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How Much Does Wood Clapboard Siding Cost?

Clapboard siding is a rustic and aesthetically-pleasing type of siding that has been used on homes for many years. This kind of siding is well known for its durability, often lasting for the lifetime of the home. Its original purpose was to mimic the texture of natural wood grain, but clapboard is still used more frequently because of its beauty, low initial costs and low maintenance.

It can be made from many different woods including redwood, pine and cedar. Cedar, which is the most popular, tends to be highly weather and insect-resistant and is also extremely durable when exposed to the elements such as high winds and hail. Pine can also be used, but it is more prone to splitting or warping after installation. Although not necessary, it is recommended to paint the siding in humid climes to help protect against moisture levels. Many do-it-yourself builders install clapboard themselves; however, it is recommended to have a professional install it properly to ensure complete sealing and moisture resistance.

The Costs

  • Average minimum cost: $2,000

  • Average maximum cost: $3,500

Prices are based on a 500-square-foot home. Wood clapboard usually ranges from about $1.50 per square foot to $2.00 per square foot. It is more expensive than vinyl siding and can sometimes be almost 3 times more expensive to install because it is heavier and requires custom cutting and installation.


Wood clapboard should be painted before installation in order to prevent water and moisture penetration. Most clapboard comes pre-cut in a variety of widths and lengths. There are a few different types of clapboard siding. The most common is plain bevel, which is used in horizontal applications and has boards thicker on the bottom that taper to the top. Another type is rabbeted bevel, which is also used in horizontal installations. It is thicker than the beveled siding, and has a rabbeted overlap. Tongue and groove siding is very easy to install and comes in a wide range of patterns and sizes. Finally, shiplap siding offers weatherproofing and can absorb the movement of the house frame well.

Advantages of Clapboard Siding

The look of wood clapboard siding cannot be equaled by vinyl or other manufactured materials and is a favorite of builders for its beauty. It is often used on high-end homes. It comes in a variety of woods and can last a lifetime if maintained properly. In fact, it can last decades with regular care. Clapboard is virtually maintenance free, and even when it does need to be painted, it is not a tough task to do. Most clapboard woods, particularly cedar and redwood, are resistant to decay and rot. Clapboard is known to need little to no maintenance other than regular painting and staining.

Disadvantages of Clapboard Siding

Clapboard may be beautiful, but it is high maintenance compared to today's easier manufactured siding materials such as vinyl. The clapboard should be checked thoroughly at least once or twice a year in order to avoid costly repairs. Cracked or broken boards should be replaced immediately to keep any moisture or insects from getting in. Clapboard is susceptible to water damage if not installed properly or if the stain has not been applied correctly. A professional paint job should be done at least every seven to 10 years, and a staining done at least every five years.

Last updated on Apr 1, 2015

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