is too damaged to fix.
1) You can begin by measuring and cutting the top of the wall. Nailing this into place can be tricky because you may need someone else to help hold it in place. Also, you should pre-drill the holes so that the wood doesn’t split. This is especially true if you are installing on an older wall that may not be in the best condition.
2) Next comes the clapboards that sit below the window and door frames. You should measure the width so that they fit tightly against the wall, but also leave a little space in between so that you can put panelling in later. Nail these into place.
3) Begin placing boards vertically and horizontally until you have completely covered the wall. You may need to remove clapboard pieces if you have made a mistake in measuring or cutting them.
4) After the wall is completely covered, then you can begin working on the window and door frames. Cut your pieces so that they fit around these openings. Don’t forget to leave a little room around the edge.
5) You can also nail a thicker piece along the bottom of the window and door frames. Cut them so that you cover up any areas that you may have missed.
6) You can finish up by adding the decorative trim along the top and bottom of the window and door frames.
7) The last thing you can do is to add the finishing touches with some paint. Pick out a colour and you are done.
*Note: You may also wish to add panelling to some of the walls. This can be achieved by nailing full pieces of wood vertically against the walls or using narrower pieces placed horizontally. You may also wish to use panelling that is a different colour or a different wood grain. This is all up to you.
Remember that you can find these kinds of props at your local building supply store.
Note to photographers: This room is best shot with natural lighting since there isn’t too much going on in here. You can use flash lighting to create some dramatic shadows on the walls. Since this room is all about the textures and colours, you can get some interesting shots through the use of filters. Have fun!
Sources & references used in this article:
- Clapboard siding installation clip and method of installing clapboard siding (DH Beck, RJ Morse – US Patent 7,441,382, 2008 – Google Patents)
- Rainscreen clapboard siding (DH Beck – US Patent 7,117,651, 2006 – Google Patents)
- Siding having double thick nail hem (WF Martion III – US Patent 6,363,676, 2002 – Google Patents)
- Rainscreen clapboard siding (DH Beck – US Patent 7,472,523, 2009 – Google Patents)