Siding 101: Wood Siding

The ultimate testament to the popularity of genuine wood siding is the number of siding manufacturers that today try to mimic the appearance of real wood. And while some of these alternatives come close to mimicking actual wood siding in terms of look and texture, in the minds of professional exterior siding contractors like U.S. Exterior by Seidel in Buffalo Grove, nothing compares to the real thing.

The Benefits of Wood Siding

The natural, classic beauty of real wood siding has appealed to home builders for millennia. And when siding contractors have access to a bevy of different woods, in numerous sizes and colors, the appeal and versatility of wood siding increases tenfold. Another big upside to using real wood siding is that it’s a natural insulator all season long, retaining heat during summer and barring cold from entering in winter. The result of course is lower monthly heating bills than would be associated with synthetic siding solutions. And of course, wood siding is 100% renewable and biodegradable, something no other siding option can claim.



These are long boards that are installed horizontally in an overlapping pattern. Clapboard comes in a variety of different natural wood, with redwood and cedar the most popular choice.

Rectangular planking

Very similar to clapboard, rectangular planking is an exterior siding solution that differs in that its panels don’t overlap. This results in a cleaner, but perhaps slightly less natural/architectural approach.


Shingles, for which the most popular wood is cedar, are cut to be uniform in size. Shingles are attached to a home’s exterior bottom-up so that each layer overlaps the one below it. Along with cedar, redwood and cypress are desirable woods utilized in shingle home designs. The only downside to shingles is that they require more maintenance and siding repair than alternatives like asphalt roofing and metal roofing.


The only difference between shingles and shakes is that the latter are produced in different sizes and are hand-split.

Wooden sheet siding

Wooden sheet siding is can be attached to a home’s façade horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Wooden sheet siding is considerably less expensive than cedar shingles or shake shingles, as it’s easier to install and typically uses cheaper woods, i.e. plywood.


Every siding choice has its downside, and real wood siding is no different. Here are the most important disadvantages to keep in mind, courtesy of our siding contractors serving Chicago:

Regular maintenance

More so than any other siding type, wood siding requires regular maintenance. Every few years, wood siding must be resealed and/or repainted, lest it begin cracking, warping, or splitting. Also, note that painted wood siding will eventually peel. If you stick to a regular maintenance schedule, wood siding can last and look good for as long as you own the home.


Just because you bring the wood out of the forest and to your home doesn’t mean insects will ignore it. The main enemy of wood siding is termites, but treating your wood siding with preservatives can prevent these critters from causing damage. Also, be sure to ask your siding installation specialist about which woods are more insect-resistant than others.

U.S. Exterior By Seidel | 741 Hastings Lane | Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

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