Clapboard is a very common type of siding seen on a majority of houses in the United States. It is also called beveled siding, or lap siding, though clapboard is the most widely used name.
Clapboard is a board which is beveled, or thicker on one edge than the other. The clapboards are laid over one another similar to shingles, the thin edge at the top, and the thicker edge at the bottom. Clapboard siding is protective in that it sheds water and doesn’t allow for moisture leakage if it is properly applied to the exterior of a house.
Where the name clapboard comes from
Clapboard siding derived its name originally from the Dutch language. It came from the word klappen, which means to split. Clapboards were originally split from logs by hand. Later, clapboard began to be manufactured and sawn in a mill.
Clapboard siding is particularly common in the Northeast United States. In Australia, clapboard siding is usually called weatherboard, reflecting its moisture protective qualities.