previous
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Video: Build a curved step
    Video: Build a curved step
  • Gallery: Custom Flooring
    Gallery: Custom Flooring
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Solid Deck-Framing Advice
    Solid Deck-Framing Advice
  • Video: Install a Fence
    Video: Install a Fence
  • Remodeling in Action
    Remodeling in Action
  • Slideshow: 12 Stunning Remodels
    Slideshow: 12 Stunning Remodels
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • 12 Remodeling Secrets
    12 Remodeling Secrets
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
next

Blind-nailing clapboards

Q: I am about to side a house with 1/2-in. by 6-in. beveled prestained cedar-clapboard siding. I would like the fasteners not to be exposed, so I was thinking of just attaching the top hidden edge with 1/2-in. crown staples. However, I’m concerned about cupping because the bottom edge isn’t fastened. Will this plan work?





A: Mike Guertin, a builder and contributing editor to Fine Homebuilding, replies: The nailing method you are describing is called blind-nailing. I once had a client who insisted that I blind-nail clapboards on a remodel project. He’d tried it once and claimed he had no problems. I obliged him after registering my concern and blindnailed the 1/2-in. by 6-in. beveled cedar. Everything looked fine for about nine months. Then several pieces went south, a couple went north, and so on. Not the whole house, mind you, but enough to annoy me.We face-nailed the cupped pieces and now come back every year to face-nail any boards that have cupped since our last visit -- at his expense.

I wouldn’t recommend blind-nailing 1/2-in. by 6-in. beveled clapboard siding unless you were going to expose only 3 in. You are much better off face-nailing with stainless-steel 5d or 6d ring-shank siding nails. The heads are tiny, not much larger in diameter than a finish nail.They also have a good shoulder, so they hold well and don’t pull through the wood.

If I am exposing the rough side of the cedar, the cross-hatched nail heads disappear nicely into the field of siding. On smooth siding, I set the nails slightly and putty the hole. My painter puttied and painted a couple of clapboard-sided homes I’ve done, and you can’t tell where the nails are several years later. Galvanized nails would have bled through by now.

If you insist on blind-nailing your siding, I recommend switching the siding. Use a fiber-cement product, and the cupping and splitting problems are moot.


From Fine Homebuilding 142, pp. 20 November 1, 2001