Learning Center

Find the answers to your home improvement questions.

Top 9 Wood Siding FAQs

Wood siding is a classic choice for homes in the United States and Canada due to its versatility, beautiful appearance, and durability. It’s also a natural alternative to synthetic choices such as vinyl. Read on for answers to the top 9 questions you may have about wood siding for your home:


Wood siding’s natural character makes is popular choice for many homeowners. (Pavilion Wood Siding – Thermally Treated Cypress Siding)

1. What types of wood are used for siding?

Homeowners can choose from many varieties of wood siding. Pine is typically one of the least expensive types, and it holds stain and color well. Cypress siding is incredibly hardy and is often seen on homes in coastal regions. On the East Coast, spruce is a popular and inexpensive choice, while fir is an affordable option out West. Cedar has a sought-after grain and is known for its natural ability to resist rot and decay.

2. How long does wood siding last?

Homeowners can expect their wood siding to last for decades with the application of a suitable finish and proper maintenance. No matter the species or style, avoid letting wood siding come in contact with the ground, as this can shorten its lifespan. Many manufacturers offer warranties in the 10-25 year range to guarantee the wood siding’s quality under normal conditions.

3. Can I paint or stain wood siding?

Yes, paint and stain actually help protect wood siding from the elements, and most wood siding holds pigment well. When painting or staining siding for the first time, make sure the siding is dry before starting work. Apply a primer coat if you’re working with a solid color. If you’re touching up or repainting your home, you might need to strip the existing paint before adding a new color. Also be sure to paint or stain your siding only in optimal conditions. Most substances have temperature and humidity ranges for best results.

4. What is bevel siding?

This type of siding features boards with a thick edge that tapers off into a thin edge. Each siding board is applied in an overlapping style and usually features the “sawn face” turned out with a stain applied. Bevel siding gives the effect of smooth horizontal lines to an exterior.

5. What is channel siding

While it’s most often installed in a vertical style, channel siding can also be installed horizontally or diagonally. Individual boards are installed to overlap the next, creating a shadow effect. This effect enhances the linear look of an exterior. The “sawn” or “rough” face is usually installed outward to provide a rustic aesthetic.

6. How do I clean wood siding?

You don’t need anything out of the ordinary to clean wood siding. Use a detergent, bleach, and water solution to clean one section of siding at a time. Spray each section with a hose before and after cleaning. Don’t use a pressure washer, since the excessive pressure can strip paint and damage boards.

7. Does wood siding need regular maintenance?

Though some types of wood naturally resist moisture, all wood siding requires regular maintenance to avoid moisture, mildew, and decay. Seal your wood siding about every two years to prevent water damage. You’ll also need to repaint your siding about every five years or as soon as it begins to show wear, peeling, or flaking.

8. What wood siding lengths are available?

Siding lengths vary greatly depending on the type of wood and your area. You can usually find any type and length you need, but obtaining unusual spans or types of wood that aren’t native to your area can add significantly to your overall project cost.

9. Can I install wood siding myself, or should I call a professional?

Homeowners can install wood siding themselves, as long as they use the right supplies and have experience working with building materials. Be sure to use stainless steel, aluminum, or hot dipped galvanized nails and screws that won’t rust and deteriorate the siding. Consider calling a professional for larger jobs or for help repairing damage to wood siding and assessing the extent of decay or rot.

What other wood siding questions do you have? Let us know in the comments.

Browse our selection of high quality Wood Siding here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You can use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.