Nailing Cedar Clapboard

Old 07-05-17, 01:57 PM
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Nailing Cedar Clapboard

I'm throwing up some new cedar clapboard on a section of my house and have read to nail it different ways. I like the idea of hiding the nails underneath the overhang but it doesn't support the bottom. It seems nailing the bottom is the status quo? Would putting nails on the top and then caulking the seems be any benefit or am I stuck nailing the bottoms instead of the tops? They did both tops and bottoms on the old 1880s clapboard I have now.
Old 07-05-17, 02:10 PM
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Just using hidden nails allows the siding to move just enough that it's less likely to split. Modern day siding doesn't come from the old growth trees of yesteryear and isn't as stable.
Old 07-05-17, 02:44 PM
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Clapboard or shakes?
There should be no need for exposed nails in clapboards except in the top row.
Only place it needs to be caulked is around the windows and doors and where it meets the outside or inside corners.
Never at the bottom of the laps!
If there over lapped correctly and nailed in the right place there should be no major gaps.
Old 07-05-17, 02:45 PM
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A good rule of thumb when nailing the bottom edge is to keep your nails above the top of your previous row so that you arent double nailing. It allows each row to expand and contract.
Old 07-05-17, 03:10 PM
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Cedar clapboard manufacturers recommend nailing the current clapboard slightly above the previous clapboard. My guess is this allows the board to move vertically over temperature changes. I have cedar siding that is 30 years old and nailed the recommended way. However since the back side of the boards were not sealed, the bottom edges are curled so the nail heads (SS ring shanked with small head) are recessed an eighth to a quarter of an inch. Resetting the original nail is not an option so re-nailing thru the overlap is my only solution. I found aluminum nails at HD (size of roofing nails) that have a large head that will hold the curl down. To allow for expansion, I drill a hole through the clapboards to the depth of the sheating that is one eighth larger than the nail. I have painted the nails to match the siding color before nailing. So, seal the back side of the clapboard before nailing and nail the recommended way or my way ( have been re-nailed this way for 1 year and holding the curl down).

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