How to Replace Clapboard Siding ? What To Do If You Have Rotten or Damaged Clapboards

Clapboard siding is a great choice for your home’s exterior, especially as it has a lifespan of 20 to 40 years. However, because it is made of wood, clapboard siding is subject to natural wear and tear based on the elements.

Inevitably, you’ll find some rotted clapboard siding that needs to be replaced over the years, but luckily it’s a quick fix. Here’s a quick, step-by-step guide on how to replace clapboard siding.

Remove the Damaged Clapboards

First, you’ll want to start by locating the damaged clapboards that you want to replace and remove them. Simply pry them off using a pry bar, hammer, or another tool that can give you some leverage to help pop them off.

They should come off easily if they are damaged. To remove, you’ll want to start at one end of the joint and work your way towards the other end. You may need to tap the nails under the clapboard to loosen them up.

Repeat until all of the damaged or rotted clapboard siding has been removed.

Measure and Cut The Siding

Next, you’ll want to measure the area where you need a new board. It’s important to measure the home and not the board you just removed. Once you have your measurement, add an additional 1/32” for a watertight seal and make your cuts on the new panels. Cut slowly from the thin top edge on the finished side towards the bottom to help prevent the clapboard from breaking. See our article about vinyl siding cutting for more useful info.

Keep in mind that you need to make sure that you match the material of the new panels with the existing ones. For example, if you have cedar clapboard siding, you want to make sure you use new cedar clapboard siding to replace any damaged panels. The difference in material will stick out in your home’s exterior if you do not use the same.

Repeat until you have all the clapboard siding that you need for the replacements.

Install the Panels

Now that you have the siding ready, it’s time to install it! If you’d like to add additional weather protection, you can put tar paper or tin flashing down between your joints. Simply slide it under the existing clapboard to the top and staple it in place.

Once you have all your protection in place, you’ll want to start installing the panels from the bottom to the top. Slide the new clapboard siding into place, then gently tap it into the right position. Once it’s properly situated, align the nail placement to the existing boards and gently hammer it into place.

Repeat until the entire panel is secure and all of the new clapboards are in place.

Do you want to replace clapboard siding with dutch lap?

If you would like to remove this traditional siding and replace it with more modern dutch lap siding, you should not be worried. There are not many differences between the two. You can read more in our articles where we compare dutch lap and clapboard siding more in detail.

Finish Up

If your clapboards have been painted, you will want to touch up the new panels to ensure they match the existing ones. Make sure to use a primer first, letting it dry before you put on the first coat of paint. You may need more than one so that it looks seamless. This finishing touch will help to cover dings and help everything blend.

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.


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