Wood siding gives your home a classic look that cannot be copied. In order to install wood siding properly through you have to know how to prepare your house. This will give you the know how to prepare your house and install wood siding properly.

Preparing the Sheathing

You will need a good weather barrier. Standard 15 lb felt tar paper is still the best moisture barrier that lasts forever. Use a hammer taker and roll it out horizontally starting at the bottom and working toward the top of the house. Now you have to install a weeping system. This is a thin (usually 1/4″ thick) material that creates a gap to allow moisture to escape from behind the siding. Install just like the felt weather barrier except you shouldn’t overlap the material. Just but it together.

House Trim and Door Trim

You will have to install flashing on the tops and bottoms of the windows. The flashing has a lip on it help divert the water from going under the trim. Then Install pre-painted or stained cedar or pine 1×2-1×4 trim pieces. Use splitless nails to prevent splitting the wood as you nail through the wood. Counter sink each nail with a nail set. Use the same method to install trim on all the corners and along the roof rake angles and eaves.

Now Install Your Wood Siding

Use a miter saw to cut the siding. The first piece will need a drip edge on it to prevent water from wicking under the siding and into the framing. The siding should start 1″ under the homes sheathing. Cut the boards tight between each other and between trim pieces. Use your nail set to counter sink your nails.

Only nail through the bottom of the board as your overlap will catch the top of the board with the next boards nails. Use only splitless nails. Make sure you snap several chalk lines for reference. Use the corners of the house as your references by measuring your the soffit. If the house has settled or is not completely level, this will fake the level look and all the siding will line up. Make sure that you start in the same place going around every corner.

Caulking and Painting/Staining

Whether you are painting or staining, you will want to use a paintable/stainable clear exterior caulk. You need to install this on every seam, around all windows, corners, along the rake and eaves… everywhere that siding meets trim. Use caulk between the windows and doors and the trim as well. Use your finger to make the caulk smooth. Paint or stain after a few hours of letting the caulk dry.

Wood siding needs repainting or staining every 3-7 years. Caulking should be redone every 5-10 years. Of course you can have a professional do this for you, but it’s much more fun doing it on your own. Besides, it’s very easy and it’s something you can even involve your kids in. You can start exposing them to simple DIYs and then later introduce them to woodworking by buying something like this as their first official woodworking kit. That way, you can both enjoy doing some DIYs that will boy improve your home and your skills together.