Clapboard Siding Installation – Your Step by Step Guide

Clapboard siding is a great, eco-friendly alternative to vinyl siding. It gives your home a natural, long-lasting facelift that’s fully recyclable once it needs to be replaced. For those with moderate DIY skills, it is possible to install your clapboard siding yourself, though you’ll want to take care to ensure your lines are straight and start from the bottom up.

Let’s take a look at the step-by-step guide on how to install clapboard siding.

Get the Materials and Siding Tools for Installation

siding tools

Before you start, you need to order your materials. To determine how much you need, first, get the square footage of your exterior. Measure the height and width of the walls. Be sure to subtract the area of all the doors and the windows. Bring these numbers to the lumber yard or home improvement store, and they can help you understand the linear feet you need to cover your home.

You will also need to get siding tools such as saw, nails, felt, flashing, chalk, staples, and sealant in addition to the siding. Make sure you have all materials prior to starting to help the job go as smoothly as possible. Typically, it should take between 6-8 hours to side an 8×16 wall if you are properly prepared.

Weatherproof the Walls

Weatherproofing the walls is essential to give your siding some flexibility and allow for condensation to escape without warping the siding over time. If your walls are not properly weatherproofed, it can severely lessen the longevity of your siding, leading to costly repairs and replacement over time.

Around the corner boards and side casings near the doors and windows, staple 12-inch splines of felt. Then, locate the studs in your wall and place verticle chalk lines every 16 to 24 inches over the studs.

Next, place the flashing over the water table. It should be 1 inch above. Using 4D nails, secure the flashing at the studs, Overlap the ends by 3 inches, sealing any joints. Use 12-inch felt to cover the flashing and staple 2-inch strips over each stud line.

Start Hanging Your Clapboard Siding

clapboard siding

The first clapboard you hand needs to be trimmed so it can be the starter strip. Cut 1.5 inches off the top, then place the thick edge ⅛ inch above the water table. Secure it to every other stud. Once this is complete, cover it with a full-size clapboard just slightly above the water table. Be sure to seal any corners off, and if you need to combine boards, you can splice two together.

There are tools you can create to help you line up your boards properly, including a swing stick and a story pole. These will ensure your clapboards remain straight and evenly spaced throughout the exterior.

Repeat until your wall is complete before moving on to the next section.

Word of Caution

Take extra care around windows and doors, and be sure to measure and cut the clapboards appropriately. There are different types of clapboard siding, including cedar, pine, and more. It will not be that different to install the different types of wood, though they can vary in size and texture.

My name is Donald and I am the main author of this little page. I love working around the houses during the day and writing articles about house improvement in the evening. If you have any questions, just ask in the comments! If you need professional siding services use the form.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here