Common tree species used for residential siding include cedar, pine, spruce, redwood, cypress, and Douglas firs. Sometimes plywood is also used. The wood is graded for quality. Clear heartwood is considered the premium wood siding material. Below that, lesser grades include A Clear, B Clear, Select Knotty, Quality Knotty, Proprietary, and Standard. Each type of wood can be used to make various styles of siding.
Clapboard – These are long rectangular boards that are squared off. They are installed horizontally in an overlapping manner. Clapboard is one of the oldest types of wood siding. You see it on many historic homes.
Bevel – Beveled siding is installed horizontally much like clapboard. The major difference is that one edge is thinner than the other on the opposite side. It’s sort of like a wedge shaped clapboard and is just a modern version of that time-honored design. One face of each board is generally saw-textured. On some products both sides are textured.
Wood Plank – Wood plank is installed vertically and can come in a variety of styles and shapes. Some of these include board on board, channel-groove, or tongue and groove.
Shingles & Shakes – Wood shingle siding is very similar to roofing shingles except these are installed over the sides of the building. Red cedar is a favorite material for shake siding. The shingles are wedge shaped. Installation is done with a nail gun and the shingles overlap vertically. Shakes are basically the same, except they are much thicker than shingles.
Wood Composite – Compressed mixtures of glue, wood chips and other types of debris are used to make sturdy boards. In some respects a composite is similar to plywood, except it does not have a nice wood finish. This material tends to be far less expensive than any other kind. It can be cut to look like any type of traditional siding.