For that authentic Cape Cod look and low maintenance, you can't beat cedar siding.
Synopsis: This is a guide to installing cedar shingles on the side of a house, a process that in pre-pneumatic days required only a few simple hand tools and some know-how. Illustrations explain basic rules of thumb, and the text adds traditional details. A sidebar explains how to estimate materials.
Sidewall shingling has always been one of my favorite carpentry jobs. It requires a good measure of skill, repetition and precision, all steeped in cedar aroma. And you can watch the house’s character emerge with each new course.
Shingles aren’t the cheapest siding material you can use, and they take longer to apply than most other types of siding. But the reward for a good shingling job is in looks and longevity. A good grade of cedar shingles, white or red, will last a long time with no maintenance. The first house I shingled 40 years ago still has many years left in its siding, which has weathered to a beautiful grey.
Nothing fancy here. A hammer and utility knife are my basic tools for most shingling jobs. For fastening shingles, power staplers are okay, and you’ll see a lot of them in use wherever tract houses are going up. The trouble with using these tools is that speed sometimes overshadows quality. There’s a real difference between shingling fast and shingling well. Preparation, layout and application are more important than speed if you want a good-looking job that will last for many years.
A shingling hatchet can be used in place of a hammer and knife. The hatchet’s waffle-face head is less likely to glance off a nail onto a finger when the nailhead has a gob of zinc left on it from the galvanizing process. Only hot-dipped galvanized shingle nails should be used for this…