Natural wood siding dominates the siding industry around the world. Basically, it is durable and good looking, but it also makes a statement. It describes luxury, elegance and style. Unfortunately, this aspect can cost a fortune. It is not just expensive, but also increasingly scarce. Luckily, you do not have to get a personal loan for it. Instead, you can stick to wood based materials, which provide the same appearance at a lower cost. Some plywood siding products look so natural that not even an expert can make the difference. Furthermore, these products are lightweight, easy to install (even in DIY projects) and inexpensive. What else can you ask for?
Just like for any other material out there (whether you need it for your sidewalk, home exterior or flooring), it is highly recommended to do your homework. Research its characteristics, as well as pros and cons. No product is perfect, so plywood boards also have strengths and minuses. A few weaknesses should not change your perception, but educate you on what to expect and how to maintain the material in the best possible shape.
Reasons and benefits of plywood siding
Plywood boards add to the solid structural support of a wall. They make a solid alternative to classic wood. They are also valued for the ease of installation. After all, the lightweight profile and high flexibility make this material a perfect DIY solution. Sure, some basic carpentry skills are essential, not to mention having the right tools. Without these skills, you risk ruining a few boards. Fortunately, they are inexpensive. Find out how it works without “checking” (showing small cracks on the surface). Another drawback is that – just like all types of wood – it is flammable.
Analyzing the most common species of plywood
There are more species used in plywood siding. They vary widely from one manufacturer to another, yet their technical specifications are not so different. Most commonly, you will run into:
- Western red cedar
- Southern pine
- Douglas fir
The respective species offer a wide diversity of patterns and textures. For example, sheets are normally 4 feet in width, while their length varies between 7 and 10 feet. Different sizes may also be considered. Lap boards are different though. They are long (around 16 feet by average) and narrow (6 to 12 inches). Thickness standards vary. In fact, thickness is one of the main elements responsible for the price. Thicker plywood siding is more expensive. The most popular standards are 3/8-inch and 5/8-inch.
Maintenance – have you thought about it?
A top-notch maintenance can maintain plywood siding in a perfect shape for a few decades. Normally, sidings can resist for more than 30 years. Sure, everything stays in the installation standards. Before performing the installation, seal all edged by the book. Use a stain sealer, as well as a water repellent. As for the regular maintenance, you should repaint the house at every five years. If you like the natural appearance, stain it instead. Plywood is vulnerable to moisture and termites, but these issues are easy to keep under control.