Rain Screen Siding Installation Q&A

What is Rain Screening?

In the quest to finding better moisture management and energy efficiency, more architects and builders are installing exterior siding using rain screen installation methods. Basically, rain screening is a system, not an actual “thing”, that is used to create an air gap between the exterior siding (cladding) and a water resistant barrier that is installed over the sheathing of the structure.

By creating an air cavity between the moisture barrier and the exterior siding, this double wall construction uses the outer layer (the exterior siding) to keep the rain out, while the inner layer (an air/moisture barrier) provides thermal insulation and prevents excessive air leakage. It also allows any moisture that may pass thorough the siding to easily drain away, as well as accelerates evaporation of any residual moisture within the walls.  In the event that any water does collect behind the exterior cladding, the air gap allows it to dry, which prevents moisture build up and rot.

Rain screening is created by attaching vertical furring strips that are generally 1/4 – 3/8″ thick, by 2 – 3.5″ wide, using plywood or other treated wood strips, plastic mats or other rain screen system creating materials, over a water resistant barrier, such as tar paper.  Flashing is then installed over any penetrations and all vulnerable areas where water may pool or collect to allow it to evaporate and/or drain away.  Finally, the exterior siding is installed by adhering it to the furring strips, thus creating the air gap behind for air flow.

Be sure to contact your local building department for specific codes on rain screen installation in your area and follow all manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure the success of your project.

In these photos, 1×6 Alaskan Yellow Cedar dimensional boards were used as exterior siding over rain screening.  Simply beautiful, durable and eco-friendly.  Alaksan Yellow Cedar, also referred to as Nootka Cypress, has almost always been identified by the species label nootkatensis (so named for the Nuu-chah-nulth people of Canada).  However, the genus of the tree has been changed many times with the most recent being in the Cuypressus genus.
Alaskan Yellow Cedar Rain screen Siding

 

 

Alaskan Yellow Cedar used as siding over rain screen

photos and craftsmanship by Kreider Construction of Anacortes, WA 

Although rain screening installation costs more than more traditional U.S. exterior siding methods, it can prevent costlier problems, such as rot and decay, later on.  It also can add green benefits to your project due to the thermal insulation properties, as well as adding to the longevity of the structure and the building materials used, thus reducing waste.

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Wood Siding Profile Choices

One of the most defining elements to any home is the exterior siding. With so many choices of materials to choose from, it can be difficult to make a decision.  However, nothing can compare with the real warmth and beauty that natural wood provides.   It is readily available, easy to work with and is one of the most Eco-Friendly building products available; and with proper care and maintenance, will provide many years of service.

Clear Western Red Cedar Vertical Siding

Following are a few of the most popular styles of wood siding that are available in Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar or most any other durable hard or softwood.   Some are readily available, especially in Western Red Cedar, while others would need to be milled, which is one of our specialties.

To save you money and precious time on the job site, we can arrange to have your siding package pre-stained with a factory flood coat of most any solid, semi-sold or transparent stain of your choice.   If you prefer to add color to your exterior siding with paint, Pre-Priming can be done on most any siding package.  By having your priming or pre-stain performed at the factory, all four sides of your siding will receive an nice even coat in a temperature controlled environment, free of dirt and debris.

BEVELED (also commonly referred to as Clapboard) SIDING

Economical and beautiful, bevel siding is the most widely-used Western Red Cedar siding type. It is produced by re-sawing lumber at an angle to produce two pieces thicker on one edge than the other. Depending on customer preference, it is provided with either a smooth or textured face in both clear and knotty grades.

Bevel siding is installed horizontally to provide a shadow line which varies with the thickness of siding selected.

Bevel or Clapboard Cedar Siding Profile

Available in many widths and thicknesses, this is just one of the many choices of Beveled Siding

Available in lengths up to 20 feet, Clear, Finger-Jointed Bevel Western Red Cedar Siding is an attractive and very cost effective choice when paint will be applied; providing all the performance and beauty of premium cedar siding.

 

BOARD AND BATTEN

Board-and-batten siding is created when wide clear or knotty Western Red Cedar (or other material) boards are installed vertically with narrower boards, called battens, installed vertically over the joints.  There are endless combinations of board widths that can be used to create this classic siding pattern suitable for large or small scale applications; the most frequent being 1×3” battens with 1×10” or 1×12” boards. Additionally, the installation of the boards can be reversed with the wider boards installed over the battens to create a deep channel effect.

Western Red Cedar Board and Batten Siding

Classic Western Red Cedar Board and Bat Siding

Western Red Cedar Board and Batten Siding

A real cost saver when using this siding choice can be achieved by using “green” or unseasoned Western Red Cedar.

TONGUE AND GROOVE SIDING

Tongue and groove siding, commonly referred to as “T&G” is created by boards that have been manufactured to have one protruding rib (tongue) on one edge and a groove on the other edge, so that the tongue from one board fits into the groove on the next board. By far the most versatile siding option, Western Red Cedar Tongue & Groove siding can be installed horizontally, vertically or diagonally. It is available with rough or smooth faces in various widths and thicknesses, as well as grades and patterns, including ones that when installed create a slight groove between the two pieces.

There are many readily available styles “off the shelf” in Western Red Cedar, and there is also the possibility of creating endless custom patterns in both Western Red and Alaskan Yellow Cedar, as well as other woods including Mahogany and other hardwoods such as Ipe.

Tongue and Groove, commonly referred to as T&G, is very versatile siding choice

Clear, Western Red Cedar Ship Lap and Channel siding are manufactured to order, as well Ship Lap in Channel patterns in Alaskan Yellow Cedar and other exotic and domestic soft and hardwoods.

LOG CABIN SIDING

A perfect complement to your rustic home at a fraction of the price of building a log cabin, as the whole log is not used. This siding is manufactured with a flat back that makes installation over traditional structures easy and cost effective with beautiful results. Log sidings are available in different sizes, in both Western Red Cedar and Spruce.

Log Cabin Siding has a flat back for ease of installation over traditional framing

Custom Milled Western Red Cedar Knotty Log Cabin Siding

SHIP LAP and CHANNEL PATTERNS

Lap siding, available in many width and thicknesses, is manufactured to have grooves on both sides that allow the boards to be installed over each other to create a waterproof barrier. Lap siding expands and contracts with changes in temperature without cracking or buckling, which makes it a very desirable siding choice in colder climates.

Ship Lap Siding Profile

Channel siding is a popular type of lap siding that has a ½” overlap and a 1” to 1-1/4” reveal. that when installed creates a channel between the boards. Normally supplied in
unseasoned, Western Red Cedar knotty grades, this product is commonly used when a rustic appearance is desired.

Because of the overlapping properties (one end of the board has a recessed area along its rear which receives the shaped top-rear end of the board next to it) it provides excellent weather protection while allowing for dimensional movement when installed vertically. However, it may also be installed horizontally or diagonally.

Clear, Western Red Cedar Ship Lap and Channel siding are manufactured to order, as well Ship Lap in Channel patterns in Alaskan Yellow Cedar and other exotic and domestic hard and softwoods.

Western Red Cedar Skirl Bevel Siding

 

For tips on installing your Western Red Cedar Siding, please visit HERE

Before your next project, be sure to visit us!

www.CedarCountryLumber.com

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA 98233 – WE SHIP NATIONWIDE!

Toll Free 866.757.6343