Learn More About Colonial Clapboard Siding


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Colonial Clapboard Siding

Colonial clapboard siding is a type of horizontal lap siding that are used to create the look of colonial style homes. Colonial clapboard siding has been used since, well, the Colonial era as a means of protecting the exterior of a home. Many wealthier American colonists used this clapboard siding approach, which involved overlapping wood planks onto the sides of the four walls. It was most common in the New England region and was considered a more dressy look than the log cabin home.

Colonial clapboard siding provided protection from the wind, rain and snow during the cold winter months, while allowing the home to breath during the hot summer months. Many historians think that the term clapboard derived from the Dutch word meaing to split or "Klappen." Today, clapboards go by several different names including lap siding, beveled wood siding, would planks or simply weatherboards.

-- Price Range: $3 to $8 psf installed --

Colonial Clapboard Siding Basics

During the Colonial period, clapboard siding was handsplit from different wood species and the idea was that the lower edge of the board would be thicker than the top edge. When laid on top of one another, this created an effective way to slough water, rain and moisture from getting inside the exterior walls. Traditional clapboard panels were made using cypress, ash or an oak wood. These wood species split easier than most other types of wood.

Clapboard Siding vs Weatherboards

During colonial times, clapboard panels were riven, while weatherboard panels were sawn. This meant that clapboard panels were actually cheaper to make than weatherboards because the clapboards came in much shorter length panels (4" in length compared to 6", 8" or longer). While riven clapboard was shorter in length, they typically had less warpage and thus created straighter walls. During colonial times, the creation of clapboards was a highly regulated trade profession. Even though colonial clapboard was less expensive than weatherboards, they were still expensive for many colonists.

Colonial Clapboard Siding Homes

Homes that were clad in the clapboard siding during Colonial times had a specific look to them. The widest panels were placed at the bottom of the home and each successive row used a panel that was slightly less wide than the one below it. Therefore, the narrowest clapboard siding is used for the top row of the home. The differences in the widths of the boards was very slight, but it was nonetheless a skilled trade to create the effect and provided homes with a more stately and pleasing appearance. Initially, historians thought that the different sized boards was simply imperfections in the miling and installation process, however they have since come to learn that it was an intended look.

Georgia Pacific Chatham Ridge

The GP Chatham Ridge has a narrow profile that is recommended for smaller homes. The siding comes as a 3" traditional lap board that resembles colonial clapboard siding. Chatham Ridge has a .040" thickness and comes in 9 Georgia Pacific siding colors.

-- Price Range: $0.50 to $.75 psf (product only) --

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